Environmental Pollution: Causes and Consequences Essay

Environmental pollution is the unwarranted discharge of mass or energy into the planet’s natural resource pools, such as land, air, or water, which detriments the environment’s ecological stability and the health of the living things that inhabit it. There is an intensified health risk and pollution in middle and low-income countries due to the increased use of pesticides, industrialization, the introduction of nitrogen-based fertilizers, forest fires, urbanization, and inadequate waste management (Appannagari, 2017). Air pollution, lead and chemicals exposure, hazardous waste exposure, and inappropriate e-waste disposal all result in unfavorable living conditions, fatal illnesses, and ecosystem destruction. The essay will provide an overview of pollution and proffer solutions to combating pollution for a sustainable environment and health.

In addition to hindering economic development and considerably accelerating climate change, pollution exacerbates poverty and inequality in urban and rural areas. The most pain is always experienced by the poor, who cannot afford to protect themselves against pollution’s harmful effects. The main environmental factor contributing to sickness and early mortality is pollution due to premature deaths resulting from pollution (Appannagari, 2017). Due to the unacceptably high cost to human capital and health, as well as the resulting GDP losses, pollution must be addressed. Through initiatives like reducing black carbon and methane emissions, which are responsible for air pollution and climate change, pollution management can also significantly contribute to climate change mitigation (Appannagari, 2017). Additionally, pollution control can promote competitiveness through, for instance, job growth, increased energy efficiency, better transportation, and sustainable urban and rural development. Below are the various approaches for solutions to health and pollution problems.

First, governments should evaluate pollution as a national and international priority and integrate it into the city and country planning process. Pollution affects the health and well-being of societies and, as such, cannot be solely viewed as an environmental issue (The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, 2017). All levels of government should give pollution prevention a high priority, incorporate it into development planning, and tie it to commitments regarding climate change, SDGs, and the prevention of non-communicable diseases. Some options are both affordable and offer good returns on investment.

Secondly, governments should increase funding for pollution control and prioritize it by health impacts. There should be a significant increase in the financing for pollution management in low- and middle-income nations, both from national budgets and international development organizations (The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, 2017). The most effective international support for pollution reduction is when it mobilizes additional actions and funding from others. Examples include helping towns and nations that are quickly industrializing concerning technical capacity building, regulatory and enforcement support, and support for direct actions to save lives. Monitoring financing initiatives are necessary to determine their cost-effectiveness and to raise accountability.

Thirdly, organizations should work to build multicultural partnerships for pollution control. Public-private partnerships and interagency cooperation can be powerful tools in creating clean technology and energy sources that will ultimately prevent pollution at its source (The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, 2017). Collaborations between ministries that include the ministries of finance, energy, development, agriculture, and transport, as well as the ministries of health and the environment, are crucial in pollution control. Governments should promote monitoring systems that could identify and apportion pollution sources, measure pollution levels, guide enforcement, and assess progress toward goals. The use of new technology in pollution monitoring, such as data mining and satellite images, can boost effectiveness, broaden the monitoring area, and cut costs.

One of the main issues facing the world in the current period is pollution. Natural resources are depleting daily due to car emissions, new technologies, factories, and chemicals added to food. All of these factors seriously harm the world. However, the problems caused by pollution can be prevented by building multicultural partnerships, increasing funding for pollution control, integrating it into the country’s planning process, and adopting new technology for monitoring pollution. Preventing pollution lowers the cost to the environment and the economy.

Appannagari, R. R. (2017). Environmental pollution causes and consequences: A study . North Asian International Research Journal of Social Science and Humanities , 3 (8), 151-161. Web.

Excell High School. (2018). Environmental Science . Excel Education Systems, Inc. Web.

The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health. (2017). Pollution and health: Six problems and six solutions. Knowledge, Evidence, and Learning for Development.

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Essay on Environmental Pollution

The environment is the surrounding of an organism. The environment in which an organism lives is made up of various components like air, water, land, etc. These components are found in fixed proportions to create a harmonious balance in the environment for the organism to live in. Any kind of undesirable and unwanted change in the proportions of these components can be termed as pollution. This issue is increasing with every passing year. It is an issue that creates economic, physical, and social troubles. The environmental problem that is worsening with each day needs to be addressed so that its harmful effects on humans as well as the planet can be discarded.

