Environmental pollution poses one of the greatest threats to the existence of life on this Universe. With sights like those of smog hanging over cities becoming a common occurrence, it's now the time to focus on finding concrete solutions for environmental issues. The statistics are alarming, and they're certainly something that cause unrest in our thinking.
In the past 50 years, threats of environmental pollution have increased significantly. Simply stated, it is nothing but addition of contaminated substances into the environment, which degrades the ecosystem, harms, and causes discomfort in the health of species that inhabit our planet. There are various facets regarding this issue viz, air, water, land, and noise pollution. Mostly, unchecked air pollution has led to growth of mild to severe respiratory diseases, allergies, eye irritation, and several other health problems. It is mainly caused due to exhaust gases from vehicles, which can leads to nerve damage, headache, and fatigue as inhalation of hazardous gases, even in small doses, over a long period of time is dangerous.
Deforestation and increased dependence on vehicles has been some of the greatest causes of this pollution all across the globe. The pace of industrialization has gripped every developing and developed country in the last 50 years, and has been a major contributor in deepening its menace. Unchecked growth has led to negative implications on our planet's greenery.
Carbon Monoxide: An odorless and colorless gas, that is produced after incomplete combustion in the exhaust of motor vehicles. Hailed to be a major contributor to vehicular air pollution.
Greenhouse Gases: Consisting of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide - known as greenhouse gases, they are major contributors for the menace of global warming.
Ozone: A colorless gas, found in the stratosphere layer of our Earth's atmosphere, ozone is one of the gases found in photochemical smog. Ozone layer is a boon and a bane at the same time. While it helps in absorption of harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, a hole in it can cause several health complications. Due to ozone hole depletion, gases like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform are responsible for ozone layer depletion.
Sulfur Dioxide: A major pollutant, found in smog, it's a colorless and odorless gas, and is found in acid rain. It severely affects the human heart and aggravates asthma.
Lead: Very dangerous element that severely affects the nervous system. Lead contamination through inhalation, soil, or ingestion is very harmful for mental health, and children are at a very high risk of its contamination.
Nitrogen Dioxide: A light brown colored gas that is potentially toxic at a higher concentrations, and is a major constituent of acid rains.
Other Air Pollutants: Arsenic, asbestos, and benzene are some of the other toxic air pollutants, and have been related to several medical complications.
Due to land pollution, the soil has been rendered dilute, and has lost its ability to grow healthy food. Excessive use of pesticides in the soil has increased the risk of cancer, gastroenteritis, and even nausea. Similarly, due to threats of water pollution, waterborne diseases have become a common occurrence. Access to clean drinking water seems to be a challenge for every country.
The menace of environmental pollution has reached to alarming levels, and every individual has to work towards finding some concrete solutions. On an individual level, we can deal with environmental issues by trying to reduce global warming, by driving and flying less, recycling, and putting a check on the amount of carbon dioxide (known as carbon footprints), which we are adding to the atmosphere. Similarly, government and environmental agencies can unite together to put a serious control on carbon emissions from chemical plants and factories.