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Environmental Pollution is one of the most alarming problems facing mankind and other life forms on our planet today. Environmental Pollution is defined as ‘the undesirable change of the physical and biological components of the earth system to such an extent that normal environmental processes are negatively affected’. Pollutants can be naturally occurring substances or energies, but they are considered contaminants when in excess of natural levels. Any use of natural resources at a rate higher than nature’s capacity to restore itself which results to pollution of air, water and land.
Although pollution has been existing since life began, it is growing to a global proportion since the beginning of the industrial revolution during the 19th century. Environmental pollution is not only rampant in developed countries but also in developing countries which is causing irreparable damage to the atmosphere. The mechanization of society, the urbanization, introduction of motorized vehicles and the explosion of the human population have caused and exponential growth in the increase of waste by products.
The indiscriminate discriminate discharge of untreated industrial and domestic wastes into waterways, the ‘Throw away ‘attitude towards thousands of bones of solid resulted in major environment disasters.
Pollutants can be classified as primary or secondary which are the substances that are directly emitted in the atmosphere from sources. The main primary pollutant known to be harmful to the atmospheres are: carbon compounds, nitrogen compound, sulphide compound and halogens compounds. Secondary pollutants are not directly emitted from sources but instead from in the atmosphere from primary pollutants.
The main secondary pollutants known to be reactive are the NO2, HNO3 from NO, Ozone(O3) formed from photo-chemical reaction of nitrogen oxide.
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