'c r e s k'  - "creating awareness" on Women and Child Rights, Consumer Rights, Environment Safety, Health, Hygiene and Pollution Control    
 
Pollution Control
 
Pollution,
Emergence with such devastating evolution
In the face of the ever expanding globalization
Filled with development, riches, vision 
But a price to pay for what nature has become    
Of a barren, dead paradise once full of fulfillment            
What can we say as to what can we really do 
Or what can we really do to make a move 
To prevent further devastation of this kind 
From such expanding deterioration from happening in time
Is what we can rest assure of this disaster 
Never to happen again ever after

Everybody knows about pollution, in fact it is a part of our lives today. But, what is the definition of pollution? Here are some:

  • "contamination of the earth's environment with materials that interfere with human health, the quality of life, or the natural functioning of ecosystems" (Encarta.com).

  • wrong substances in a wrong quantity in the wrong time and at the wrong place; 

  • agent which causes imbalances in the earth’s ecological equilibrium.

There are two types of the cause of pollution, natural and man-made. Natural pollution occurs naturally and won't cause excessive harm to our lives due to its regeneration ability. While the man-made pollution is caused by human activities, and hard to get rid of. The backbones of man-made pollution are human population and technology. Naturally human needs contact to the environment, we get resources from nature. This is for the sake of living. By the increase of human population, the contact is getting more intensive, because needs are increasing. And by the findings and development of new technologies, human can apply them to get the resources. And it's common that new technologies would bring their respective side effects besides their advantages. 

Now you can see, small population with any level of technology wouldn't have to exploit the nature overwhelmingly. But big population with any level of technology will surely exploit the nature more, and even overwhelmingly, this is all for the needs of the people.

What we have to say about this problem? If we bring this topic out to people in general, politicians and industrialists alike, there is an immediate agreement that pollution is wrong and it must be prevented. But we have to ask ourselves, what is the degree of pollution globally now and the efforts taken to combat it. Is pollution now overpowering us? But we can be assured as the world goes on, zero pollution can never be achieved. At least, we should give an effort to minimize it, regardless of geographical boundaries. 

Pollution is a growing pain. Pollution is not a problem that came suddenly from the sky, it's our fault and has been a part of our life through many years. Can you imagine living in a world where all the things we use are synthetics? Or, losing species that we haven't seen before, that actually can be used to cure cancer or AIDS? We must be wise in managing our resources, and take positive action towards preventing any forms of pollution to the environment. Make the world a better place to live.

And remember, the effort starts from you.

There are 6 (six) types of pollution that are going to be discussed in this site, namely air, water, noise, land, radioactive, and thermal. Please proceed to the following links to learn anyone of them.

 

Air pollution is indication of disturbances to the composition of compounds in the atmosphere, as it may be summarized as shown:

  • excess emission of gases/vapors into atmosphere
  • saturation of chemical compounds/particulates
  • rate of dissipation < (smaller than) rate of absorption through various cycles (i.e. carbon and nitrogen cycle)
  • emergence of new chemical reactions of reactive and non-biodegradable compounds

 

Global warming, acid rain, smog, ozone depletion are some effects of air pollution.

 

In relation to this, we may observe the cycle which involves in our daily lives: carbon and nitrogen cycle. These 2 cycles are the most important of all, regulating the composition of carbon and nitrogen of Earth. Imagine the reverse is to happen.... 

 

See the left bar to discover exciting facts about the atmosphere and air pollution.

 

 

 

Sources and Methods

 
We can classify major sources that lead to air pollution to the following categories:

·         motor vehicle exhaust

·         heat and power generation facilities

·         industrial processes

·         auto manufacturing

·         fertilizers plants

·         building demolition

·         solid waste disposal

·         solvent evaporation

·         volcanic eruption

·         fuel production

·         roadway construction

·         electrical components manufacturing

·         extraction of metals

·         forest fires

·         agriculture

 

Water pollution is contamination of water by foreign matter that deteriorates the quality of the water. Water pollution covers pollutions in liquid forms like ocean pollution and river pollution. As the term applies, liquid pollution occurs in the oceans, lakes, streams, rivers, underground water and bays, in short liquid-containing areas. It involves the release of toxic substances, pathogenic germs, substances that require much oxygen to decompose, easy-soluble substances, radioactivity, etc. that become deposited upon the bottom and their accumulations will interfere with the condition of aquatic ecosystems. For example, the eutrophication: lack of oxygen in a water body caused by excessive algae growths because of enrichment of pollutants.

Water Cycle and Pollution

 

Water cycle is, simply saying, the circulation of water in earth. In fact, the water in the earth's biosphere is used and reused again and again. This is called water cycle or continuous movement of water between the earth and the atmosphere. It involves the following mechanisms:

·         Evaporation: changing of water from liquid to gas

·         Transpiration: Release of water vapor from plant leaves

·         Condensation: changing of vapor to liquid (cooled down)

·         Precipitation: Water that returns to the earth (water droplets in clouds become large enough and there comes the rain).

