Summary of Session 7
In Study Session 7, you have learned that:
- Environmental pollution is the result of human activity and development that occurs when physical, biological and chemical agents are released to the environment in such quantities that the pollution adversely affects human health and damages the environment.
- Pollution can be classified by its physical nature, by its source, by its recipient, by the sector affected or by its effects.
- Pollution may be in the form of a gas, liquid, solid or energy.
- Sources of pollution may be point sources, which are easily identified, or non-point sources, where the pollution comes from diffuse sources that are not easy to pinpoint.
- There are different types of pollution: water pollution, air pollution, solid waste pollution and noise pollution. All of these can be found in urban areas.
- The main sources of pollution are household activities, factories, agriculture and transport.
- Once they have been released into the environment, the concentration of some pollutants is reduced by dispersion, dilution, deposition or degradation.
- Water can be contaminated by physical pollutants (solid material), biological pollutants (such as bacteria that cause waterborne diseases), and many different chemical pollutants.
- Air pollution can be caused by gases or solid particulates.
- Soil pollution is linked to groundwater pollution. Solid waste can produce highly polluting leachate which contaminates soil groundwater.