Generally, pollution is the described as an introduction of added substance in our environment which cause a serious issue to us and adversely affect the nature. Due to a rapid increase in the population today, the quantity of waste products is huge in the environment. The contamination of the environment by the substances that adversely affect the human health and other living beings leads to pollution. The substances that affect the environment are the pollutants. The biodegradable wastes do not affect the nature, but unlike the non-biodegradable wastes which do not decompose, are major threats to the environment.

Image Source: Freepik

Pollution causes an imbalance in the ecosystem and climate change which has affected our lifestyle adversely. With a growth in technology and modernization, pollution has excelled in which leads to human illness. There are several types of an environment which have seriously affected our life.

Different Types of Pollution List and Their Causes, Effects And Prevention:

The different types of pollutions have their distinct causes and effects to our environment. The detailed study of pollution helps us to understand its types and causes and impact to our surroundings.

1. Air Pollution:

Image Source: Freepik

Human activities for ages and their development to make life comfortable deteriorate the quality of air in another way. Air is the foremost important component of man’s environment.

Causes of Air Pollution:

  • The combustion of fossil fuels, biomass, automobile exhaust and many others have released carbon dioxide, carbon mono oxide, sulphur dioxide and also many other components of toxic gases in the air.
  • Some of the sources of air pollution are natural and some are made of pollutants. Forest fires, volcanic eruption, dust storms, decaying organic matters are the causes of air pollution from the natural sources. On the other hand, auto mobiles, agriculture, power plants industries etc are the man-made sources that cause air pollution to exceed.

Effects Of Air Pollution:

These things pollute the air and slowly lower the quality of air day by day. These are the major causes of air pollution. Excess pollutants in the air cause global warming which consequently increases the temperature of the Earth. The rising temperature leads to melting of ice and hence raising the sea level.

The pollutants also have other effects on us. Carbon dioxide reduces the capacity of oxygen on the blood, sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen cause acid rain that affects plant life and reduces soil quality. CFCs deplete the ozone layer causing skin cancer and have other effects on us. Measures need to be taken to prevent the air pollution.

How To Prevent Air Pollution:

Using solar energy and CNG in place of polluting fuels, checking the auto mobiles regularly, providing the chimneys of the factories with appropriate filters are the measures in order to control the particulate matter or other pollutants in the air.

See More: Different Types Of Air Pollution

2. Water Pollution:

Image Source: Freepik

Water is one of the basic necessities of life. Though about three-fourths of the Earth surface covers with water bodies, but the availability of fresh water to us is of a serious issue. Water pollution is another main type of pollution. It gets polluted when harmful substances enter the water bodies or seep down the water table. It has the unique feature of dissolving many substances. Dissolved gases like oxygen are essential for aquatic life.

Causes of Water Pollution:

  • Water gets polluted from different sources like domestic sources which include detergents and sewage, agricultural wastes which include chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides, solid wastes and industrial wastes which contain toxic substances like dyes, grease, acids, oils, etc.
  • Water pollution causes serious health issues and also an environmental problem. Organic wastes cause water-borne diseases like dysentery, malaria, etc. Inorganic chemicals affect the kidney, reproductive system and respiratory system of humans; harm the aquatic plants and animals; leads to decrease in crop production.

Effects Of Water Pollution:

The pesticides and other organic solvents cause metabolic disorder and cancer in humans. Disease-causing germs in water bodies causes jaundice, hepatitis, dysentery and other diseases.

The oil spills from oil tanks in the water bodies cause long-term damage. This may be human error or natural one that blocks the sun rays and air from getting inside and thus aquatic life gets hampered.

How To Prevent Water Pollution:

This pollution can be controlled by using separate sewage tanks for individual houses, minimizing the use of detergent, treating the industrial or domestic wastes before discharging, setting wastewater treatment plants and many more.

See More: Water Pollution Types

3. Soil Pollution:

Image Source: Freepik

Among the many other types of pollution, soil pollution or land pollution is the next one. Soil is one of the important natural resources. The soil provides shelter to many animals and supports the growth of plants from which we obtain our basic needs. Soil also gets harmful and polluted when some harmful substances mix with the soil.

