The physical, chemical and biotic factors which influence the existence of an organism directly comprises the environment and if any direct or indirect alternation of these factors occur, it is called pollution, which create a potential hazard to the health, safety or welfare of living species.
Air, water and land are the basic amenities of life. But over population and rapid industrialization have created a state of decadence in the environment. Man has continuously tampered with the nature. As a result a threat to his life has been increased, due to the lack of healthy air and potable water and the imbalance established in the biosphere.
Earth is, perhaps, the only planet endowed with an environment and we all share it. One dy we would pass it on to our future generation as their legacy. But if they will inherit such a polluted environment, life will be misery for them. Men has improved the technologies and other means necessary for higher production of wealth and exploited nature for his benefits, but without any foresight as to what to implications of his actions would be. Indiscriminate industrialization has resulted in urban migration and slum development, which in turn resulted in degradation of environment.
Before the advent of modern civilization man lived and flourished amidst the nice balance of multiple biological process. As the most intelligent being on earth man has constantly tampered with the nature making use of his inventive genius and disturbed the ecological balance. Thus, air, water and soil, all have got polluted and posing threat to the substance of mankind. The result in numerous health problems.
Air pollution is due to the direct implication of industrialization. The chimneys of industries emit smoke and vehicles have fumes, which directly contribute to air pollution. Any gaseous material not considered a a normal constituent of air or excess of sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, dust etc. in air cause air pollution in fact. Air pollution also occurs when forests catch fire, rubber plants are gutted or plastics are burnt along with the household garbage. This danger of pollution has been aggravated today due to atomic explosions in some advanced countries. Some hovering over the cities in they early morning is also the result of air pollution. The depletion of ozone layer, which is very essential for life to protect from dangerous ultraviolet light, is also due to air pollution and it may result in skin diseases.
The emission of greenhouse (GHGs) like carbon dioxide in increased concentration has led to climate changes. Although it does not have toxic effect, it is largely responsible for green house effect and thus for global warming.
Most of the air pollutants directly affect the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Nitrogen dioxide and ozone also effect the respiratory system, irritate the eyes, nose and throat and in addition ozone can cause headaches. Carbon monoxide is able to displace oxygen in the blood which in turn can result in cardiovascular and neurological effects. Lead affects bone narrow, impairs liver and kidney function, causes neurological damage and limits metal development in children.
Although earth is surrounded by water in its three fourth area yet drinking water has a scarcity. All main source of portable water like rivers, lakes, ponds, even wells have been polluted by various dangerous chemical and biological wastes. The coagulated mixture of dirt, sewage and industrial waste pollutes the river water on whose bank the factories are established. increased use of fertilizers and insecticides also pollutes the drinking water of ponds and wells. The harmful fertilizers and insectices even seep through the earth and pollute the ground water. The polluted water supply results in epidemic like cholera, jaundice and gastroenteritis etcs.
Soil is also being polluted in various ways. Soil pollution usually results from the disposal of solid and semisolid wastes from agricultural practices and unsanitary habits. Excessive use of pesticides, fertilizers and manures resulting in both biological and chemical contamination. Rapid industrialization and urbanization has disposed various solid and semisolid wastes at different places polluting soil as well as air and water. Apart from this, direct pollution of land by pathogenic organisms is also a of major importance. Thus, soil is getting heavily polluted day by day by hazardous materials and micro-organisms which enter food chain or water and are consequently ingested by man. As a result, there are numerous health problems like dysentery, cholera and paratyphoid fever. Increased use of plastics, politeness and other non-degradable products has led to the problem of their disposal.
Besides air, water and soil pollution, today we face noise pollution. The constant din and bustle of city life, frequent playing of loud speakers even in odd hours, constant playing of radios and televisions, ceaseless loud sound of vehicles deafen us in day time. Research has shown that noise pollution is capable of causing ulcers, abortions, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension besides several mental disorders.
Food pollution is another problem we have been facing everyday. We suffer from several diseases because of the polluted food items that we take. After the advent of nuclear weapons the exposure level of ionizing radiations has been increased which is hazardous to people. The ill-effects due to radioactive pollution are cancers, genetic damage and mutations leading to abnormal birth.
Checking of environmental pollution has been absolutely necessary. if it is not checked, the earth will become a graveyard. So we must give due attention to protect it from our own abuses. We must have balanced and planned industrial growth in order to check thin pollution. Towns and cities should be planned very carefully and stress should be given on planting of more trees.