Here is a compilation of essays on ‘Environmental Pollution’ for class 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Environmental Pollution’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay on Environmental Pollution
- Essay on the Definition of Environmental Pollution
- Essay on Environmental Pollution in Rural Areas
- Essay on Environmental Pollution in Urban Areas
- Essay on the Classification of Environmental Pollution
- Essay on the Adverse Effects of Environmental Pollution
- Essay on the View of Mahatma Gandhi on Environmental Pollution
- Essay on the Functions of the Central Board on Environmental Pollution
- Essay on the Prevention of Environmental Pollution
Essay # 1. Definition of Environmental Pollution:
Pollution means the addition of any foreign material (inorganic, biological or radiological) or any physical change which may harm fully affecting the living life (human, agricultural or biological) directly or indirectly, immediately, after sometime or after a very long time.
The word pollution has been taken from the Latin word-Pollutionem, meaning defilement from polluere, to soil or defile (make dirty). Later on Oxford English Dictionary used the word pollute with reference to physical contamination of terrestrial or aquatic environments in nineteenth Century. In 20th century the word pollution was used with reference to contamination of water, soil and air.
According to general thinking of people, pollution means the introduction into natural waters of anything that to them appears to be foreign. But this idea neither includes the concept of measurable change in the receiving water nor the concept of reduction in the value of that water for any use by man.
In 1952 Coulson and Forbes defined pollution as the addition of something to water which changes its natural qualities so that the riparian proprietor does not get the natural water of the stream transmitted to him.
According to the report of the Environmental Pollutional Panel of the U.S. President’s Science Advisory Committee (1965). The Environmental pollution is the un-favourable alteration of our surroundings, wholly or largely as a by-product of man’s actions, through direct or indirect effects, of changes in energy patterns, radiation levels, chemical and physical constitution and abundance of organisms.
In 1966 National Research Council Committee on Pollution gave a report in which pollution is defined as an undesirable change in the physical, chemical or biological characteristics of our air, land and water that may or will harmfully affect human life or that of over desirably species, our industrial processes, living conditions and cultural assets or that may or will waste or deteriorate our raw material resources.
Pollution is the contamination into a natural environment, usually by humans. Environmental pollution is the biggest problems to the human race on this planet today. It means adding impurity to environment. The environment consists of earth, water, air, plants and animals. If we pollute them, then the existence of man and nature will be hampered.
The specific types of pollution are Land pollution, Air Pollution, Water pollution (Oceans, rivers, ground water), Plastic pollution, Noise pollution, Light pollution, space Ozone layer and many more. Our earth is becoming warmer. If pollution continues, the day is not far when our earth will be a boiling pan and become a deserter it will be covered with sea water causing destruction of mankind.
Environmental pollution is caused due to over-use of natural resources, presence of a large number of people and livestock in congested areas, use of agro-chemicals, setting up of factories, running of automobiles, burning of fuel, etc.
A change in the environment due to pollution also affects the ecological balance. Environmental pollution is caused both in rural and urban areas. Pollution can cause sickness and discomfort. It also affects the productivity of natural resources, such as land, water, forests and livestock. We can prevent environmental pollution if we understand its causes.
Essay # 2. Environmental Pollution in Rural Areas:
In rural areas, pollution takes place around the houses, colonies and public places.
(i) Pollution around houses:
In rural areas, most of the houses are poorly ventilated because of small windows and low roofs. Keeping livestock inside the house is an old practice. In the absence of toilets, villagers use open fields. As the families grow, the number of houses increase and the colonies become congested. Thus, pollution occurs in many ways.
(ii) Air pollution:
In most of the rural houses, traditional chulhas are used for cooking food. Due to a poorly ventilated kitchen and wet fuel wood, the chulha generates a lot of smoke. The smoke inhaled by a rural woman is equivalent to the smoking of 200 cigarettes every day. Imagine what will happen then? Smoke also affects their health and harms their eyes and lungs. The coal used for cooking also releases smoke, with harmful gases. This pollution can be prevented by replacing old chulhas with improved smokeless chulhas. Such chulhas also reduce the requirement of fuel wood. A kitchen can be properly ventilated by installing large windows and fixing a chimney on the roof.
A better way of preventing smoke is to install a biogas plant. This would facilitate smokeless cooking at a low cost, besides producing good quality farmyard manure, useful for increasing food production. Keeping livestock inside the house attracts insects like flies, ticks and mosquitoes. Dung and urine release ammonia, methane and other harmful gases having bad odour. Hence, the animals should be kept outside and the dung should be stored properly in manure pits, away from the house.
