Currently, environmental pollution is one of the main problems for the environment on our planet and increases every day with greater social development. There are different types of contamination depending on the part they affect. Each type has its causes and consequences. As it is a global problem, which affects us all, it is important to be informed accordingly and learn what can be done to improve. Therefore, in this AgroCorrn article, we analyze what it is and the different types of environmental pollution .
- What is environmental pollution and the types that exist
- What is water pollution
- The air pollution
- What is soil and subsoil pollution
- What is thermal pollution
- Radioactive contamination
- What is noise pollution
- What is light pollution
- Electromagnetic pollution
- Visual pollution
- What is food contamination
- Microbiological contamination
- Chemical contamination
- Genetic contamination
- Environmental pollution by garbage
- Contamination by CFC’s
- Plastic pollution
What is environmental pollution and the types that exist
We call environmental pollution the introduction into the environment of any type of physical, chemical and / or biological agent that causes harmful changes in the environment . These changes can also affect the health, well-being or survival of biodiversity or in general.
These agents that pollute the environment can be chemical agents such as pesticides, herbicides, polluting gases or cyanide, and not just chemicals such as oil, radiation or urban waste. Different human activities such as industry, commerce or mining, are behind the production of many of these pollutants. For example, you can learn more about this in this AgroCorrn article on How mineral extraction affects the environment .
In this way, environmental pollution is closely associated with the economic and social development of a country, especially if the development occurs without taking into account the consequences for the environment. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out sustainable development.
However, within the pollution of the environment, we distinguish different contaminations and, specifically, we can say that there are many types and depending on the parameter we are looking at (the pollutant, the polluted place, etc.), but here we are talking about 16 types of environmental pollution . The different classes of environmental pollution are the following:
- Water contamination.
- Air pollution.
- Soil contamination.
- Thermal pollution.
- Radioactive contamination.
- Noise pollution.
- Light pollution.
- Electromagnetic pollution.
- Visual contamination.
- Food contamination.
- Microbiological contamination.
- Chemical contamination.
- Genetic contamination.
- Pollution by Garbage.
- Contamination by CFC’s.
- Plastic pollution.
Now that you know the types of environmental pollution , below we will explain what it consists of and what consequences each of them has.
What is water pollution
This type of environmental pollution involves the contamination of different water courses. This pollution affects the animal and plant species that inhabit these waters. Among the causes of environmental pollution that occurs in water are:
- Industrial spills, insecticides or pesticides that modify chemical balances that cause the death of thousands of aquatic organisms.
- Dumping of detergents from washing clothes, which produces eutrophication that blocks the passage of light and oxygen.
- Oil spills caused by large tankers and oil rigs.
- Natural disasters such as floods or hurricanes, which mix water with harmful substances.
- Climate change and global warming.
Extensive information on this type of environmental pollution with this other article on Causes and consequences of water pollution .
The air pollution
This type of environmental pollution alters the chemical and natural composition of the air, affecting all life that inhabits the planet, especially animals. Among the causes of air pollution we find these:
- Gases expelled by combustion engines.
- Gases released by industries, such as sulfur dioxide or carbon monoxide.
- Natural disasters such as fires, which release large amounts of carbon dioxide.
- Burning of waste materials.
- Energy production processes, which release polluting gases.
- Animals like cows.
So that you can learn more about this environmental problem, we show you an infographic about air pollution and health problems that it causes and the different types of air pollution that exist.
What is soil and subsoil pollution
Among the different types of environmental pollution we also find soil pollution , which is usually produced by the use of chemical substances such as pesticides, herbicides or insecticides, which affect soil fertility.
The main affected by this pollution are plants (and indirectly, animals), since they are the ones that feed on the nutrients in the soil. In addition, the absence of plants leads to soil erosion, another problem that is added in the area where there is soil contamination.
In Ecologíaverde we tell you more about soil contamination: causes, consequences and solutions .
What is thermal pollution
This type of pollution occurs as a consequence of changes in the global climate , especially due to an increase in temperature . These modifications are produced artificially by the emission of gases or particles, therefore, it is closely related to air pollution.
The causes may be industries that release large amounts of thermal energy or automobile engines, in addition to the aforementioned gases. This type of pollution leads to major environmental and health problems.
