Green revolution is the best solution to arrest the pollution
Deputy Secretary Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority Prime minister Office
Effects of pollution on the Earth include environmental deterioration, impacts on the health of living organisms, global warming, depletion of the ozone layer and reduced efficiency or infertility of farm lands and crop fields. The sources of pollution vary widely, and so do its effects. Pollution affects all areas of the Earth, including the water, soil and atmosphere, on microscopic and macroscopic levels, causing immediate harm or long-term damage.
Environmental degradation is among the primary negative impacts of pollution on the Earth. This includes a decline in air and water quality, which is caused by the introduction of harmful toxins and pollutants. These substances do not generally biodegrade. Instead, they linger in water and the air and disrupt natural processes. One negative effect of air pollution is the addition of surplus amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This creates levels of dense smog, which may prevent sunlight from reaching the earth. In turn, this diminishes the ability of plants to carry out the life-supporting process of photosynthesis. Pollution also reduces air quality, which has detrimental effects on humans and animals by causing respiratory irritation and asthma. Lastly, pollution in the form of insecticides and pesticides may interfere with the growth of crops and introduce toxins into key water sources.
According to Pure Earth, a non-profit environmental organization thatin some of the world’s worst polluted places, babies are born with birth defects, children have lost 30 to 40 IQ points, and life expectancy may be as low as 45 years because of cancers and other diseases. Read on to find out more about specific types of pollution.
It was the industrial revolution that gave birth to environmental pollution as we know it today.
Pollution, contamination of the environment as a result of human activities. The term pollution refers primarily to the fouling of air, water, and land by wastes.
What Are The Causes Of Pollution?
- Industrialization is the first fundamental cause of pollution.It set in motion the widespread use of fossil fuels (oil, gas & coal) which are now themain sources of pollution.
- Population growth is the second fundamental pollution cause.With population numbers literally exploding, the demand for food and other goods goes up. This demand is cause by expanded production and use of natural resources, which in turn leads to higher levels of pollution.
- Globalization is another major cause of pollution.Globalization has become an effective facilitator of environmental degradation. Developing countries usually have much looser laws on environmental protection. With this “benefit” as well as the population growth and easy availability of cheap labor, big industry prefers to move its facilities to such “pollution havens” rather than work in more regulated markets.
Effects of Air pollution
- Respiratory and heart problems:The effects of Air pollution are alarming. They are known to create several respiratory and heart conditions along with Cancer, among other threats to the body. Several millions are known to have died due to direct or indirect effects of Air pollution. Children in areas exposed to air pollutants are said to commonly suffer from pneumonia and asthma.
- Global warming:Another direct effect is the immediate alterations that the world is witnessing due to Global warming. With increased temperatures worldwide, increase in sea levels and melting of ice from colder regions and icebergs, displacement and loss of habitat have already signaled an impending disaster if actions for preservation and normalization aren’t undertaken soon.
- Acid Rain:Harmful gases like nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides are released into the atmosphere during the burning of fossil fuels. When it rains, the water droplets combines with these air pollutants, becomes acidic and then falls on the ground in the form of acid rain. Acid raincan cause great damage to human, animals and crops.
- Eutrophication:Eutrophication is a condition where high amount of nitrogen present in some pollutants gets developed on sea’s surface and turns itself into algae and and adversely affect fish, plants and animal species. The green colored alga that is present on lakes and ponds is due to presence of this chemical only.
- Effect on Wildlife:Just like humans, animals also face some devastating effects of air pollution. Toxic chemicals present in the air can force wildlife species to move to new place and change their habitat. The toxic pollutants deposit over the surface of the water and can also affect sea animals.
- Depletion of Ozone layer:Ozone exists in earth’s stratosphere and is responsible for protecting humans from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Earth’s ozone layer is depleting due to the presence of chlorofluorocarbons, hydro chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere. As ozone layer will go thin, it will emit harmful rays back on earth and can cause skin and eye related problems. UV rays also have the capability to affect crops.
Solutions for Air Pollution
- Use public mode of transportation:Encourage people to use more and more public modes of transportationto reduce pollution. Also, try to make use of car pooling. If you and your colleagues come from the same locality and have same timings you can explore this option to save energy and money.
- Conserve energy:Switch off fans and lights when you are going out. Large amount of fossil fuels are burnt to produce electricity. You can save the environment from degradation by reducing the amount of fossil fuels to be burned.
- Understand the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle:Do not throw away items that are of no use to you. In-fact reuses them for some other purpose. For e.g. you can use old jars to store cereals or pulses.
- Emphasis on clean energy resources:Clean energytechnologies like solar, wind and geothermal are on high these days. Governments of various countries have been providing grants to consumers who are interested in installing solar panels for their home. This will go a long way to curb air pollution.
- Use energy efficient devices:CFL lights consume less electricityas against their counterparts. They live longer, consume less electricity, lower electricity bills and also help you to reduce pollution by consuming less energy.
