Environmental Pollution: Meaning, Causes And Effects Of Environmental Pollution

Meaning Of Environment Pollution

Environmental pollution is described as the introduction by man directly or indirectly of substances or energy into the environment, the outcome of which causes hazards to human health, harm to living organisms and ecological systems, damages to structures or reduction of amenity or interference with legitimate uses of the environment.

Causes Of Environmental Pollution

It is natural disaster and human activities that causes environmental pollution. There are incidences of drought, biodiversity loss, soil erosion, desertification, deforestation, flooding, siltation and famine. Our Agricultural, economic and industrial activities like farming, cutting timber, hunting of wildlife and mineral exploration and exploitation accounts for the destruction of our rain forest while the industrial toxic wastes are responsible for soil, air, and water pollution.

In other words, Agriculture, mining, oil exploration and exploitation, industrialization and urbanization represent man’s greatest impact on the environment, which have caused pollution.

The emission of various gases has been held responsible for the recent increase in the average temperature. Scientists have warned that; increase in green house gases will rise global temperature, which will result in a rise in sea level as oceans warn and glaciers melt (“global worming” or “green house effect”) thereby threatening human existence and agricultural productivity.

Also, the depletion of ozone layer is another result of human activities on the environment, which is threatening the existence of human race.

Types Of Environmental Pollution

The following has been identified as the types of environmental pollution:

1. Land Pollution

The source is from agricultural and industrial waste. Examples: efficient discharge, sludge and solid waste from factories deposited on land.

Control: Land Pollution can be controlled by stopping the dumping of Agricultural and industrial waste indiscriminately on the land and control of soil erosion is very necessary.

2. Air Pollution

The source is from the heavy duty industrial machines making noise, power stations producing heat from gas flaring, burning of fossil fuel (Thermal) and vehicular emission, factory chimney and refuse open burning which produces smoke, soot and dust.

Control: Stop the flaring of gases, indiscriminate burning of fossil fuel, and open burning of refuse and farmland, smoking engines should be checked. Industries should modernize and maintain existing facilities with best practicable and affordable technology in their operations.

3. Water (Surface and Ground) Pollution

The source is from industrial effluents, sewage, oil, pesticides and other chemicals and toxic wastes dumped into the sea, rivers, lake and oceans.

Control: The dumping of toxic waste and fishing with chemicals in the rivers should stop.

Effects Of Environmental Pollution

The effects of environmental pollution include:

Emino effect, depletion of the ozone layer, global warming at its worst stage which is a threat to human existence.

There is danger of environmental disaster capable of wiping out the human race from the surface of the earth when the ozone layer is depleted. Many forests in many communities in Nigeria have been converted into eroded landscapes. There is environmental problems that impair on our public health with the attendant prospect of a recrudescence of serious epidemic like: cholera, bilharzias, yellow fever and malaria. The marine environmental pollution has a resultant deleterious effect that is harmful to aquatic plants and animals (flora and fauna) causes hazard to human health and hinder marine economic activities including fishing and impairing the quality for use of sea water.

The petroleum fractions from oil exploration and exploitation that pollute our environment contain the high boiling aromatic hydrocarbons, which are potential cancer inducers. Research findings show that: “the subtle changes which have been occuring in our aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems do correlate significantly with petroleum exploration, development and production activities”. Infact, the effect of environmental pollution is an effect on human life because, it goes with the problem of health and food security.

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