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Major atmospheric pollutants

10-FEB-2016 13:03

    A pollutant is an impurity found in the atmosphere in the form of a substance or chemical compound. The concentration of the pollutant in the atmosphere is directly proportional to the level of pollution. The ecosystem and environmental cycle are changing which has led to abrupt changes in the weather cycle due to the presence of these pollutants in the atmosphere.


    Types of pollutants

    Soil Pollutants: Some of the soil pollutants are cadmium, chromium, copper, zinc or mercury, pesticides or herbicides, organic chemicals, oils and tars, explosive or toxic gases, combustible or radioactive materials, biologically active compounds and asbestos. They decrease the crop yield by contaminating the farm soil. Causes of soil pollutant are as follows:

    • Due to poor Agriculture practices
    • Industrial Waste Material
    • Landfill Leakage
    • Household Waste Material
    • Dumping of garbage in open space
    • Lack of sewage plants

    Air Pollutants: Some of the air pollutants are ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and lead. These pollutants are the most dangerous which can have harmful effects on the human life. The atmospheric balance is getting disturbed due to air pollutants. Causes of air pollutant are as follows:

    • Bad industrial practices
    • Poor means of transportation
    • Over shunting in factories
    • Low quality of the automobile fuel
    • High density of the vehicles
    • Low quality combustion fuel used
    • Waste material from factories carrying dangerous chemicals is thrown open in environment
    • Poor management of resources like useful gases present in the atmosphere

    Water Pollutants: Some of the water pollutants are mercury, nitrates, phosphorous and bacterial pollution. The level of the water pollutants is increasing day by day. Causes of water pollutant are as follows:

    • Bad filtering practices
    • Leakage in sewage plants
    • Illegal dumping of waste material
    • Accumulation of water
    • No use of rain water; it keeps getting accumulated here and there and later on becomes major cause of water pollution
    • No cleaning of tanks where water is stored for household purposes
    • Rivers are polluted with the waste material which gives birth to bacteria

    Noise Pollutants: Any unwanted sound which is causing imbalance in the atmosphere or human environment is called noise pollutant. Causes of noise pollutant are as follows:     

    • Sound in industries, aircrafts, trains, boats
    •  Increasing automobile traffic
    • Loud music and other unwanted sounds in the house environment

    Effects of pollutants

    • Damage of crop cycle
    • Poor animal and plant growth
    • Decaying of human life cycle
    • Life threatening diseases are spreading
    • Natural resources are diminishing
    • Natural calamities like earthquakes, acid rains and tsunamis are occurring frequently
    • The melting of ice is a major threat for human life which is caused by the presence of pollutants in the environment
    • Decay of earth crust

    Precautions that can control harmful effects of pollutants

    • The gases present in the form of air pollution are the most dangerous
    • By controlling the waste material and automobile traffic, we can control these pollutants
    • The use of CNG as a domestic fuel is an achievement in this area
    • Similarly, by recycling the waste material from the industries has further controlled the presence of the pollutants
    • The soil pollutants can be decreased by using good fertilizers and utilizing the land in the best ways by redefining the crop cycle
    • Tree plantation and ratio of urban and green areas can also dilute the presence of soil pollutants
    • By taking care of sewage and waste material we can further get rid of pollutants
    • Water harvesting plants can make use of rain water
    • Factories can make use of good practices by setting up new plants and by doing regular pollution checking of the plants
    • Chemical plants and factories can be shifted from the cities to open spaces
    • Waste material and harmful gases can be disposed by setting underground pipes etc.
    • Noise pollutants are increasing due to the bad habits of urban population
    • Loud music, use of crackers, use of sound proof buildings can decrease the level of noise pollutants
    • By making people aware of the effects of the pollutants, we can control the levels of pollutants present in the atmosphere and can save the earth for our future

    Image Courtesy: www.nature.nps.gov

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