Causes of Environmental Pollution 

With the rise of the industries and the migration of people from villages to cities in search of employment, there has been a regular increase in the problem of proper housing and unhygienic living conditions. These reasons have given rise to factors that cause pollution. 

Environmental pollution is of five basic types namely, Air, Water, Soil, and Noise pollution. 

Air Pollution: Air pollution is a major issue in today’s world. The smoke pouring out of factory chimneys and automobiles pollute the air that we breathe in. Gases like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and sulphur dioxide are emitted with this smoke which mixes with air and causes great harm to the human body, flora, and fauna. The dry-farm waste, dry grass, leaves, and coal used as domestic fuels in our villages also produce harmful gases. Acid rain occurs due to an excess of sulphur dioxide in the air.

The Main Sources of Air Pollution are as Follows:  

Automobile pollution 

Industrial air pollution 

Burning garbage 

Brick kilns 

Indoor air pollution 

Decomposed animals and plants 

Radioactive elements

Water Pollution: Water pollution is one of the most serious environmental issues. The waste products from the growing industries and sewage water are not treated properly before disposing of the wastewater into the rivers and other water bodies, thus leading to water pollution. Agricultural processes with excess fertilizers and pesticides also pollute the water bodies. 

The Main Sources of Water Pollution as Follows:  

Marine commerce. 

Industrial effluents joining seas and oceans. 

Dumping of radioactive substances into seawater. 

Sewage is disposed of into the sea by rivers. 

Offshore oil rigs. 

Recreational activities. 

Agricultural pollutants are disposed of into the water bodies.

  

Soil or Land Pollution: Soil pollution or land pollution results from the deposition of solid waste, accumulation of biodegradable material, deposition of chemicals with poisonous chemical compositions, etc on the open land. Waste materials such as plastics, polythene, and bottles, cause land pollution and render the soil infertile. Moreover, the dumping of dead bodies of animals adds to this issue. Soil pollution causes several diseases in man and animals like Cholera, Dysentery, Typhoid, etc.

The Main Causes of Soil Pollution are as Follows:  

Industrial waste 

Urban commercial and domestic waste 

Chemical fertilizers 

Biomedical waste 

Noise Pollution: With an increasing population, urbanization, and industrialization, noise pollution is becoming a serious form of pollution affecting human life, health, and comfort in daily life. Horns of vehicles, loudspeakers, music systems, and industrial activities contribute to noise pollution. 

The Main Sources of Noise Pollution as Follows:  

The machines in the factories and industries produce whistling sounds, crushing noise, and thundering sounds. 

Loudspeakers, horns of vehicles. 

Blasting of rocks and earth, drilling tube wells, ventilation fans, and heavy earth-moving machinery at construction sites.

How Pollution Harms Health and Environment

The lives of people and other creatures are affected by environmental pollution, both directly and indirectly. For centuries, these living organisms have coexisted with humans on the planet. 

1. Effect on the Environment

Smog is formed when carbon and dust particles bind together in the air, causing respiratory problems, haze, and smoke. These are created by the combustion of fossil fuels in industrial and manufacturing facilities and vehicle combustion of carbon fumes. 

Furthermore, these factors impact the immune systems of birds, making them carriers of viruses and diseases. It also has an impact on the body's system and organs. 

2.  Land, Soil, and Food Effects 

The degradation of human organic and chemical waste harms the land and soil. It also releases chemicals into the land and water. Pesticides, fertilisers, soil erosion, and crop residues are the main causes of land and soil pollution. 

3. Effects on water 

Water is easily contaminated by any pollutant, whether it be human waste or factory chemical discharge. We also use this water for crop irrigation and drinking. They, too, get polluted as a result of infection. Furthermore, an animal dies as a result of drinking the same tainted water. 

Furthermore, approximately 80% of land-based pollutants such as chemical, industrial, and agricultural waste wind up in water bodies. 

Furthermore, because these water basins eventually link to the sea, they contaminate the sea's biodiversity indirectly. 

4. Food Reaction

Crops and agricultural produce become poisonous as a result of contaminated soil and water. These crops are laced with chemical components from the start of their lives until harvest when they reach a mass level. Due to this, tainted food has an impact on our health and organs. 

5. Climate Change Impact 

Climate change is also a source of pollution in the environment. It also has an impact on the ecosystem's physical and biological components. 

Ozone depletion, greenhouse gas emissions, and global warming are all examples of environmental pollution. Because these water basins eventually link to the sea, they contaminate the sea's biodiversity indirectly. Furthermore, their consequences may be fatal for future generations. The unpredictably cold and hot climate impacts the earth’s natural system. 

Furthermore, earthquakes, starvation, smog, carbon particles, shallow rain or snow, thunderstorms, volcanic eruptions, and avalanches are all caused by climate change, caused entirely by environmental pollution.

How to Minimise Environmental Pollution? 

To minimise this issue, some preventive measures need to be taken. 

Principle of 3R’s: To save the environment, use the principle of 3 R’s; Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. 

Reuse products again and again. Instead of throwing away things after one use, find a way to use them again.  Reduce the generation of waste products.  

Recycle: Paper, plastics, glass, and electronic items can be processed into new products while using fewer natural resources and lesser energy. 

To prevent and control air pollution, better-designed equipment, and smokeless fuels should be used in homes and industries. More and more trees should be planted to balance the ecosystem and control greenhouse effects. 

Noise pollution can be minimised by better design and proper maintenance of vehicles. Industrial noise can be reduced by soundproofing equipment like generators, etc.  

To control soil pollution, we must stop the usage of plastic. Sewage should be treated properly before using it as fertilizers and as landfills. Encourage organic farming as this process involves the use of biological materials and avoiding synthetic substances to maintain soil fertility and ecological balance. 

Several measures can be adopted to control water pollution. Some of them are water consumption and usage that can be minimized by altering the techniques involved. Water should be reused with treatment. 

The melting icebergs in Antarctica resulted in rising sea levels due to the world's environmental pollution, which had become a serious problem due to global warming, which had become a significant concern. Rising carbon pollution poses a risk for causing natural disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, and other natural disasters. 

The Hiroshima-Nagasaki and Chernobyl disasters in Russia have irreversibly harmed humanity. Different countries around the world are responding to these calamities in the most effective way possible. 

Different countries around the world are responding to these calamities in the most effective way possible. More public awareness campaigns are being established to educate people about the hazards of pollution and the importance of protecting our environment. Greener lifestyles are becoming more popular; for example, energy-efficient lighting, new climate-friendly autos, and the usage of wind and solar power are just a few examples. 

Governments emphasise the need to plant more trees, minimise the use of plastics, improve natural waste recovery, and reduce pesticide use. This ecological way of living has helped humanity save other creatures from extinction while making the Earth a greener and safer ecology. 

 Conclusion

It is the responsibility of every individual to save our planet from these environmental contamination agents. If preventive measures are not taken then our future generation will have to face major repercussions. The government is also taking steps to create public awareness. Every individual should be involved in helping to reduce and control pollution.

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FAQs on Environmental Pollution Essay

1. What do you understand by ‘Environmental Pollution’?  

Environmental pollution is the contamination of the environment and surroundings like air, water, soil by the discharge of harmful substances.

2. What preventive measures should be taken to save our environment?

Some of the preventive measures that should be taken to save our environment are discussed below. 

We can save our environment by adopting the concept of carpooling and promoting public transport to save fuel. Smoking bars are public policies, including criminal laws and occupational safety and health regulations that prohibit tobacco smoking in workplaces and other public places.  

The use of Fossil fuels should be restricted because it causes major environmental issues like global warming.  

Encourage organic farming to maintain the fertility of the soil.

3.  What are the main sources of soil pollution?

The main sources of soil pollution as follows:

Industrial waste

Urban commercial and domestic waste

Chemical fertilizers

Biomedical waste

4. What is organic farming?

 It is a farming method that involves growing and nurturing crops without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

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Essay on Environmental Pollution

Students are often asked to write an essay on Environmental Pollution in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Environmental Pollution

Introduction.

Environmental pollution refers to the introduction of harmful substances into the environment. These pollutants can damage our natural resources, making them unsafe or unsuitable for use.

Types of Pollution

There are several types of pollution including air, water, soil, and noise pollution. Each type poses a unique threat to our environment and health.

Pollution affects every aspect of the environment. It harms wildlife, damages habitats, and can cause health problems in humans.

To protect our environment, we must reduce pollution. This involves conscious efforts from everyone to make sustainable choices.

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250 Words Essay on Environmental Pollution

Environmental pollution, a global menace, has been escalating at an alarming rate, posing a significant threat to our planet’s biodiversity and human health. The reckless exploitation of natural resources and relentless industrialization have been the primary contributors to this predicament.

Types of Environmental Pollution

Environmental pollution is primarily classified into air, water, and soil pollution. Air pollution, caused by the release of harmful gases and particulates, leads to respiratory diseases and global warming. Water pollution, on the other hand, is the result of dumping untreated waste and chemicals into water bodies, causing harm to aquatic life and contaminating drinking water. Soil pollution, caused by the excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides, affects plant growth and can lead to food contamination.

Impacts of Environmental Pollution

The impacts of environmental pollution are far-reaching and devastating. It not only disrupts ecosystems but also contributes to biodiversity loss, climate change, and human health issues. The increase in the Earth’s average temperature, melting ice caps, and rising sea levels are all consequences of pollution-induced global warming.

In conclusion, environmental pollution is a pressing issue that requires immediate attention and action. It is crucial for us, as responsible inhabitants of this planet, to adopt sustainable practices and encourage others to do the same. The future of our planet rests in our hands, and every step taken towards its preservation counts.

500 Words Essay on Environmental Pollution

Introduction to environmental pollution.

Environmental pollution, a global concern, is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment causing adverse changes. These pollutants, usually generated by human activities, upset the balance of ecosystems, affecting their inhabitants and the environment itself.

The Different Types of Environmental Pollution

Environmental pollution manifests in various forms. Air pollution, caused by industrial emissions and vehicle exhaust, leads to global warming and respiratory illnesses. Water pollution, resulting from industrial waste, oil spills, and plastic waste, has devastating effects on aquatic life and water quality. Soil pollution, due to agricultural chemicals and waste disposal, impairs plant growth and can contaminate food sources. Noise pollution, often overlooked, can cause stress and hearing loss in both humans and animals.

The Impact of Environmental Pollution on Biodiversity

Environmental pollution severely affects biodiversity. Pollutants can cause immediate harm to organisms or subtly alter habitats over time, leading to reduced species diversity. For instance, oil spills can kill marine life instantly, while acid rain, a byproduct of air pollution, slowly makes lakes uninhabitable for many species. Such changes can disrupt ecosystems, as species interdependencies are complex and often poorly understood until a key species is lost.

Human Health and Environmental Pollution

Environmental pollution also poses significant risks to human health. Air pollution can lead to respiratory diseases and cancer, while contaminated water can cause gastrointestinal illnesses and other diseases. Prolonged exposure to noise pollution can result in hearing impairment and stress-related conditions. Furthermore, pollution-induced changes in the environment can lead to resource scarcity, contributing to conflicts and migration.

The Role of Legislation and Public Awareness

Effective legislation and public awareness are crucial in combating environmental pollution. Strict laws can regulate pollutant emissions, waste disposal, and resource use. However, laws alone are not enough. Public awareness and education about the harmful effects of pollution are necessary to stimulate behavioral changes. When individuals understand the impact of their actions, they are more likely to adopt sustainable practices.

Conclusion: The Urgency of Addressing Environmental Pollution

Environmental pollution is a complex issue that requires immediate attention. Its impacts are far-reaching, affecting biodiversity, human health, and social stability. While legislation can provide a framework for action, public awareness and individual responsibility are key to achieving a sustainable future. By understanding and addressing environmental pollution, we can help ensure the health and longevity of our planet.

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environmental problems essay pollution

Essay on Environmental Pollution for Students and Children

500+ words essay on environmental pollution.

Essay on Environmental Pollution – Environment is the surroundings in which we live. But the contamination of our environment by pollutants is environmental pollution. The current stage of the earth that we are seeing is the cause of centuries of exploitation of earth and its resources.

Moreover, the earth cannot restore its balance because of environmental pollution . The human force has created and destroyed life on earth. Human plays a vital role in the degradation of the environment.

Essay on Environmental Pollution

Effect of pollution on the health

The environmental pollution, directly and indirectly, affects the lives of humans and other species. These living beings co-existed on the earth with human from centuries.

Effect on Air

Carbon and dust particles string up with the air in the form of smog, damaging respiratory system , haze, and smoke. These are caused by the emission of industrial and manufacturing units by burning of fossil fuels, vehicle combustion of carbon fumes.