Several attempts are being made worldwideon personal, industrial and governmental levels to curb the intensity at which Air Pollution is rising and regain a balance as far as the proportions of the foundation gases are concerned. This is a direct attempt at slacking Global warming. We are seeing a series of innovations and experiments aimed at alternate and unconventional options to reduce pollutants. Air Pollution is one of the larger mirrors of man’s follies, and a challenge we need to overcome to see a tomorrow.
Cleaning Smokestacks and Exhaust Pipes3
The leading sources of air pollution are power plants, factories, and vehicles. They constantly emit fumes and gaseous waste into the atmosphere. In power plants and manufacturing industries, electrostatic smoke precipitators that use static electricity to trap soot and dust from the gaseous waste leaving the smokestacks is a significant technological cleaning measure which can be used to control air pollution.
Flue-gas desulfurization (FGD), commonly referred to as scrubbing, is as well another means of providing a technical solution to Sulfur Oxide emissions. Scrubbing is a process that chemically eliminates the sulfur oxide gasses leaving the smokestacks. Power plans can also be retrofitted with carbon capturing technologies that trap emitted carbon dioxide.
Vehicles with gasoline powered engines are fitted with catalytic converters on the exhaust pipe to reduce the exhaust gas emissions. Constantimprovements to gasoline that combusts cleaner and production of more energy efficient cars have been an additional strategy for reducing vehicle emissions. All these processes and methods are called emission reduction strategies.
- Laws and Regulations
Some national and state or international policies can be used to control air pollution. Legislation and regulations always offer a fantastic measure for tackling the air pollution menace. Many cities and countries that were once heavily polluted have substantially attained clean air mainly due to the institutionalization of anti-pollution laws.
In England, for instance, following the 1952 smog tragedy that claimed thousands of lives in London, the government launched its Clean Air Act of 1956 which placed limits on burning coal and required industries to build higher smokestacks. In the United States, a series of Clean Air Acts have been passed to curb air pollution.
International cooperation and organizations such as the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN), and environmental programs have also devised clean air acts and directives to reduce air pollution. Examples include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Air Acts. A number of states and governing actions or policies can also be undertaken to reduce emissions. Quality air control protocols and standards such as the installation of pollution control devices or buying emission allowance can be used effectively as execution strategies for reducing the adverse effects of air pollution.
- Use of Renewabl2e or Green Energy Sources
Fossil fuel and coal are the main contributors to air pollution. Therefore, opting for alternative or renewable energy sources to produce power presents a practical solution to air pollution. Alternative energy sources include wind energy, geothermal energy, solar energy, and hydro-power. If people can harness a variety of these energy sources instead of relying on fossil fuels or coal energy, air pollution can reduce more than threefold.
Natural gas, fuel cells, and batteries can as well substitute the use of fossil fuels as cleaner energy sources. Still, it is important to evaluate correctly some of these alternative energy sources because aside from their benefits, some of them come with different environmental and economic costs. Essentially, investing more in renewable and sustainable energy sources reduces pollution at the same time protects the future.
- Individual Level Prevention Methods
Multifarious ways can be used at the individual level to reduce or prevent air pollution. Foremost, individuals who are aware of the causes and effects of pollution can encourage family, friends, or colleagues to use the bus, train or bike when moving from one place to another. For shorter distances, it is even better just to walk or ride a bike1. By doing so, there will be lesser vehicles on the road and as such, less emission.
Energy conservation by using energy wisely is also a viable individual measure for reducing air pollution. The logic here is that high amounts of fossil fuels are burned to produce the energy used for cooking, heating, or lighting. In this sense, saving energy cuts down air pollution. Another measure is re-using some of the utilities we depend on such as plastic bags, papers, or bottles because their production creates loads of pollution.
- Raising Awareness through Campaigns and Advocacy
As much as anti-pollution laws are established and technological advancements progressively aim at minimizing air pollution, it is not just enough. Awareness creation is the number one factor to consider because it will make people realize and understand the sources and effects of air pollution. From this point, it makes it easier for people to take personal or collective initiatives to reduce air pollution.
As previously witnessed, it takes serious tragedies to occur like the Chernobyl catastrophe for actions to be taken. Nevertheless, raising awareness through campaigns and advocacy can significantly address such situations from happening in the first place. It can simply be done through an educative process that helps people realize the causes and effects of air pollution. In any case, people contribute to air pollution in multiple ways without even knowing. By raising awareness, it can help minimize the causes of air pollution.
Water Pollution Solution
Water pollution has become a growing concern over the last century as more and more waste is being disposed of in our oceans, rivers and lakes.
This increase in pollution is harming our food supplies, drinking water and environment. It is also creating issues in the oceans ecosystem and hurting the animals and plant life that rely on the ocean and rivers for their survival.
