Pollution is the result of human activity. Anyway, it worsens the quality of life and creates imbalance in the ecology. So this essay on environmental issues is devoted to the phenomenon of pollution, its kinds and consequences that affect every living being on the planet.
Do you want to know what home do we live in? Our home is the planet Earth, where we have air that we breath, water that we drink, ground on which we walk and that gives us food. Many people are completely mired in their work, entertainments and do see nothing around them. Although it is high time to open your eyes wide and to notice that our home is close to destruction. And there is no one to blame, except us.
About 40% of people in the world die because of environmental pollution, in particular water, soil and air pollution. These ecological problems in combination with rapid population growth lead to increase in the number of diseases.
Professor David Pimentel from Cornell University with a group of graduate students analyzed about 120 publications devoted to the influence of demographic and environmental factors (environmental pollution) on the spread of diseases. Here are the truly terrible conclusions they came to:
1. From hunger six million children die every year, besides malnutrition weakens the body and is an indirect cause of many deaths from acute respiratory infections, malaria and other diseases. 57% of the Earth population (6,5 billion of people) suffer from hunger (20% from 2,5 billion suffered from hunger in 1950 ).
2. Health standards are often violated in the cities and population density is too high, what can lead to the outbreaks of such diseases as measles and flu. Approximately half of humanity lives in cities.
3. Water pollution leads to reproduction of malaria mosquitoes, and as a consequence annually about two million of people die. More that one billion people experience the lack of clean water. Additionally, water transmits 80% of all infectious diseases.
4. Soil pollution leads to the fact that people swallow toxic agents with food and water.
5. Air pollution by toxic emissions into the atmosphere cause cancer, birth defects, disorders of the immune system. It kills about 3 million people per year.
That is the story. We all suffer from the pollution of environment. Really, there is something we should think about and try to take some measures to reduce the pollution or at least not to let it reach its highest point.
The planet has become too dirty
American researchers ecologists for 6 years have been studying natural changes. They claim that we can not live in a clean world, because everything is already dirty on the planet.
They discovered that toxic wastes of industrial activity polluted everything. According to the scientists, on the territory of 20 national parks of the United States you can meet at least 70 types of poisonous substances.
Russian environmentalists do not quite agree with their Western colleagues. They say that almost in every object today contain the full periodic table. However, it is not about the content, it is about allowable concentration level. They claim that there is maximum level of concentration of toxic substances, and it is not exceeded, it is possible to live in such an environment.
Nevertheless, the level of pollution is steadily increasing. Many conferences dedicated to this issue are constantly held, but yet there is no result.
Meanwhile, the leader of industrial emissions into atmosphere is the United States. Saudi Arabia and Indonesia are on the second place.
It is not accepted in the world to solve the environmental problem at the state level. According to the results of Carbon Disclosure Project researches only commercial structures solve the problem of emissions into the atmosphere. In the language of numbers, 80% of companies see significant risk to business in climate change. 95% of commercial organizations realize the seriousness of situation and work on its solution.
The greatest waste dump on the planet
“Soup made of plastic” has appeared and rapidly gets bigger in the Pacific Ocean. This floating debris strip, according to the scientists, is already twice bigger than the area of the continental part of the USA.
In 2004 “the island” weighted about 3 million tons, what is three times more than the amount of natural plankton. And its size was the same as the size of Central Europe. The “floating island” significantly gained weight.
This giant floating pile of garbage is always in the same place because of the undercurrents. The strip of the “soup” is about 500 nautical miles long. It stretches from the coast of California through the northern part of the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and almost reaches the distant Japan.
Approximately one-fifth of garbage is thrown out the ships and oil platforms, the rest gets into ocean from the land. Now there is about 10 million tons of floating garbage.
And the result is simple: something that is thrown away into the ocean gets into stomachs of ocean dwellers, and then gets on our plates.
The pollution of the world ocean waters
There is only 4% of waters not polluted by human.
Human activity, fishing, emission of industrial and domestic waste, mining, etc., left an indelible mark in almost every corner of the world ocean. Scientists have discovered that today there is almost no water territories not influenced by human activity, and 40% of the world waters have undergone strong harmful effect.