What's the relation of water cycle and pollution? 

According to the water cycle, naturally, water around us will be absorbed to the land (soil) and rivers will stream from the upstream to the downstream and released to the sea.  In normal situation organic pollutants are biodegraded by microbes and converted to a form that brings benefits to the aquatic life. And for the inorganic pollutants, in the same situation, don't bring to much hazards because they are widely dispersed and have almost no effect to the environment which they are released to.

In a small scale, both inorganic and organic pollutants safely decompose throughout the stream, their concentration decrease in the sea, and they don't harm the sea ecosystem and its distribution. But in an excessive scale, communities in beach and estuary will be affected by the pollutants, and can heavily harm them.  

 

 

 

Sources and Methods

 

We can classify major sources that lead to water pollution to the following categories:
  • petroleum products
  • synthetic agricultural chemicals
  • heavy metals
  • hazardous wastes
  • excess organic matter
  • sediment
  • infectious organisms
  • air pollution
  • thermal pollution
  • soil pollution 

Revered to as soil pollution, land pollution involves the following mechanism:

  • Deposition of solid waste
  • Accumulation of non-biodegradable materials
  • Toxification of chemicals into poisons
  • Alteration of soil chemical composition (imbalance of chemical equilibrium to soil medium)

By as much, land pollution of this has amass globally, everyday threatening the very foundation and mechanical support of every matter on earth. Statistically, it has been shown that:

·         loss of 6 million hectares of land per year

·         loss of 24 billion tons of topsoil per year

·         loss of minimum 15 million acres prime agricultural land to overuse and mismanagement

·         desertification of land results in the lost of 16 million per square miles of world's land surface

The causes for such devastation are generally due to 2 (two) forms of malpractices:

  • Unhealthy soil management methods;
    • improper tillage of soil in which excessive tillage result in the deterioration of soil structure
    • non-maintenance of a proper supply of organic matter in the soil from the imbalance composition of the reserves of organic matter especially nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur unplenished supply after cultivation of vegetation, living the soil prone to soil infertility, unable to stabilize the soil physicality which ultimately let to desertification
    • irregular maintenance of a proper nutrient supply of trace elements gives rise to the use of excessive synthetic fertilizers, which are non biodegradable and accumulate in the soil system which eventually destroys useful organisms such as bacteria, fungi and other organisms
    • improper maintenance of the correct soil acidity which ultimately disrupt the adaptation of various crops and native vegetation of different soils as the solubility of minerals present will be affected. In a more acidic soil, minerals tend to be more soluble and washed away during rainfall while alkaline soil, minerals are more insoluble which form complex minerals unable to be absorbed into the flora system physiological usage.
      • Improper irrigation practices;
        • poorly drained soil result in salt deposits leading to high soil salinity that inhibit plant growth and may lead to crop failure
        • unirrigated land giving rise to stagnation of agriculture waste products which accumulates and increases land toxicity and also decreasing
        • irregular irrigation leads to decreasing moisturization of land for soil medium and replenishments of solvents for minerals
                •  

                   

                  Sources and Methods

                  We can classify major sources that lead to land pollution to the following categories:
                  • agriculture
                  • mining and quarrying
                  • sewage sludge
                  • dredged spoils
                  • household 
                  • demolitions and constructions
                  • industrial

                   

                  This particular pollution is ever increasing with due to the rise in the utilization of heavy duty machineries of industrial facilities and vehicles, synonymous to the increase in the standard of living in most countries. We make sounds practically every seconds of our day, but to the extend it has reached an unfavorable high intensity which had cause many disturbances and irritation to others emotionally that has adverse effects on our daily activities.

                  Noise levels can be measured by decibel method:

                  Decibel - one tenth of a bel where one bel represents a difference in level between two intensities I1, I0 where one is ten times greater than the other. Thus, the intensity level is the comparison of one intensity to another and may be expressed:

                  Intensity level = 10 log10 (I1/I0) (dB)

                  For instance, the difference between intensities of 10-8 watts/m2 and 10-4 watts/m2, an actual difference of 10,000 units, can be expressed as a difference of 4 bels or 40 decibels.

