9 Types of Pollution

Pollution exists in various forms near us. It has variety of types. The types of pollution mainly differ in terms of its sources and posses separate and very different extent of consequences.  People worried about environment and who are normally environment conscious should understand the basics about pollution so that they can minimize their contribution to these dangers.

There are total nine recognised sources of pollution recorded in total in this modern world.  


9 Types of Pollution

They really possess adverse effects on human health and in long term effect the environment and ecosystem as well.

Air Pollution 

The first and foremost concern awakening issue is air pollution. Contamination of atmospheric composition is known as air pollution. It causes an imbalance in the natural composition and the equivalence of the components present in air.  

The pollution can be found as particulate matter like dust. Excessive gases such as carbon dioxide also are another variety of pollution. Other forms of vapour that cannot be eliminated from natural cycles such as nitrogen cycles or carbon can also be a cause.

A wide variety of sources can cause air pollution. Among most excessive sources, some important ones include :-

  • Exhaust from vehicles or manufacturing units.
  • Emissions of gases from forest fires
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Dust from dry soil erosions and other natural resources
  • Pollutants from demolition or constructions.                                         

Concentration of air pollution and the rate of severity at which air is being polluted is important. It is important   because basing on the severity of pollution  several notions can be derived. Elevation in smog levels, increased percentage of patients suffering from asthma , declining productivity of crops due to absence of  pure oxygen, increase in acid rain are some of the worst after effects of air pollution that has been observed.  Global  warming is also somewhere an after effect of  air pollution. Many scientists have ascertained these above statements and many scientific experiments and observations have confirmed the same.

Water Pollution

Contaminated water due to exposure of chemical from industries or factories, particulate matter, or bacteria and viruses that affects the quality of water and it’s level of purity mainly forms the core of water pollution. Be it rivers or lakes, oceans or any underground reservoirs water pollution can occur anywhere. There is a possibility of increase in water pollution when different water sources flow together to form a common water body.

Causes of water pollution can be listed as below :-

  • The increased sediment formation due to erosion of soil
  • Littering and not proper disposal of water
  • Transfer of soil pollution into water pollution.
  • Decay of organic materials in water bodies.

The quality and availability of drinking water is greatly decreased to a lesser percentage because of the adverse effects of water pollution. It also lowers water supplies needed for irrigation of crop,  killing of fishes, degrading the wildlife populations that demands healthy water for its survival. A certain degree of purity of water is important for their survival.


Soil Pollution

Contamination of soil that degrades natural growth and the optimum balance that is important in the land is defined as land or soil pollution.

Soil pollution broadly means contamination of land. These contamination can happen in any form of land irrespective of the purpose it is used for. Lands used for agricultural, construction lands, lands on which factories are established, residential lands all forms of land are under the trap of pollution and can be contaminated in different ways.

Soil pollution can be caused due to man-made effects. Man made activities that are deliberately done like creation of landfills, excessive use of fertilizers and many more which has a huge impact on the quality of the soil.

Causes of soil pollution can be listed as:-

  • Waste that are non biodegradable and non recyclable.
  • Spilling of sewage dumps
  • Farming practices that are non environment friendly and not sustainable
  • Cutting down of trees, strip mining and other harmful practices.
  • Dumping of wastes that are household and littering.

Soil pollution which is contamination of land is a serious problem. It can lead to infertility of soil which causes low productivity and low crop yield.

Soil Pollution can cause desertification, erosion of soil, water pollution, visual pollution.


Noise Pollution

This is a type of pollution and cause of concern mainly in cities. Undesirable levels of noises happening due to human activity is called as noise pollution. It disbalances the standard of living in affected areas.  It causes nausea and different types of mental illness as well.

The causes are listed as:-

  • Plane take off and landing sounds in airports.
  • Traffic due to vehicles.
  • Train sounds from Railroads.
  • Sounds from manufacturing plants.
  • Construction sounds or even demolition sounds.
  • Loud music from concerts, clubbing, parties.

Some of the listed causes of noise pollution can either be temporary while some are permanent and long lasting and causes great effects. Losses caused due to these include disturbances in wildlife, loss in hearing, and a general degradation in the standard of lifestyle.



Radioactive pollution is a rare event. Though rare, it has disastrous effects and are life threatening. When it occurs, it is detrimental and also deadly. There are strict government regulations to control radioactive pollutants just because of its intensity and incapability to reverse the damage caused by it.

Radioactive pollution and its sources mostly include:-

  • Accident or leakage of nuclear power plants.
  • Nuclear waste that is not disposed in a proper way.
  • Mining operations such as uranium mining.

This deadly type of pollution can cause permanent effects such as cancer,sterilisation, defects at the time of birth and other permanent health defects for human beings or wildlife.

It can cause sterilisation of soil, water and air pollution at the same time.  


Thermal Pollution

Excessive levels of heat that creates an harmful effects over a long period of time is a case in thermal pollution.

An excessive increase in earth’s temperature though earth demands a natural thermal cycle is actually considered as thermal pollution having long term effects.

Multiple sources have wider impacts and pertains to wide range of geographic area whereas otherwise it is mostly confined to narrower geographic area only limited to near its sources.

The major causes of these type of pollution can be listed as:-

  • Deforestation
  • Increases in gases in air that trap heat
  • Power plants
  • Urban sprawl
  • Degradation in temperature controlling water supplies.

Light Pollution

The over illumination of an area is called as light pollution. It is considered obtrusive.

Some sources of light pollution are:-

  • Large metropolitan cities
  • Advertising and billboards
  • Sporting events at night
  • Entertainment at night

It makes it impossible to see the stars if light pollution exists. Thus acting as an hindrance in astronomical observation and personal enjoyment. The quality life of residents can be degraded if it is light pollution near residential areas.


Visual Pollution

Undesirable or unattractive views that are caused by other pollution and can cause eyesores is defined as visual pollution. The quality of life can be degraded in certain areas because of this. The property values or personal enjoyment could also be affected because of visual pollution.

The causes of visual pollution would include :-

  • Construction areas
  • Power lines
  • Advertising and billboards
  • Polluted areas
  • Vacant and neglected areas such as fields or abandoned buildings.

It causes eyesore which is a detrimental effect. Although it otherwise has a very few health or environmental effects.


Personal Pollution

Contamination of one’s body, health, and lifestyle with detrimental action is called personal pollution.

The causes would include

  • Too much of smoking, drink or addiction of drugs.
  • Physical torture or emotional abuse.
  • Poor living conditions and unhygienic habits.
  • Poor personal attitudes.

Sometimes pollution can be initiated by caregivers, while in most cases voluntary action is the central cause of personal pollution. Taking health friendly steps in life will certainly eliminate personal pollution. Leading a more productive and satisfying life is very much possible with taking few steps and making certain changes.

All Pollution Types Unite At One And Are Connected

Pollution and it’s various types are connected. There is a cycle that persists and disruption in a single event causes disruption as a whole. If we pollute the water indirectly we are polluting all the components of the ecosystem.

Thus protecting and safeguarding each element is very important. Understanding what are the types, how it is created, how it affects us, how do we control it is very important. Because only then we can make changes in our habits accordingly and make a better environment around us and also our neighbours.


Also Read :

Causes of Air Pollution

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