Types of pollution with causes and effects

Pollution| Types of Pollution

Pollution is a problem for all people on this earth. Although the urban areas are considered to be the most polluted areas, pollution spreads with the air or many other ways. I would like to give an example of research where the pesticides were collected in the Antarctic ice sheet where no one lives. It means the pollution is everywhere on the earth and this is the problem for each person on the earth. Air and water are the main distributors of pollution because we cannot stop these two things by going around each area of this planet. So, if these two are being polluted in a particular place, all the people will suffer. In this topic, we will discuss the various types of pollution, pollutants, how many types of pollution are, and types of pollutants, and many other related topics to pollution.

What is Pollution?

The presence of any substance in the atmosphere, such as solid, liquid, gas, or any energy (like heat, sound) which has poisonous and harmful effects on human life is called pollution. In simple words, when any substance which is present in the atmosphere with its harmful effects or which can be the cause of any disease can be considered as pollution. These substances are known as pollutants. Pollution is a mixture of harmful materials or gases in the environment. These pollutants are very harmful to human beings and plants.


Any harmful material, element, or particles that are present in atmospheric pollution is called a pollutant. These are harmful to the life of humans as well as plants. It can be natural as well as created. The pollutants which come in the existence by nature are called natural pollutants. The ash from the volcano, fog, soot, and salt spray are examples of natural pollutants whereas the pollutants which are created by us are created pollutants. The garbage, plastic are examples of created pollutants.

The pollutants are two types:

Primary Pollutants: these types of pollutants are emitted in the atmosphere directly from the sources. The sources of primary pollutants are from cars, power plants, factories, biomass burning, and many more. These pollutants are harmful to human beings as well as plants and they are mixed with each other and create secondary pollutants. Nitrogen oxide(NOx), Sulfur Oxide (SOx), and many others are the types of primary pollutants.

Secondary Pollutants: The pollutants which form with the mixture of primary pollutants are called secondary pollutants. These pollutants are very harmful to human life and plants. These pollutants are not emitted directly from the sources. For example, the acid rain is the formation of sulfuric acid and nitric acid which are primary pollutant which mixed with the atmosphere as cause acid rain. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2, acid rain, etc. are examples of secondary pollutants.

Types of pollution

  • Air Pollution
  • Water Pollution
  • Land Pollution
  • Light Pollution
  • Noise pollution

The pollution becomes a major issue for our planet after World War-II because there were radioactive fallouts and many testing of the atomic bombs. There was the first air pollution control act which was passed in 1955. After that many of the acts have been passed by the legislation for the control of different types of pollutions. Now, the environment law provides protection to the atmosphere. The pollution can be majorly classified into three types such as air pollution, water pollution, and land pollution. But nowadays, society is also concerning many new types like noise pollution, light pollution, and plastic pollution. Let’s discuss the types of pollutions:

Air pollution

Air pollution defined as “the number of pollutants in the air which affects the health of humans and the planet is called air pollution”. It is the mixture of solid particles and gases in the air. The smoke from vehicles, chemicals used in factories, dust, and many more are pollutants for air pollution. The major part of pollution which forms in the cities is Ozone (O3), it is a gas which causes air pollution in the form of smog. Smog is a mixture of smoke and fog. Many of the pollutants are harmful to human beings, inhaling these direct from the air can cause our health damage. People with diseases of lungs, children, and old age persons are in danger of this.

Read the full article on Air pollution

Water pollution

A British poet W. H. Auden once said that “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”  Water is a unique substance and gifted to us by nature. No person can live without air and water. The water can naturally renew and clean itself by allowing the waste material to sit down or break down. The water has also the ability to remove the impurities from it by the natural process but it takes a lot of time but at this era, we, the human, are putting many impurities in the water and it resulting to the mixture of impurities in the water and now the water has become toxic in nature to drink or use for any other purpose. Thousands of the species are decreasing due to toxic water because the water is no purer to live in water for these species. The fertilizer use has increased 15 times than it was in 1945.

Read the full article on Water Pollution

Land pollution

It is the result of dumping garbage, waste material, and other toxic on the land or underground which makes the land polluted.

The waste materials which cause land pollution can be classified in the main three categories, such as:

Municipal solid waste (MSW) – It includes non-hazardous rubbish, garbage, and other trash from the houses, institutions, and industries. The garbage contains moist and decomposable materials. Rubbish contains the papers, glasses, etc. trash includes the substances which are bulky in nature which is not collected routinely for disposal, such as, piece of furniture, old mattresses, etc.

