What is the Source of Pollution?

Sources of Pollution

When most people think of pollution they think of factories belching out clouds of black smoke, or the exhaust from our automobiles and trucks. But what is the source of pollution? Nearly every activity that we are engaged in, produces pollution. It is important to recognize the source of pollution if we are ever going to reverse the damage that it has done to this planet.

Pollutants come in the form of liquids, solids, and gasses and each one can either do harm, cause damage, or cause injury to the target it affects. Each type of pollution, according to its source, has different ways that it spreads and impacts the target.

Liquid pollution comes from the spilling of toxic matter, leaking machinery and pipes, the deliberate discharging of raw sewage, and the migration of toxic chemicals through the soil into the ground water supply.

Solid pollution comes from land that is contaminated with toxic debris, pet waste, spillage of powers, granules, or resins, and the release of smoke.

Gaseous Pollution is the release of toxic fumes, decomposition of organic material, and naturally occurring fumes such as methane.

Air Pollution

Of all the sources of pollution, air pollution and water pollution are the most worry some. Air pollution comes from three general sources:

* Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s),
* Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
* Particulate matter(PM)

Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) are the result of evaporated petroleum products such as pesticides, fertilizers, automobiles, farming equipment, operations and solvents.

Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) generally comes from the combustion of fuel. This is not only from automobiles, but all types of engines that use fossil fuels.

Particulate matter (PM) comes from such things as windblown dust, and dusty roads, farm operations, and industries that grind and crush material. PM is also produced through the burning of fossil fuels, agricultural products, and the burning of garbage.

Water pollution

Water pollution generally comes from two sources, direct and indirect sources. Direct sources of water pollution are industries that dump toxins into a water supply.

Indirect water pollution is contaminants entering the water supply through the soil and from the atmosphere. Improperly discarded chemicals human waste and agriculture products such as fertilizers and pesticides contribute to water pollution. Air pollution also affects our water supply, as rain leaches these contaminants into the water supply.

The solution

Although most of the pollution generated today does come from industries and automobiles, each person on this planet generates some degree of pollution or causes pollution to be generated. If each one of us makes some simple changes, we can significantly reduce pollution.

In the United States, we have less than 5 percent of the world’s population, yet we alone emit 25% of the carbon dioxide that is expelled into the atmosphere. Countries such as China and India are trying to catch up to the United States’ standard of living, and plan to burn the huge reserves of coal they possess. This will result in huge releases of damaging Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere.

Unless all the world powers and individuals make a commitment to reduce pollution, our planet will be in serious danger.

Beverly Saltonstall is an environmental writer. Visit http://pollutionwebsite.com for news, podcasts, articles and guides covering many aspects of pollution. To understand pollution, read “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pollution, But Never Dared to Ask”. (available on website) Also read
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