                  These are the few examples of threshold decibels of noises made:

                  Threshold of hearing 0 dB Motorcycle (30 feet 88 dB
                  Rustling leaves 20 dB Food blender (3 feet) 90 dB
                  Quiet whisper (3 feet) 30 dB Subway (inside) 94 dB
                  Quiet home 40 dB Diesel truck (30 feet) 100 dB
                  Quiet street 50 dB Power mower (3 feet) 107 dB
                  Normal conversation 60 dB Pneumatic riveter (3 feet) 115 dB
                  Inside car 70 dB Chainsaw (3 feet) 117 dB
                  Loud singing (3 feet) 75 dB Amplified Rock and Roll (6 feet) 120 dB
                  Automobile (25 feet) 80 dB Jet plane (100 feet) 130 dB

                  Other noise measurement systems are:

                  • community noise equivalent level
                  • composite noise rating 
                  • equivalent energy level
                  • noise and number index
                  • noise exposure forecast 
                  • noise criterion
                  • noise level
                  • noise pollution level
                  • noise rating
                  • perceived noise level
                  • traffic noise index
                  • sound level
                  • sound level meter
                  • sound pressure level
                  • world soundscape project

                   

                  Sources and Methods

                   
                  We can classify major sources that lead to noise pollution to the following categories:

                  ·         road traffic noise

                  ·         air traffic

                  ·         rail traffic

                  ·         neighborhood and domestic noise

                  ·         incompatible land use

                  ·         industrial noises

                   

                  The 40's was the era where the first nuclear bomb is being developed, and that's why it's called the nuclear era. However, nuclear energy has already researched back since 1900. Nuclear era reached its greatest peak in the world war, by showing its massive ability of destroying things.

                  Nuclear energy is a form of energy that’s released by the splitting of atoms. Since scientists have found a way to make use of the energy, it has also been used to generate electricity.

                  Nuclear energy has been recognized as a clean energy because it doesn’t release pollutants such as CO2 to the atmosphere after its reaction that could damage our environment. It's also known that nuclear energy has reduced the amount of greenhouse gas emission, reducing emissions of CO2 for about 500 million metric tons of carbon.

                  Despite the advantage of nuclear as a clean energy, the big concern is the waste resulted from nuclear reaction, which is a form of pollution, called radioactivity. Radioactivity is a form of radiation (a form of energy that travels through space). Some elements in this world are naturally radioactive while some others are made to be. Radioactivity is emitted when a radioactive element become unstable and begin to decay in the attempt to regain their molecular stability. When an element decays, it emits energy and small particles. If it’s still radioactive, it will repeat the process, until it finally regains its molecular stability and stop decaying. The time that it takes for half way of decaying process is called half-life, and this differs for each radioactive element. It possibly takes up to 4.5 billion years (Uranium 238) and as short as 8 days (Iodine 131). This process constantly remains, not considering external factors such as pressure or temperature. This process is expressed in units called becquerels. One becquerel is equal to one disintegration of nuclei per second. 

                  There are commonly three types of radiation, namely:

                  • Alpha particles, can be blocked by a piece of paper and human skin.
                  • Beta particles can penetrate through skin, while can be blocked by some pieces of glass and metal.
                  • Gamma rays can penetrate easily to human skin and damage cells on its way through, reaching far, and can only be blocked by a very thick, strong, massive piece of concrete.

                   

                   

                  Sources and Methods

                   

                  We can classify major sources that lead to radioactive pollution to the following categories:

                  ·         nuclear power plants

                  ·         nuclear weapon

                  ·         transportation

                  ·         disposal of nuclear waste

                  ·         uranium mining

                   

                  This has become an increasing and the most current pollution, owing to the increasing call of globalization everywhere. Heat produced from industries is a major contribution to the pollution, much to the operation of the heavy industries which produces high amount of heat energy. As we will show a summary to the event of this pollution happening:

                  • Raw materials for productivity (organic and inorganic products)
                  • Undergo different chemical reactions with several process
                  • Excess heat energy is produced as a waste product
                  • Heat is released through into atmosphere (vapor) and riverine system (liquid).
                  • Increase of temperature of environmental system  

                  n view of the pollution, global temperature had increased significantly.

                  Measurements of atmospheric temperature are done by meteorological center of the weather forecast annually, and the graph to detect the temperature trend from a period of 10 years will be compared with the previous batch of period. Thus we may be able to know the rate of temperature increase overall and make reference to the standard level of heat that should be maintain in the atmosphere to avoid large deviation of heat in the system.

                   

                  Sources and Methods


                   

                  We can classify major sources that lead to thermal pollution to the following categories:
                  • power plants creating electricity from fossil fuel
                  • water as a cooling agent in industrial facilities
                  • deforestation of the shoreline
                  • soil erosion

                  Pollutants are any substances that under excessive quantity in a wrong place and a wrong time will cause impurity to the living environment. Simply put, they're the things that cause pollution. Pollutants can be chemicals, ashes, sediment, organisms, heat, radiation, etc. which if exposed to the living environment will cause bad effects.

                  In this section we will discuss some of common pollutants exist today: the characteristics, uses and effects. Please click below to learn more: