Summary of Study Session 2
In Study Session 2, you have learned that:
- Environmental pollution is the release of harmful substances into water, air or soil.
- Solid waste is produced by households, industry, institutions and healthcare facilities and includes organic and inorganic materials. It should be properly collected, treated and disposed of to protect the environment and human health.
- Reducing, reusing and recycling waste are better options than simply throwing it away.
- Liquid waste includes human excreta and other waste waters. It is essential to ensure excreta is separated from people and to protect water sources from contamination by liquid waste.
- Examples of surface and groundwater pollution include contamination by human excreta, pesticides used in agriculture and toxic chemicals from industries.
- Examples of air pollutants include smoke, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and methane. The main sources are domestic fires, industrial activity and motor vehicles. Air pollution can cause respiratory infections.
- There are major health risks associated with water pollution, caused when people use water or food contaminated by faeces. Open defecation, improper use of latrines, disposing of faeces with solid waste or in fields are among the unhealthy practices that promote infection by disease. Unattended solid waste accumulation encourages flies and rodents to breed; they are responsible for transmitting disease.
- Some sectors of the community are particularly vulnerable to the health risks created by environmental pollution.