Causes and Source of Soil Pollution:

  • There are many pollutants which lead to soil pollution. Excessive use of fertilizers pollutes the soil. The nitrogen compound from the soil makes it unfit for the plants to derive nutrients.
  • Industrial wastewater contains harmful chemicals which enter the soil with wastewater and make the soil infertile.

Impact Of Soil Pollution:

The dumps of industrial wastes degrade the quality of the soil and harm the natural vegetation in that area. Deforestation exploits the soil and leads to soil erosion.

How To Prevent Soil Pollution:

Proper disposal of solid wastes needs to be done in sanitary landfills. Discharging industrial waste without proper treatment must not be done. Planting more trees won’t lead to soil erosion. More organic fertilizers need to be used instead of chemical fertilizers or manures.

4. Noise Pollution:

Image Source: Freepik

Noise causes another means of pollution in our recent times. This one is mainly an urban pollution. Due to modernization and development, there are serious environmental repercussions. Noise is an unwanted sound in our environment. This causes adverse effects on humans. It has penetrated deep in the modern life due to development of industry, machinery and technologies. Noise disturbs the tranquillity of human life. Loud sounds and noises are caused in factories, roads, by aeroplanes or in marketplaces. Sound intensities are measured in the unit named as decibels (dB). For our system, sound beyond 80 dB causes noise pollution.

Causes of Noise Pollution:

Various sources may be natural or man-made cause noise pollution.

  • Man-made sources like horns of vehicles, auto mobiles, aeroplanes, speakers, sirens, loudspeakers and even shouting causes noise pollution. A natural source like thundering causes some sort of noise pollution.
  • Aircraft causes more discomfort than road noises. Air traffic has increased a much higher level. Loud noise producing high jet aircraft’s that not only disturb human communication but also damage hearing permanently.

Impact Of Noise Pollution:

The noise level in metropolitan cities is quite high which causes a headache, high blood pressure and hearing problems. Noise also causes stress, anxiety which increases the heartbeat rate. The continuous exposure to noise causes sleeplessness and hypertension. Even persons exposed to high-intensity sounds are disturbed and develops an ulcer. Persistent noise pollution causes nervous breakdown and serious nervous issues. All these affect us and will have a serious impact on us.

How To Prevent Noise Pollution:

To reduce noise pollution, we need to take certain actions. Use of loudspeakers during the late night and early morning must not be done and also maintain the low sound intensity during any time of the day. Unnecessary use of horns should be restricted.

Vehicles should use proper silencers. The noisy vehicles should not be allowed to enter the residential premises. Thick glass panes in the windows cut down the noise pollution to a larger extent. Trees absorb noises, so planting trees help to reduce the extent of noise pollution.

5. Radioactive Pollution:

Image Source: Freepik

One of the most hazardous and dangerous types of pollutions is radioactive pollution. Radioactive pollution is caused by a nuclear power plant.

Causes of Radioactive Pollution:

  • If there is no proper protection in a a nuclear power plant, or when the power pants malfunctions, it gives rise to radioactive pollution. In nuclear power plant, nuclear fission of radioactive substances is done.
  • Radioactive metals disintegrate by releasing harmful rays like beta rays and gamma rays.
  • Radioactive pollution may occur by damage of the reactors in nuclear power plants that would lead to contamination and the effect would last for years or dumping of the wastes from the plant into the soil or into the water bodies.

Implication on Humans:

The radioactive substances affect our health. Its pollution causes serious health issues like cancer, blindness, infertility, affects the soil, water and air and also defects at time of birth.

How To Prevent Radioactive Pollution:

  • These power plants need to be made far away from residential areas and protection need to be taken by building wider walls so that the radiations do not come outside and also proper disposal is of high importance.
  • Accidents may happen, so the workers working in those plants need to take extra protection. The waste or the end product comes in the form of lead, needs to be disposed properly otherwise it would mix in the soil and water which leads to pollute further.

6. Light Pollution:

Image Source: Freepik

This pollution occurs from the unnecessary light in our surroundings. Unnecessary lights and using more energy to light up instead of using minimum light energy for the work need to be done cause light pollution.

