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Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or

discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms.[1] Pollution can take the form
of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat, or light. Pollutants, the elements of pollution, can
be foreign substances or energies, or naturally occurring; when naturally occurring, they are considered
contaminants when they exceed natural levels. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint
source pollution. The Blacksmith Institute issues annually a list of the world's worst polluted places. In the
2007 issues the ten top nominees are located inAzerbaijan, China, India, Peru, Russia, Ukraine he major
forms of pollution are listed below along with the particular pollutants relevant to each of them:

• Air pollution, the release of chemicals and particulates into the atmosphere. Common
gaseous air pollutants include carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons
(CFCs) and nitrogen oxides produced by industry and motor vehicles. Photochemical
ozone and smog are created as nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons react to sunlight.
Particulate matter, or fine dust is characterized by their micrometre size PM10 to PM2.5.

• Water pollution, by the release of waste products and contaminants into surface runoff
into river drainage systems, leaching into groundwater, liquid spills, wastewater
discharges, eutrophication and littering.
• Soil contamination occurs when chemicals are released by spill or underground leakage.
Among the most significant soil contaminants are hydrocarbons, heavy metals, MTBE,[7]
herbicides, pesticides and chlorinated hydrocarbons.
• Littering
• Radioactive contamination, resulting from 20th century activities in atomic physics, such
as nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons research, manufacture and deployment.
(See alpha emitters and actinides in the environment.)
• Noise pollution, which encompasses roadway noise, aircraft noise, industrial noise as
well as high-intensity sonar.
• Light pollution, includes light trespass, over-illumination and astronomical interference.
• Visual pollution, which can refer to the presence of overhead power lines, motorway
billboards, scarred landforms (as from strip mining), open storage of trash or municipal
solid waste.
• Thermal pollution, is a temperature change in natural water bodies caused by human
influence, such as use of water as coolant in a power plant.

and Zambia. Pollution control is a term used in environmental management. It means the control
of emissions and effluents into air, water or soil. Without pollution control, the waste products
from consumption, heating, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, transportation and other human
activities, whether they accumulate or disperse, will degrade the environment. In the hierarchy of
controls, pollution prevention and waste minimization are more desirable than pollution control.

[edit] Pollution control devices

How to Reduce Air Pollutants at Home and at Work

By Lisa Smegal
Published on May 18, 2009

As people become more concerned with healthy living, they start to focus on how they can
reduce harmful air pollution that is found in their homes and their work place. Fortunately,
reducing these air pollutants is quite easy and takes very little effort.

Natural Cleaning Products

One of the first steps that a person should take when attempting to reduce air pollutants is to
change the type of cleaning products that they use. One of the number one causes of home air
pollutants are the chemicals found in most home cleaners. These days, it is very easy to find
"green" cleaning products that are not full of these chemicals and will help to remove harmful air

No Smoking

If there are smokers in your home, you should make sure the house remains a smoke-free
environment. Tobacco smoke is extremely toxic and dangerous to you and your family, and
making your home smoke free is one of the best ways to reduce air pollutants. This includes all
forms of tobacco smoke including cigarettes, cigars, and tobacco smoked out of pipes.

Air Filters

Even after you have removed many of the sources of air pollutants that are in your home, there
are still everyday air pollutants that will find their way indoor. So the next step in reducing the
level of air pollutants is to buy a high-quality air filter. There is a large selection of air filters for
you to choose from, from whole house air filters to filters that will work in a single room. Many
people find that HEPA filters are the best choice and are most effective at thoroughly removing
toxins from the air.


One easy way to reduce the amount of pollution in the air that many people may not be aware of
is to put plants in your home that naturally clean the air. Plants are not only beneficial in
providing us with necessary oxygen, but they are extremely effective at purifying the air as well.
Some plants work better for purifying the air then others, however almost any plant can help to
improve air quality. Each of the following plants can help to purify approximately 100 square
feet of space.

• Gerbera Daisy
• Ficus
• Golden Pothos
• Mums
• Spider Plants
• Aloe Vera
• Chinese Evergreens
• Common English Ivy

Fresh Air at the Workplace

All of these methods for reducing the amount of air pollutants in your home can also be utilized
in the work place as well. If you work in a small office, it may be easier for you to convince
management to make some of these changes than if you work in a large office. If this is the case
though, you still have options available to you. You can gather other co-workers that feel the
same way as you and possibly petition to have these changes made, or you can simply implement
some of these improvements yourself.