Construction and demolition (C&D) – it includes the piece of wood, metals, or any other material when a structure is built or renovated.

Hazardous waste– It includes harmful substances as liquid, solid, or gases by various manufacturing companies, machine shops, etc.

Sources of land pollution

There are various sources of land pollution, such as:


It is one of the major concerns of land pollution. The land which is converted into the dry land cannot be made fertile again. The land which is unused for many years turns into barren, this land cannot be used again for agriculture purposes.

Agriculture activities

The rate of population is growing at a very fast rate. The need for food has increased considerably. The farmers are using highly toxic fertilizers or pesticides to increase the growth of food. But, with the overuse of these pesticides, the land is getting more toxic.

Overcrowded Landfills

Each house produces tons of garbage in a year. Some of the garbage is collected and sent for recycle and can be used again like plastic, paper, clothes, etc. The items that can’t be recycled comes under the landfills.


With the increase in the demand for food and shelter or other products, there is a result of the creation of more waste that needs to be disposed of.

Nuclear waste

We produce nuclear energy by using nuclear fission or fission. The uranium is used for the production of nuclear energy which is highly toxic in nature. The waste is produced by nuclear waste which should be disposed to prevent any nuclear accident. But sometimes it dumped in the land which can be a serious environmental hazard.


It is a common problem in the city as well as rural areas. The people throw their garbage on the ground without dumping this properly and without caring about the harmful effects on the environment.

Preventions of land pollution

Land pollution can be decreased by taking some steps

  • By reducing the Chemical Fertilizers and Pesticides
  • Reforesting of land
  • Use of Solid Waste Treatment
  • Recovering and Recycling of waste material

Different materials have different rates of decomposing. Some examples are:

Material Time
Paper 2-4 weeks
Plywood 1-3years
Plastic bag 10-20 years
Tin 100 years
Glass 500 years
Styrofoam Never
Cigarette filter 1-5 years

Light pollution

1000 years ago, the people use to see the Milky Way in the night with the naked eye, but now, we can’t see it due to the artificial light across the globe. The increase of artificial lights is not affecting our view of the universe but it adversely affecting our safety, environment, consumption of energy, and our health.

The excessive use of artificial light is called light pollution. It has serious effects on humans, the environment, and animals.

Sources of light pollution

These are various sources of light pollution, such as:

Glare– Use of high brightness that makes the discomfort invisibility

Skyglow– brightening of the sky in the night overpopulate an area

Light trespass– falling of light where it is not needed

Clutter– confusing grouping of light sources

Effects of Light Pollution

  • Wastage of energy
  • The environment is being polluted due to lightning. The night lightning releases 12 million tons of carbon dioxide every year which is very harmful to the environment.
  • Wildlife is suffering due to the light pollution because the light is much in the quantity that the animals cannot understand that it is day or night.
  • Effect on eye vision

Preventions of light pollution

  • Switch off the lights when not needed
  • Replace outdoor lights with intelligently designed, low-glare fixtures.
  • Place motion sensors on outdoor lamps
  • Replacement of conventional high-energy bulbs with efficient outdoor CFLs and LED floodlights

Noise pollution

The noise which has a harmful effect on human health and the environment is called Noise pollution. It is common in places like highways, industries, marriage places, railways, airways, and many more. After a certain time, the continuous noise pollution can cause physical damage eardrums and inner ear and also can result in temporary or permanent hearing loss.

Sources of Noise pollution

  • Traffic
  • Air traffic
  • Construction sites
  • Catering and nightlife

Effects of Noise pollution

  • Some of the birds are unable to find their ways to home or food due to the noise pollution
  • The temporary or permanent hearing loss
  • The noise pollution can disrupt the sonar which is used by marine wildlife to communicate or find food.
  • It can affect the ability to focus

The solution to Noise Pollution

  • Awareness of noise pollution
  • The government should take the measure of noise pollution


Increasing the rate of the population is the main reason behind all the pollution because as the population is increasing the need for the resources is requiring more. For the production of food, shelter and other necessary things, the factories are working more and producing more pollution. We should do plantation in the land and should make some good habits which can work to decrease the level of pollution otherwise humanity may suffer due to the pollution.

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