Nowadays we observe people wearing courtesy or face masks when they step out of their house.
• Why do you think we wear face masks?
• What happens if we don’t wear face masks?
What is Pollution?
The face masks are the sign of protection from the poor environment around us. The surroundings may contain bad air or foul smells from stagnant or contaminated water in the open and busy areas due to mismanagement in the drainage system. This cause –
- Many health issues to the living organisms – Skin and lung-related diseases to human beings
- May damage the habitats of many living things on earth
- May lead to many other pollutions like – water, air etc
The presence or introduction of substances which are harmful or poisonous to the environment is called Pollution.
Types of Pollution
The exploitation of natural and manmade resources for human needs lead to contamination of the environment around us.
Air Pollution – Air pollution is the contamination of air we breathe through a mixture of harmful substances and gases to the air.
Example – Releasing of Industrial gas, Stubble burning, automobile toxics – Hazardous Delhi Air pollution.
Water Pollution – Contamination of water by adding harmful or poisonous substances in water bodies.
Example – Releasing of Industrial waste and untreated sewage waste to the nearest rivers may pollute the river or other sources of water bodies – Ganga river pollution – The holy river of India has been polluted due to the human activities like adding ash of burnt corpses, mass baths and release of industrial waste from nearby industries.
Thermal Pollution – Pollution caused by the changes in the objects heat or temperature is called Thermal Pollution.
Example – Release of hot water from factories used for cooling factory instruments to rivers may cause loss of many habitats and organisms of that existing ecosystem. – Thermal power stations, Coal-burning etc.
Radioactive Pollution – The pollution that occurs due to the release of radioactive substances into the environment.
Example – Nuclear weapon tests – Pokhran -2 (1998) and Smiling Buddha (or Pokhran – 1 in 1972-74) tests in India, Nuclear waste – Radiation effects on people near Subarnarekha River in Jharkhand.
Sound/Noise Pollution – The elevated sound levels that may affect humans and other living organisms’ wellbeing and health.
Example – Aeroplane sounds, Automobile Sounds; Loud music, Crackers bursting – on Festivals, On winning matches; marriage celebrations, Vehicle horns and constructs in the city.
Soil Pollution – The presence of toxic chemicals and substances that affect health (Fertility) of the soil as well as living things.
Example – Overuse of Fertilisers and Pesticides, Lack of crop rotation, Increase of salinity in soil by using polluted water from channels and rivers, desertification of fertile lands (It has affected 23% of fertile land), Improper disposal of waste at a fertile land can also lead to soil pollution.
Light Pollution – The overuse of artificial lighting that causes disturbance to the natural order and other night living organisms may lead to ecosystem imbalances.
Examples – Glare of light like – Mirror reflection, Powerful headlamps can affect the health of our eyes especially when we are growing older, over glow of night sky due to artificial lighting can affect on our health like- Sleep disorders, Cancer, Depression and heart-related diseases and it’s more in the states of TN, WB and Gujarat.
1. Air Pollution
Air pollution occurs when the harmful or poisonous substances mix with the air and the air is not fit for breathing for living things.
- The best example of such an effect is the city of Delhi. Here the Air quality index goes to the Hazardous quality of air which means, breathing the air of Delhi is as same as smoking 45 to 50 cigarettes a day. There many causes of Delhi air pollution, Like – Stubble burning, over automobile population, Dust from construction sites and Burning of waste materials.
- You may have heard about the recent bush fires at East Coast of Australia which lead to burning of 12million acres of forest land and those were higher and dangerous than the world’s fires till date. The size of Australian fires was 12m and the till date highest size of fires were only of 6.7mts which were seen at recent Siberia wildfires in July of 2019. The burning of forests and other living organisms leads to severe air pollution as the ash particles mix with air. The present Australian Air pollution is 5 times greater than what is said to be hazardous. If compared to Delhi pollution it’s equal to smoking 250 to 300 cigarettes per day. Out of 0 – 500 scales of Air Quality Index (AQI), the air quality above 300 is said to be hazardous.
• What happens if we breathe polluted air?
Air pollution causes many serious Lung and Skin related diseases. Living at an air polluted area for a long time may reduce our lifespan. So if humans need a comfortable and long life they must tackle the air pollution problem.
Causes of Air Pollution
- What are the main causes of Air pollution?
- How can we tackle the air pollution problem?
The air gets polluted mainly due to the advancement of humans. The advancements in industries have contributed more to air pollution as –
- Factories release dangerous gases and other toxic substances to the air
- Burning of Fossil fuels in factories
- Mining activities
- Vehicles toxic emission
- Natural disasters like Wildfires also contribute to air pollution.
For the immediate care of our health, we can wear air filter masks, but when it comes to the diverse survival of living organisms we must address air pollution. It may be prevented by Using Bicycles to schools and Markets, Upgrading to other sources of electricity manufacturing like Nuclear and hydroelectricity etc.
The new era art with Soot particles of vehicle smoke can help to reduce the air pollution level. The soot particles are collected through attaching a filter that can store smoke particles (Soot) from the silencer of a vehicle.
2. Water Pollution
The pollution of water by introduction or adding of dangerous or harmful substances to the water which becomes unfit for consuming and loss of health and habitats to the living things in the water is called Water Pollution. When we go out for school or any other place, elders suggest us to carry water or to drink mineral or clean water only when you get thirsty.
- Why do you think elders suggest carrying water with us?
- What happens if we don’t drink clean water?
The fear of polluted water and diseases we get after drinking that water makes our elders suggest carrying water with us. If we don’t drink clean and healthy water we may fall ill.
When you are walking beside water bodies of cities or near settlements, you may observe water being turned into brown or green or to a thick liquid with an unpleasant odour –
- Why does the water turn to brown or green colour?
- Why the state of water is thick liquid?
- How does water get unpleasant odour?
The untreated sewage waste consists of many chemicals and dissolvable harmful substances that turn watercolour to green or brown. The release of solid waste and other water dissolvable waste to the water bodies leads to the change of water’s sate to thick liquid. When different chemicals and substances mix in the water bodies they cause the foul smell of water bodies.
Causes of Water pollution
The water has many sources that can contaminate it
- Where does your house waste is disposed of?
- Why do beaches and rivers are filled with plastic waste?
The house waste like – Faeces, organic and food waste are disposed of directly into the nearest water bodies like Lakes Ponds and rivers. The non-degradable waste like plastic and bottles are thrown into oceans and other large water bodies which affects living organisms in the water and their health when they consume it.
For controlling Water pollution we can make compulsory laws towards factories to treat water before releasing it to the other water bodies, Good management of waste and an active Municipal Corporation may reduce water pollution.
Air and water are two basic things for the survival of living beings. Pollution of these two may lead to adverse effects on human and other living organisms. Educating our children about alarming problems and their possible solution may create awareness of the urgency of addressing these problems for the betterment of the whole earth. Teaching and learning about such important issues may be intensified by using their miniatures like Models, Chats, Visuals and other hands-on learning/teaching materials.
Check our hands-on learning activity video glimpses to know more about the ‘Pollution – Air, Water’ and for many more interesting activities.