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What pollution is, what type it can be, and what are its effects.

Cos’è l’inquinamento, di che tipo può essere, e quali sono i suoi effetti. - Erynoole

What pollution is, what type it can be, and what are its effects.

The first thing to keep in mind is that pollution is not just smog or the exhaust fumes of a company, pollution is the alteration of the natural environment, generally caused by man, in a substantial way, so much so that it changes significantly the chemical-physical properties of the place in question, be it a terrestrial, aquatic or atmospheric environment, compromising the quality of life of the living species present.

But what are the different types of pollution? And what are they caused by?

CHEMICAL POLLUTION: is the most common type of pollution, generally caused by industrial or agricultural activity, burdensome for human, animal and plant health. The main pollutants are heavy metals such as lead, present until a few years ago in gasoline, or dioxins, still used for the production of herbicides, as well as all those substances that are released into waterways (rivers, lakes, seas and oceans). These pollutants are among the most dangerous for the health of living beings, especially for humans, because they compromise much of the food we consume, and consequently enter our bodies with considerable ease.

(UN)CIVILIZED POLLUTION: this is how we define all the pollution caused by man in everyday life. Every day we see waste thrown on land, in the sea, in rivers and in all natural areas. We are so used to this vision that by now we don't even notice it anymore, it has become the norm even if it should NOT be so. In the same way that we do not throw garbage on the ground in our homes we should not do it outside them either, just as in domestic life we ​​should "force ourselves" to look for the bin closest to us to dispose of our waste. It is not a difficult thing, indeed it is probably the easiest pollution to fight, very few precautions on the part of all of us would be enough to live without seeing waste on every road, sea, forest or anywhere else.

PHOTO CHEMICAL POLLUTION: when certain molecules present in the polluted air react with the radiations present in the sun's rays, they form Ozone, peroxyacetylnitrate (PAN), peroxybenzoyl nitrate (PBN) and hundreds of other substances in lower concentrations. The substances that make up the photochemical smog are toxic to all living beings but are also capable of degrading various materials due to their strong oxidizing power.

LIGHT POLLUTION: probably one of the easiest problems to observe, simple to solve but largely ignored. Cause of the loss of many native plant and animal species.

ACOUSTIC POLLUTION: caused by any human activity but also a problem linked more to our psychological state of health, it can make it difficult to rest with various related problems.

ELECTROMAGNETIC POLLUTION: perhaps the new frontier of pollution, given by electrical equipment and radio, TV and telephone systems. Problems have been found for human health as some frequencies at which electromagnetic waves travel are able to affect the DNA.

It is divided into:

  • low frequency electromagnetic pollution (0 Hz - 10 kHz) generated by power lines.
  • high frequency pollution (10 kHz - 300 GHz) generated by radio-TV systems and mobile phones.

THERMAL POLLUTION: caused mainly by the greenhouse effect but also directly by human activity, such as the introduction of boiling water, waste from electricity production plants, in natural basins, ruinously compromising fragile ecosystems unable to withstand such sudden temperature variations.

BIOLOGICAL and GENETIC POLLUTION: basically the damage caused to an ecosystem through the introduction, more or less voluntary, of a non-native species, domesticated or genetically modified in a habitat. Whether this is a plant, an animal, an insect or a virus, disaster for the ecosystem will be very likely.

RADIOACTIVE POLLUTION: in nature radioactivity exists and we are usually exposed to certain radiations that do not harm our health, the problem arises from the moment in which the values ​​are raised by the presence of radioactive substances, such as waste from nuclear plants, waste from hospital radiological systems, war residues, errors or accidents at plants and research centers. The problem is aggravated by the difficulty of disposing of the waste itself which, if not managed correctly, poisons water, air, earth and what it offers us, causing serious damage to the DNA of living beings.


In conclusion, we have seen how simple it is to damage our beautiful planet and how the main cause is man's disinterest in it. We live in an ecosystem based on fragile and sensitive balances, which should be protected and preserved, not altered without even asking questions about the consequences of our actions.

Continue to follow us to understand these issues more in depth and we always remember that being more eco-sustainable is not a heroic undertaking, but a minimum of extra attention in small daily actions is enough to allow all of us to live in a cleaner world .


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