Pollution is the presence or introduction into the environment of a substance which can be harmful or has poisonous effects. There are mainly three major types of pollution that are land, air and water. Other minor types of pollution include radioactive contamination, noise and light pollution. Pollution is an increasingly major environmental health problem affecting everyone from both developed and developing countries. “Environmental pollution is an incurable disease, it can only be prevented” (Barry Commoner). Prevention in this context will be to reduce the amount of pollutants by undertaking a wide range of measures and interventions.
To combat pollution, we first must understand of what causes it and its effects. Pollution is caused by several activities we conduct daily, from construction of buildings, vehicles, mining activities, industrial waste to improper disposal of household waste. Robert Orben once said there is so much pollution in the air now that if it weren’t for our lungs there would be no place to put it all. Pollution especially air attribute to major health problems such as asthma, tuberculosis, cancer and heart diseases. Water pollution endangers aquatic species and this in the years has greatly affected biodiversity. Land pollution in some parts of Australia has led to death of birds and some other terrestrial species. Water pollution also leads to water bodies filling up quickly and thus causing floods.
Making pollution history lies in everyone’s hands, it takes everyone to take a stand and do what is right to end this nightmare. The first step to do is to educate people and raise awareness on pollution for example its effects and how to stop including correct disposal of waste. There are three R’s to reduce pollution which are recycle, reuse and reduce. Recycling involves reprocessing of the same material and use it for something else, reusing involves purchasing durable products that can be used repeatedly. Reducing is limiting the waste by for example buying products in bulk that have less packaging material and buying reusable plastic grocery shopping bags.
Due to advancement in technology there has been in an increase in the number of electronics people own and these end up in landfills. To dispose electronics one can pass them on to other people or take them to electronic companies where there are recycled. It is important to both the environment and people. Generally, it takes about 6 months for an orange to decompose, 5 years for a milk carton and 200 – 500 years for a beer can.
Furthermore, to stop pollution people need to use suitable transport modes for example using a bicycle or catching public transport. We also need to chemicals away from the water supply for example not flushing any medication, avoiding pesticides and herbicides and disposing toxic waste properly.
Do you really want vulnerable animals dying in your hands? Whenever you think of smoking or polluting the environment think about the cancer patients on their end of life care. Let’s stop pollution together as a community, it begins with you and me.