Dust from barren fields, over-grazed pastures and roads pollute the air. Inhalation of dust can cause sore throat, cough and breathing disorders. We can reduce the dust by planting trees around houses, along roads and in pastures.
(iii) Water pollution:
Where do we get drinking water from? It may be from a well, tank canal or river. But it is the rain water which fills these sources. Some portion of the rain water percolates into the ground and reaches the wells and the remaining water flows into rivers. The area near the well should be clean and must not be used for manure pits, toilets and urinals. This will prevent the entry of dirt into the well along with rain water. Washing livestock, clothes and utensils and letting the toilet discharge into ponds should also be avoided, because such practices pollute drinking water with germs and chemicals, thereby causing dangerous diseases.
Lack of drainage facilities to remove the discharge from the toilet and cattle shed is another cause of air and water pollutions, Construction of a toilet linked biogas plant can solve this problem. The dirty water from the bathroom and kitchen can be used to irrigate fruit and forestry plants grown around the house, instead of allowing it to stagnate along the road. Such stagnate water promotes the breeding of flies and mosquitoes.
(iv) Surplus livestock:
Villagers maintain a large number of cattle, buffaloes, sheep and goats to supplement their income. But they do not have sufficient fodder to feed them. These animals when let out for grazing, damage pastures and forests. Therefore, it is better to have a few high yielding animals which are fed well.
(v) Chemical pollution:
Use of agro-chemicals has become a common practice in agriculture of these chemicals. Consumption of fruits and vegetables, harvested soon after the chemical spray is another health hazard.
To avoid this, it is necessary to educate farmers to use agro-chemicals safely and only when needed. Plant products like oil and cake of neem which are non-toxic to us, can be used to control many crop pests. In irrigated fields, when farmers apply large quantities of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, a part of these chemicals may dissolve in water and percolate into the wells. Thus, the water may get polluted. Drinking this water may cause sickness. In such areas, we need to persuade farmers to reduce the doses of agro-chemicals. Effluents from sugar factories and other industries let in the filed may also pollute drinking water in a similar way. Such factories should be told to treat the effluents properly.
Many rural houses do not have toilets and people use backyards, roadsides or community land. Such poor sanitary conditions promote the breeding of flies and germs which spread many diseases. As many of the families cannot build toilets for themselves, it is necessary to build community toilets, and drainages to keep the surroundings clean. This discharge known as sewage can be treated to kill germs and then used to irrigate fruit and forestry plantations.
(vii) Unpleasant weather:
In the absence of trees on roadsides, community lands and degrades forests, the temperature of our surroundings increases. Hot winds make the summer worse and field crops wither quickly. To keep the atmosphere cool, we should plat trees along roads, field’s bunds and barren lands. To protect trees, livestock should not be let out in the filed. The wildly grown Parthinium weed in fields and along roadsides cases skin and throat irritation for the people living nearby. Therefore, it is better to pull out these plants before the flowering stage.
(viii) Flood and drought:
In the absence of tree cover, the land cannot absorb more rain water. So most of the water flows into the river causing floods. This water also carries away fertile soil from the field and deposits it in lakes, reducing the water storage capacity. The rivulets flowing from such forests dry soon. The water level of wells in such an area decreases, causing water scarcity in summer.
To prevent floods and droughts, earthen bunds across the slope, called contour bunds, should be built on hilly areas and agricultural fields. This would retain more water in the field. The surplus water flowing from the field can be stored in percolation tanks developed by constructing bunds across gullies. Trees can be planted along canals. This will enrich the environment and bring prosperity to rural areas.
What can Rural People do?
People in village can persuade their parents to:
(i) Use smokeless chulhas or install biogas plants;
(ii) Provide smoke outlets and ventilation in the kitchen;
(iii) Tie livestock outside the house and reduce their number;
(iv) Feed livestock in their sheds without letting them out for grazing;
(v) Plant trees around the house, on field bunds and along roadsides;
(vi) Develop filed bunds across the slope the retain more water and prevent the soil being washed away. Plough the field across the slope;
(vii) Keep tanks, canals and other water sources clean;
(viii) Use the sewage water for growing trees;
(ix) Keep the surroundings of the house and well clean;
(x) Prepare compost by using garbage, dung and other wastes;
(xi) Select a suitable site for the toilet, away from water sources and houses. It can also be connected to the biogas plant;
(xii) Use agro-chemicals carefully and try to avoid them. Plant products may be preferred wherever effective to protect crops;
(xiii) Protect wildlife like frogs, snakes, mongoose, birds, etc.