Even changing just one of these things will help to reduce the air pollution that you are exposed
to. Of course, the more changes you are able to make, the better. All of these upgrades do not
have to be made at once, but can be made over time if necessary. However, once you start
making these changes you will easily begin to see the difference in your air quality and want to
keep making your home and work place a healthier environment.

Ways To Prevent Air Pollution

The fact is that human activities contribute the most to air pollution. Considering
the harmful effects of air pollution, now it is very essential that everyone should
contribute a bit to prevent air pollution. There are certain ways that one can help to
reduce the emission of air pollutants in the atmosphere. Following are some tips for
preventing air pollution:

Car Pool: Forming and implementing a car pool will reduce the number of cars,
thereby, preventing air pollution by cutting down the use of fossil fuels. This way, it
will help in the sustainable use of fossil fuel and its conservation for the future

Vehicle Care: Timely servicing of the car helps to keep it in a good condition and
also minimizes fuel exhaust. Driving the car at an average speed and turning off in
traffic is a key to save fuel. Make sure to use unleaded petrol and opt for regular
pollution checking of your car.

Public Transport: Whenever possible, try to travel by public transports. This helps
in two ways; prevents air pollution and increases public income. If you are going to
a nearby place, go by walking or use bicycle, instead of using your vehicle. The
objective is to minimize the use of fuels, as far as possible.

Alternative Energy Source: Another effective way to prevent air pollution is to

use alternative energy sources such as solar energy, hydroelectric energy and wind
energy. Nowadays, sophisticated technologies such as wind turbine, solar water
heaters are introduced to generate electricity and other energy forms for the
household use.
Saving Energy: Saving energy will, of course, help to prevent air pollution. Switch
off the lights, fans, air conditioners, televisions, and other appliances, when not in
use. You can also share a room with others when the air conditioner or fan is on,
instead of switching them on in every room.

Minimize Air Pollutants: Always try to minimize smoke emission, as it can

contribute to air pollution. One way is to compost dried leaves and kitchen waste,
instead of burning them. Composting will also give you organic fertilizer for your
garden. While buying the products, always choose air-friendly and recyclable
products that will minimize the emission of pollutants.

Social awareness about air pollution is the most essential step to be taken for the
prevention of air pollution. Awareness programs and/or advertisements should be
encouraged, so that people understand the potential health hazards of air pollution.
Improvement of transport facilities and proper use of land for the sake of social
benefits aSolutions for Noise Pollution

Unlike other types of environmental issues such as air and water pollution, noise or
sound is transient or short-lived. Thus, once you stop generating sound, the noise
pollution problem is solved. The main objective behind noise pollution solutions is to
absorb, contain and cancel the source of noise. The following is a list of the effective
noise pollution solutions or noise pollution remedies that will help in combating the
various health effects of noise pollution.

Automobile Servicing: As mentioned already, automobiles account to the highest

production of noise. Regular servicing of the vehicles is an effectual measure to
lower the intensity of sound produced by them. If all the automobile owners take up
this step, then there will be significant reduction in noise pollution.

Machine Quality: Similar to vehicles, the quality of machines should be optimized,

so as to reduce sound production. According to the National Institutes of Health
(NIH), more than 30 million Americans are exposed to noise pollution in the
workplaces. Lubrication of the machinery and servicing should be done to minimize
noise generation.

Soundproof Homes: Soundproof doors and windows can be installed to block

unwanted noise from outside. You can also opt for walls with sound control material.
These soundproofing options are of utmost importance for complete relaxation,
especially if you are staying in a crowded city area.

Tree Plantation: Planting bushes and trees in and around sound generating sources
is another effective solution for noise pollution. Dense shrubs and trees block sound
passage, thus avoiding disturbance to the surrounding areas. You can also plant
trees around your residential area to live peacefully.

Loudspeaker Prohibition: Using loudspeaker in public areas is another major cause

of noise pollution. This should be banned at any cost for the welfare of the people.
Strict laws should be imposed against those who violate and play loudspeakers in
crowded areas and public places.

