What are the sources of pollution ?

Pollution has greatly damaged our planet and continues to do so. There are different kinds of pollutants, each of which come from different sources. It is essential to identify the source of pollution, in order to be able to formulate a policy to eliminate it altogether.

1. Pathway of Pollutant:
A Pollutant is released along a pathway. This pathway allows migration of the pollutant to a target of varying sensitivity. This causes impact, harm, damage, or injury to the target. The source of pollution varies from case to case.

2. The Source of Pollution and Its Forms
Different products, processes and activities of our industrialized world together form the major source of pollution. The forms of pollution are as follows:

  • Solid
  • Liquid
  • Gaseous

Different forms of pollutant have different properties for mobility, migration and impacts, and each of these properties vary according to the source of pollution. 

2.1. The Source of Pollution: Solid Pollutants
Sources of solid pollution are as follows:

  • Contaminated Land.
  • Contaminated Debris (Toxic metals, Petrol pumps)
  • Spillage of Leakage of Raw Materials, Products or Wastes (Powders, Resins, Granules, etc.)
  • Release of smoke and solids.

2.2. The Source of Pollution: Liquid Pollutants
Sources of liquid pollution are as follows:

  • Spilled Raw Material, Consumables, Wastes.
  • Leakage from Machinery and Pipe work.
  • Damaged Supply Lines and Drains
  • 'Deliberate' Discharge of Effluent.
  • Mobilization of Soil contamination – 'Leaching'.

2.3. The Source of Pollution: Gaseous Pollutants
Sources of Gaseous pollution are as follows:

  • Process Fumes, Wastes.
  • Decomposition of Organic Materials – Landfills and Waste.
  • Evaporation of Organic and Volatile Chemicals.
  • Naturally occurring Radioactive Gases.
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Sources  of  water  pollution  -

  • Sewage  water  from  houses.
  • Gutter  water  when  mixed  with  drinking  water  causes  pollution.
  • Human  excreta  also  causes  water  pollution.
  • Cow  dung,  etc..cause  pollution  as  well  as  diseases.

Sources  of  air  pollution  -

  • Carbon - di - oxide  released  from  the  combustion  of  fossil  fuels.
  • Nitrogen  oxides  released  from  the  burning  of  fuels.
  • Sulphur  dioxide  released  from  industries.
  • Suspended  particulate  matter 

Sources  of  sound  pollution  -

  • Sounds  of  vehicles.
  • Sounds  of  bursting  crackers  and  explosives
  • Sounds  of  loud  speakers,  TV's,  transistors........
  • Sounds  of  kitchen  appliances.

Sources  of  soil  pollution  -

  • Acid  rain
  • Over  application  of  pesticides  and  chemical  fertilizers.
    • Runoff from pollutants (paint, chemicals, rotting organic material) leaching out of landfill
    • Polluted water discharged from factories

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