With industrialization and urbanization of the 19th and 20th centuries, Earth is experiencing the greatest growth of land, air, water, and other countless pollutions in last few centuries. Especially in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, according to World Health Organization (WHO), there is the highest level of air pollution compared to other nations. Moreover, the United States of America alone is one of biggest contributors to air and land pollution.
There are many types of pollution. One type of pollution is land pollution created by household and industrial wastes. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans have “produced about 258 million tons of solid waste (LiveScience).” Unfortunately, only 34% was recycled, which is not even near half. Another type of pollution is water pollution, in which natural water is always in danger due to chemical or oil leaks. With water pollution, it especially spread quickly because channelization of streams. Finally, another major type of pollution is air pollution created by burning fuels and adding non-traditional gas into the air and thus, polluting it. Besides land, air, and water pollution, there are soil, noise, light, radioactive, thermal, and other types of pollution.
Furthermore, all types of environmental pollution results in a domino effect. With oil leaks, the water becomes polluted, decimating aquatic organisms and therefore disrupting the food chain. With excess carbon dioxide, the ozone layer is ineffectively blocking the sun, again damaging the environment and worsening global warming.
With lack of encouragement for recycling, Earth is becoming more filthy every second. The negative outcomes doesn’t end with damaged water, air, and land; besides other organisms, people are experiencing birth defects and diseases like cancer due to these pollutions (livescience).
Specifically, there are numerous effects of pollution, including environmental degradation, human health, global warming, infertile land and and ozone layer depletion (Conserve energy future). Increased smog in the air prevents plants from photosynthesizing and producing oxygen. In addition, acid rain and the thinning of the ozone layer are results of pollution. More and more people are experiencing respiratory and cardiovascular disease and also other side effects. Lastly, one of many negative effects of pollution is that due to constant use of pesticides, land is becoming infertile.
While there are various negative outcomes that arise from pollution, there are also countless ways to prevent pollution from worsening and to conserve resources more efficiently. From recycling to directly picking up trash and to joining environmental organizations that help prevent Earth from becoming another trash can in the neighborhood.
According to Allegan Conservation district, some ways to prevent pollution is washing the car away from the driveway, using reusable products, and reducing auto emission through public transportation or electricity-driven automobiles. It doesn’t take such a big step to prevent our environment from becoming polluted and to many, that first step is necessary for the future of our humanity.
Seunghyeon Shim, Grade 12
West Ranch High School