What is Pollution?

Pollution is an undesirable change in the physical, chemical or biological characteristics of air, water and soil that harmfully affect the life and creates health hazards of living organisms. So pollution is a direct or indirect change in any component of biosphere that is harmful to living organisms. The industrial progress adversely affects the general environment of living society. Any substance that cause pollution is called pollutant and such pollutants may be chemical substance, biotic component or its product or physical factor like heat.

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Any substance that causes pollution is called pollutant and such pollutants which pollute air, water and land are as follows:

  • Smoke, Tar, Dust etc.
  • Gases like Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon monoxide, Halogens etc.
  • Acid droplets like Sulphuric acid, Nitric acid etc.
  • Fluorides.
  • Metals like Mercury, Lead, Iron, Zinc, Nickel, Tin, etc.
  • Agrochemicals like Biocides like pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, bactericides etc. and fertilizers.
  • Complex organic oxidants like Benzene, Ether, Acetic acid etc.
  • Photochemical oxidants like photochemical smog, ozone, peroxybenzol nitrate, peroxybenzol nitrate, nitrogen oxides, aldehydes ethylene etc.
  • Solid domestic waste.
  • Radioactive waste and
  • Noise.

Sources of Pollutants:

The various sources of pollutants are as follows:


Industrial chimney waste:

There are a number of industries which are source of pollution. Petroleum refineries are the major source of gaseous pollutants and such chief pollutants are SO2 and NO2.

Thermal power stations:

Thermal power stations bring hot pollutants, hot water pollution. The coal consumption of thermal plants gives out fly ash, SO2, and other gases which pollutes the air.



The dirty water of latrine, bathroom and household waste are dropped into water reservoirs, the water pollution increases.

Agricultural pollution:

Presently with field of agriculture fertilizers and pesticides are largely used for increasing production and controlling pests etc.


Vehicular emissions:

The toxic vehicular exhausts cause air pollution. Similarly the noises from automobiles also create noise pollution.

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