Environmental Pollution


Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about environmental pollution. Enjoy the class!

Environmental Pollution

Environmental Pollution classnotes.ng

Pollution is the contamination of air, land, or water environment resulting in a change that may or will harmfully affect human. The discharge of waste substances into the environment in quantities that are harmful to human beings is known as pollution. The materials and energy that cause pollution are called pollutants. Examples of pollutants are Acids, Soaps and Detergents, Alcohol, Oils, Chemical compounds such as Lead, Sulphide, fertilizers, herbicides, refuse and sewage etc. making the environment undesirable, unpleasant, threatening the health and existence of living organisms including humans.

Types of pollution

  1. Water pollution.
  2. Air pollution.
  3. Land or soil pollution.

I will be breaking them down for you to understand better.

  • Water pollution:

Environmental Pollution classnotes.ng

It is the contamination of water bodies, usually as a result of human activities. Water bodies include for example lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater. Water pollution results when contaminants are introduced into the natural environment. Some causes of water pollution include the following;

  1. Industrial waste: Industries produce a huge amount of waste which contains toxic chemicals and pollutants which can cause air pollution and damage to us and our environment. They contain pollutants such as lead, mercury, sulfur, asbestos, nitrates, and many other harmful chemicals. Many industries do not have a proper waste management system and drain the waste in the freshwater, which goes into rivers, canals and later into the sea. The toxic chemicals can change the colour of water, increase the number of minerals, also known as eutrophication, change the temperature of the water and pose a serious hazard to water organisms.
  2. Marine dumping: The garbage produced by each household in the form of paper, aluminium, rubber, glass, plastic, food is collected and deposited into the sea in some countries. These items take from 2 weeks to 200 years to decompose. When such items enter the sea, they not only cause water pollution but also harm animals in the sea.
  3. Accidental oil leakage: oil spill poses a huge concern as a large amount of oil enters into the sea and does not dissolve with water; thereby opens problem for local marine wildlife such as fish, birds and sea otters. E.g.: a ship carrying a large quantity of oil may spill oil if met with an accident and can cause varying damage to species in the ocean depending on the quantity of oil spill, size of the ocean, the toxicity of pollutant.
  4. Leakage from sewer line: A small leakage from the sewer lines can contaminate the underground water and make it unfit for the people to drink. Also, when not repaired on time, the leaking water can come on to the surface and become a breeding ground for insects and mosquitoes.
  5. Mining activities: Mining is the process of crushing the rock and extracting coal and other minerals from underground. These elements when extracted in the raw form contains harmful chemicals and can increase the number of toxic elements when mixed up with water which may result in health problems. Mining activities emit a large amount of metal waste and sulphides from the rocks which is harmful to the water.
  • Air pollution:

It is a mixture of solid particles and gases in the air. Car emissions, chemicals from factories, dust, pollen and mould spores may be suspended as particles. Ozone, a gas, is a major part of air pollution in cities. When ozone forms. Air pollution occurs when harmful or excessive quantities of substances are introduced into the Earth’s atmosphere. Sources of air pollution include gases, particulates, and biological molecules. Air pollution is also called smogs.

Causes of air pollution
  1. Gases, for example, carbon monoxide, Sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxide.
  2. Solid for example, soot from industrial machine, dust, coal industries.
  3. Mists or drops, for example, chemical fumes from the industrial process. Sulphuric acid mist.


In our next class, we will be talking more about Environmental Pollution.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

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