Annually purposely or by accident hundreds of tons of oil and lubricants get in the world oceans. The most harm humanity caused in the areas of the North, South and East China, the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas. The ecosystem of the Red and the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Mexico are severely disrupted. Similar situation is observed along the east coast of the North American continent, as well as in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The least harm was caused in polar waters. However, due to the melting of the polar ice caps they will be at risk soon.
The impact of air pollution
Recently more and more attention is paid to environmental pollution by emissions of internal combustion engines.
Emissions from industrial and power facilities and road transport cause great harm to environment and consequently to people. These emissions contain such dangerous substances as sulfur trioxide, nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, dusts, lead and other heavy metals.
All the substances that pollute the air have negative impact on the human health. These substances enter the body mainly through the respiratory system. So the respiratory system is directly affected by pollution.
It is necessary to use non-waste technologies, to replace hazardous materials with harmless, to utilize hazardous waste and so on. To reduce air pollution it is also necessary to use the latest design of filters, choose the most appropriate technology of pollutants capture, as well as to reduce emission of the vehicle engines, improve environmental legislation and the system of ecological standards and requirements, increase punishment for environmental crimes.
We also can help nature to purify the air. We all know that plant have a great protection function; they help us make this world a little bit cleaner, protecting from harmful substances. It means that we should plant and grow more greenery. In such a way we will make our world safer and cleaner. Besides, coniferous plants influence positively human health producing essential oils. It is a must to grow the plant to protect yourself from pollution. If you do not have possibility to plant a tree at your house, at least you can buy home plant and you will have your own clean world inside your home.
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What is Environmental Pollution?
Pollution is the contamination of the environment by introduction of contaminants that can cause damage to environment and harm or discomfort to humans or other living species. It is the addition of another form of any substance or form of energy to the environment at a rate faster than the environment can accommodate it by dispersion, breakdown, recycling, or storage in some harmless form.
Environmental pollution is one the greatest challenges that the world is facing today. It began since industrial revolution, increasing day by day and causing irreparable damage to Mother Earth. Environmental pollution has its own causes, effects and solutions. Looking into these will help you identify the causes and what steps you can take to mitigate those effects. Broadly, environmental pollution consists of six basic types of pollution, i.e. air, water, land, soil, noise, and light.
When people think of environmental pollution, most focus on fossil fuel and carbon emissions, but there are different contributing factors. Chemical pollution in bodies of water contributes to illnesses. Electromagnetic pollution has effects on human health but is uncommonly considered in present times despite the fact we essentially expose ourselves to it on a daily basis. Taking a look at causes and effects of environmental pollution will pull any mind on a rapid downward spiral. Solutions are in the works and, if we work together across the world, there is hope remaining, at least for the time being.
The environment will continue to deteriorate until pollution practices are abandoned.
~ B. F. Skinner
Causes of Environmental Pollution
- Pollution from cars, trucks, and other vehicles is and has been our major environmental pollution issue for almost a century now. The problem is we did not realize this until the problem had manifested to monumental proportions.
- Fossil fuel emissions from power plants which burn coal as fuel contributed heavily, along with vehicles burning fossil fuels, to the production of smog. Smog is the result of fossil fuel combustion combined with sunlight and heat. The result is a toxic gas which now surrounds our once pristine planet. This is known as “ozone smog” and means we have more problems down here than we do in the sky.
- Carbon dioxide is another product from all of the vehicles on the planet as well as unreformed power plants and other industrial facilities. A continually growing population of humans and clear cutting of forests has exacerbated this problem so natural defenses are no longer present and carbon dioxide levels are on the rise.
- Water pollution is a major issue. Many industries dump wastes into rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams in an attempt to hide wastes from EPA inspectors. These water sources feed major crops and food becomes contaminated with a variety of chemicals and bacteria, causing rampant health problems.
- Radiation comes into play as well. This is an exceedingly nasty pollution issue and requires extensive description. Primarily, there is radiation from the sun. As the natural ozone layer around the Earth has become depleted. The sun is wonderful, but the only reason we are able to survive on this planet so close to the sun is due to the fact of natural shielding against solar radiation. As the protective ozone layer around the planet has become thinner, ultraviolet radiation has risen significantly, causing increases in skin cancers and other types of cancer in all countries, killing millions of people every year.
