5.1 Pollution and loss of biodiversity
Unfortunately, halting the disappearance of species cannot be achieved simply by measures such as putting fences around special habitats and asking people not to pick the flowers or disturb the breeding birds. Many species are vanishing because of pollution. You probably have a good understanding of the meaning of this term, but it is variously defined. The Open University has a course on environmental control and public health, in which pollution is defined as the introduction into the environment (air, water, or land) of contaminants, the quantities, characteristics and duration of which are likely to be injurious to human, animal, or plant life.
Here we only have space to consider a few ways in which pollution impacts on human health. In some instances, there are clear links between health and pollution but more often, because interactions within the ecosystem are so complex, it is difficult to be certain of our ground.