We recommend you read this other post about What is thermal pollution and what are its causes .
This type of environmental pollution is produced by the release of substances that have the ability to emit radioactive waste into the environment, such as beta rays. Causes may include the release of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants, damage to nuclear reactors, or the use of nuclear weapons. This contamination is very harmful to living beings, since radioactive substances directly affect DNA and cause serious malformations and mutations, including diseases.
Here we explain everything about nuclear energy , like what it is and the advantages and disadvantages it has.
What is noise pollution
This type of pollution is produced as a consequence of the excess noise that occurs in cities, especially due to human activities such as vehicles , buildings or the use of heavy machinery.
Noise pollution is not a type of pollution that especially affects the survival of living beings. However, we can say that noise pollution does affect eating and reproductive habits, migrations, produces acoustic problems and a well-being problem.
What is light pollution
This type of environmental pollution occurs especially in cities , as a consequence of human activities. Like noise pollution, it does not excessively affect survival, but it does cause eye diseases, headaches, migraines, it affects eating and reproductive habits, migration or well-being in general.
If you want more information, see this other article on Light pollution: definition, causes and consequences .
Electromagnetic pollution is a type of environmental pollution that occurs as a result of the emission of electromagnetic particles, emitted mainly by human activities such as industrial activities.
Pollution produced by electromagnetism causes diseases and affects different habits of living beings. Although, this type of contamination and its consequences still generates a great debate.
The visual pollution is very common in any city. It is about those visual elements that are present in a site and disturb the aesthetics of the landscape, all those elements that are not natural and that are sending us continuous visual stimuli. An example of this is the lights or advertising, which overwhelms us at every step we take.
This excess of shapes, lights, colors and information causes our brain to be unable to process it. Visual pollution is not only an aesthetic problem, but it causes damage to our health , both ocular, as well as changes in tension or stress.
Here you can learn much more about visual pollution: causes, consequences and solutions .
What is food contamination
The consumption of products, both natural and processed, is one of the main ways in which toxic agents and pollutants enter our body. Although today there are many protocols and controls that seek to avoid toxic elements in food , the reality is that risk 0 never exists and, consequently, the health of animals and people is compromised. If you want to go deeper with this type of environmental contamination, in the following article we will talk about the different types of contamination in food .
The microbial contamination or biological contamination may occur in any medium, soil, water, food, etc. It happens when microscopic organisms invade this area in a way that damages it. For example, microbiological contamination can occur due to:
- The bacteria.
- The virus.
If you want to learn more about this type of contamination, we encourage you to enter this other article on biological contamination: what it is, types and examples .
The chemical pollution is the contamination that occurs when there is an introduction of an external and foreign chemical agent in an ecosystem . It can be caused by wastewater, chemical spillage, leachate , bioaccumulation or sources of emissions into the atmosphere.
To discover more, do not miss this link to more information about Chemical Pollution: what it is, causes and consequences .
The genetic contamination is given when there is a transfer of genetic material . This contamination affects the genetic heritage of a species or a wild population, so it can seriously affect the state of genetic biodiversity , which can lead to a loss of species and, therefore, of biodiversity in an ecosystem or biotope.
Environmental pollution by garbage
One of the most notorious causes of environmental pollution is the accumulation of garbage of all kinds around the world, on land and in the oceans. The garbage pollution is given by the waste produced by human activity that are not managed properly. This causes the degradation of soil, water, health, etc.
To learn more about this topic, delve into this other article on Trash Pollution: causes and consequences .
Contamination by CFC’s
The CFC or chlorofluorocarbons are chemicals that are composed of carbon, fluorine and chlorine and belonging to the group of halocarbons. These products are related to the destruction of the ozone layer , so they pollute the environment, but above all they affect the ozone layer.
We encourage you to learn more about it with this other article about CFCs or chlorofluorocarbons: what they are, examples and products .
Due to the overconsumption of plastics and their mismanagement as waste, contamination by plastics appears , both large and microscopic (microplastics). This pollution affects the entire environment, there is it in the land, in the water and in the health of organisms, including our health.
Don’t miss these informative articles on Plastic Pollution: causes, consequences and solutions and What are microplastics: definition and types .
If you want to read more articles similar to Types of environmental pollution , we recommend that you enter our Pollution category .
Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.