You may have heard the saying about how our planet is dying and that’s happening because of us. For the most part, that’s true. It’s the industrial and technological developments, alongside urban expansions and explosions, that really take their toll on the environment. The worst part of all is that this environmental destruction isn’t only resumed to chopping off trees and swapping green spots and parks for cities and towns. Pollution plays a decisive part too and, unfortunately, there are more types of pollution to choose from.
While the first thing that might come to mind when thinking about pollution is car gas and all the deadly substances and waste dumped into water sources, we are affecting our planet in more ways than we think. To know exactly what we’re facing, we wrote a brief list exhibiting the most damaging types of pollution.
#1 Oil Spills
Marine oil spills have been more and more frequent lately, polluting our seas and oceans. Above the aesthetic damage (which doesn’t really matter in the long run), the most disastrous aspect of it all is the effect oil spills have on the ecosystem. Aquatic creatures get poisoned and die, further endangering birds that get their food from the waters.
Just like a domino, we are being plunged into a chain reaction that stretches all the way to fisheries, industries, and economic disasters. It’s not an issue that can be solved overnight, but trying to find a solution for it will certainly take less than the decades it takes for the ecosystem to recover from something like this.
#2 Radioactive Waste
The issue of radioactive waste isn’t something that is that much of a general problem, especially given the fact that we seem to be thoroughly aware of the dangers nuclear power stations and factories bring. However, being of the gravest types of pollution, it does take its toll regardless of frequency and rarity.
Nuclear power plants and nuclear weapon reprocessing are the main sources for radioactive waste, but these types of pollution can also come from medical fields, coal mining, or oil processing. Radioactive waste can contaminate the air and water, with the former being the worst of all. Often leading to radiation poisoning, it’s one of the types of pollution that can directly evolve into cancer.
#3 Mercury and Lead Pollution
Like in the case of radioactive threats, the danger isn’t immediate unless you find yourself directly next to a mining site. However, being as incredibly damaging and dangerous as it is, this kind of pollution can quickly stretch through air and water and affect the lives of millions of people.
Although ore mining is necessary to dig out important resources of metals and minerals, it’s not something that brings out solely everything good the earth has to offer. Near mining camps you can find a variety of chemical minerals and substances, some of the most dangerous including lead, arsenic, chromium, cadmium, asbestos, and, the most dangerous of all, mercury.
#4 Urban Pollution
If you thought you’re safe because you don’t live anywhere near nuclear power plants and mining sites, here is one of the much more general types of pollution that affect our lives on a daily basis – urban pollution. As more cars keep being built, green spots continue getting chopped down, and as more skyscrapers are designed, our air is becoming increasingly difficult to breathe.
Millions of people die every year because of lung health problems generated by heavy air pollution in big cities. Beijing, Los Angeles, Cairo, and Mumbai are some of the most notoriously polluted cities in the world. Urban pollution is shown to increase cases of asthma, pneumonia, and other grave lung issues.
#5 Plastic Pollution
Just like in the case of our aforementioned problem, this biggest issue with these particular pollution types is that they affect us all on a general level. Plenty of people and organizations have started movements that could put an end to the gathering of waste composed of plastics. This is because many of them are incredibly toxic and can lead to a variety of afflictions and diseases.
Vinyl chloride (also known as PVC) can leave a very damaging mark on endocrine functions and its biodegradation oozes of substances that cause heart and kidney issues. Speaking of biodegradation, the worst part about all of this is that it takes copious amounts of time for plastics to get absorbed into the soil. If you’ve ever wondered why so many green activists are so keen on having plastic recycled as opposed to just dumped on top of a garbage pile, here is your answer.