Causes and consequences of environmental pollution

January 6, 2023

Environmental pollution is the result of introducing harmful substances and elements into a natural environment or a sensitive living being, affecting their well-being and generating damage of great negative impact on the natural balance of life. But do you know what are the main causes and consequences of environmental pollution?

4 common causes of environmental pollution

There are several causes of environmental pollution, related to different factors, such as population growth, increased demand for food or the need to build new urban areas. The following are the main causes of environmental pollution.

1. Human activity

  • Human activity is one of the main causes of environmental pollution. Technological development is notorious and has achieved important advances to improve the quality of life. However, it has had a significant negative impact on the environment. For example:
  1. Continuous industrial development and its activities generate a large percentage of polluting waste that affects the quality of air, soil and water.
  2. The excessive use of gasoline or diesel vehicles encourages the use of polluting fossil fuels.
  3. Continuous emissions of polluting gases derived from industrial activity for the production of goods or services.
  4. The indiscriminate production and use of plastic for various purposes.
  5. The increase in the production of non-biodegradable waste.
  6. Population growth and the lack of urban planning has encouraged the deforestation of forests for the construction of housing or residential areas.
  7. The need to increase the extraction of natural resources for various uses.
  8. The increase in livestock raising and with this, the increase in polluting gases.

2. Deforestation

Deforestation or indiscriminate cutting down of trees is one of the main causes of environmental pollution. This activity has reduced in important percentages the forests and jungles of the Earth, even, the extinction of several of these natural spaces is already counted.

Trees and plants have the function of purifying the air. Without them, air pollution is intensified, and therefore, the appearance of respiratory diseases. In addition, their roots protect soils from the direct impact of rain, prevent soil erosion and reduce the possibility of flooding.

The need to increase the space for agricultural activity and to build and expand urban spaces, as well as the use of wood, promote and stimulate deforestation without measure.

3. Use of chemicals and pesticides

The agricultural sector is one of the sectors that makes the greatest use of chemicals, pesticides, pesticides and herbicides as part of the cultivation and care methods involved in this sector’s activities.

It is true that farmers must make use of such products to protect fruit and vegetable crops. However, they are highly polluting and affect soil and water quality.

This situation is also aggravated by population growth and the need to produce more food.

4. Industrial and domestic waste

Industrial activities produce large quantities of environmentally toxic wastes such as gases, chemicals, solvents, among others. Many are directly and illegally expelled into the water or air, polluting them and causing major environmental damage.

The same happens with a considerable amount of household products such as detergents, solvents or oils, which are highly polluting products. It is therefore suggested that these products be replaced by others that are biodegradable and less harmful to the environment.

Consequences of environmental pollution

1.Global Warming

The main consequence of pollution is global warming. This phenomenon is associated with a significant progressive increase in the temperature of the planet, both at the atmospheric level and in the seas and oceans.

According to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, black carbon, tropospheric ozone, and methane are responsible for 30% to 40% of global warming. All of this causes summers to get much hotter and average temperatures to stay lower and lower.

2.Disease progression

Environmental pollution poses a danger to human health as well as to the living things that inhabit ecosystems.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution caused by the presence of pollutants such as carbon monoxide increases the likelihood of illness or even death. Among these we find acute respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, and chronic diseases such as lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.

3.Loss of biodiversity

Indiscriminate logging, overexploitation of natural resources and the emission of polluting gases into the atmosphere threaten the lives of thousands of animal and plant species. This is mainly because their habitat is shrinking and some of them are even becoming extinct.

In short, pollution does nothing but alter our natural balance. We have it on our side to reduce its effects. And that’s what we all have to work together to go about building a much more responsible society that manages to take care of different generations with care and respect for nature.