The environment people live in is affecting them, including health and lifestyle, and the nature around them, like plants, animals, water bodies, and the atmosphere. Environmental issues caused by humans using natural resources and treating nature with no respect have resulted in some negative changes. One of the most significant problems people are facing nowadays is pollution. It affects all the crucial elements for sustaining human life: water, air, and soil. The causes and effects of pollution are multiple and varied, and they should be examined closely to better understand this phenomenon.
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General reasons for pollution include major emissions of carbon dioxide, as well as the chemicals produced as the result of the burning of fossil fuels. This happens because of different factories’ activity and their waste, which is being discharged into water, soil, and the atmosphere. Other than big manufacturing elements, pollution is caused by people individually. This involves emissions caused by cars, using much energy for different activities, and producing enormous amounts of waste, especially the types that are not decomposable or take hundreds of years to do so.
The first side of the environment impacted by pollution is the atmosphere. Air pollution can be defined as a combination of harmful gases or particles that accumulate in the air in unsafe quantities. The worsening air quality can result in multiple health issues, including “heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases” (“Ambient (outdoor) air pollution,” 2018, para. 1). As air quality is measured around the world, many deficiencies are detected, which directly influence human life.
According to the World Health Organization data, in 2016, about 91 percent of the population inhabited places with unsatisfactory air quality (as cited in “Ambient (outdoor) air pollution,” 2018). Therefore, air pollution is affecting not only those living in big urban areas but is also spreading around the whole planet.
Water covers the majority of the planet, so water pollution is also a crucial problem. Wastewater and emission of fertilizers into water bodies cause water pollution, which can make water harmful to human consumption. Other than becoming undrinkable, contaminated water will affect or even kill aquatic creatures and plants, as well as transfer to crops, making them just as dangerous. The United Nations World Water Development Report stated that over 80 percent of wastewater is discharged back into the environment, not being appropriately treated (2017). Thus, not only do the major water bodies become largely polluted but the effect is also transferred to soil.
As a significant part of the food for humans and domestic animals is grown, polluted soil can also cause complications. Soil pollution occurs when certain toxic chemicals are gathered in large amounts. Soil can be affected by harmful substances as a result of industrial waste emission into the ground, contaminated water interacting with it, or excessive amounts of pesticides or fertilizers being used. As a result, plants and crops become dangerous for human consumption and can cause multiple health problems.
Pollution is a global phenomenon, causing much damage to the planet and harming people and other living creatures. It can manifest in different forms, but its impact is hugely detrimental. Seeking solutions for this problem is now one of the main agendas for the whole of humankind, which can only be done with combined efforts of government structures and community and individual actions. Only by being aware of this situation and taking measures for improvement will people be able to protect their health and create better conditions for future generations.
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Ambient (outdoor) air pollution. (2018). Web.
The United Nations world water development report 2017. (2017). Web.