Moreover, these factors affect the immune system of birds which become a carrier of viruses and infections.

Besides, it also affects the body system and body organs.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Effects on Land, Soil, and Food

Human’s organic and chemical both waste harm the land and soil with its decomposition. Also, it introduces some chemical in the soil and water. Land and soil pollution mainly caused by the use of pesticides, fertilizers , soil erosion, and crop residues.

Effect on Water

Water gets contaminated easily with any pollutant whether it is human waste or chemical discharge from factories. Also, we use this water for irrigation of crops and drinking. But, because of infection they become contaminated too. Besides, an animal dies because they drink this same contaminated water.

Moreover, around 80% of pollutants of land such as chemical, industrial and agricultural waste end up in the water bodies.

Besides, these water bodies ultimately connect to the sea which means it indirectly pollutes the biodiversity of the sea.

Effect on Food

Because of contaminated soil and water, the crop or agricultural produce also get toxic. Furthermore, this contaminated food effect our health and organs. From the beginning of their life, these crops are laced with chemical components that reach a mass level until the time of harvest.

Effect on Climate

Climate change is also a cause of environmental pollution. Also, it affects the physical and biological components of the ecosystem.

Moreover, ozone depletion, greenhouse gases, global warming all these climate changes are a cause of environmental pollution.

environmental problems essay pollution

Furthermore, some unstable climate changes are earthquakes, famine, smog, carbon particles, shallow rain or snow, thunderstorms, volcanic eruption, and avalanches are all because of climate change that happens all because of environmental pollution.

In conclusion, man has exploited the wealth of nature at the cost of his and environments health. Also, the effect that is now emerging rapidly is all because of the activities of humans for hundreds or thousands of years.

Above all, if we wish to survive and continue our life on earth then we have to take measures. These measures will help is securing our as well as our next generation future.

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Essay on Pollution: Samples in 100, 150 and 200 Words

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  • Apr 27, 2024

Essay on Pollution

As the world embraced urbanization, mother nature witnessed the greener lands getting transformed into modern cities and metropolises. What followed is a trail of natural disasters signalling that something is wrong with the planet Earth. Pollution is increasingly asked under the writing section in school and college tests as well as competitive exams . This is because it is a relevant environmental issue today. This blog aims to help you with the necessary knowledge as well as tips and tricks to draft a well-written essay on pollution.

What is Pollution?

Pollution is the introduction of harmful materials into the environment. These materials are called pollutants. They can be created by human activity like trash and natural like volcanic ash. Pollutants damage the quality of water, air and land. Pollution is a global problem. Air and water carry pollution into the ocean currents and migrating fish. Pollution is among the many things that harm our planet- once greener and healthier than it is now. Pollution is a dangerous phenomenon that is contributing to an array of health issues.

Types of Pollution

In simple terms, pollution is defined as the contamination of the physical and biological constituents in the earth’s atmosphere. It affects human life and the natural environment to a very great extent. It degrades our natural resources, from the water we drink to the air we breathe. While writing an essay on Pollution, you must mention the major four types of pollution which are as follows:

  • Air Pollution : Air pollution is the contamination of air in the atmosphere when harmful or excessive quantities of substances such as smoke and harmful gases from industries, CFCs and oxides produced by automobiles, the burning of solid wastes, etc. are introduced into the environment.
  • Water Pollution : This refers to the contamination of natural resources of water, due to the addition of harmful chemical, biological or physical materials, which includes industrial wastes, oil spills, domestic and farm wastes, pesticides, as well as mining and agricultural wastes, to water resource which make it unusable.
  • Soil Pollution : Land/Soil Pollution occurs due to the degradation of the earth’s surface by different commercial, industrial, agricultural and domestic activities. Causes of soil pollution also include mining, deforestation, dumping of e-waste and other industrial wastes, usage of harmful chemicals such as insecticides, pesticides, etc.
  • Noise Pollution : Excess noise due to sounds created by machines, loudspeakers, microphones, loud music, noise from industries, construction and civil engineering works etc. lead to noise pollution.

Causes and Health Effects of Pollution

You can include various causes and health effects in your essay on Pollution from the following table:-

Essay on Pollution

Sample Essay on Pollution in 100 Words

Pollution is the addition of unwanted substances which are incorporated into the environment that can damage our Earth. There are mainly four types of pollution, these include water pollution, air pollution, soil pollution, and noise pollution. One should note that any form of pollution is the result of careless activity carried out by man. We, humans daily dump waste directly into water bodies which leads to water pollution.