- More radiation is a problem. The sun shining brightly on a naked planet is not the only source of radiation we are exposed to. Electromagnetic radiation is another insidious culprit. Once upon a time, the major concern around this type of radiation was due to high tension wires which carry huge amounts of electricity to cities. Now, we even carry sources of this radiation with us as cell phones, laptops, tablets and other wireless devices.
Effects of Environmental Pollution
- The polluting gases mentioned above have an interesting effect on climate. Essentially, these gases form a veil around the planet which holds heat in, increasing the overall temperature of the planet. The rise in planetary temperature, or global warming, is not immediately noticeable. However, even a rise of a few degrees Centigrade causes catastrophic changes in weather. This is happening now.
- Pollen has increased. It is ironic, but even with fewer trees in the world; the increase of carbon dioxide emissions induces plants such as ragweed and many trees to produce more pollen than ever before. This has resulted in rampant allergies across the world, affecting the health of billions of people.
- One of the solutions to tamp out carbon monoxide emissions from coal burning power plants was and still is to use radioactive power plants. While this does cut down on gas emissions significantly, there is radioactive waste which causes various cancers to bloom in major cities and small towns all around while destroying ecosystems entirely.
- Global temperature has risen significantly over the years. The protective atmosphere is further being polluted by methane gas released from melting icecaps. This is causing rampant weather issues around the planet.
This all seems like a fairly bleak outlook for the planet and all the creatures on it. It is, in fact, a load of dark and very real truth. For much of it, there is little turning back. Being realistic, though solutions are in the works to combat global warming, the hope is dim. Radiation does not go away quickly either, especially in a technological age requiring more power, more gas, and intensified depletion of protective gases around the planet. We are on a significant downhill snowball ride to hell. There are things we can do. Let us take a look at some of the solutions which are currently being implemented to reduce pollution.
Solutions to Environmental Pollution
- Gas emission pollution is being mitigated in a variety of ways with car emission control, electric and hybrid vehicles and public transportation systems. Not all major cities have successful implementation and decent public transportation in place, but the world is working on this issue constantly and we have managed to reduce emissions profoundly over the last decade. There is much catching up to do.
- The cost of radioactive power plants is becoming apparent and the days of coal power plants are nearly dead. The radiation is a serious issue. Radioactive leakage from power plants and nuclear testing have already contaminated oceanic life to such a degree that it will take hundreds of years to return to normal. More radiation solutions are in the works with various ecologically friendly power technologies being built every day.
- Solar power is a fantastic solution. Now that solar radiation is at a climactic peak, we can reap power from the sun using solar panel systems. These range from home systems to larger scale systems powering entire communities and cities.
- Wind power is coming into play. This may not seem like much at first, but when you get about 100 feet off the ground, there is a great deal of wind up there. By building wind turbines to harvest natural wind energy, electricity is produced. Wind turbine power and solar power are both powerful forces against fossil fuel power and radioactive power. The one problem here is power companies. They want to stay with radioactive power plants because they actually can’t be removed. It has become the crusades of many individuals and small corporations to make the switch and there are plenty of people following this as populations cry out for help.
- Electromagnetic radiation (ER) reduction. Once major manufacturers of computers and electronic devices realized the blatant potential for huge ER emissions directly into the eyes and brains of users, they started to implement hardware protocols to minimize risks and reduce ER production significantly. Newer devices are in the lead to knock this problem out and, fortunately, this is working.
Also, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is well aware of all leaks and tricks industries are using to dump wastes. This agency now has extremely strict protocols and testing procedures implemented against such facilities so populations are not affected. Additionally, the EPA is measuring air pollution and implementing regulatory procedures for vehicle emissions. They also monitor pollen issues and, with the help of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), they implement solutions to reduce pollen in the air.
Dropping pollen counts is a major focus for EPA and CDC activities. Asthma and other allergic conditions are flooding medical care facilities and pharmaceutical companies with serious public health problems. The response has been swift and various methods to control emissions and reduce pollen counts are in the works. Children and elderly people are at the highest risk for environmental pollution related health problems. The good news is we are directly on the horizon to cut down the causes and risks while providing practical health solutions for the general public throughout the world.
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