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Environmental Pollution
Environmental pollution generally includes noise, light, water, air and land pollution, ozone depleting substances (ODS), radioactive contamination and greenhouse gas emissions.

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is excessive, unpleasant, disruptive noise, which is primarily caused by human activities such as those related to transportation, construction, and poor urban planning that may lead to high noise levels due to close proximity of industrial, commercial and residential buildings.

Light Pollution

Light pollution is excessive, annoying or obtrusive artificial light. Artificial lighting accounts for one fourth of all electricity consumption worldwide. Light pollution sources include indoor and outdoor lighting of industrial, commercial and residential buildings, airports, signs and streets, illuminated sporting venues, etc. Light pollution can cause adverse effects such as sky glow, glare, decreased visibility at night, and like any form of pollution, can cause the general alteration of ecosystems, environmental damage, discomfort, and adverse health effects. Light pollution also destroys nitrate radicals, which prevents the natural night time reduction of atmospheric smog.

Water Pollution

Some of the most common kinds and sources of water pollution include:
  • Urban, agricultural and industrial wastewater
  • Raw sewage (often due to inadequate water treatment, leaks, sewage overflow or runoff)
  • Toxic chemicals used for water treatment or 'purification' (such as chlorine, epichlorohydrin, acrylamide, and the toxic chemical version of fluoride)
  • Natural and manmade toxins, poisons and chemicals, such as arsenic, chemical herbicides and pesticides, petrochemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, bisphenol A (also called 'BPA', used to make polycarbonate polymers, epoxy resins and plastics), nitrates (from human waste/sewage, manure, chemical fertilizers, natural and other sources), and chemical fertilizers containing synthetic or excessive nitrogen oxides, nitrogen, phosphorus and/or potassium
  • Heavy metals and crude copper (usually from industrial wastes and/or home plumbing systems)
  • Biological pathogens (usually from the feces of an infected person, which makes its way into the water supply via sewage, whether due to inadequate purification or overflow into nearby water sources and eventually into city water supplies)
  • Other water pollutants, such as litter, asbestos, eutrophication and ocean dead zones, acid rain, ocean acidification, and radioactive contamination

Air Pollution

Air pollution sources include that from greenhouse gases, radioactive contamination, toxic chemicals (such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone depleting substances, petrochemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, herbicides, pesticides, bisphenol A, and fertilizers containing synthetic or excessive nitrogen oxides, nitrogen, phosphorus and/or potassium), particulate matter, motor vehicle emissions, coal fired power plants, PVC and metals production factories, plastics factories, incinerators, and other human activities such as combustion, construction, mining, agriculture and warfare.

Land Pollution

Land pollution, or soil contamination, includes that from landfills, solid waste (i.e., human and animal feces), radioactive contamination, toxic chemicals (such as hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons called 'CFH', polychlorinated dibenzodioxins called 'dioxins' or 'TCDD', petrochemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, herbicides, pesticides, bisphenol A, and fertilizers with synthetic or excessive nitrogen oxides, nitrogen, phosphorus and/or potassium), and heavy metals such as lead (in some paints, aviation fuels, and in some countries, gasoline), chromium, zinc, cadmium (in rechargeable batteries), MTBE, arsenic and benzine. Polluted soil can become infertile and unsuitable for plants, which can affect other organisms in the food chain, and thereby result in polluted, unhealthy plant based foods and medicines.

Ozone Depletion

Ozone depleting substances (ODS) include chlorine containing compounds such as hydrochloric acid (HCl), chlorine nitrate (ClONO2), methyl chloroform (a solvent), carbon tetrachloride (an industrial chemical), CFCs and related halocarbons, and bromine containing substances such as halons (fire extinguishing agents) and methyl bromide (a produce and soil fumigant). These and other chlorine and bromine containing substabces have atmospheric lifetimes long enough to allow them to be taken by winds into the stratosphere, where they are released and broken down (via dissociation in the presence of UV light), which damages the ozone layer. Greenhouse gases such as C02, CFCs, halogens and other toxic chemicals not only contribute to climate change and global warming due to the greenhouse effect, but also contribute to ozone depletion. Although greenhouse gases such as C02 in the atmosphere contributes to climate change and global warming, C02 also cools the stratosphere, which is expected to increase troposheric ozone (03) depletion in polar regions, and the frequency of holes in the ozone layer. Troposheric ozone depletion causes the stratosphere to absorb less solar radiation, thereby cooling the stratosphere while warming the troposhere. The colder stratosphere then emits less heat energy to the troposhere, resulting in an overall cooling of both the stratosphere and troposhere, and in time, the planet. Holes in the ozone layer could also cause increased surface UV radiation, which could have adverse environmental and health effects on humans, animals, plants, microorganisms, and ecosystems everywhere.

Radioactive Waste

Radioactive contamination from human activities related to nuclear power, nuclear weapons and nuclear waste disposal can occur in the form of radioactive gases, liquids or particles, which can pollute the air, water and land. Radioactive contamination can also alter ecosystems and cause adverse health effects to humans, animals, plants and microbes.

Greenhouse Gases

Greenhouse gases have risen considerably because of human activities since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s. Rising greenhouse gas emissions has and continues to cause a similar rise in average global temperatures, climate change and global warming.
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