Vehicle emissions of smoke into the atmosphere impede the ability of all living things to breathe, leading to air pollution. Our garbage is dumped into landfills directly, which results in soil pollution. Although it cannot be seen, noise pollution is a severe type of pollution that can harm our ears.

Sample Essay on Pollution in 250-300 Words

The biggest threat planet Earth is facing is pollution. Unwanted substances leave a negative impact once released into an environment. There are four types of pollution air, water, land, and noise. Pollution affects the quality of life more than any human can imagine.

Due to air pollution, even teenage kids have developed various respiratory diseases. Water pollution has led to diseases in children. The waste we humans dump on the land or chemical fertilisers which are put on the land for agricultural purposes causes land/ soil pollution.

If the soil quality deteriorates due to such practices, the soil will become infertile and no crops could be grown in future. The government has launched various schemes over the years to fight pollution but individual efforts can also play a vital role.

Start by replacing plastic bags for shopping with cloth bags, stopping littering on roads and stopping wasting water are some of the basic things to start with that can lead to big changes in the environment.

Also Read: Essay on Green Energy PDF: 150 and 250 Words

Sample Essay on Pollution in 300-350 Words

One of the most critical threats faced by our planet in the present-day scenario. Environmental pollution is a global issue affecting people around the world. It is occurring in different forms, whether by affecting the air we breathe or the water resources we utilise for several purposes.

Air pollution came into being with an increase in the level of carbon dioxide, with the increase in pollutants which are contaminating the air and causing breathing discomfort as well as skin diseases to human beings. Talking about the other aspect, there is no life without water.

The water bodies are polluting and becoming unsafe for drinking or any other use because of industrial development, rapid urbanisation and various other reasons. Due to air pollution, diseases that can occur in human beings are asthma, various skin diseases, cancer, etc. Therefore, it is the essential need of the hour to take serious steps to reduce pollution to its core.

At a personal level, we can minimise environmental pollution by taking public transport or carpools to reduce vehicular smoke, avoiding firecrackers at festivals and celebrations can also cut down on air and noise pollution, and not using fertilisers and pesticides which can cause both water and soil pollution, and switching over to organic farming. The government can also bring strict rules and regulations to lessen industrial pollution.  

To sum up, any type of pollution is harmful to the environment with serious consequences like global warming, uneven climatic changes, etc. Due to our greediness and illegal human activities, the innocent lives of animals are lost. The time has come to join hands and work towards preserving and protecting the environment for the present as well as future generations.

Also Read: Essay on Environment: Examples and Tips

Short Essay on Pollution in English

Find a sample of a short essay on pollution below:

Esssay on Pollution

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Nikita is a creative writer and editor, who is always ready to learn new skills. She has great knowledge about study abroad universities, researching and writing blogs about them. Being a perfectionist, she has a habit of keeping her tasks complete on time before the OCD hits her. When Nikita is not busy working, you can find her eating while binge-watching The office. Also, she breathes music. She has done her bachelor's from Delhi University and her master's from Jamia Millia Islamia.

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Human Impacts on the Environment

Humans impact the physical environment in many ways: overpopulation, pollution, burning fossil fuels, and deforestation. Changes like these have triggered climate change, soil erosion, poor air quality, and undrinkable water. These negative impacts can affect human behavior and can prompt mass migrations or battles over clean water.

Help your students understand the impact humans have on the physical environment with these classroom resources.

Earth Science, Geology, Geography, Physical Geography

Home — Essay Samples — Environment — Pollution — “Let’s Save Our Planet!” Or The Problem Of Environmental Pollution

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"Let's Save Our Planet!" Or The Problem of Environmental Pollution

