Introduction : Human numbers, wealth, poverty, technology and beliefs are having planet-wide consequences. The energy and agricultural scenarios have several large environmental implication. One particular concern is certain chemicals that human activities are releasing into the atmosphere. Some of these chemicals are altering the planet’s temperature regulating system, threatening to change the climate and temperature of whole Earth. Others are depleting Earth’s protective layer of stratospheric ozone, increasing the amount of dangerous ultraviolet light reaching ground level. Such changes in the atmosphere is responsible for many health hazards, economic loses, ecological imbalance and destruction of natural resources. Thus, the world community is worried about the future of human society itself.
Environment and it’s pollution : Environment of particular place refers to an aggregate of the geosphere and biosphere obtaining in that place. So, the state of environment of that place is the function of the quantitative and qualitative state of a number of variable indicators of the geosphere and biosphere pertaining to that place.
The variable indicators in geosphere include land, air and water systems with non-living and non biological resources in it, whereas those in biosphere are human beings, various other biological systems as various microorganisms, wildlife, croplands, forests, grasslands, wetlands and fisheries etc. Hence, any examination of the state of environment require taking into account the state of these indicators constituting the overall environmental system.
Air pollution : Air consists of the mixture of gases Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon-di-oxide, Nitrus Oxide, Sulfardi-oxide and many other components. To be healthy for human being and the nature all the components should remain in reasonable proportion as
* Carbon dioxide-0.03
* General Gases-0.02
* General Gases-p02
* Water vapour-0.41
However, for numerous reasons, the proportion of these gases may be disordered which must create an unhealthy condition in the air.
1. Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) : This is a complex mixture of solid particles and aerosols suspended in the air. Such as dust, smoke and haze. PM 10 (Particles less than microns in sizes) has the greatest effect on health.
2. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC: These include materials as gasoline, paint solvents and organic cleaning solutions, which evaporate and enter the air in a vapour state.
3. Carbon monoxide (CO).
4. Nitrogen oxides (NOx).
5. Sulphur oxides (SOx) mainly Sulphur dioxide (SOS).
6. Lead and other heavy metals.
7. Ozone and the photochemical oxidants.
8. Air toxins and radon; Toxic chemicals in the air include carcinogenic chemicals, radioactive materials and other chemicals as asbestos, vinyl chloride and benzene that are emitted as pollutants.
Sound pollution : Every human being bears a normal capacity to tolerate certain sound standard. So, when the sound cross the normal audible limits, it becomes polluted. The unit of sound frequency is hertz. We usually hear 15 to 20 kilo hertz frequency sound. Noise is characterized by it’s sound level, it’s frequency spectrum and it’s variations overtime. Because of dealing with large range of numbers, a logarithmic measure called decibel (dB) is used to describe sound level.
The sound level in decibel is defined as follows;
Sound level (dB) = (Some Math)
Where. P= Root mean-square sound pressure (Newton per square meter) and Po = Standard reference pressure corresponding to the weakest audible sound (20 micro newton per square meter).
Land/Soil pollution : Soil pollution means decrease in the necessary components of soil and increase in unexpected components which are harmful to animals and trees. The major sources of soil pollution are wastes such as human wastes, municipal solid waste and industrial waste, chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers used in the agriculture, radioactive wastes, mineral wastes etc. Besides, Polythene and many other undisposable plastic goods are degrading the fertility of land. Unplanned construction works, road digging and other development activities are depleting the soil everyday.
Water pollution : Water pollution means change in the quality of the water which then become unsafe for human beings and other biological systems. One third of the world is composed of water of which 97 percent are salty. Even, the remaining 3 percent also are not usable rather 30 percent of sweet water is at the tropical and ice areas.
Consequences : The immediate effects of environmental pollution could be seen as-
1. Health problems by affecting human health and dives : Environmental pollution causes health hazard in many ways and means. The air pollution causes breathing trouble, nausea, headache, problem in the lung, skin diseases, wheezy bronchitis etc. while sound pollution causes heartbeat, disorder in audibility, excessive pressure on brain and physical illness. By drinking polluted water, people suffer from diarrhea, colera, malaria etc.
2. Ecological problems : The environmental pollution, mainly air pollution, creates ecological problems by disturbing eco-balance, interfering with conservation of natural resources and threatening the existence of species. Increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere result into Ozone layer depletion which in turn causes green house effect.
3. Economic problems : Due to environmental pollution, all the nations, specially developing countries are being degraded economically. It affects the value of human property and materials. It is doing harm to our natural resources like forests, fishes, wilds etc.
Recommended measures : Although the world community is worried about the issue of environmental pollution and a number of programs, policies and proposals have been made to prevent environmental pollution. However, none of these initiatives has been proved to be effective.
1. Public motivation and awareness programs about environment should be promoted.
2. Our civil society must come forward. If the civil society come forward with motivational programs, people will come forward with a movement, which in turn may ensure governmental commitment.
3. As the government agencies are seriously handicapped by inadequacy of personnel, ancillary support, plan and fund, public motivation and awareness programs, aimed at community-based solutions would be a cost effective approach in dealing with this massive problem.
4. Appropriate technology for better disposal, recycling and resource recovery should be searched, and their technical and financial viability should be assessed.
5. Our households should be made it understand that it is their civic responsibility not only to through the wastes randomly rather to keep into the dustbins so that the personnel can easily collect them.
6. Waste minimization and pollution prevention program should be introduced in industries.
7. Unplanned urbanization and industrialization should be stopped. All unauthorized construction, filling and encroachment should be removed.
8. Drainage networks must be kept clear from solid waste, specially polythene bags. Government
commitment to ban polythene should come into reality.
9. Phasing out the use of leaded petrol as soon as possible, stopping the issuance of new licenses and route permits for three wheelers with 2-stroke engines and phasing out the existing 2-stroke engine three wheelers.
10. The sale of loose lubricants should be stopped to prevent adulteration and the use of CNG in vehicles should be promoted.
11. Fines for repeated violation of motor vehicles regulation should be increased and emission standard for all types of vehicles should be established.
12. A package of incentives should be given through policy measures that should also financially benefit the
owners and operators of environment friendly vehicles.
13. The success of efforts to curb air pollution will depend on collaboration among policy makers and stockholders from the environment, transport and energy sector, and dynamic partnerships among the government, private sector and general public. The media have a vital role in building the consensus necessary for such partnerships to develop. Good investigative reporting of the technical issues involved can build the understanding and political support necessary for decisive actions to be taken.
Conclusion: The above discussion shows that environmental pollution has become a threat to our existence in this earth. All the creatures are under the threat of demolition due to change of climate. So, as the best of all creatures, human being should not be indifferent about the situation. We should do our best to protect this earth.