7 junio, 2024

13 Important Pollution Questions

There are many questions about the pollution and its harmful effects on the Earth, animals, the environment and humans. For example; What are the main sources of pollution? What are its consequences?

Pollution is understood as the introduction of various elements that are harmful to the ecosystem or that interfere with the natural balance of its biotic or abiotic components. Some contaminants can remain on Earth for thousands of years.

Pollution often takes the form of chemicals. Contaminants can be foreign substances, or naturally occurring contaminants.

There are several types of contamination:

Air pollution, which includes the release of chemicals and particles, such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and chlorofluorocarbons, into the environment. Most of this pollution is produced by industries and vehicles.
Littering, the act of throwing inappropriate objects onto public property.
Soil contamination, which occurs when chemicals are released into the soil. The biggest contaminants are hydrocarbons, heavy metals, herbicides and pesticides.
Water pollution, release of industrial waste, such as sewage, chlorine or pesticides on water surfaces,
Plastic pollution involves the accumulation of plastic products in the environment. This affects humans, wildlife and their habitat.
Radioactive contamination, resulting from activities related to atomic physics such as the generation of nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

Important questions about pollution in the world

1-What are the most important consequences of pollution?

Any type of pollution (air, water or soil) can cause a lot of damage to humans, vegetation, animals, and the entire environment in general. In living organisms the effects can range from mild discomfort to cancer or deformities.

Air pollution can cause damage to the respiratory system, cardiovascular problems and premature death, among others.

Water pollution can cause different diseases, hormonal problems, cancer, DNA damage, neurological problems, Alzheimer’s and death, among others.

Soil contamination can cause cancer, damage to brain development, and liver damage, among others.

In animals, all types of contamination also cause various diseases, damage and death. It can also decline biodiversity and cause deformities in organisms.

The effects of pollution in the environment can destroy entire ecosystems, kill trees, stunt plant growth, prevent photosynthesis, and pass pollutants to humans if they eat contaminated plants.

2-How can pollution be prevented?

Efforts to reduce waste should be improved, as well as ensure the sustainability of resources. Recycling and changes in the packaging industry can also reduce the amount of toxic waste.

Industries and homeowners can use alternative chemicals with reduced toxicity since these substances end up in the water.

Using alternative energy sources also helps reduce the amount of fuel and air emissions released into the environment.

3-What are the different types of waste?

Waste can be classified into many types, each with its own different types of environmental problems: organic waste, recyclable waste, non-recyclable waste, toxic waste, toxic nuclear waste, and radioactive waste.

4-How can waste be recycled?

Paper, plastic, metal and glass can be recycled at specialized sites. You can have different garbage containers to separate these materials.

Objects such as batteries and light bulbs must be separated and taken to specialized sites for their proper disposal.

Buying recycled materials is also a way to help recycle. Throwing away toxic materials should also be avoided.

5-How can radioactive contamination be controlled?

Preventing spills of radioactive materials. This can be achieved by the industrial companies and laboratories that manage this area.

These materials must be kept in secure places; industries must follow security protocols.

6-What are the main chemicals that destroy the ozone layer?

CFCs, chlorofluorocarbons, or substances previously used in refrigerators and aerosols. Another substance that also destroys the ozone layer is methyl bromide, used in many insecticides.

These substances react with ozone in the atmosphere, reducing the amount of ozone in the atmosphere.

7-What are POPs?

POPs (persistent organic pollutants) are toxic substances formed from organic compounds that accumulate in the environment.

POPs are produced by various industrial processes, such as the production of PVC, the production of pesticides, insecticides and herbicides, and in waste incineration.

Some examples of POPs include: dioxins, DDT, furans, chlordane, and dieldrin, among others.

8-What is global warming?

It is the increase in the planet’s temperatures due to the accumulation of certain gases in the atmosphere; especially gases that retain reflected solar energy on the planet’s surface.

The biggest gas that causes global warming is carbon dioxide, although other gases, such as methane and nitrogen oxide, also act as «warmers» in the atmosphere.

The exaggerated increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been caused by the burning of fossil fuels (mostly oil and coal) in industrial and urban societies. The burning of forests has also influenced this situation.

9-What are the consequences of global warming?

Predictions indicate that global warming could cause transformations that could put all life on the planet at risk in the near future.

Even a small increase in global temperature can cause dramatic transformations.

Some consequences include: dirtier air, more animal extinction, more acidic oceans, rising sea levels, harsher weather, and increased death rates.

10-How can the effects of pollution be reversed?

Over time, and by cleaning, the effects of contamination can be slowed and have the potential to be reversed by removing the sources of contamination.

However, contamination that enters the air, land, or water can continue to spread long after the sources of contamination have been removed.

Removing sources of contamination may include treating industrial water to reduce chemicals, or using technologies to remove contaminants from water and soil.

11- How does pollution affect our health?

Pollution kills and reduces life expectancy. In fact, there are figures that say that every year 3 million people die from problems derived from pollution.

12- Which sector of the population is the most vulnerable to contamination?

Pollution or lack of hygiene are risks that most frequently affect children and the elderly. In the case of older adults, their health is more exposed to getting sick because their defenses are getting lower and lower. In children, their growth may be affected, and they may develop lung problems (pneumonia, weapons) or heart problems.

13- What are the main environmental NGOs?

If the article has made you reflect and you are convinced that you can help improve such a polluted world, this list of environmental NGOs may interest you. Not only to help you clarify more doubts, but also if you decide to collaborate firmly with them in the fight for the environment.

At the international level, the best-known environmental associations located in the world are Greenpeace, The Nature Conservancy, Ocean Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Oceana, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), etc.

References

Environmental issues. Retrieved from biology-questions-and-answers.com.
Pollution effects on humans, animals, plants and the environment. Recovered from tropical-rainforest-animals.com.
Can the effects of pollution be reversed? (2017) Retrieved from scienceing.com.
Recycling guide. Retrieved from recylcing-guide-org.uk.
Are the effects of global warming that bad? (2016) Retrieved from nrdc.rog.

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