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Chapter: 6th Science : Term 3 Unit 4 : Our Environment

Types of Pollution

There are four major kinds of pollution: 1. Air pollution 2. Water pollution 3. Land (soil) pollution 4. Noise pollution

Types of Pollution

There are four major kinds of pollution:

1. Air pollution

2. Water pollution

3. Land (soil) pollution

4. Noise pollution

 

1. Air pollution


Most air pollution is caused by the burning of fossil fuels (e.g. oil, petrol, coal and natural gas). These fossil fuels are used in factories (industries), power plants and motor vehicles. Burning these fossil fuels release toxic gases and fine particles (such as ash and soot) into the air causing air pollution. Air pollution is also caused by burning solid waste (especially some plastics), gases or chemicals released from factories and fumes from aerosols (like deodorant spray cans) or paints.

Certain toxic gases produced by industries mix with raindrops high in the atmosphere and make rain unusually acidic. This is called acid rain. It damages plants, washes the nutrients out of soils and kills fish. Air pollution is harmful to all living organisms including humans. Polluted air affects skin, eyes and respiratory system.

How can we reduce air pollution?

1. Cycle or walk short distances instead of using a motor vehicle.

2. Travel by public transport (bus or train)

3. Do not burn solid waste.

4. Avoid fireworks.

 

2. Water pollution


Water pollution occurs when wastes from factories, houses and farms mixes with the water in rivers, lakes, ponds, the ocean or even groundwater. Contaminated or polluted water can spread diseases and chemicals which are not good for our health.

The most significant sources of water pollutants are

1. Sewage (water we use at home for bathing, cleaning, cooking).

2. Industrial effluents (liquid wastes from factories).

3. Agricultural pollutants (chemical pesticides and fertilisers that get washed from farms).

4. Solid waste (when waste gets dumped into water bodies).

How can we reduce water pollution?

1. Do not pour leftover oil, old medicines or waste down the drain or into the toilet.

2. Reduce the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers to grow crops.

3. Use waste water for garden in home.

4. Do not litter or dump waste – always use a waste bin.

 

3. Land (soil) pollution


In the same way as water and air get polluted, land or soil pollution happens when toxic chemicals change the natural balance in soil. Land pollution comes from farming (Excess use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers), mining (digging up metals and other materials), factories (industrial waste) and the solid waste from our own homes like plastics and broken electronics. Soil pollution affects animals, humans and even plants because soil or land acts like a sponge. When it rains, pollutant sinkss into the soil. If we grow plants to eat in polluted soils, these dangerous chemicals can get into our food.

How can we reduce land pollution?

1. First try to reduce waste, then recycle the rest.

2. Always use a waste bin and never litter.

3. Do not burn waste, the ash mixes easily with soil.

 

4. Noise pollution


Noise pollution affects the environment. We all like a quiet and peaceful place since unpleasant or loud sounds disturb us. Loud music, the sounds of motor vehicles, fire works and machines cause noise pollution. Continuous noise disturbs our sleep and does not let us to study. Noise pollution has been directly linked to stress and health impacts such as high blood pressure and hearing loss. Loud noise or even loud music can damage our ears. Noise pollution also disturb animals. Birds have to communicate (talk) louder so that, they can hear each other in noisy areas. Even underwater noise pollution from ships, can make whales lose their way as they use sounds to navigate.

How do we reduce noise pollution?

1. Turn off your electronics when you do not use them.

2. Lower the volume when you watch TV or listen to music.

3. Remind drivers not to use the horn too much.

4. Avoid fireworks.

5. Speak, do not shout (try to set an example).

Classroom Exercise

Identify who am I?

1. I am the type of pollution caused by burning of fossil fuels like petrol or coal and the smoke of burning garbage. I float around and cause breathing problems. I am Air pollution.

2. I am the type of pollution caused by loud sounds and I can cause serious damage to your ears and also affect sleep. In India, I am mainly caused by loudspeakers and honking of air horns of cars. I am Noise pollution.

3. I flow from homes and farms into rivers and lakes. I kill fish and make water unfit for drinking. I am water pollution.

 4. I am the type of pollution caused by using too much chemical fertilizers and pesticides by farmers. I lower the quality of soil and even move chemicals into plant parts which are eaten by people. I am Land pollution.


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