Effects of pollution

There are a number of effects that can be attributed to pollution. Pollution has two adverse effects. The first effect is on human life and other organisms that rely on the environment for survival. The second and the major effect are the negative effects of pollution on the environment. So as to discuss the effects it would be important to address each form of pollution and then discuss the effects of that form of pollution There are a number of forms and types of pollution that affect the environment. These are:

Air Pollution

The common form of pollution is air pollution. This involves the human activity of releasing chemical pollutants into the air. Human activities such as driving cars, pesticide use and the use of aerosols have been the leading causes of air pollution. Industries have been the main culprits that have contributed highly to air pollution by releasing toxic gases into the atmosphere during their manufacturing process. Global warming has been one the major issues in the world today. Global warming is the cause of climate change which is a world crisis at the moment. The issue of cars contributing to global warming has spawned two schools of thought. Some argue that the process of making cars as well as driving the cars on the roads is a major contributing factor to global warming due to the carbon emission that is involved in these two processes.

Effects of Air Pollution:

Air pollution has two categories of effects. It has long term effects and short term effects. The effects it has are mainly on human life and animal life because they all depend on air for survival and for important biological processes. There are a number of harmful gases such as Sulphur dioxide, Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Dioxide which are released every day in the world from various industrial processes. These gasses have adverse effects on animal life as well as plants.

In human beings the gasses may cause eye problems in people who work or live in areas where the gases are released. They cause irriteti0on to the eyes as well as throat and nose. This leads to an increase in the number of respiratory related problems. This gases cause asthma as well as Bronchitis. Repeated inhalation of these gases may cause lung cancer. A gas like Nitrogen Dioxide is a major contributor and component that creates smog, which of late has been in most industrialized cities in the world. These gases also affect other living organisms such as plants and insects since they are poisonous to them. Plants need carbon dioxide for processes like photosynthesis. When they inhale such poisonous gasses they cannot produce food and thus they die.  If the plants die then the small insects also die since they lack food for their survival. Humans are also affected since it is dangerous for us to eat plants that have been exposed to such poisonous gases. Such gases also block the plant's stomata preventing them from producing food.

Water pollution:

This is the second most common occurring form of pollution. This form of pollution involves dumping of chemicals and dangerous substances into water bodies such as rivers and lakes. There are other factors that constitute water pollution for example spills. The most recent could be the most recent BP oil spill which caused a lot of damage in the ocean.

Effects of water pollution:

Water pollution affects both terrestrial and aquatic life. Aquatic and terrestrial life all depends on water for survival. For example the oil spill by BP caused a lot of damage to both aquatic and terrestrial life. Such a spill prevents air and sunlight from reaching the organisms that live in the water. Without air and sunlight life will not be able to be sustained and all the organisms die. Such pollution also affects the fish since pollutant may block the gills of fish, preventing them from breathing and thus killing them. Oil is also dangerous if ingested by the organism and may cause death because it is harmful. Fertilizers and other farm chemicals find themselves in rivers and lakes when they are washed up by rains. Such chemicals are dangerous to the living organism in the water. Since they are chemicals when ingested they kill organisms in the water. If the water that is contaminated is ingested by humans and other terrestrial animals it may also be dangerous. Such chemicals in humans may cause various conditions including liver and kidney problems. Other diseases for example cholera and diarrhea are a direct effect of ingesting contaminated water. Such diseases lead to loss of life. Industrial wastes that are dumped into rivers and water bodies are also very dangerous (David 28).

According to Socha, most of the released industrial waste is hot. Thus when released into water bodies they kill the organisms since when the water is heated oxygen is expelled and oxygen is very crucial for the survival of these organisms. Water pollution may also lead to loss of both aquatic and terrestrial land animals when heavy metals from industries, for example iron and mercury are deposited into the rivers. These metals are dangerous since they bond with cells and prevent cells from working and thus killing a plant or animal. Ingestion of plants that have been exposed to such metals is also fatal to human beings and other animals alike. Water pollution may also lead to heart conditions, kidney and liver failures as well as cancer.

Soil Pollution:

This is also another form of pollution which is mainly contributed to by littering and spills. It is important to keep the soil free of pollutants since the human race has a high dependency on soil since it is the most important aspect of agriculture and food production. Agricultural fertilizers as well as chemicals are also a major contributing factor towards soil pollution.

Effects of soli pollution:

Soil pollution mainly leads to the death of plants and the reduction of the agricultural viability of soil. Soil pollution is also dangerous since if animals ingest plants that are exposed to soil pollution they may die. In human's consumption of such plants may lead to heart conditions, kidney and liver failures as well as cancer.


It can be concluded that all forms of pollution are dangerous to the environment. The common effects include:

  • Medical effects due to interaction with the pollutant.
  • Loss of both animal and plant life.
  • Reduced productivity as well as reduced animal and plant population.

Need more Environment Essay Examples?

Related essays

  1. The National Geographic Magazine
  2. Mass Wasting
  3. Importance of Wind
  4. Clean Energy in Trash