Negative Effects of Pollution on Our Environment

Christine Nguyen '19, Staff Wrter

Pollution has been a universal problem for as long as we can remember, whether it be ocean pollution, noise pollution, or air pollution. It can even be traced back to the Roman times. Now, luckily, there are laws where there are only certain things that factories and such can release into the environment. But is that enough? And the obvious answer to that is: No, it’s not.

It’s been found that most ocean pollution begins on land. Really, any harmful contaminants that aren’t normally part of the given ecosystem, are considered dangerous. At most times, it’s a man-made pollutant.

One common way that chemicals end up in the ocean is when runoff, which could contain farming fertilizers and pesticides from soil, runs off into the ocean. This usually happens when large plots of land are plowed, and the exposed soil erodes during a rainstorm. Other pollutants could include sewage, detergents, herbicides and oil. Lots of these pollutants collect at the ocean floor where they’re consumed by small organisms and are introduced to the food chain.

But solids cause just as much damage as other pollutants, such as foam, plastics, bags, or nets. Marine mammals can sometimes mistake these things as food, and there’s often fatal effects. As for the nets, they can float on for years upon years, fish and mammals can end up entangled in them and then die.

Not many people would think of pollution being anything other than physical. But there have been studies where noise pollution could cause complications also.

The increased presence of constant and/or loud sounds has resulted in disruption of communication, migration, reproduction, and even hunting patterns of countless marine mammals, such as dolphins and whales. These interruptions could come from sonar devices, oil rigs, and ships.

Even on land, these disruptions from factories, and planes can cause many problems for the animals here just as much as they do for the animals in the ocean.

Also, there’s a ton of debate over what is the main cause of air pollution. But one of the most debated causes is the burning of fossil fuels. This includes natural oil, gas, coal, and gasoline which power our vehicles and produce electricity. Burning these fuels can cause acid rain, soot, smog, greenhouse gas leaks, and more.

Not only is the burning of fossil fuels polluting the air, it affects the creatures that depend on and inhale the air daily, including humans.

There are many long term effects that can cause major problems in the future if you are continually exposed to the polluted air. It can affect the lungs of a growing child, and could even cause problems or complicate medical conditions for the elderly. But it can also cause lung cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and heart disease.

It’s a shame that not many people are considerate of the environment. So do be more thoughtful about what you’re releasing into the atmosphere!