Report on Environmental Pollution and Its Effects

Environmental pollution

The introduction of various substances in the form of materials or energies that may cause contamination of the environment and which causes harm to the various living beings existing in the environment is termed as Environmental Pollution. It is caused by pollutants which are the hazardous substances or energies that has harmful effects on the environment, thereby, contaminating it. Pollutants get spread in the environment through a medium like air, water, soil, etc. (Holdgate, 1979)
Every type of environmental pollution consists of following elements:
a) Source of pollution: It refers to the source of the harmful pollutants that cause the pollution of the environment. It may be a natural source or may also be a chemical or industrial process that leads to the generation of pollutants.
b) Pollutants: These are the agents that cause contamination of the environment by harming the organisms living in it.
c) Medium: It refers to the channel through which these pollutants propagate in the environment. It may be through air, water, soil, etc.
d) Target: It refers to the organisms that are affected by the propagation of pollutants through the medium. It also refers to the ecological cycle and its system which are adversely affected by the pollution. (Alloway & Ayres, 1998)

Pollutants that are the root cause of pollution are mainly classified in two categories:
Primary pollutants:
They are the pollutants which have a specific source from where they are emitted. They pollute the environment by directly entering a particular medium and then contaminating it which harms all the organisms and systems that comes in contact with the medium. Sewage wastes, pollen grains of plants, dust, acid rain, etc. are examples of primary pollutants. (Hill, 1997)
Secondary pollutants:
They are the pollutants which are produced by a specific biological process or chemical reaction between primary pollutants within a medium. These are not produced naturally, but may get generated over a prolonged period of time. As they contain a number of primary pollutants, they are more hazardous and harmful as compared to an individual primary pollutant. Sulphur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbon, methane gas, harmful, effluents from industries, biological wastes from hospitals, etc. are examples of Secondary pollutants. (Hill, 1997)
Environmental pollution can be classified as per the following ways:
a) According to the source: It involves the location or the source of generation from where the pollutants causing the environmental pollution are released or produced.
Agricultural pollution, industrial pollution, Biological waste pollution, Radioactivity, etc. are the examples of this type of environmental pollution.
b) According to the medium: It refers to the pollution which propagates through a channel. Air pollution, Water pollution, Noise pollution, Soil pollution, etc. are examples of this type of environmental pollution.
c) According to the nature and type of pollutant: It refers to the nature, substance or characteristic of the pollutants that are responsible for environmental pollution. It also includes their structure and composition. Heavy metal pollution, Non bio degradable waste pollution, Plastic waste pollution, etc. are examples of this type of environmental pollution. (Alloway & Ayres, 1998)

Forms of pollution:
• Air pollution: It involves the introduction of various poisonous gases, chemicals and particles in the atmosphere. It is the most common form of the pollution and since air is omnipresent, air pollution affects a large number of organisms and systems. There are various pollutants that cause air pollution like Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, Nitrogen dioxide, Sulphur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), dust particles, etc. (Trevors, 2013)

• Water pollution: It includes the discharge of harmful effluents, chemical, contaminated water into natural sources of water like lakes, rivers, seas and oceans. It also involves mixing of the domestic sewage that is directly led into the water bodies without proper treatment. It also involves oil spills that has resulted in the death of large number of aquatic animals. (Trevors, 2013)

• Noise pollution: It refers to the sounds and noises that are not desirable and whose intensity can harm the environment. It includes unnecessary honking of horn, noise made by the air-crafts, loud noises during festivals, noise created by various machines in the industries, etc. (Martinez, 2009)
• Soil pollution: It takes place when harmful chemicals, effluents and liquids are released in the soil and this may decay the quality of soil, thereby, affecting the organisms living on it. Releasing of chemicals from industries, heavy metals, pesticides and other agricultural wastes, etc. causes Soil pollution. (Trevors, 2013)
• Light pollution: It involves the pollutants that affects the vision like striking lights of cars, excessive illumination, inappropriate lightings in industries, etc. (Martinez, 2009)
• Pollution due to Non-biodegradable wastes: It involves collection of various form of pollutants that are not degradable biologically and get logged in the environment. They cannot be disposed of easily and hence cause environmental pollution. Plastic wastes, medical wastes like used syringes, gloves, industrial wastes, etc. are examples of Non-biodegradable wastes that creates pollution. (Martinez, 2009)
• Radioactive pollution: It involves the radioactive wastes generated during the processes of generating nuclear power, testing nuclear weapons and other such nuclear applications, etc. It is the most harmful form of pollution because its effects are observed even after many years. (Martinez, 2009)

