POLLUTION- Meaning, Definition, History, Types, causes and effects of pollution.

POLLUTION- Meaning, Definition, History, Types, causes and effects of pollution.

Meaning: The introduction of harmful materials into the environment is referred to as pollution. Pollutants are the name given to these harmful substances. Pollutants can be both natural and man-made, such as volcanic ash. They can also be caused by human activity, such as factory runoff or trash. Pollutants have a negative impact on the quality of the air, water, and land.

Definition: the presence in or introduction into the environment of a substance which has harmful or poisonous effects.

What are Pollutants?

Pollutants are the contaminants that get introduced into the natural environment, beyond permitted limits, and cause deleterious effects to the inhabitants in a visible way.

History of pollution

Although natural events such as forest fires and active volcanoes can cause environmental pollution, the term pollution generally implies that the contaminants have an anthropogenic source—that is, a source caused by human activities. 

Pollution has accompanied humankind since groups of people first congregated and stayed in one place for an extended period of time. 

Pollution is not a new occurrence. Indeed, pollution has been a problem since the dawn of time, dating back to the appearance of our earliest ancestors. Human population growth has resulted in an increase in bacteria and disease. Diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. These outbreaks were directly linked to unsanitary conditions caused by human and animal waste, and gent.

By the 1800s, people realised that unsanitary living conditions and contaminated water were contributing factors to disease outbreaks. This new awareness prompted major cities to take waste and garbage control measures. Chicago built the first major sewage system in the United States to treat wastewater in the mid-1850s. Many other cities in the United States quickly followed Chicago’s lead.

Sulfuric acid, soda ash, muriatic acid, limes, dyes, wood pulp, and animal byproducts from industrial mills contaminated waters in the Northeast of the United States.


  • Air Pollution
  • Land pollution
  • Soil pollution
  • Water pollution
  • Noise pollution
  • Radioactive pollution
  • Thermal pollution
  • Light pollution.

Air pollution

POLLUTION- Meaning, Definition, History, Types, causes and effects of pollution.

What Is Air Pollution?

Air pollution is defined as the release of pollutants into the atmosphere that are harmful to human health and the environment as a whole. The Clean Air Act empowers the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect public health by regulating the emissions of these harmful air pollutants. Since its inception in 1970, the NRDC has been a leading authority on this legislation.

What causes  air pollution?

  • The Burning of Fossil : One of the major causes of air pollution is the release of sulphur dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum for energy in power plants, and other factory combustibles. As a result, pollutants such as PM, nitric oxide and NO2 (collectively known as NOx), carbon monoxide, organic compounds, and lead are emitted from vehicles such as trucks, jeeps, cars, trains, and aeroplanes, causing a high level of pollution.
POLLUTION- Meaning, Definition, History, Types, causes and effects of pollution.

Animal and Vegetation:

  • Another source of natural air pollution is animal digestion (particularly by cattle), which releases methane, another greenhouse gas. On warmer days, vegetation such as black gum, poplar, oak, and willow trees emit significant amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in some parts of the world. These react with primary anthropogenic pollutants, specifically nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide
POLLUTION- Meaning, Definition, History, Types, causes, Effects

Husbandry and Agriculture:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture (i.e., crop and livestock cultivation) are caused by a number of factors, one of which is the production of methane by cattle. Another cause is deforestation, which occurs when the need for pastureland and growing fields necessitates the removal of trees that would otherwise sequester carbon and clean the air.
POLLUTION- Meaning, Definition, History, Types, causes, Effects


  • Essentially, we are introducing pollutants into the atmosphere (as well as the oceans and land masses) faster than the Earth’s natural mechanisms can remove them. And the consequences are being felt in the form of acid rain, smog, global warming, and a variety of health issues that can be directly attributed to exposure to these harmful pollutants. If we want to continue living on Earth, we need to be able to sustain ourselves.Landfills are also known to produce methane, which is not only a major greenhouse gas but also an asphyxiant, highly flammable, and potentially hazardous if landfills are allowed to grow unchecked. Population growth and urbanisation have a proportional relationship with waste production, which leads to a greater demand for dumping grounds located far from urban areas. Waste disposal has significant environmental consequences and can lead to serious problems. Much is buried in landfill sites in the United Kingdom – holes in the ground, sometimes old quarries, sometimes specially dug. Some waste will eventually rot, but not all, and in the process it may smell or produce explosive methane gas, which contributes to the greenhouse effect. Leachate from waste decomposes methane
POLLUTION- Meaning, Definition, History, Types, causes, Effects

Transportation :

  • Transport has a significant environmental impact because it is a major user of energy and consumes the majority of the world’s petroleum. This causes air pollution, including nitrous oxides and particulates, and contributes significantly to global warming through carbon dioxide emissions
POLLUTION- Meaning, Definition, History, Types, causes, Effects

Construction and Demolition:

  • During the clean air act campaign, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) received the most air pollutants complaints in the Delhi NCR due to construction and demolition activitiesWith the city’s population growing, construction and demolition are an ongoing part of the national capital’s development phase. Several construction sites as well as raw materials such as bricks and concrete
POLLUTION- Meaning, Definition, History, Types, causes, Effects

Natural Causes:

  • Natural pollution is caused by naturally occurring phenomena. This means that they are caused by periodic activities that are not the result of or caused by human activity. Furthermore, these pollution sources follow natural cycles, becoming more prevalent under certain conditions and less prevalent under others.
POLLUTION- Meaning, Definition, History, Types, causes, Effects

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