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Critical Thinking - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Instructor: Date: Environmental Pollution List in order of decreasing harmfulness 1. Outdoor air pollution 2. Persistent organic pollutants (toxic chemicals) in air, water and soil 3. Tropical deforestation 4. Indoor air pollution 5. Surface water (lakes, rivers, streams) 6…
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Critical Thinking
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"Critical Thinking"

Over consumption in the developed world Environmental pollution can be defined as the introduction of substances that reduce the quality of well-being in the surrounding area as well as that of those living in that community. In the past, environmental pollution was not considered a serious problem but since the beginning of the industrial revolution pollutants in the environment significantly increased and it is now a cause of global concern. Therefore, of all the sources of pollution, the ones that are of greatest threat to our well-being are outdoor air pollution, introduction of toxic chemicals in water and soil and tropical deforestation. As shown below these three sources are of greatest threat to our well-being. Motor vehicles have been pointed out as a major source of environmental pollution for a long time. They produce CO2 among other poisonous gases, which are responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer as well as CO, which is a non-detectable poisonous gas. Environmentalists have flagged coal, which is also burned in several industries as a source of energy, as another major contributor to carbon dioxide. Other sources of air pollution are fossil fuels, which act as a source of Sulfur Dioxide when burnt and Nitrogen Oxide, which is produced when the fuel in vehicles is combusted. Air pollutants have been shown to have several detrimental effects to the environment. The gases interact with the water in the atmosphere to produce acidic rain, which is corrosive and therefore erodes the paint of buildings and kills plant-life as well as marine life in rivers due to its poisonous nature. These fumes have also been identified as carcinogenic and over time, residents living in places with high pollution rates will have a higher prevalence rate of eyes nose and throat infections as well as the development of cancer. The reduction of air pollution is very important and several steps have been taken to do this. Vehicles have been given several standards of performance, which all companies must maintain failure to which their vehicles will not be allowed in certain countries. Catalytic converters have also been installed in vehicles and in factories where sulfur is a by-product in order to reduce the sulfur compounds released into the environment. The introduction of harmful substances to soil and water is another problem that is being faced in many places. Most water pollutants are fabricated and are a result of industrial activity too close to agricultural land and water sources. However, natural sources of water pollution include water runoff from rain and soil erosion, which ends up in rivers. Volcanic activity can also result in soil and water pollution as ash covers the soil and sulfur is redirected to rivers and lakes. Mining activities will also lead to soil pollution as a lot of the debris is washed into rivers. Whenever there are floods, the water must be pumped out and it will often be channeled into rivers; mines often contain sulfur and dumping this effluent into rivers causes them to be acidic (Goel 56). Sewage from domestic and industrial activity can also be directed into rivers and as it is often untreated, it will poison rivers and lakes internally as well as giving it a bad smell. Agricultural products such as fertilizers if not properly absorbed by the soil in farms will also lead to soil and water pollution as it will flow into water sources and other farms when it rains. Water and soil pollution causes the death of Read More
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