1) Practice Responsible Use of Fertilizer, Herbicides & Pesticides
Surface runoff of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers into water bodies changes a water body’s natural ecosystem. These chemicals can kill plants, insects and animals in (and around) the affected waters, as well as create an environment that is costly to recover. Additionally, the reach of the contaminated water is magnified, when one considers that water flows from one source to another, until it reaches the ocean. With each populated area that contaminated water passes, it picks up more chemicals and pollutants. The polluted water also often makes its way into the water tables and the public water system, which means it’s in the drinking water you access.
The simplest solution for water pollution prevention is to be responsible with any chemical use:
- Use organic options whenever possible. (Check your local stormwater division for suggestions.)
- Prevent spills. As spills are generally accidental, prepare in advance to contain and absorbthe solution if there is a spill.
- Don’t leave the unused chemicals exposed to weather. Dispose of the leftover chemicals and container properly (per the product instructions, or check with your local municipality).
- Do not apply near water systems like wells, streams, lakes, or curb inlets/drains.
*Note: these guidelines also apply to other chemicals, such as oil and even soaps and detergent
2) Minimize Storm water Runoff
Whether a small home-based project, or a large commercial construction project, with a little advanced planning you can minimize water pollution from stormwater runoff on your property or site and avoid costly fines. Any soil that’s exposed without some sort of erosion control in place is subject to wind and water erosion. Even though sediment erosion is a natural form of water pollution, it has more of an impact than you realize. Sediment in an aquatic environment screens out sunlight, changes the water temperatures, inhibits photosynthesis (which leads to the decline of plant growth), disrupts the food chain, and ultimately leads to a decline of species the water eco-system. Depending on the duration of exposure, there are several practical choices available for protecting exposed soil:
Capture and Dispose of Floating Pollution in Waterway
Floating pollution can be contained and retrieved relatively easy with a floating boom. Booms are designed to act as a barrier for floating water pollution. Depending on how you install the boom, you can either contain, deflect, or exclude floating debris. From trash or seaweed to oil, there are booms to control almost any floating pollutant into a manageable area for disposal. There are many ways to use boom, but they generally fall under one of two categories: debris boom and oil boom.
Capture and Filter Sediment Laden Water in Waterways
Shoreline construction projects disturb and expose soil, creating situations where exposed soil is washed into the nearby water body. This creates murky sediment laden (turbid) water that has a significant negative impact on the marine environment. It harms all of the aquatic life in the area, including plants, fish, insects, and animals. Turbid water can also be created by events that stir up the sediment on the marine floor. For example, a pipe or stream that discharges into a water body at a high velocity stirs up the sediment on the floor and creates turbidity. Dredging projects and in-water construction projects (like building docks, power line pylons, etc.) also generate water turbidity that needs to be managed. Turbidity barriers are the most common solution for controlling sediment filled waters are (also known as silt curtains). They are floating barriers designed to contain the turbid water, forcing the sediment to settle in the contained area.
Companies that develop products and goods should focus on developing materials that are eco-friendly and recyclable.
The more recyclable components there are in the products they sell the better it is for the environment and by allowing people to reship or resell the old materials companies can save money by reusing the parts that they obtain.
Sixth, reduce, recycle & reuse. Companies can find better ways to reduce the amount of materials they use to create their products, recycle left over materials and reuse or re-purpose materials that may not work with their existing products.
- Buy biodegradable products.
- Store all liquid chemicals and waste in spill-proof containers.
- Eat organic foods that are grown without pesticides. Look out for fertilizer or pesticide free products when you go to the market.
- Don’t use pesticides if you can.
- Use a drip tray to collect engine oil.
- Buy products that have little packaging.
- Don’t dump motor oil on the ground.
How Can We Protect and Conserve Our Environment?
In essence, the 3 Rs -Reduce, Reuse and Recycle are still as relevant and important as ever. Here are 10 simple ways to conserve and protect the environment through small changes to your daily routine for a better world for you, your family, your community and all living things now and forever.
1. Create a compost pit in your garden or use a compost bin. This helps recycle food waste and other biodegradable materials.
2. When going shopping, make it a habit to bring your own Eco-bags and say no to plastic bags as much as possible.
3. Join as many tree planting trips as you can.
4. If possible, try carpooling to work, business presentations, events, or even to run errands. Think of ways you can reduce the number of trips you make using your car.
5. Reduce emissions from cars by walking or cycling. These are not just great alternatives to driving, they are also great exercise.
6. Use public transport, when you can, for everyday travel.
7. Send your drinking bottles, paper, used oil, old batteries and used tires to a depot for recycling or safe disposal; all these very cause serious pollution.
8. Do not pour chemicals and waste oil on to the ground or into drains leading to bodies of water.
9. Wherever possible, separate biodegradable and recyclable waste from non-biodegradable and work to reduce the amount of non-biodegradable or recyclable waste.
10. Reduce the amount of meat you eat, or even better become vegetarian.