The 10 types of pollution (and effects on the ecosystem)

Concern for the environmentAlthough it has existed throughout history, it has only been a widespread phenomenon relatively recently.

But today, society is aware of the need to preserve the environment, as well as the fact that human activity itself can cause different types of waste (both in the form of matter and energy) which can have consequences and lead to alterations both in the environment (such as the acidification of the soil or water, or the acceleration of global warming) and in the various living species including man (loss of habitat, biological rhythms such as sleep or behavioral alterations, for example).

Also, we are aware of the existence of different types of pollution. In this article, we will look at the main ones.

    The concept of pollution

    Although, as we said, there are many different types, as a general concept encompassing them we understand pollution as the fact introduce into the environment any type of element causing damage more or less prolonged in time (it can also be permanent) so that its usual functioning is adversely affected.

    Usually associated with the term environmental pollution, but can also be considered as such, that which harms a locality, a species or a person.

      Types of pollution

      When classifying pollution, we can take into account different criteria. However, as a rule, it is used as the primary means of classifying types of pollution observation of the polluting element or of what is contaminated. In this sense, we have the following types of pollution.

      1. Air pollution

      The best known is the type of pollution resulting from the release of chemical particles into the atmosphere. Also known as pollution, this is the type of pollution that affected by air. One of the most well-known pollutants in this regard is CO2, methane and combustion smoke.

      2. Water pollution

      This is the effect of the emission and discharge into water of pollutants. It complicates or impairs life and regulatory use, making it unsuitable for drinking. Usually, this pollution is of industrial origin. This includes marine pollution, which would refer to the pollution of seas and oceans for the same cause.

      3. Soil and subsoil contamination

      Caused by the filtration of substances in the soil, it generates physical and chemical alterations that make it uninhabitable, for example, Contaminate groundwater or prevent the growth of life in the area.

      4. Radioactive contamination

      It is one of the most dangerous and aggressive types of pollution in life. It is produced by the release of radioactive material and has an effect on any surface. It is usually derived from human action, Like the dumping of waste or disasters at nuclear power plants such as Chernobyl.

        5. Thermal pollution

        One of the lesser-known types of pollution is generated by the change in temperature in the environment or in different media due to human activity.

        6. Visual pollution

        Although in principle the concept may resemble that of light pollution, it refers here to the alteration of the environment based on visual stimuli which they have nothing to do with the brightness. For example, it refers to the visual changes that occur in nature due to human activity.

        7. Light pollution

        It is one of the types of pollution in which the polluting element is visual. light pollution the polluting element itself is the emission of light out of what would be natural, causing problems such as loss of orientation or changes in biorhythm humans and other animals.

        8. Noise pollution

        We call noise pollution the emission of sound in an excessive proportion, frequency, tone, volume and rhythm which causes an alteration of the environment or the beings that inhabit it. This type of pollution is what, for example, those people who live in very touristy areas where there are many nightclubs and establishments with music.

        9. Electromagnetic pollution

        Although such a voice is not so directly perceptible by humans, it refers to pollution derived from the use of electrical elements or which generate electromagnetic phenomena. They can cause disorientation and possible harm to different animals, and the effects on humans are still debated (sometimes linking them to cancer, erectile dysfunction, or certain mental and physical problems).

        10. Food contamination

        It refers to the presence of different substances in food they cause effects of varying magnitude on the people they consume. For example, mercury contamination of fish from water pollution or from the sale of food in poor condition or infected with disease.

        Bibliographical references:

        • Elsom, D. (1990). Air pollution. Edicions Càtedra SA.
        • Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (2001). “State of ratifications”.

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