Factory Location: Industrial noise pollution is no less different in causing health

hazards on humans and animals. Thus, factories and industries should be located in
far off places from the residential areas. Installation of sound detectors will help in
analyzing the sound frequencies on a regular basis. Read more on effects of
industrial noise pollution.

White Noise Machine: The latest technology for overcoming the effects of noise
pollution is using white noise machine. It is a device meant for converting
unbearable noise into pleasant sound. A white noise machine is placed between the
source of noise and the receptor. It produces soft sound like that of a waterfall, fan
and soft music. re equalWhat are the Ways to Prevent Water Pollution?

While we need to see to it that the government is stringent about seeing to it that there are
adequate treatment plants to treat sewage, and seeing to it that industries have treatment plants
and nuclear plants have proper waste storage systems for radioactive material, and so on, there
are many things that we can do individually to prevent water pollution. Given below are a few
ways to prevent water pollution:

• Toxic products like paints, automobile oil, polishes, and cleaning products should be
stored and disposed off properly. As a matter of fact, it is better to use non-toxic,
products for the house as far as possible. Also, never dispose off such products by
throwing them into your toilet or sink.
• Dispose off your trash in a proper manner and try and incorporate the recycling habit as
far as possible. Non-degradable products like tampons, sanitary napkins, and diapers
should not be flushed down the toilet, for these can end up damaging the process of
sewage treatment, and usually end up as litter on beaches.
• Refrain from throwing litter into streams, lakes, rivers, or seas. If you do spot litter on
beaches or in water systems, after ascertaining that it is safe, collect them and dispose off
them in any nearby waste disposal system.
• Try using environmentally friendly household products like toiletries, soap-based
household cleaning material, and washing powder as far as possible.
• Try using natural fertilizers and pesticides as far as possible, or if not, do not overuse
them or over-water gardens and lawns. This will help in reducing the pollutants that get
into water systems due to runoffs.
• Automobile oil should be re-used as far as possible. Also, it is important to keep your
automobile well maintained in order to prevent leakages of toxic fluids like antifreeze
and oil.
• Also, actively conserve water by turning the tap off when you do not need running water,
such as while brushing teeth. Apart from preventing water shortages, it lessens the
amount of water that needs to be treated.

By Rita Putatunda

ly important for controlling air pollution. Light pollution, also known as photopollution or
luminous pollution, is excessive or obtrusive artificial light. The International Dark-Sky
Association (IDA) defines light pollution as:

Any adverse effect of artificial light including sky glow, glare, light trespass, light clutter,
decreased visibility at night, and energy waste.[1]

It obscures the stars in the night sky for city dwellers, interferes with astronomical observatories,
and, like any other form of pollution, disrupts ecosystems and has adverse health effects. Light
pollution can be divided into two main types: 1) annoying light that intrudes on an otherwise
natural or low-light setting and 2) excessive light (generally indoors) that leads to discomfort and
adverse health effects. Since the early 1980s, a global dark-sky movement has emerged, with
concerned people campaigning to reduce the amount of light pollution.

Light pollution is a side effect of industrial civilization. Its sources include building exterior and
interior lighting, advertising, commercial properties, offices, factories, streetlights, and
illuminated sporting venues. It is most severe in highly industrialized, densely populated areas of
North America, Europe, and Japan and in major cities in the Middle East and North Africa like
Cairo, but even relatively small amounts of light can be noticed and create problems. Like other
forms of pollution (such as air, water, and noise pollution) light pollution causes damage to the

Reducing light pollution implies many things, such as reducing sky glow, reducing glare,
reducing light trespass, and reducing clutter. The method for best reducing light pollution,
therefore, depends on exactly what the problem is in any given instance. Possible solutions

• Utilizing light sources of minimum intensity necessary to accomplish the light's purpose.
• Turning lights off using a timer or occupancy sensor or manually when not needed.
• Improving lighting fixtures, so that they direct their light more accurately towards where
it is needed, and with less side effects.
• Adjusting the type of lights used, so that the light waves emitted are those that are less
likely to cause severe light pollution problems.
• Evaluating existing lighting plans, and re-designing some or all of the plans depending on
whether existing light is actually needed.