Different Types of pollution & Causes

Pollution is not a new word in this 21st century. You can find various articles and youtube videos regarding the rising of pollution. This is not an issue of any particular country or region, but a global issue. Today, we are going to learn 9 different types of pollution and what are the causes of pollution.

As human civilization is evolving, different types of pollution arising as well. Primarily we were having three types of pollution i.e. Soil, water, and air. But later on, Noise pollution also gets added. Now, thermal, light, plastic, and radioactive pollution are also introduced.

Different Types of pollution

In this article, we had covered different types of pollution along with definitions and what are the causes of pollution. Before we get into the details of different types of pollution, lets us start with the definition of pollution.

What is pollution?

Pollution can be defined as the addition or introduction of a substance that causes adverse and harmful effects on the environment and living organisms. These harmful substances are known as pollutants.

This is the simplest definition of what is environmental pollution? Now as we have learned what is pollution, let us start with the different types of environmental pollution and what are the causes of pollution.

Different Types of pollution

  1. Air Pollution
  2. Water Pollution
  3. Noise Pollution
  4. Soil Pollution
  5. Thermal Pollution
  6. light Pollution
  7. Plastic Pollution
  8. Radioacitive Contamination
  9. Electronic waste Pollution | E-water

These are the major types of pollution, but apart from these, there are other types of pollution as well like thermal pollution, light pollution, radioactive pollution, plastic pollution, radioactive contamination.

Air Pollution

what is air pollution

Introduction of pollutant, the release of toxic gases and particulate matter, dust particle and smoke which contaminates the air and cause harm to human being and other living organisms is referred as air pollution. Every year, several people die because of bad air quality and air pollution.

What are the causes of Air pollution?

Air pollution is caused by both the sources i.e. natural and man-made. Here are the natural and manmade pollutants that cause air pollution.

 What are the manmade source of air pollution

  • Carbondioxide and carbon monooxides release from vehicles
  • Realease of toxic and harmful gases from industries
  • Wildfires 
  • Open burinig of waste

What are the natural source of air pollution

  • Release of gasses by volcanic activities
  • Anemophily 
  • Dust from natural sources
  • windblown dust

Water Pollution

what is air pollution

Contamination of pollutants due to toxic material enters in water which can cause harm to the living organisms is called water pollution. These additions of toxic and hazardous substances in water degrade water quality and make it unsafe to consume. Water bodies like lakes, rivers, oceans, and ponds get contaminated because of water pollution.

What are the causes of water pollution?

Water pollution is mainly caused by human activities and the major cause is the release of Industrial water into the water bodies and on land without treating it. Other causes of water pollution are listed below.

  • Dumping of industrial waste
  • Sewage and Wastewater
  • Oil spills in Ocean
  • Global Warming
  • Insecticides and pesticides
  • Chemical fetilizers

Noise Pollution

what causes noise pollution

Unnecessary and unpleasant sounds that cause adverse effects to humans and animals are referred to as Noise pollution. noise measured in Decibels and according to the World health organization (WHO) noise above 65 decibels (dB) is noise pollution. 

What are the causes of Noise pollution.

  • Traffic noise
  • Construction sites
  • Industrial machineries
  • Loudspeaker

Soil Pollution

what is soil pollution

The presence of toxic and hazardous chemicals, heavy metals which contaminate soil and possess the potential to cause harm to living organisms and plants is called soil pollution. Soil pollution causes disturbance in the ecosystem and makes land infertile. Pollutants present in the soil also contaminate groundwater.

What are the causes of Soil Pollution

  • Dumping of harzardeous industrial waste
  • Acid rain
  • Spillage of oil
  • Use of harmful pesticides and insecticides in agriculture activies

Thermal Pollution

Thermal pollution definition

Increase in temperature of water present in water bodies due to release of heated water majorly form industries and power plant is referred as Thermal pollution. The increase in temperature affects badly marine life present in the water bodies hence it is considered thermal pollution.

What causes thermal pollution

Industrial discharge mainly contributes to thermal pollution. Thermal plant uses water to generate steam and that steam is used to run turbines to generate electricity.

  • Waste from thermal power plant
  • Discharge from nuclear power plant
  • Effluent from chemical plants especially pulp and paper mills.

Light Pollution

how to reduce light pollution

Excessive, unwanted, and inappropriate use of artificial lights which cause visual disturbance is called light pollution. It causes hindrance in starlight and interrupts astronomical

Excessive, unwanted, and inappropriate use of artificial lights which cause visual disturbance is called light pollution. It causes hindrance in starlight and interrupts astronomical research and disrupts ecosystems. Light pollution is also a waste of energy.

Types of light pollution

There are several types of light pollution and those are listed here.

  1. light trespass
  2. over-illumination
  3. glare
  4. Light clutter
  5. skyglow. 

Plastic Pollution

plastic pollution

This is recently added in the types of pollution list. Plastic is widely used all over the world as it is relatively cheaper compared to metals. Accumulation of plastic material and substance over the ground and in ocean cause adverse effect to humans, wildlife and marine lives is called plastic pollution.

What are the types of plastic debris

Plastic pollution is categorized based on size and those are listed below.

  • Micro debris
  • Meso debris
  • Macro debris

One can read all the types of plastic debris in detail at wikipedia

What causes plastic pollution?

As the name suggests, plastic pollution is caused by plastic and the main cause of plastic pollution is improper disposal of plastic items which causes plastic accumulation.

Radioactive Contamination

Radioactive Contamination

The presence of radioactive material in the environment or Contamination of land, water, and air because of the release of radioactive material and increase levels of radiation is called radioactive contamination. Radioactive contamination is also referred to as radiological contamination. Radioactive materials are used in industries and labs i.e. nuclear power plants to generate electricity and in labs for research work.

What causes Radioactive Contamination?

  • Nuclear bomb testing
  • Accidently leakage of radioactive material
  • Disposal of Radioactive waste 

Electronic waste pollution | E-Waste

What is E-waste and why is it a problem

As technology is booming, the use of electronic items is also increasing. Dumping of these electronic items after they stop working is called E-water. Electonic items get outdated very fast and also the possibility of getting think repair if it is malfunction is very less which results in the things get replaced instead of getting it repaired. A huge increase in E-waste is being observed in the past few years due to the rise in the use of technology.

Type of pollutionDefinition
Air pollutionThe presence of pollutants, toxic gases, particulate particles, biological molecules is referred to as air pollution.
Water PollutionToxic, harmful chemicals and pollutants contaminating water is called water pollution.
Noise PollutionContinuous unpleasant and unnecessary sounds in the surrounding which causes harm to humans and animals is referred to as Noise pollution.
Soil PollutionThe presence of toxic and hazardous chemicals, heavy metals in soil is called soil pollution.
Thermal PollutionAn increase in temperature on water bodies like lakes, oceans, and rived due to discharge of heated water from the industries are considered as thermal pollution.
Light PollutionExcessive, unwanted, and inappropriate use of artificial light cause light pollution.
Plastic PollutionDumping plastic and its accumulation is referred to as plastic pollution.
Radioactive ContaminationRadioactive materials are used in nuclear powerplant and the waste after
Electronic Waste pollutionE-water or Electronic pollution is the dumping of electronic waste.

Wrapping Up

This was a detailed article on 9 different types of pollution and the what are the causes of pollution. If you have any doubt or problem in understanding any point or in case you want us to cover any specific topic then feel free to use the comment section and also your suggestions are welcomes. Download our official app to be updated with our latest post.

Avatar of Ronak Prajapati

Me - Founder of Chemical Tweak - A Chemical Engineer by profession and a part-time self-trained technology blogger.

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