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As population is increasing, pollution is becoming a massive global problem with far reaching consequences. The lifestyles of the modern people have changed as their actions contribute to wider magnitude in polluting the environment. Air, land, water, radioactive and terrestrial pollution has affected millions of people lives around the globe, even causing death and contributing to the effects of global warming.
It is therefore evident that indeed pollution is a threat to the survival of people and if stringent measures are not improvised, it remains a bomb in waiting to explode. Pollution is human made, pausing devastating health issues among the community at large, and its management cuts across all spectrums of societies including cultural, political, ethnic, and educational backgrounds
Forms of pollution
Various forms of pollution have contributed in the pollution of the environment. These include air, light, soil, water, soil/land, radioactive contamination, thermal pollution, littering among many others. Air pollution is one of the leading forms of communication.
This type of pollution results from emission or release of toxic chemical particles into the atmosphere (Bingheng, Haidong, Renjie, Songhui, and Chuanjie 1292). Some forms of air pollution include sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide; nitrogen oxides produced by industries, chlorofluorocarbons, and combustion of motor vehicles fuels.
Noise pollution consists of industrial noises, aircraft vehicle hooting and playing of loud music. This kind of pollution has effects o n the hiring capabilities of people as it may affect their hearing coordination. Radioactive contamination emanates from activities such as atomic physics and the generation of nuclear power such as manufacturing and testing of nuclear weapons.
Water pollution on the other hand results from discharge of ewer water or industrial wastes into water surfaces that are used for domestic use. Such water posses a health risks to those people depending on such water.
Land or soil pollution is yet another form of pollution that continues to affect the livelihood of human beings. This form of pollution occurs when chemical leak or spill into the underground soil. These chemical include hydrocarbons, heavy metals, chlorinated hydrocarbons, pesticides, and herbicides.
Such components have a health risk to the survival of human beings as they may hinder the growth of products hence denying people the opportunity to plant crops hence leading to starvation. All these forms of pollution are aided by human beings action in their quest to earn a living. Even though, these pollutions have bad effects on the health of the population and the society, many people do little to reduce these effects.
Effects of pollution
Pollution has adverse effects on the health of the people. Adverse air pollution posses’ threats to many lives of living organism. For instance, pollution of the ozone layer may cause problems of respiratory diseases, throat inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, chest pain, and even congestion. Apart from posing health risks to human beings, pollution from air posses a threat to the survival of living organisms such as birds and other animals that, depend on fresh oxygen.
Therefore, pollution of air, concerns the whole community and society and for the problem to be averted, their input and involvement is necessary. According to Krautz, water pollution causes an approximately 1,400 deaths in a day (144). Most of those people who succumb to deaths as a result of water pollution drink contaminated water; untreated sewerage water from companies.
Most of deaths are in the developing countries, as most of them have no working policies on industrial water pollution. Poverty has also contributed to pollutions of water, for instance, in India it is estimated that around 700 million people have no access to good/proper toilet leading to many children deaths in a year averaging to 1000. Statistics of deaths resulting from air and water pollution are alarming.
In China, many people are dying as a result air pollution. An approximate of 527,700 fatalities is recorded resulting from air pollution due to increased industrialization. Noise pollution causes hearing loss, sleep disturbances, stress, and even contributed to high blood pressure among the people. These are problems that people continue to experience and unknowing they affect their lives and even shorten their life expectancy.
Pollutions have effects on the environment. All these forms of pollutions take place in the environment and therefore, this leaves it exposed to a number of effects. Pollution of the environment causes emission of green gases that leads to global warming that eventually affects the ecosystems in a multiplicity of ways.
Furthermore, smog in the air is able to reduce the amount of sunlight that is received by plants to carry out photosynthesis leading to crop failure resulting to an outbreak of hunger. Pollution can also make soil to become infertile and unsuitable to support plants. This may affect the living organs in soil and even the potential of the soil to support plants. Acid rain that is destructive is also caused by sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides that lower the PH of the soil leading to crop failure.
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Regulation of pollution
The rate at which the environment is being polluted is alarming and as some of the measures to curb the ever-increasing rate, a number of policies and measures have been put in place. For instance, many nations in the world have enacted legislations and formulated policies geared at regulating various types of pollutions and mitigate the adverse effects of pollution.
In most countries, the initiative to regulate pollution is under the government while others have given the mandate to other branches or non-governmental institutions to regulate pollution from industries and households. As a result, there has been locking of heads and disagreements on how these programs should be implemented with parties with interests objecting some reforms because of fear of running into losses (Harrison 6). It is therefore, apparent that, for the environment to be free from pollution all members of the society should be brought into the framework and be responsible for their actions. The government, the education sector , the community members, all the ethnic groups should work in tandem at ensuring that they avoid polluting their environment.
Governments have come up with different policies in their quest to eradicate pollution. For instance, most of them have intensified their campaigns and they now look beyond their national borders in pursuant of clean environment (Harrison 4). According to Harrison, many governments are seeking priority pollutants that tend to persist in environments for longer periods and use them instead (4). Many initiatives have also been initiated geared at protecting the aquatic environment from priority pollutants in order to protect marine waters (Harrison 4). Furthermore, several governments have also accepted approaches of prioritizing pollutant control. Some of these include replacement of chemicals and using more environmentally friendly chemical, reduction of use of priority pollutants, careful use of these chemicals in order to reduce accidents and or adventitious loss and waste.
