Environmental concerns or environmental issues are the negative effects of anthropogenic activity (human activity) on the environment. The action of protecting the natural environment from these harmful effects is referred to as environmental protection. Some common environmental concerns and the actions that can be taken to curb their impact on the environment and effectively tackle them are provided in this article.
Soil pollution, also known as soil contamination, refers to the pollution of soil due to either natural or anthropogenic causes. Typical causes of soil pollution include heavy and inefficient industrial activity, excessive and unnecessary usage of agricultural chemicals, and the improper disposal of waste. Soil pollution is also caused by the burying of waste in landfills. Therefore, using smarter alternatives to plastic such as jute or cloth can help to tackle this environmental issue.
Contaminated soil directly affects human health via direct contact with soil or by the inhalation of vaporised soil contaminants. There is a much greater risk of penetration of soil contamination into aquifers of groundwater used for human activity, often in places seemingly far from any apparent source of ground-level pollution. The production of pollution-related diseases continues to result in this.
Water pollution, typically as a consequence of human activities, is the contamination of water bodies. Lakes, oceans, aquifers, rivers, and even groundwater, can be classified as water bodies. When pollutants are introduced into the natural world, water contamination is known to occur. For example, the release into natural water bodies of inadequately or improperly treated wastewater can lead to damage to (or the destruction of) aquatic habitats. In fact, for individuals living downstream, this may lead to public health concerns. For irrigation or drinking or bathing, they may use the same polluted river water. Water contamination, for example, due to water-borne diseases, is known to be one of the world’s leading causes of death and disease.
The primary water pollutants include viruses, parasites, bacteria, pesticides, pharmaceutical products, fertilisers, phosphates, nitrates, faecal waste, plastics, and also radioactive substances. These substances may not always change the colour associated with the water, implying that they often behave as invisible pollutants.
Air pollution can be defined as the pollution of the atmosphere with substances that are harmful to the health of humans and other living beings. Substances that can disturb the climate balance and bring on climate change (such as greenhouse gases) are also classified as air pollutants. Common types of air pollutants include carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen (nitrous oxides), ammonia, sulfur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (often abbreviated to CFC), and methane. Nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxide are primarily generated from the combustion of fossil fuels in automobile engines. Therefore, using green transport alternatives is a great move for the prevention of air pollution. It is important to note that air pollution can cause numerous diseases in human beings and also spark allergic reactions in humans. It can also be noted that some natural processes can also cause air pollution (although the majority of air pollution is caused by human activity).