Facts about Pollution
How much do you really know about pollution? There are so many different topics that it can make your head spin. It is also frustrating when you read conflicting information. It can make it hard for you to grasp the seriousness of the problem. It can also make it very hard for you to decide what efforts you should put forth to reducing pollution problems.
These facts though will certainly make it much easier for you to be able to really understand pollution concerns. You will be able to see that while it does take work and effort to reduce them it is essential for our health and our future. First, it is important to understand that all of us contribute to pollution. It isn’t just something that industry does!
Facts about Pollution: Water
The majority of the Earth is made up of water and there are tons of types of aquatic life living in them. They are essential for the overall survival of plant life, animals, and humans. This is due to the overall structure of the food chain. More than half of all the lakes in the world are too polluted for people to be able to enjoy fishing, swimming, or other events in. Just slightly less than half of all the rivers out there also fall into this same category.
Drinking water that is safe for humans is very important. However, about 5 million people die every single year due to various forms of illness that stem from poor quality water. This is happening around the world too including the USA and other developed countries. It is a myth that poor drinking water is only found in underdeveloped regions.
The fact that there are so many gallons of sewage, industrial waste, and chemicals that get into the water annually is what accounts for this happening. There isn’t a single water treatment plant in the world that is able to effectively remove all of the pollutants from what you take in.
As you read this you may be saying that there is no reason why you can’t just drink bottled water and be safe. There are many independent studies that have shown contamination in bottled water. That should be upsetting due to the fact that people spend millions of dollars annually for bottled water.
The other problem is that all that plastic contributes to pollution problems as well. It ends up in landfills and it just sits there for decades. It also ends up in the bottom of the bodies of water and that creates health issues and survival concerns for an array of forms of aquatic life.
Oil spills are a huge concern for the water. A single gallon of oil can quickly cover many square miles in the water. Even after clean ups are done the long term effects to the habitat remain. Breathing problems for birds and aquatic life that were exposed to the oil are also common.
Most of us own at least one vehicle and we drive it daily. We use it to commute to work, to go spend time with friends, and just to get out of the house. Yet the emissions from vehicles are a huge contributor to pollution. Even with vehicles that are newer and don’t release as many emissions it is still a concern. Hybrids are making a statement but they are only a fraction of the vehicles on the road today.
When you think about the mass amounts of vehicles on the road it is a very serious concern. In large cities the congestion is just unbelievable. There is also the fact that there are buses, semi trucks, and other large vehicles out there that give off more emissions than regular vehicles. Yet we need them in place to move people, to transport goods, and even to keep the roads in good condition for us all to drive on.
The amount of carbon monoxide in the air can often determine how polluted it is. In some locations it is only about 10%. In large cities though it can be up to 60%. In places such as Chicago and Los Angeles it may be as much as 80%.
What about all of the noise from modes of transportation too? We tend to forget about noise pollution as we can be immune to what is really going on around us. If you live in the city then you are just used to it. However, the fact that it can be making you hostile, creating stress and tension for your body, and even eliminating your hearing abilities are all very real concerns.
Airplanes often get us where we want to go in a fraction of the time it takes to drive there. Yet they are noisy and they also release large amounts of emissions into the environment. This is a fact but it also causes a serious dilemma. How do we get around such forms of pollution but still be able to enjoy the conveniences of air travel?
The industrial revolution was a huge changing point in history. It was part of why the Civil War took place even though most people think it was only about the issue of slavery. It is believed that factories around the world release at least 3 million tons of toxins into the environment every single year.
These toxins may be delivered into the water where marine creatures live and the water we drink, into the soil where we grow food, and into air that we breathe in all day and all night long. We take in about 30 gallons of air a day but we do it automatically without thinking about it.
Another element of life that is necessary is eating. More than 45% of the chemicals that are harmful pollutants in our society come from growing food. They are offered as pesticides and herbicides. The idea is that without them the cost of growing large amounts of food is just too high. However, when those chemicals are used they ruin the soil. They also get into the air we breathe and the water we consume.
We are all well aware of the various serious health problems that are abundant in our society. Cancer is one that we can’t put our finger on in terms of why it occurs. Yet there are many who believe it has to do with pollution in the air, water, and soil that depletes the value of our immune system. They believe that at least 70% of the people that get cancer are victims of serious exposure to pollutants.
All of these facts about pollution help us to see the big picture. Yet we shouldn’t just shrug our shoulders and say that we have to accept it in order to get the benefits out of life we want such as vehicles, oil, and various luxuries. Instead, we have to find a way to balance getting what we want with reducing pollution.
It is possible for everyone to make a contribution so that they can reduce pollution. For example just making a sincere effort to use items and to recycle items instead of putting them in the trash helps. Only about 20% of what the average household discards can’t be used or recycled. These are facts about pollution!