Essay # 3. Environmental Pollution in Urban Areas:
Overpopulation, industrial growth and an increasing number of automobiles are the major causes of pollution in cities.
(i) Air pollution:
When there are fewer plants and more people living in an area, the oxygen supply will decrease and carbon dioxide content in the air will increase, causing air pollution. The tall buildings absorb heat during the day and release it during the night. Thus, the weather remains hot and unpleasant. Automobiles and industries emit smoke containing carbon dust, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other poisonous gases, which are unhealthy.
Chemical factories release harmful gases, which can travel long distances. Gases like sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide come in contact with cloud or rain water and turn into acid and result in acid rain. Release of harmful gases like fluorine and nitrous oxide by factories into the atmosphere would destroy the ozone layer and allow the harmful rays of the sun to reach the earth.
Gases like carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide, when released from automobiles and industries, absorb heat from sunlight and raise the temperature of our surroundings. Due to deforestation and increasing industrial growth, the average temperature of the atmosphere may rise by 2° C – 5° C during the next fifty years.
This is known as global warming. The rise in temperature will result in melting of snowy mountains, rise in water level of the sea and sinking of cities and villages located on the sea coast. This is known as the greenhouse effect. The best way to purity the polluted air is to grow more trees, wherever we can. If there is no space for tress, then shrubs or creepers which can spread on walls or poles, without occupying any additional space can be planted.
Trees direct the gases to move upwards. Some trees absorb harmful gases. Trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. The dust settles on leaves. Trees reduce noise by blocking sound waves and provide shade thereby keeping the atmosphere cool. Automobiles should be avoided whenever possible. Factories should be forced to install pollution control devices.
(ii) Water pollution:
A large quantity of industrial effluent is generated in cities. This needs to treat to remove harmful substances before letting into the river. However, this is often not practiced because of the high cost. Such untreated effluent may poison fish, other animals and plants living in water. Sewage containing harmful germs and chemicals can contaminate the sources of drinking water.
The treated effluent and sewage can be used for irrigating fruit and forestry trees.
Many villages moving to cities stay in congested huts which lack ventilation, toilet and drainage facilities. Such colonies are called slums often suffer from illness, caused by pollution.
Improper disposal of kitchen wastes known as garbage is another cause of pollution of. Garbage heaps breeds flies and release bad odour. Dropping litter on the roads makes the surroundings dirty and spreads many diseases. Throwing slippery materials like banana skin can cause injury to pedestrians. Garbage and litter should be deposited in dustbins which are collected by the municipal authorities. It is possible to use garbage for producing biogas a source of pollution-free energy.
Garbage can also is converted into compost by neatly depositing it in a pit. It is possible to recycle waste paper, plastic, tin cans and glass pieces. We must learn ways of making use of these wastes. While keeping our surroundings clean. Remember, wastage leads to pollution. If we waste water, the quantity of sewage will increase. If we waste food, the volume of garbage will increase. The municipal authorities will not have space to dump these wastes and hence pollution will increase. Moreover, food water, electricity will be available to other. In this way, the we can avoid shortages.
How are our Public Places Polluted?
Maintaining cleanliness in public utilities like buses, bus stands, trains, railway stations, schools, playgrounds. Roads, parks, picnic spots and beaches are necessary. If all of us maintain cleanliness, or surroundings can remain clean.
After enjoying good food at a picnic, if we do not throw the garbage into a dustbin, the parks and beaches can turn filthy and others will not be able to enjoy. Let us not expect others to clean our mess. We must do it ourselves.
What can Urban People do?
Urban People can do a lot to reduce environment pollution:
(i) Plant trees in school and home premises. Even if you are staying in a flat, plants and creepers can be raises in pots and wooden boxes, in the balcony;
(ii) Protect the trees planted along roadsides;
(iii) Keep public areas clean and avoid littering;
(iv) Plant trees along roadsides, near bus stops, around playgrounds, and in parks to provide shade;
(v) Avoid dumping garbage on the street. Dispose them in a garbage dump; you can also make a compost pit to convert garbage into manure;
(vi) Waste paper, plastic, glass and metal pieces can be recycled this would reduce the pollution and conserve our resources;
(vii) Avoid using plastic materials such as plates and carry bags which cannot be used again. Moreover, when plastic is thrown away, it does not degrade but remains in the soil, polluting the surroundings;
(viii) Do not make noise in public places; every likes quiet surroundings;
(ix) Request your family members to use automobiles only when necessary; walking or cycling can be a pleasure when the distance is short;
(x) If someone is causing pollution in your area, inform the authorities through your teachers or parents.
