• Home
  • Environment

    Pollution – Definition, Aspects and Solution

    The addition of constituents to water, air or land, which adversely alter the natural quality of our environment is known as POLLUTION.

    POLLUTION may also be defined as an undesirable variation in the physical, chemical or biological characteristics of our water, air and land that may or will harmfully affect human life or that of desirable species, our industrial processes, living conditions and cultural assets, or that may or will waste or deterio­rate our raw material resources.

    Read Also: Bali and Copenhagen Summits of UNFCCC (CoP 13 and 15)

    Global Aspect of Pollution

    Entire world can be considered as a single vast ecosystem of the universe consisting of two parts :

    (i)  Biotic Community (or Living Part)

    That is, the BIOSPHERE in which life exists. The lack of living creatures and the disbalance in their life balance gives rise to the crises in the biological community.

    (ii) Abiotic Community (or Nonliving Part or Physical Environment

    The abiotic or physical environ­ment of all the organisms existing on the earth or globe exists in three main zones: ATMOSPHERE, LITHOSPHERE, and HYDRO­SPHERE.

    Causes of Environmental Pollution

    The root cause of environmental pollution has been man’s misbe­haviour with nature. Albeit, there are several reasons for environmen­tal pollution, for example :

    (i)  Harmful gasses in the atmosphere

    The concentration of harmful gasses is increasing! day by day in the atmosphere. Increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) content will warm up the earth’s atmosphere to such an extent that it will melt the polar ice and will cause a subsequent rise in the sea-level. Thus, low-lying areas will be submerged carbon-dioxide is harmful to our health. Carbon- monodioxide, sulfur dioxide (S02), hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen oxides, ozone etc. also constitute the other harmful pollutants.


    Discharge of untreated industrial effluents (for example, breweries, tan­neries, dying, textile and paper) can cause very serious pollution indeed.


    Dumping of tons of sewage, dead humans and animals and domestic wastes from cities into the water reservoirs are one of the major causes of water pollution. Discharge of untreated or partially treated sewage may cause (a) depletion of oxygen content caused by biological oxidation of organic matter; and (b) stimulation of algae growth.

    Must Read: Startling Facts about Pollution

    The above effects affect the diverse uses of water.


    Insecticides used to kill insects which destroy (damages) our crops, spread several diseases in man after spraying are washed off to the rivers and lakes and become a part fish body and other animals there. In the same way, pollution of food grains by insecticides and pesticides and the various diseases caused by such food grains are also well known.


    The air becomes foul by the exhaust from the internal combustion engines of automobiles used for personal conveyance, transport of goods and passenger traffic in the modern world. This polluted air is unhealthy for breathing.

    Carbon-mono dioxide a deadly poisonous gas discharged from the automobiles and factories is a serious problem in big cities of the world. It causes ‘headaches’, ‘lost of vision’, ‘nausea’, ‘pain’, ‘convulsions’, ‘asthmatic spasm’ etc.


    FERTILIZERS applied in the fields are also washed off into streams, rivers, and the seas. Here they increase the growth of algae (algae is a microscopic green plant). These algae consume the oxygen of water much more than they returned to the water in dissolved state (during photosynthesis). In short supply of oxygen, the animal living in water become suffocated.

    DETERGENTS also cause a serious pollution problem to the fresh water resources. Major ingredients of most detergents are phosphates. When discharged into the water they support the luxuriant growth of algae.

    Don’t Miss: Climate Change, Technology, and Energy Sustainability

    Antipollution Measures

    Some common antipollution mea­sures are in the following manner:

    (i)     Air Pollution, can be con­trolled by

    (a)    Planning trees on the road­sides; laying parks and gardens in the spacing houses and colonies.

    (b)    Keeping a check on the quality of fuels meant for automobiles etc.

    (c)    Less use of oil and coal for running factories.

    (d)    Controlled nuclear tests.

    (e)    Strict safeguard against disas­ters (like Bhopal Gas Tragedy)

    (ii)    Noise Pollution, may be checked by

    (a)    Making highways, circular and ring roads, not in close touch with towns and cities.

    (b)    The Methodical spacing of office hours of different categories, school and colleges, factories and industries.

    (c)    Restrictions on the use and volume of loudspeakers pressure horns of vehicles etc.

    (iii)   Soil Pollution, may be reduced by

    (a)    Training the people for hygiene and sanitation.

    (b)    Providing lavatories and proper hygienic conditions; recycling of scrap and other waste material.

    (c)    Proper dumping of unwanted material.

    (d)    Production of natural fertilizers.

    (e)    Restriction on the use of chemicals which are otherwise fatal to plants and animals.

    (f)      Plantation of forests extensively.

    (iv)   Water Pollution, can be reduced by

    (a)    Proper disposal of sewage, dreading of shallow rivers and streams and cleaning operations in lakes.

    (b)    Effective filtration and chlorina­tion of drinking water.

    (c)    Reducing and recycling the radioactive contents of nuclear power plants.

    (d)    Checking of  random disposal of factory wastes, especially into rivers which are the major source of drinking water.

    (e)    Use of bio-reactors to fight organic pollution of water.

    (f)     Nuclear explosions should not be done in seas.

    Have a look at:

    Solid Waste Management (SWM) : Growing for Solutions

    Most Polluted Cities in India

    Recent Articles

    Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) of India

    The oldest stock market in Asia, BSE stands for Bombay Stock Exchange and was initially known as "The Native Share and Shock Brokers Association"....

    Transportation in India: India transport sector

    India’s Transport Sector, as it caters to the need of nearly 1.1 billion people, is large and diverse. A smooth and co-ordinated system of...

    Biography of Mahatma Gandhi – A Journey from Mohandas to Mahatma

    On the evening of 30th January, 1948, at his daily prayer meeting Gandhiji was shot dead by a young man from Pune named Nathuram...

    Early Entrepreneurs of India

    The first cotton mill in Bombay came up in 1854 and it went into production two years later. By 1862, four...

    Startup News

    Daily Startup funding and investment news. Focussing on Indian startup ecosystem, Syskool has started tracking all startup activities across India and we...

    Related Stories


    Comments are closed.

    Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox