Types of Pollution

  • Pollution means the introduction of contaminants into the environment that disturbs plants, animals and human lives.
  • Pollutant is a foreign substance that pollutes air, water or soil, and causes pollution, which affects the functioning of the ecosystem.
  • There are various types of pollutants.
  • On the basis of degradation, pollutants are of two types: Biodegradable pollutants and Non-Biodegradable pollutants
  •  Biodegradable pollutants can be easily degraded by biological or microbial action, like sewage and domestic garbage.
  • Non-Biodegradable pollutants cannot be degraded by living organisms, like glass, plastics, pesticides, and radioactive substance.
  • On the basis of origin pollutants can be primary or secondary.
  • Primary pollutants are directly released into the environment from the source. For example, ash, smoke, fumes, dust, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide.
  • Secondary pollutants are formed from the chemical reaction of primary pollutants in the environment. For example, photochemical smog, hydrogen peroxide, ozone and acid rain.
  • On the basis of existence, pollutants can be quantitative and qualitative.
  • Quantitative pollutants are the existing substances that act as a pollutant when they reach up to a critical level. Example: Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide.
  • Qualitative pollutants are added to the environment through anthropogenic activities. Example: Pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
  • Types of pollution can be broadly categorised into: Air pollution, water pollution and soil pollution based on the part of environment.
  • On the basis of origin, pollution can be natural or man-made.
  • On the basis of physical nature of pollutants, pollution can be of following types:
  1. Gaseous pollution
  2. Dust pollution
  3. Thermal pollution
  4. Noise pollution, and
  5. Radioactive pollution
  • It is necessary to take some concrete efforts to keep our environment clean and pollution free. It will contribute in the betterment of our lives and peaceful coexistence of all living beings on earth.

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