We can protect our environment in many ways. Let us act now and persuade others to join us.
This will ensure safety for our future generations.
Essay # 4. Classification of Environmental Pollution:
Simply, the material which cause pollution of environment are known as pollutants. It may be a harmful solid, liquid or gas present in undesirable concentrations.
A pollutant may belong to:
(i) A chemical substance.
(ii) A biological organism and product.
(iii) A physical property, e.g., noise, sound etc.
(iv) A geochemical material, e.g., dust, etc.
For example, fertilizers were used to increase food production to fulfill the demand of food of increasing human population. But, at the same time fertilizers could destroy the environment. They were washed down to water resources like rivers lake, oceans and seas. Resultantly water pollution occurs. Use of insecticides and pesticides is also very alarming, for example- D.D.T.
Pollutants can be classified in number of ways:
(a) On the basis of their existing form:
(i) Primary pollutants:
Substances emitted directly from an identifiable source. They exist as such into the environmental. For example, CO2, SO2, NOx etc.
(ii) Secondary pollutants:
Substances derived from primary pollutants. They are result of chemical reactions of primary pollutants. For example, nitrogen oxides when react with hydrocarbons in sunlight, give peroxylacetyl nitrate (PAN) as a secondary pollutant.
(b) On the basis of the ecosystem point of view:
(i) Biodegradable pollutants:
Pollutants, which can be decomposed easily in environment, and don’t cause (or cause very little) any harmful effect on the environment. Mostly are organic materials. For example, animal and plant debris domestic sewage etc.
(ii) Non-Biodegradable pollutants:
Pollutants, which do not degrade (or decompose) or degrade very slowly in the environment. Mostly are, inorganic material, like lead salts, iron, D.D.T. mercury etc. These pollutants decrease the rate of photosynthesis and affect adversely the balance exiting between oxygen and carbon dioxide. This situation creates problem for mankind as well as for plants.
It is quite impossible to remove these pollutants from the biosphere. For example, we cannot remove lead which has been dumped into the air we breathe. The major source of lead is vehicles. Motor vehicle emissions are one of the leading cause of air pollution.
Polythene is also a non-biodegradable pollutant and creates great risk for our environment.
Thus pollutant are residues of materials used by us, made by us and thrown away by us which pollute the environment in one way or the other.
Essay # 5. Adverse Effects of Environmental Pollution:
Defective air quality can destroy many organisms including human beings.
It causes many adverse effects on human health, as:
i. Ozone pollution cause respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, throat inflammation, chest pain, and congestion.
ii. Water pollution causes approximately 14,000 deaths per day, mostly due to contamination of drinking water by untreated sewage in developing countries.
iii. Oil spills can cause skin irritations and rashes.
iv. Noise pollution causes hearing loss, blood pressure, stress, and sleeping disorders.
v. Sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen can cause acid rain which reduces the pH value of soil. Soil can become infertile and unsuitable for plants. This will affect other organism’s ill the food world. Acid rain is also harmful for our historical monuments.
vi. Smogs can reduce the amount of sunlight received by plants to carry out photosynthesis, which reduces the growth of plants.
The environmental problems in India are growing rapidly. The increasing economic development and a rapidly growing population that has taken the country from 300 million people in 1947 to more than one billion people today is putting a strain on the environment, infrastructure, and the country’s natural resources. Industrial pollution, soil erosion, deforestation, rapid industrialization, urbanization, and land degradation are all worsening problems.
Overexploitation of the country’s resources is it land or water and the industrialization process has resulted environmental degradation of resources. Environmental pollution is one of the most serious problems facing humanity and other life forms on our planet today.
With India’s population at 1.2 billion people and counting, plus internal economic migration to urban areas from the countryside, the country’s cities are bursting at the seams. Housing shortages, electricity and water cuts, traffic congestion, pollution and a lack of basic services are the reality for millions.
The demographers are predicting that India will add three to four hundred million new people to its population over the next 40 years About 45 per cent of India’s land is degraded, air pollution is increasing in all its cities, it is losing its rare plants and animals more rapidly than before and about one-third of its urban population now lives in slums, says the State of Environment Report India 2009 brought out by the government.
The third official report on the state of India’s environment published after a gap of eight years and released by Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh in New Delhi on September 2, 2009.
The cost of environmental damage in India would shave 4 percent off of the country’s gross domestic product. Lost productivity from death and disease due to environmental pollution are the primary culprits. The government agency responsible for environmental affairs is the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). Coping with India’s industrial pollution is perhaps the agency’s top priority.
