Types of Pollution and Effects

Pollution and effects that it has on us and our planet, and the steps being taken to reduce pollution and make the world a better place for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. | This report will discuss four types of pollutions and their effects on us and how we can help clean up the planet. There are different types of pollution; air pollution that affects the air we breathe, water pollution that affects the water we drink, noise pollution affects our hearing and structural, and there is land pollution which can ruin soil and can also contaminate nearby water sources.

The first type of pollution that will be addressed is air pollution. Air pollution is certainly not a new phenomenon. Early references to it date back to the Middle Ages, when smoke from burning coal was already such a serious problem that in 1307 King Edward I banned its use in lime kilns in London (Christoforou, Christos. “Air Pollution. “Pollution A to Z. 2004. Retrieved May 03, 2013 from Encyclopedia. com: http://www. encyclopedia. com/doc/1G2-3408100019. html). It is a known fact that air pollution can be harmful to a population.

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This type of pollution is mainly caused by factories and combustible engines that emit such gases like carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. Other things that contribute too are aerosol cans and tobacco products. Hazardous air pollutants are also known to cause cancer and other health issues for humans and other living beings and can even damage precious ecosystems as well. It can even create acid rain that can cause deterioration. Not all air pollutants are caused by human activities. Such natural activities include volcanic eruptions, forest fires and windblown dust.

When a volcano erupts it emits sulfur dioxide. Forest fires and windblown dust create a particulate pollutant. These types of air pollution can’t be helped too much since they are a natural process. Today steps are being taken to reduce the amount toxic gases that go into the air we breathe. Motor vehicles are being fitted with emission controls and built hybrids or electric cars. Factories have developed ways to reduce their emissions by deploying filtration systems on their smoke stacks. Water pollution affects oceans and seas, lakes and ponds, rivers and streams.

Without healthy water for drinking, cooking, fishing, and farming, the human race would perish. Clean water is also necessary for recreational interests such as swimming, boating, and water skiing. Yet, when Congress began assessing national water quality during the early 1970s, it found that much of the country’s groundwater and surface water was contaminated or severely compromised. Studies revealed that the nation’s three primary sources of water pollution—industry, agriculture, and municipalities—had been regularly discharging harmful materials into water supplies throughout the country over a number of years.

These harmful materials included organic wastes, sediments, minerals, nutrients, thermal pollutants, toxic chemicals, and other hazardous substances. Organic wastes are produced by animals and humans, and include such things as fecal matter, crop debris, yard clippings, food wastes, rubber and plastic, wood, and disposable diapers. Such wastes require oxygen to decompose. When they are dumped into streams and lakes and begin to break down, they can deprive aquatic life of the oxygen it needs to survive (“Water Pollution. West’s Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005. Retrieved May 03, 2013 from Encyclopedia. com: http://www. encyclopedia. com/doc/1G2-3437704663. html). The Rivers Federal statutory regulation of water pollution has been governed primarily by three pieces of legislation: the Refuse Act (Harbors Appropriations Act of 1899), the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and the Clean Water Act. To implement these standards, the CWA requires each polluter to obtain a discharge permit issued by the EPA through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

Although the EPA closely monitors water pollution dischargers through the NPDES, primary responsibility for enforcement of the CWA rests with the states. Most states have also drafted permit systems similar to the NPDES. These systems are designed to protect local supplies of groundwater, surface water, and drinking water. Persons who violate either the federal or state permit system face civil fines, criminal penalties, and suspension of their discharge privileges. “Water Pollution. “West’s Encyclopedia of American Law. 005. Retrieved May 03, 2013 from Encyclopedia. com: http://www. encyclopedia. com/doc/1G2-3437704663. html Companies now monitor their waste disposal to stay within a strict guide lines of what they are allowed. Most water treatment plants have implemented new ways to filter and clean our water supply. And active groups started cleaning around major bodies of water in their community. Noise pollution can have damaging effects on the environment and living beings(humans or animals) and cause structural damage from vibrations.

Such affects can harm hearing, create problems for breeding and feeding for wild life, and cause deterioration of building structures. Many things contribute to noise pollution, such as motor vehicles, planes, excessive loud music, machines, and even one’s vocals. Noise pollution can be controlled through reduction at the source, interruption of transmission paths, or protection of the receiver. Reengineering machines and simply turning down volume when possible are methods of reduction at the source.

Barriers, enclosures, and other forms of soundproofing can interrupt transmission paths. The use of hearing protection is the main form of receiver protection. Experts recommend a multifaceted approach, including appropriate training on the use of equipment and on why ear protection matters, enforcement of hearing-protection regulations, and the use of new technologies that reduce noise at the source (Lusk et al. 2004). “Pollution, Noise. ” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2008. Retrieved May 03, 2013 from Encyclopedia. om: http://www. encyclopedia. com/doc/1G2-3045301992. html Finally there is land pollution which seems to be an ever growing problem for just about everyone. It is unsightly to see and can harm our soil for farming. It also has ways to contaminate nearby water sources especially for drinking, farming, and harmful to aquatic life. Some land pollution can be tied to water pollution in some areas. A modern technique for land disposal of solid waste involves construction and daily operation and control of so-called sanitary landfills.

Sanitary landfills are not dumps; they are carefully planned and engineered facilities designed to control leachate and methane and minimize the risk of land pollution from solid-waste disposal. Sanitary landfill sites are carefully selected and prepared with impermeable bottom liners to collect leachate and prevent contamination of groundwater. Bottom liners typically consist of flexible plastic membranes and a layer of compacted clay. The waste material—MSW and C&D debris—is spread out, compacted with heavy machinery, and covered each day with a layer of compacted soil.

Leachate is collected in a network of perforated pipes at the bottom of the landfill and pumped to an on-site treatment plant or nearby public sewerage system. Methane is also collected in the landfill and safely vented to the atmosphere or recovered for use as a fuel. Groundwater-monitoring wells must be placed around the landfill and sampled periodically to assure proper landfill operation. Completed landfills are capped with a layer of clay or an impermeable membrane to prevent water from entering.

A layer of topsoil and various forms of vegetation are placed as a final cover. Completed landfills are often used as public parks or playgrounds (Nathanson, Jerry A. “Land Pollution. ” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n. d. Web. 03 May 2013). So as this report has discussed these four types of pollutions and their effects on us and how we can help clean up the planet. We need to start taking better care of our planet for future generations. So they may enjoy and appreciate the world around them.

References
Christoforou, Christos. “Air Pollution.”Pollution A to Z. 2004. Retrieved May 03, 2013 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3408100019.html (“Water Pollution.”West’s Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005. Retrieved May 03, 2013 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3437704663.html “Pollution, Noise.” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2008. Retrieved May 03, 2013 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3045301992.html Lusk et al. 2004

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