Air and Water Pollution
October 24, 2012
Air and Water Pollution
The two major elements that are essential to the survival of any living organism are clean water and air. Pollution is a major threat to these elements which in turn has made water and air pollution serious problems that are endangering the lives of people worldwide. Pollution is caused by contaminants being introduced into an environment which have very harmful effects on the environment as a whole. Most of the pollution that ends up in the environment is a result of human actions, but there are some instances were pollution is caused by natural disasters. Pollution can ...view middle of the document...
How Pollution Affects the Atmosphere
The earth’s atmosphere is so complex; it is a dynamic system that is also very fragile. Increased awareness is leading to more and more publicized concerns pertaining to the effects of global air pollution, at the top of this list is climate change. Due to the depletion of the stratospheric ozone air pollution has for a long time been considered a threat to human life (www.window2universe.org). Sulphur dioxide is responsible for the formation of acid rain, which is formed by the extreme levels of acid in our rain water. Sulphur dioxide is extremely soluble in rain water when it is present in our atmosphere in high amounts. When it rains Sulphur dioxide triggers a reaction when mixed with water vapor in the atmosphere to form sulphuric acid and also sulphurous acid. Acid rain causes lakes to become acidic and as a result of this the fish and plants that reside in the lake die. Acid rain in large amounts can kill trees and in some instances a whole forest (www.windows2universe.org).
All around the world Carbon monoxide can be found in the atmosphere in large amounts. With its dense concentration Carbon monoxide is considered a very serious air pollutant. The earth’s temperature is maintained when the energy from the sun strikes the earth and heat is radiated into space. When these rays are able to penetrate the atmosphere and strike the earth they are converted into heat. When the concentration of Carbon monoxide is higher in the atmosphere this heat is usually absorbed by the Carbon monoxide. As this happens water vapor in the atmosphere mixes with the heat that is present and this causes the earth’s atmosphere to heat up. This heating of the earth’s surface has coined the term which we know as the Green House Effect (www.greenfacts.org). Carbon monoxide is very toxic and even deadly when inhaled. Carbon monoxide displaces oxygen in the bloodstream and restricts the flow of oxygen to the lungs, brain and heart. Breathing Carbon monoxide in large amounts can cause a person to faint or even suffocate (www.osha.gov).
Two types of water pollution are groundwater pollution and surface water pollution. Surface water pollution is very visible and we are able to see it floating in our oceans, lakes, and streams (www.waterbenefitshealth.com). Surface water pollution consists of waste made by people this includes soda bottles, plastics and many different waste products which we often see on the water’s surface. Two common forms of surface water pollution are oil and gasoline spills which float on top of the water killing many animals that come in contact with it. Oil and gasoline spills are incidents that require immediate action to be taken to prevent a large number of deaths among aquatic life and people. If these spills are not cleaned up...