MoEF recognizes the need to strike a balance between development and protecting the environment in administering and enforcing the country’s environmental laws and policies. The government heightened the Ministry’s powers with the passage of the 1986 Environment Protection Act.
This act built on the 42nd amendment to India’s constitution in 1976 that gave the government the right to step in and protect public health, forests, and wildlife. This amendment however had little power as it contained a clause that stated it was not enforceable by any court. India is the first country in the world to pass an amendment to its constitution ostensibly protecting the environment.
Essay # 6. View of Mahatma Gandhi on Environmental Pollution:
Mahatma Gandhi had said that nature has enough to satisfy everyone’s need but has not enough to satisfy man’s greed. Sadly our ever-expanding greed has put us in such precarious situation. Will we realize it? The policy of industrialization had helped rich to become richer and poor become poorer.
The disparity has widened. It is the democratic system followed in the country which has forced our policy-makers to think of growth for all. That is why we are hearing plans for inclusive growth. Industrialization is not without price. All these have a direct bearing on environmental pollution leading to climatic change. We are all witness to the deleterious effects of climate change. The whole world is now anxious to repair the damage.
Essay # 7. Functions of the Central Board on Environmental Pollution:
(A) Functions of the Central Board at the National Level:
1. Advise the Central Government on any matter concerning prevention and control of water and air pollution and improvement of the quality of air.
2. Plan and cause to be executed a nation-wide program for the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution;
3. Co-ordinate the activities of the State Board and resolve dispute among them;
4. Provide technical assistance and guidance to the State Boards, carry out and sponsor investigation and research relating to problems of water and air pollution, and for their prevention, control or abatement;
5. Plan and organize training of persons engaged in programmed on the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution;
6. Organize through mass media, a comprehensive mass awareness programme on the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution;
7. Collect, compile and publish technical and statistical data relating to water and air pollution and the measures devised for their effective prevention, control or abatement;
8. Prepare manuals, codes and guidelines relating to treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents as well as for stack gas cleaning devices, stacks and ducts;
9. Disseminate information in respect of matters relating to water and air pollution and their prevention and control;
10. Lay down, modify or annul, in consultation with the State Governments concerned, the standards for stream or well, and lay down standards for the quality of air;
(B) Functions of the Central Board as State Boards for the Union Territories:
Perform such other function as may be prescribed by the Government of India.
Advise the Governments of Union Territories with respect to the suitability of any premises or location for carrying on any industry which is likely to pollute a stream or well or cause air pollutions; Lay down standards for treatment of sewage and trade effluents and for emissions from automobiles, industrial plants, and any other polluting source; Evolve efficient methods for disposal of sewage and trade effluents on land; develop reliable and economically viable methods of treatment of sewage, trade effluent and air pollution control equipment; Identify any area or areas within Union Territories as air pollution control area or areas to be notified under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981; Assess the quality of ambient water and air, and inspect wastewater treatment installations, air pollution control equipment, industrial plants or manufacturing process to evaluate their performance and to take steps for the prevention, control and abatement of air and water pollution.
As per the policy decision of the Government of India, the CPCB has delegated its powers and functions under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977 and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 with respect to Union Territories to respective local administrations. CPCB along with its counterparts State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) are responsible for implementation of legislations relating to prevention and control of environmental pollution.
Essay # 8. Prevention of Environmental Pollution:
It is the duty of a good citizen, to be aware of the national and local problem.
Problem of environmental pollution is related to every human being as one is using the water, air, soil and atmosphere during one’s life.
As a common citizen one can contribute for the prevention of pollution in many ways without giving any extra time or money as such:
(i) One must not add to any kind of pollution i.e., air, water and land.
(ii) By not throwing the household garbage everywhere on the land.
(iii) Separating, wet and dry garbage and the recyclable waste from the garbage can reduce the solid waste.
(iv) By not using polythene bags, instead using paper and cloth bags.
(v) By growing and saving the trees.
(vi) By protecting the natural resources.
(vii) By keeping the city and monuments clean.
(viii) By reducing the use of insecticides and pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
(ix) Increasing the use of organic fertilizer is good for the crop as well as environment.
(x) By reducing the use of spray perfumes and other cosmetics as they contain harmful organic solvents.
(xi) By avoiding the equipments containing the chlorofluoro carbons (CFCs).
(xii) By not polluting the water bodies.
(xiii) By participating and endorsing the environment protection, awareness programmes,
(xiv) By following the pollution control laws.