People who want to live convenient lifestyles, where just about anything is readily available, must understand that pollution is a necessary evil in society. Driving cars to work, building industries, and powering hospitals with electricity make pollution an inherent price of a modern and convenient way of life. By using, making, and maintaining vehicles and turning on lights in homes, pollution is automatically produced by the materials and natural resources needed to make these concepts work. Consequently, pollution is a byproduct, a necessary evil of progress that affects not just human beings, but the world as a whole.
According to Merriam-Webster.com, pollution is the action of polluting especially by environmental contamination with man-made waste. There are different forms of pollution that are produced due to manmade things. According to ReadandDigest.com, there are several forms of pollution: water pollution, air pollution, soil pollution, thermal pollution, radioactive pollution, noise pollution, and light pollution, all of which have negative effects on ecosystems, animals, and people, but, the two most common and effective forms of pollutions are air and water pollution.
The first form of pollution this paper will discuss, along with the negative effects that it has on the world is water pollution.
Water pollution is a type of pollution that involves the contamination of various water bodies. This form of pollution occurs when pollutants are directly or indirectly released into the water without adequate treatment to remove the harmful substances that have been released. Water pollution is caused by a variety of things such as; urbanisation, deforestation, industrial operations, mining, agriculture, and accidental water pollution.
Each of these terms all have a way of making life convenient for people and have their own unique way of contributing to water pollution. ( Readanddigest, 2018).
As stated by the dictionary.com, urbanization is the process by which cities grow or by which societies become more urban. The convenience and availability of goods and services is one of the benefits of urbanization. With access to more educational and medical services, society is able to increase literacy, improve healthcare, and provide an overall better quality of life. However, as more and more people move into cities and towns, a number of these factors causes cause pollution. According to the Waterwise organization, urbanization causes inadequate sewage collection and treatment, increase in fertilisers to grow more food; which results in an increase in nutrients (nitrates and phosphates) in the water; which causes enhanced plant growth (algal blooms). When this plant material dies and decays, the bacteria uses the oxygen in the water. By urbanizing land to build and expand complex societies, deforestation is a required action that needs to take place.
According to dictionary.cambridge.org, deforestation is the cutting down of trees in a large area, or the destruction of forests by people. Deforestation is a convenience for people on how it gives them land to cultivate and produce goods and services to others. However, clearing land is also a form of pollution. When soil is stripped of its protective vegetation, the protective vegetation comes prone to soil erosion. When this happens, this thing leads to an increase in the murkiness of the water when the rain washes the soil’s protective vegetation. According to Randwater.org, when this situation happens, the murkiness of the water can cause the following: the murkiness of the water can block the gills of fishes, prevent bottom dwelling plants from photosynthesizing as the sun’s rays cannot reach them, and there is an increase in diseases as bacteria and viruses use the soil particles as a method of transportation. Another cause of water pollution comes from industrial plant facilities.
According to the Water-pollution.org, industries are a huge source of water pollution. Industries produce pollutants that are extremely harmful to people and the environment. Industries can be used as a convenience for people on how industries creates jobs, products like television, clothes, and automobiles. The downfall of industries however, is the mass amounts of pollution that they create. Many industrial facilities use freshwater to carry away waste from their plants into rivers, lakes and oceans. As stated by the Water-pollution organization, pollutants from industrial sources include: asbestos, lead, mercury, nitrates, phosphates, sulphur, oils, and petrochemicals. All of these things are a huge source of water pollution as these pollutants are extremely harmful to people and aquatic life when they are dumped into the oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams. Another great contributor to water pollution is mining.
According to the Dictionary.com, mining is the process or industry of obtaining coal or other minerals from a mine. According to the pollution issues website (2017, mining contributes to water pollution by acid mine drainage, metal contamination, and increased sediment levels in streams. Acid mine drainage (AMD), refers to the outflow of acidic water from metal mines or coal mines (2017). Increased sediment levels in streams that build from soil erosion can cause siltation or the smothering of streambeds. This situation affects fisheries, swimming, domestic water supply, irrigation, and other uses of streams.