• Thermal pollution: It is pollution which is observed by the harmful changes in the water bodies temperature due to release of many effluents from the industries and power plants. It also involves the global warming which is sudden tremendous increase in temperature mainly caused due to release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). (Martinez, 2009)

Effects of Environmental pollution

Effect on Humans:
• Pollution of air causes various respiratory disorders like severe breathing problems, Asthma, bronchitis, etc. and also causes respiratory diseases like lung cancer, blood cancer, etc. and various skin diseases can also be caused like irritation of skin, etc. Exposure to lead, silicon, asbestos, heavy metals may lead to neurological imbalance.
• Cardiovascular diseases are also caused due to increase in stress caused by the exposure to excessive and prolonged noise and water pollution. Noise pollution can affect the hearing leading to deafness, increased blood pressure.
• Water pollution leads to contamination of drinking water resources which causes large number of diseases like Jaundice, Typhoid, Cholera, etc. and also lead to prolonged illness among kids and women where it leads to globally 14,000 deaths per day as per a survey
• Spillage of oil and other hazardous effluents has led to many neurological disorders among children and old age people who are more prone to heart diseases.
• Exposure to radioactivity can cause serious defects in the entire area where it has spread and this will have adverse effects on the next generations as radioactivity affects the gene structure and mutates the DNA structure. (Singer, 1970)

Effect on plants and animals:
• Due to soil pollution, a large number of plants are getting extinct and many are endangered.
• Release of harmful effluents in the air as well as water resources leads to changes in the species of the plants resulting in a defected generations of the species.
• Pollution of air may also lead to disturbance in the photosynthesis cycle of plants.
• Air and water pollution also causes a large number of diseases in the animals and this may affect their next species. (Gibbons & Scott, 2000)

Effect on Eco-logical system:
• Soil becomes infertile and its pH also decreases which may adversely affect the ecological cycle of the living organisms.
• Global warming and greenhouse effect is created by release of harmful gases like Nitrogen dioxide, Sulphur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), etc.
Release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere leads to acidification of the oceans. (Freedman, 1995)

Alloway, B., & Ayres, D. (1998). Chemical Principles of Environmental Pollution. Water, Air, \& Soil Pollution, 216–218. Retrieved july 24, 2014, from
Freedman, B. (1995). Environmental ecology. San Diego: San Diego: Academic Press.
Gibbons, J., & Scott, D. (2000). The Global Decline of Reptiles, D\’ej\`a Vu Amphibians Reptile species are declining on a global scale. Six significant threats to reptile populations are habitat loss and degradation, introduced invasive species, environmental pollution, disease, unsustainable use, and global climate change., 653–666. Retrieved july 24, 2014, from
Hill, M. K. (1997). Understanding environmental pollution. Cambridge University Press.
Holdgate, M. W. (1979). A Perspective of Environmental Pollution. Cambridge University press.
Martinez, J. (2009). Environmental pollution by antibiotics and by antibiotic resistance determinants. Environmental pollution, 2893–2902. Retrieved july 24, 2014, from
Singer, S. F. (1970). Global effects of environmental pollution. Transactions American Geophysical Union, 476–478. Retrieved july 24, 2014, from
Trevors, J. (2013). Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. An International Journal of Environmental Pollution. Retrieved july 24, 2014, from

Case Study:

What decisions best suites the Company in the business decision?
Discuss whether the company should concentrate on Profit or Product Image or both?

In this cut throat competitive world, as per the stake holder’s theory, a company does not only gain its long term objectives and long term loyalty of the customers by merely making profits or large sales, but it also involves building customer relationships, good rapport and corporate image in the society and also on the perception of the customers regarding the company. A company should definitely be working to make more and more profit, but in the process of obtaining them, they should think of building enduring organizations. In order to maintain an image through which the customers would love to engage with the company on a long term basis, a company should take core interest in accomplishing societal purpose and providing appropriate atmosphere to the people working in it. Companies that emphasize more on corporate social responsibility, can easily deal with the politicians and global business regulators and have much lesser chances of undergoing inquiries, accusations and public campaigns against it for violation of human act and other such issues. Considering the above points, production in China is not favourable since it involves issues of improper working culture and conditions, exploitation and work place harassment of the workers, repressive dictatorship and unnecessary censorships.
Owing to the above factors and considering the fact that the company would hardly have any control in the working procedures and this may result in public campaigns which would adversely affect the sales as well as the product’s brand image among the customers. Hence, giving the production to a contractor in China is not advisable from the marketing and branding perspective. Instead, special incentives, appreciations and awards, apart from the financial ones, should be provided to the current workers which would ensure loyalty and provide them the urge to stay in the company and not constantly demand for a hike.


Posted on

March 10, 2018

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