Rising Pollution, Pose Threat To Existence

Pollution is the blending of hazardous substances in the environment that has detrimental effects on all living things. Those materials that ruin the quality of our environment are known as pollutants. “Normal human activity is worse for nature than the greatest nuclear accident in history,” says Martin Cruz Smith. It is indeed well said. Earth, which provides shelter to 8 billion human beings and other billions of creatures, has become uninhabitable today. The prime cause of this is the ruthless activities of humans that have polluted this gorgeous planet. Due to the surge in population, industrialization, and globalization, pollution is soaring at an alarming rate, which has jeopardized the lives of human beings and other innocent organisms.

There are various types of pollution; among them, let’s dive into the major forms of pollution.

Air pollution

Air pollution means the mixing of lethal matter in the air that degrades its quality. Air pollution is both visible (i.e., smoke from factories) and invisible (i.e., carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide). People combust fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. The combustion of these fuels emits carbon monoxide (CO) gas. Similarly, there has been a massive increase in the number of industries, factories, and automobiles that produce harmful gases like nitrogen oxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and hydrocarbons that pollute the air when they are released into the atmosphere. As a consequence, people suffer from fatal illnesses such as lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, asthma, etc. Greenhouse gases cause air pollution too. Methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are naturally present in our environment, which is indispensable for us to survive. They keep the earth warm by trapping the sun’s heat; this makes the earth a suitable place to reside for all organisms.

The burning of fossil fuels and deforestation have increased the volume of these gases in the atmosphere; when the volume of these gases escalates, it increases the temperature of the earth, which leads to global warming. Global warming creates serious effects like climate change, a rise in droughts, the melting of glaciers, a rise in sea levels, a loss of biodiversity, and so on. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are another precarious gas that aids in air pollution. The ozone layer is an area in the upper atmosphere of the Earth. It protects our planet from deadly ultraviolet rays that cause diseases such as cancer, premature aging, eye cataracts, and so on. When this gas is discharged into the air, it depletes the ozone layer. CFCs are found in refrigerators, air conditioners, fire extinguishers, and various forms of sprays. In addition, air pollution also leads to acid rain that destroys trees, kills marine animals by making water highly acidic, and damages buildings, monuments, and other man-made things.

Water pollution

Water is the basis of life for human beings and other species of creatures. When harmful substances are mixed with the sources of water, they contaminate the water; this is called water pollution. Industries released various chemicals and garbage into the water sources. Likewise, people dump their household or business trash into the waterways. Even sewage and drainage are linked to water sources, which has led to water pollution. Agriculture is another main cause of water pollution. Farmers use chemical fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides for the growth and development of their crops. When rainfall occurs, rainwater takes these chemicals away and mixes them with the ocean, rivers, rivulets, ponds, etc. Rainwater also carries trash from households, streets, and dumping sites and blends it with waterways, which makes the water toxic. As an outcome, people suffer from serious diseases like hepatitis, dysentery, cholera, typhoid, etc. It also poses a threat to the existence of other living things.

Land pollution

Land pollution arises when toxic substances are dumped on it. Farmers are using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides in excess amounts so that they can quickly grow their crops and earn lucrative incomes overlooking the health of consumers. When consumers consume foods that include these chemicals in abundance, it leads to deadly illnesses such as cancer, birth defects, kidney, liver, and lung damage, etc. It also decreases the fertility of the soil, which diminishes production in the long run. So-called modern people do not hesitate to throw trash wherever they see open space. They even ignored the government’s warning. If animals mistakenly eat this litter, assuming it is their food, then it can take their lives. People who reside near dumping sites are more affected by this pollution. Garbage deposited in landfill sites is smelly, which makes it hard for locals to breathe with ease. Pollutants can leak through such dumping sites into water sources, causing people to become victims of waterborne diseases. This can kill various species of aquatic animals, too.

Noise pollution

Noise pollution is any unwanted and disturbing sound that has detrimental effects on humans and other living organisms. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if noise is more than 65 decibels, then it is called noise pollution. Sound, which is 85 decibels or higher, affects the hearing power of an individual. Automobiles, loud concerts, machines in industries, and factories are some of the major sources of sound pollution. Noise pollution can cause loss of hearing, disturbances in sleeping, hypertension, and stress. It affects people of all ages, but children are the ones who are most affected. Children who live near noise-polluted areas are victims of several problems, such as stress, weak memory power, poor concentration skills, and poor learning abilities. Moreover, various types of research have revealed that noise creates terror, cognitive problems, and grief in animals.

Ways to mitigate pollution

We cannot completely eradicate pollution, however; we can minimize it so that it prevents the extinction of various organisms. The prime ways to mitigate pollution are:

  • If we chop down one tree, we need to compensate for it by planting two trees.
  • Industries, factories, and land sites should be far from residential areas.
  • Industrialized nations should effectively work through integrity in order to reduce pollution.
  • Electricity should take the place of vehicles that run on fossil fuels.
  • The public should be encouraged to use electrical appliances for household use.
  • Every household should segregate biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. Biodegradable waste can be used as compost manure, whereas non-biodegradable waste can be used through reduction, reuse, and recycling.
  • The law should impose severe penalties on those who attempt to pollute the environment.

Facts regarding pollution

  • Each day, 91% of the population in the world inhales toxic air.
  • Air pollution is more lethal to life expectancy than HIV, smoking, and war.
  • According to the United Nations World Water Development Report, the number of people who do not have access to pure and safe drinking water facilities in the world is 2 billion.
  • As per World Wildlife, tentatively two-thirds of the population in the world is likely to suffer from a water dearth in 2025.
  • In developing countries, more than 80% of sewage is discharged into the sources of water.
  • Each year, 15 million children who are under five years old pass away from water-borne diseases.
  • Pollution takes the lives of over 1 million seabirds and 1 lakh sea animals each year.
  • Land pollution has degraded over 75% of the earth’s land area.
  • Researchers have found that landfill sites produce 91% of methane gas, which has a negative impact on local residents’ health.
  • According to a recent study by psychologists, noise, not aging, is the main cause of hearing loss.
  • 20% of teens whose age group is between 12 and 19 say loud noise is responsible for hearing loss.

We should not forget that the destruction of nature leads to our own extinction. One cannot remain alive inside the room by igniting fire outside of the house. Every individual, government, and various organization should work being determined and accountable in order to reduce pollution. It is our duty to hand over inhabitable environments to future generations; otherwise, our souls will dwell in purgatory.

This article is written by Laxman Raila






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