pollution (EN)

GC: n

CT: Pollution, we hear it every other day at school, college and read about it in newspapers. So what is it? Pollution occurs when pollutants contaminate the natural surroundings; which brings about changes that affect our normal lifestyles adversely. Pollutants are the key elements or components of pollution which are generally waste materials of different forms. Pollution disturbs our ecosystem and the balance in the environment. With modernization and development in our lives pollution has reached its peak; giving rise to global warming and human illness.
Pollution occurs in different forms; air, water, soil, radioactive, noise, heat/ thermal and light. Every form of pollution has two sources of occurrence; the point and the non-point sources. The point sources are easy to identify, monitor and control, whereas the non-point sources are hard to control. Let us discuss the different types of pollutions, their causes and effects on mankind and the environment as a whole.

S: http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/PollutionTypes.php(external link) (last access: 18 February 2015)

N: 1. mid-14c., "discharge of semen other than during sex," later, "desecration, defilement" (late 14c.), from Late Latin pollutionem (nominative pollutio) "defilement," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin polluere "to soil, defile, contaminate," from por- "before" + -luere "smear," from PIE root leu- "dirt; make dirty". Sense of "contamination of the environment" first recorded c.1860, but not common until c.1955.
2. A term loosely used to designate: 1) the introduction into a medium of a pollutant or of a material which the environment can not handle, degrade or disperse; 2) the presence of pollutants observed in a medium (involving an increase in the volume of materials already present in natural ecosystems, as well as those poisons and chemicals that are not normally present in nature); and 3) the undesirable modification of the composition of a liquid solid or gaseous medium which results from this introduction.
3. Pollution is very often used in the more general sense of "environmental pollution".
4. Types of pollution: There are several types of pollution, and while they may come from different sources and have different consequences, understanding the basics about pollution can help environmentally conscious individuals minimize their contribution to these dangers. In total, there are nine recognized sources of pollution in the modern world. These sources of pollution don't simply have a negative impact on the natural world, but they can have a measurable effect on the health of human beings as well.
  • Air pollution: Air pollution is defined as any contamination of the atmosphere that disturbs the natural composition and chemistry of the air.
  • Water pollution: Water pollution involves any contaminated water, whether from chemical, particulate, or bacterial matter that degrades the water's quality and purity.
  • Soil pollution: Soil, or land pollution, is contamination of the soil that prevents natural growth and balance in the land whether it is used for cultivation, habitation, or a wildlife preserve.
  • Noise pollution: Noise pollution refers to undesirable levels of noises caused by human activity that disrupt the standard of living in the affected area.
  • Radioactive pollution: Radioactive pollution is rare but extremely detrimental, and even deadly, when it occurs.
  • Thermal pollution: Thermal pollution is excess heat that creates undesirable effects over long periods of time.
  • Light pollution: Light pollution is the over illumination of an area that is considered obtrusive.
  • Visual pollution: Visual pollution - eyesores - can be caused by other pollution or just by undesirable, unattractive views. It may lower the quality of life in certain areas, or could impact property values and personal enjoyment.
  • Personal pollution: Personal pollution is the contamination of one's body and lifestyle with detrimental actions.
All types of pollution are interconnected. For example, light pollution requires energy to be made, which means the electric plant needs to burn more fossil fuels to supply the electricity. Those fossil fuels contribute to air pollution, which returns to the earth as acid rain and increases water pollution. The cycle of pollution can go on indefinitely, but once you understand the different pollution types, how they are created, and the effects they can have, you can make personal lifestyle changes to combat poor conditions for yourself and others around you.
5. In water pollution, the term "contamination" is often used as a synonym, as shown by the following definition, taken in source IWATE (Glossary of water and wastewater control engineering, by the American Public Health Association): "The introduction into water of microorganisms, chemicals, wastes, or wastewater in a concentration that makes the water unfit for its intended use." However, a distinction should be made between "pollution" and "contamination": the latter implies a health danger (particularly to humans). Compare "(air) pollutant", "(air) contaminant" and "contamination".
6. Collocations:
  • Adj.: air, atmospheric, environmental, marine, river, water | chemical, industrial, nuclear | lead, nitrate, noise, oil, ozone, sewage, vehicle, etc. | airborne.
  • Verb + pollution: cause | avoid, prevent | combat, control, fight, tackle | cut, limit, minimize, reduce | monitor.
  • Pollution + noun: level | abatement, control, prevention, reduction | limits | standards | monitoring | inspectorate, watchdog | incident, problem | laws, legislation, regulations | offence | sources.
  • Phrases: the cost of pollution | a risk of pollution | a source of pollution.
S: 1. OED - http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=pollution&searchmode=none(external link) (last access: 18 February 2015). 2 & 3. TERMIUMPLUS. 4. http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/Types_of_Pollution(external link) (last access: 19 February 2015). 5. TERMIUMPLUS. 6. http://oxforddictionary.so8848.com/search?word=pollution(external link) (last access: 20 May 2015).


CR: air pollution, biosafety, combustion (EN), contaminant, ecology, environment, environmental impact, light pollution, nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxide, nonpoint source pollution, soil pollution, radioactive contamination, radon (EN), tropospheric ozone.


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