In UK for example, legislations have been enacted geared at regulating direct discharges to water and indirect discharges to sewer. These regulations are controlled via permitting systems (Harrison 4). The main legislations include the environmental protection act of 1990, the water resources act of 1991 and water industry act of 1991 for discharges to sewer (Harrison 6). These legislations serve to regulate, monitor, and control any illegal or not up to standard ways of discharge.
According to Sell, agricultural losses caused by air pollution runs into hundreds of millions of dollars annually (9). For instance, much of the losses and damages that are witnessed in California are caused by pollutions in the air. Damage caused to crops ranges from visible to those that affect the growth and productivity of crops leading to destroying of life (Sell 10). Furthermore, air pollution affects the climate both regionally and global wise. For example, regionally, rainfall can be altered through the presence of air pollution (Sell 12).
US for example, has over the past put in place legislations that would ensure that water pollution is contained. For instance, the refuse act of 1899 presented dumping of wastes into national navigation rivers. U.S army corps of engineers enforced the laws. The law was revived in 1972 by the then president Nixon. The law required an approximate 40,000 industrial plants discharging wastes into navigable rivers to specify the quantity and the type and to apply for a permit to discharge the wastes. This was one of the government initiate and will to control water pollution (Nelly 26).
Environmental conservation can also be management by educating the public and key industries on the importance of ensuring that they keep the environment clean. Schools and learning institutions should be entrenched in the school curriculum in order to educate the students on how to keep the environment clean. Furthermore, before granting a license to investors interested in investing in an industrial plant, the investor should comply with the environmental regulations that requires proper disposal of their wastes.
Cutting of trees contributes to pollution of the environment. A good case was in China in 1998 when China witnessed flooding along the Yangtze River. As a measure to curb further flooding, the government banned tree cutting hence leading to prevention of flooding (Hill 4).
Main causes of pollution
According to Hill, the main cause of pollution is the growing human population, increased or growing rate of consumption and the large scale technological advancements when more industries are set up to engage in the production process (4).
These factors, to larger extend have contributed to almost all forms of pollution that the world currently is experiencing. For instance, higher percentage of atmospheric green gas emissions, carbon dioxide emissions, water pollution are caused by human actions. Therefore, the world will continue to experience effects of pollution if urgent measures are not put in place.
Refutation against pollution
According to Lioy and Georgopoulos, pollution cannot be eliminated 100% as there are a number of causes (1352). This observation is true and therefore it provides a loophole in the laxities of laws by some government in dealing with such cases. Some governments have blamed the continued pollution on cultural and ethnic and politics. Yes, these factors may prevent effective war against pollution. Politics is one of the factors that has been cited as able to bar proper implementation of legislations to eradicate pollutions.
Nevertheless, pollution can be solved by legislations. For example, establishment of more smoking zones, putting smoke filters, can manage air pollution and chimneys in industrial buildings, control on the kind of fuels that are used in cars, power stations and aeroplanes. Water pollution can be avoided by the communities themselves reasoning logically and being wise enough not to pollute the water. Industries that lead in water pollution should be held responsible and monitored through legislations.
Soil or land pollution on the other hand can be managed through, anti liter campaigns aimed at educating people on responsible littering, dumping of organic materials in areas far from residential places and inorganic material such as metal and plastics, glass should be recycled or reserved a specific place of dumping.
Pollution is a big problem that faces the world. The world population is increasing at a very high rate, technology is growing fast, and the rate of consumption of products is increasing. Every sound-minded person is supposed to be cautious about what they engage in and work hard to contribute in keeping their environment clean. Even with government enacting legislations, the buck still stops with the people.
We either destroy our ecosystem or try to make it a good place. Even though we cannot control pollution 100%, efforts geared at reducing the already polluted environment and that to ensure or curb further pollution should be exhibited. Therefore, the communities at large have the responsibility of ensuring that pollution is avoided.
Bingheng, Chen, Haidong, Kan, Renjie, Chen, Songhui, Jiang, and Chuanjie, Hong. “Air Pollution and Health Studies in China–Policy Implications.” Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 61.11 (2011): 1292-1299. Print.
Harrison, Roy. Pollution: causes, effects and control. UK: Paston PrePress Ltd, 2001. Print.
Hill, Marquita. Understanding Environmental pollution. Cambridge: Cambridge university press, 2010. Print.
Krautz, Joachim. “Poisoning the fount of life – fresh water pollution and its consequences.” Contemporary Review, 265.1544 (1994):144. Print.
Lioy, Paul, and Georgopoulos, Panos. “New Jersey: A Case Study of the Reduction in Urban and Suburban Air Pollution from the 1950s to 2010.” Environmental Health Perspectives, 119.10 (2011): 1351-1355. Print.
Sell, Nancy. Industrial Pollution Control: Issues and Techniques. John Wiley &Sons, Inc: New York, 1992. Print.