11 Types of Pollution

When we talk about pollution, we normally refer to the negative alteration of the environment through the indiscriminate introduction of physical or chemical agents.

However, many times these agents are ignored by us, since we only take care of what we see, which does not allow us to become aware. Therefore, it is necessary to know the main types of pollution.

Pollution by Garbage

Types of pollution

It refers to the accumulation of solid waste in the environment and whose proportions generate lateral problems such as the alteration of the life of the species (flora and fauna).

Although garbage refers to all kinds of waste material, organic or not, those that have the worst effects on the environment are non-biodegradable materials such as plastic, metals, electronic scrap, batteries and synthetic materials, among others.

Garbage pollution not only affects the earth’s surface, but also outer space, in which case it is called space debris. This is caused by the accumulation of debris from rockets, satellites and other artificial elements in space.

Soil and subsoil contamination

Types of pollution

It consists of the infiltration of substances that compromise the fertility of the soil and the subsoil, and contaminate the underground water sources. Agents of soil and subsoil contamination can be substances such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

See also soil contamination.

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Water pollution

Types of pollution

It refers to the contamination of water sources such as rivers and seas due to the release of toxic substances, either by natural processes or by human activity. This endangers the life of aquatic species, compromises the potability of the water for human beings and/or makes it harmful for crop irrigation. As an example, we can mention oil spills or industrial waste thrown into water sources.

Atmospheric pollution

Types of pollution

Also known as pollution, it is the accumulation of toxic particles and gases in the atmosphere. At this time the most serious case comes from the accumulation of COtwo in the environment, which produces a greenhouse effect that alters the earth’s temperature. Air pollution has direct effects on human health.

See also global warming.

Sonic or acoustic pollution

It is one that is produced by the accumulation of excessive noise, whose frequencies affect the life of the species that inhabit said environment, including, of course, the human being. For example, the noise produced by air traffic (airplanes) and land traffic (cars, trucks and motorcycles), the construction of buildings, noise from industry, sound amplification, etc.

Visual contamination

Visual contamination

It consists of the accumulation of excessive visual information that prevents the appreciation of the local landscape, whether rural or urban, and generates effects on human health and behavior. For example, the abuse in the use of billboards or surface electrical wiring.

See also visual pollution.

Light pollution

Types of pollution

Light pollution is caused by the excessive use of artificial light, and produces effects such as the impossibility of seeing celestial bodies at night, loss of orientation and alteration of the biorhythm (problems in the sleep cycle) of the species.

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Electromagnetic pollution

Types of pollution

It is produced by electromagnetic discharges from high-tech artifacts, responsible for causing disorientation problems in animal species. Today there is discussion about its effects on human beings. Some think that this type of discharge may be related to the spread of cancer.

thermal pollution

Types of pollution

It refers to changes in environmental temperature caused by human intervention. For example, the warming of certain geographical areas as a result of deforestation.

Radioactive pollution

Types of pollution

It is generated by the release of radioactive substances in the environment, from nuclear plants. They are highly dangerous, as they can cause serious diseases and genetic mutations in all species. This is the case, for example, of the Chernobyl accident.

See also Radioactive contamination.

food contamination

There is talk of food contamination when food is contaminated by toxic substances. This may be a consequence of a lack of hygiene, as well as the conjunction of several elements such as the use of contaminated water for agriculture, the alteration of the cold chain, etc.

See also Causes and consequences of environmental pollution.