According to Merriam-Webster.com, agriculture is the science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock. According to the Protecting Water organization, agriculture contributes to water pollution by the runoff from barnyards, feedlots and croplands that carry away manure, fertilizers, ammonia, pesticides, livestock waste, oil, toxins from farm equipment, soil and sediment. These things that end up in rivers, streams, and lakes, means very bad news to the aquatic life that lives in the area. Nitrogen from fertilizers, manure, waste and ammonia turns into nitrite and nitrate. High levels of these toxins deplete waters of oxygen, killing all of the animals and fishes that are living in the vicinity. This can also affects people on how Nitrates also soak into the ground and end up in drinking water. Health problems can develop as a result of this happening.
People can take preventable measures to reduce water pollution; like being more cautious of dumping contaminants into the water. Water treatment plants are being constructed with innovative techniques to clean polluted water. But in most cases, only a certain part of the damage can be resolved, therefore, it is better to prevent water pollution as water is the basic need for the survival of man. Another form of pollution that is greatly produced is air pollution.
According to Environmentalpollutioncenters.com, air pollution is the presence in or introduction into the air of a substance which has harmful or poisonous effects. What causes this form of pollution is directly through the use of, emissions from industries and manufacturing activities, transportation, deforestation, wood fires, and smoking. Each of these things have their own way of contributing to air pollution. We also cause pollution when we buy goods and services that use energy in their production and delivery, most of this air pollution that are caused results from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, natural gas, and gasoline to produce electricity and power vehicles.
After the industrial age, transportation has become a key part of our lives. Cars and heavy duty trucks, trains, shipping vessels and airplanes all burn lots of fossil fuels to work. This is a major cause of pollution and one that is very difficult to manage. This is because humans rely heavily on vehicles and engines for transporting people, goods and services. Fumes from car exhausts contain dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons and particulates. On their own, they cause great harm to people who breathe them. Additionally, they react with environmental gases to create further toxic gases. To make fossil fuel consumable, dead plants and animals must go through millions of years of decay. After millions of years of decay, these dead plants and animals becomes a convertible source of energy that can be produced into fossil fuels. When vehicles burn or consume fossil fuels, large amounts of carbon dioxide ( co2 ) and carbon monoxide are then released into the air. The making and using of vehicles that uses fossil fuel as a source of energy to move, is a clear demonstration of pollution being produced. These emissions causes global warming, respiratory and heart problems, acid rain, and depletes our ozone layer. Another cause that contributes to air pollution are emissions from industries and manufacturing activities.
Not only are industries huge contributors to water pollution, but also major contributors to air pollution too. Industries release large amount of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, organic compounds, and chemicals into the air, thereby depleting the quality of air. Manufacturing industries can be found at every corner of the earth and there is no area that has not been affected by them. Petroleum refineries also release hydrocarbons and various other chemicals that pollute the air. The overall effect is an increase in the global warming potential. Another cause of both water and air pollution is deforestation.
Deforestation affects the atmosphere in several ways. Forests act as sinks for carbon dioxide through a process called carbon sequestration. Trees store carbon dioxide in their plant tissue as they take in this gas to undergo food-making. In effect, this action removes carbon dioxide from the air. When forests are burned and destroyed, this storage area for carbon dioxide is removed, increasing the concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
People can take some preventable measures to reduce the emissions of toxic chemicals that are polluting our atmosphere. Some actions include conserving energy, use public transportation systems, carpooling, and use renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines.
To conclude this essay, people who want to live convenient lifestyles, where just about anything is readily available, must understand that pollution is a necessary evil in society. From transportation to turning on lights in homes, everything creates a result, pollution. And what comes with pollution are negative effects that affects not just people, but everything.