Causes of Light Pollution:

  • Brightening of sky during nights makes the star and planets visible by improper lighting. This affects the observation of astronomical phenomena and making it difficult to see.
  • The street lamps are lined up one after the other increases the amount of light energy.

This not only causes light pollution but also leads to wastage of energy. Bright lights are mainly used in metropolitan cities and in special functions. Excess lightning is also visible on advertisement boards and in any sports events during nights. Excessive light put strain on our eye and especially on our retina.

Impact on Humans:

  • Such high volts of light will lead to headache and migraines issues.
  • Human health and sleep cycles going to get hampered by this pollution.

How To Prevent Light Pollution:

  • Light needs to be minimally used, while making sure the streets and roads are lit.
  • Low volts of light can be a preferred choice.

7. Thermal Pollution:

Image Source: Freepik

It may also be termed as heat pollution. This mainly leads to global warming by increasing the temperature of the Earth’s surface.

Causes of Thermal Pollution:

  • It leads to changes over a long period of time. Air pollution, deforestation and industrial plants have increased the Earth’s temperature which has lead to certain crucial problems in nature.
  • A drastic change in climate leads to extinction of much wildlife.
  • Increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the environment has raised the temperature. For this reason, carbon dioxide is popularly known as greenhouse gas. Melting of ice in the Polar Regions has raised the water levels.
  • Thermal pollution is an effect of air pollution. The burning of coal, petroleum and gases has lead to the production of harmful gases.

Impact on Humans:

In this kind of pollution, some of the gases have a characteristic feature in raising the temperature. Lakes are going to get warmer due to a disposal of waste products and this also hampers the aquatic life. The increased temperature causes discomfort to the habitats which also affect the plant life too in that region.

How To Prevent Thermal Pollution:

  • Planting trees along the shoreline is one solution.
  • Circular ploughing to prevent erosion
  • Use of alternate cooling agents, other than water.

8. Chemical Pollution:

Image Source: Freepik

Chemical pollution is caused mainly by the industrial wastes. Leakage of chemicals from the landfills and mines causes chemical pollution.

Causes of Chemical Pollution:

  • The chemicals like dyes, oils, grease, etc come out as the industrial waste without proper treatment. Chemical pollution also leads to air pollution and are also seen in the air.
  • Burning releases the chemical pollutants in specific the air pollutants in the atmosphere. This is a major issue in recent times due to technological development and growth of industrial sector.

Impact Of Chemical Pollution:

Chemicals are also extracted from the pesticides and fertilizers which are given to plants. But these have an adverse effect on us and also on plants, which in turn will affect us.

How To Prevent Chemical Pollution:

Organic fertilizers are preferable. Inorganic waste or chemicals are highly hazardous to us and also to our environment.

 See More: Types Of Trees

9. Visual Pollution:

Image Source: Freepik

Anything unattractive and unwanted visual damage causes visual pollution. This different pollution is rather new and has given rise to a lot of discomforts.

Causes of Visual Pollution:

The hoardings along the roads, graffiti or carving on rocks or trees, litter in the surroundings, abandoned houses and skyscrapers are considered to cause visual pollution.

The skyscrapers obstruct the natural view and also lead to deforestation in that area. Visual pollution is considered ugly and annoying. This also has a depressing effect on us as we are deprived of the natural surrounding view.

Impact Of Visual Pollution:

Visual pollution affects the eye, by ordering unnecessary strain. It also deprives one of enjoying the view. It disturbs the visual areas of the population by making harmful changes in the environment.

How To Prevent Visual Pollution:

Some of the easiest ways to prevent visual pollution are as follows.

  • By allowing the billboards or hoarding to only hang for a specific period
  • By ensuring only relevant information pertaining to a fact is hung on the residential areas.
  • By stretching wires so that people get a good view.

Pollution immensely damage our environment. To get a clean surrounding, better living environment and also free from diseases we ourselves need to take actions to prevent from these conditions. We need to reduce and eliminates the pollutants from the source by proper disposal methods and by proper treatment processes. In recent times, several laws are introduced by governments to reduce the pollution rate. The different types of pollution, whether mild or intense do have a role to play in the evolution of the society.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.