Table of Contents
Pollution is the release of toxic contaminants that are possibly to affect the natural environment or life adversely. The contaminants are the impurities causing harmful effects on the environment in many states today (Tigeris, 2007). The impurities mainly result from daily human activities, but on the other hand, natural forces cause a small percentage. Pollution can be divided into air, water, and soil pollution. Air pollution is whereby elements carrying poisonous gas to the air pollute the environment (Advamed, 2012). It is caused by population growth causing congestion, global change in technology, and change in temperature and weather patterns. Poisonous gases and noise come from many modern industries and vehicles during transportation. Radiance and chemical effects cause acid rain and fog (Tigeris, 2007). On the other hand, water pollution is the presence of harmful chemicals in water and is caused by human waste, chemicals, and oil leak from industries, growth in population, and deforestation affecting most water catchment areas (Hilgenkamp, 2006). Air pollution results in a change of rainfall pattern and causes acid rain. Soil pollution is the existence of poisonous chemicals in the soil in a higher level than the natural ingredients. Soil pollution is caused by natural forces like soil erosion and man’s day-to-day activities, such as farming or storage of chemical. In this regard, this research describes the primary causes of the three categories of pollution. A brief discussion is provided in the conclusion for the measures of addressing the three categories of pollution.
Causes of Air Pollution
The primary causes of air pollution include released harmful substances directly in the air from a particular base, such as gas emanating from motor vehicles, volcanic eruptions and smoke from industries (Hilgenkamp, 2006). The smoke releases carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide thereby affecting the natural environment, as it poses health risks to many people and other living organisms. It also causes harm to crops and materials, such as marble statues and change in climate thereby causing global warming. Hot temperatures worsen the effects of smoke and cause respiratory diseases like asthma and lungs problem, heart diseases like stroke, stress, and kidney failure, which can be lethal and cause early death. Changes in patterns of rainfall and temperatures are linked to drought, which causes malnutrition and death (Advamed, 2012). Floods can result from the changed rainfall pattern thereby causing migration, fever, insect, and water borne diseases leaving a number of deaths. Industrialization has affected air greatly through more technological innovation coming up. Consequently, chemicals are mixed to ease work and save time, therefore, resulting in smoky industries all over. Petroleum products, such as petrol and diesel used by motor vehicles are a source of sulfur dioxide produced during ignition and hooting; this is harmful to the environment. Urbanization has also led to congestion in towns leaving waste dumped everywhere because of the manning authorities’ inability to control dumping. Some air contaminants are naturally released; for instance, during a volcanic eruption, sulfur dioxide is released. Similarly, when forest burns, smoke is released whereas dust is released when wind blows (Hilgenkamp, 2006). When all these are combined, people experience diseases and changed weather patterns.
Causes of Water Pollution
Water is polluted primarily when pure water is mixed with contaminants for the first time. The contaminants are chemicals from industries and human activities with greater effect on the well-being of humans and other living organisms. Contamination results when water from human wastes is carried off by cut off or septic tanks supply to fortification. The biochemical oxygen gas emanated stipulates its breakdown of waste (Chavis, 2012). In case this gas drains to streams, rivers, and lakes or where water is reserved, it kills all living organisms requiring oxygen, such as fish. On the other hand, the oxygen-eating bacteria grow very well. The bacteria cause diseases in human beings; for instance, intestinal or waterborne diseases, which may sometimes cause death. Dead plants and algal nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous also lead to contamination. This is brought about by fertilizer overspills from agricultural and manufacturing firms, waste from animals or composed manure run off, if they find their way to the river thereby forming cholera bacterium, which causes the spread of cholera. Natural water pollutants, such as industrial chemicals are mainly manmade, do not decay, and are very harmful to human beings and organisms because they are consumed indirectly through food (Hilgenkamp, 2006). Inorganic chemicals comprising carbon have harmful metals, such as lead, which cause diseases, for example, hyperactivity and lowering an individual’s IQ, depression or headache and other neurological diseases. In addition, solid waste, such as sanitary, plastic papers, fruits droppings, waste foods, and wood are harmful because even if water is treated, there is no mechanism to treat such waste. Chemicals used when cleaning floors, household, and laundry are harmful when left to drain because some people are allergic. In addition, disposing chemical containers in the river and draining industry wastes to rivers cause great harm to the organisms on rivers, lakes, ocean, and seas like fish taking into account it is a nutritious source of food and income for many people (Hilgenkamp, 2006). The recent growth in population and deforestation has experienced the destruction of most of the water catchment areas. Increased modern ways used in water treatment also contribute to the contamination because most of them have chemicals, which are harmful to human beings. These chemicals are in the market because of competition. Water cleanliness and availability should be a priority that it is very vital today. Although changes in rainfall patterns have affected water reserves drastically, the remaining water is polluted in different ways.
Causes of Soil Pollution
The main causes of soil pollution are those, which makes the soil to decrease its composition. They may be chemical or biological composition ranging from man-made to natural factors. Examples include salts, fuel, heavy metals, lust from metals and human activities, which include accumulation of chemicals from industries, leakage, or spilling of chemical from where they are stored or during transportation, motor vehicle emissions, dumping of chemicals, agricultural activities like spraying of herbicide and pesticide and application of fertilizers, mining, leaving empty containers in the farm. The agricultural-related factors make the soil lose its minerals content. Natural occurrences like landfalls, soil erosion, and volcanic eruptions because of deforestation or natural occurrence carry the top soil reducing its fertility and the ability to retain water thereby causing floods, food reduction, as well as leakage of sewage line (Environmental Pollution Center, 2009). Contaminated, salty water contributes to soil pollution because water is important for the growth of any plant, but when used with high salt content, it accumulates at the top layer making the soil structure breakdown thus being unproductive. The growth in population has led to the emergence of undisciplined people who litter trash and waste all over. The dumpsters are uncontrolled whereas the dumping sites are unmanaged; these are hazardous to soil. Mining of petroleum products, clay, metals, such as gold leaves open cast, which breaks topsoil and leaves harmful metals at the top (Hilgenkamp, 2006). All these lead to the reduction in the food supply because the soil is the main host of many microorganisms, which are the primary and secondary producers, as well as the final consumers in the food chain. This may lead to malnutrition due to shortage in the food supply, diseases, and even death due to drought. Rural-urban migration has resulted in increased construction in the urban areas thereby polluting soil in a greater way. Any chemicals handled when construction is going on, such as cement, dust, and fine particles are poisonous when they contact soil and can cause respiratory diseases like asthma and cancer.
Pollution is the release of toxic contaminants that are possibly to affect the natural environment or life adversely. Pollution is mainly caused by human daily activities, although natural forces cause a small percentage. There are three categories of pollution namely water, air, and soil. Water pollution is the introduction of impurities, which make water unfit for human consumption. The major causes of water pollution are chemicals, human waste, and oil leaks. Air pollution is the introduction of impurities in the air and is mainly caused by congestion, gases, and noise among others. Soil pollution is the existence of poisonous chemicals in the soil in a higher level than the natural ingredients. It is caused by natural forces, such as soil erosion and man’s daily activities, such as farming or storage of chemical. In the modernized society, very few mechanisms are put in place to regulate air, water, and soil pollution and hence leaving a greater threat to the upcoming generations. Therefore, measures should be put in place to address pollution. These should work in collaboration with the existing bodies responsible for controlling pollution. The government and other environmental bodies should preserve natural resources, which are mostly destroyed thereby polluting the entire environment, including the atmosphere. Additionally, the public should preserve the environment and ensure proper disposal to reduce contamination that pollute the environment.