What Causes Pollution?


Quick Answer

Pollution has many causes, including excessive fuel burning, industrial wastes, pesticides, oil spills and unwanted chemicals being absorbed into the soil. The primary kinds of pollution are air, water and soil pollution, but certain areas can suffer from radioactive pollution, heat pollution, noise pollution and light pollution.

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What Causes Pollution?
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Full Answer

Air pollution is the most dangerous form of pollution and comes from the chemicals released by the burning of various fuels. Some fuel is burned for cooking, heating and driving, while some is burned for industrial manufacturing. The burning of coal greatly contributes to air pollution because the smoke coming from factories, chimneys, wood burning and vehicles releases sulphur dioxide into the air.

A leading source of air pollution is carbon dioxide emissions from the use of motor vehicles. Other major contributors are the byproducts of industrial processes like mining, manufacturing, construction and certain aspects of agriculture. Power production by way of burning coal is also a significant contributor to air pollution.

A major cause of water pollution is disposal of industrial waste in the ocean. This improperly balances the water, which can lead to the death of species living in the ocean. Pesticides and oil spills also cause major pollution to the water as does the use of detergent for cleaning near major bodies of water.

Soil pollution is caused by pesticides and insecticides absorbing the nitrogen compounds of the soil, which prevents plants from getting sufficient nutrition from that soil. Deforestation, industrial waste and mining can also make the ground unsuitable for plant life.

Of the lesser causes of pollution, noise pollution is caused by loud noises, such as loud music and industrial machinery. Radioactive pollution comes from improperly handled radioactive material. Heat pollution comes from industry and air pollution raising an area's temperature higher than it should be. Light pollution can come from excess lighting, such as billboards or sporting events.

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