What is the definition of pollution?


Quick Answer

Pollution is defined as the bringing of unsafe or toxic substances into the environment, such as the soil, the air and water. The act of polluting usually renders the environment less safe than it was before.

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Full Answer

Pollution is a phenomenon that can take place through natural means. For instance, volcanic eruptions can pollute the surrounding areas, including the atmosphere. However, a modern pollution problem is man-made pollution, which greatly impacts the environment. Through this contamination, organisms living in the impacted area are affected because many of their adaptations suddenly become useless with the environment having changed too quickly.

Pollution can also refer to the flooding of artificial light, noise or heat. Light pollution occurs when the city lights prevent seeing the night sky clearly. Noise pollution refers to noise that is too loud and has the potential to be harmful. Thermal pollution happens when hot water is thrown into a lake or river, thus changing its temperature, and endangering the lives of the organisms living there.

Air pollutants are extremely dangerous, not just for animals but also for humans. In fact, they are a major contributor to conditions such as lung cancer, asthma, stroke and even heart disease. This is because air pollution leads to worse air quality, a trend that keeps becoming stronger because of greenhouse gas emissions.

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