  • Categories: Environmental Issues Pollution

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Words: 644 |

Published: May 19, 2020

Words: 644 | Page: 1 | 4 min read

Hook Examples for Pollution Essay

  • The Silent Threat Above: As we go about our daily lives, a hidden danger lurks in the air we breathe. This essay unveils the pervasive issue of air pollution, its sources, and the alarming consequences it has on our health and the environment.
  • Plastic Planet: Our oceans are drowning in a sea of plastic waste. Join us as we dive into the plastic pollution crisis, exploring its impact on marine life, ecosystems, and our responsibility to curb this environmental catastrophe.
  • The Price of Progress: Industrialization and economic growth come at a cost. This essay delves into the trade-offs between development and environmental degradation, shedding light on the challenges of balancing progress with sustainability.
  • Water: The Elixir of Life in Peril: Water pollution threatens our most vital resource—freshwater. Explore the sources of water contamination, the far-reaching consequences on ecosystems and communities, and the urgent need for conservation and restoration.
  • Hope Amidst the Haze: While pollution poses a grave threat, there is still hope for a cleaner, greener future. In this essay, we’ll explore innovative solutions, grassroots movements, and individual actions that can mitigate pollution and lead us toward a sustainable tomorrow.

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environmental problems essay pollution

environmental problems essay pollution

  • B2 Pollution Problems

B2 Pollution Problems

The essay for B2 First Writing Part 1 is always written for the teacher. It should be well organised, with an introduction, your opinions on the ideas given and an appropriate conclusion.

For this essay, you have been talking about the environment in your class. Now, your English teacher has asked you to write an essay.

Every country in the world has problems with pollution and damage to the environment. Do you think these problems can be solved?

Write about:

1. transport 2. rivers and seas 3. energy at home

Write your article in  140-190  words in an appropriate style.

More exercises available:

writing

You are required to produce two pieces of writing. The first piece is compulsory and will be an essay of 140-190 words. For the second, you can choose from an article, email/letter, essay, review or report (B2 First for schools the report is replaced with a story) of 140-190 words.

  • B2 Article Video
  • B2 Book Review Video
  • B2 Descriptive Email Video
  • B2 Place Review Video
  • B2 Short Story Video
  • B2 Cities of the Future
  • B2 Fast Food
  • B2 Following Fashion
  • B2 Live Concert
  • B2 Taking a Gap Year
  • B2 A Work of Art
  • B2 Being a Celebrity
  • B2 Life Away
  • B2 Preventing Crime
  • B2 School Improvement
  • B2 Shopping Online
  • B2 Tablet or Laptop
  • B2 The Countryside
  • School Canteen
  • B2 A School Trip to Italy
  • B2 An Important Day
  • B2 Forgetful Girl
  • The Hidden Beach
  • The Lost Photo
  • B2 IMDb Website Review
  • B2 Jurassic Park Book Review
  • B2 Mountain Bike Park
  • B2 Romeo and Juliet Play Review
  • B2 Ted Film Review
  • Scarlett Animation Review
  • B2 Berlin Travel Report
  • B2 Shops Report
  • B2 Visiting Places Report
  • B2 Birthday Party Letter
  • B2 Computer Games Email
  • B2 Favourite Film Email
  • B2 Holiday in Thailand Email
  • B2 New Attraction Letter
  • B2 Place to Visit Email
  • B2 Spending Money Email
  • B2 Visiting Relative Email

reading

You need to be able to understand a range of texts, including how they are organised and the opinions and attitudes expressed in them. The texts will be from sources familiar to you such as magazines, articles, fiction and advertisements, but targeted at the interests of students.

Students’ use of English will be tested by tasks which show how well they can control their grammar and vocabulary.

  • Use of English Part 1
  • Use of English Part 2
  • Use of English Part 3
  • Use of English Part 4
  • Reading Part 5
  • Reading Part 6
  • Reading Part 7

For this part, you practice vocabulary by using words with similar meanings, collocations, linking phrases, phrasal verbs, etc.

  • B2 First Use of English Video
  • Becoming Famous
  • Cycling Scheme
  • Film Stars and Music Celebrities
  • Going on a diet
  • Single or Mixed Sex Schools
  • The History of Football
  • The Poor and Less Fortunate
  • The Special Bus
  • Why do we need to play?

For this part, you practice grammar and vocabulary.

  • Better swimming
  • Cardboard Bike
  • Dealing with waste plastic
  • Drinking Water
  • Fit for Sports
  • Following Your Nose
  • Growing Bananas
  • Holiday with a Friend
  • Making Perfume
  • The Farm Trip
  • The Jobs Market
  • Tree Climbing
  • Weather Forecasting
  • Young Enterprise

For this part, you practice vocabulary word-building by changing different words using a base word.

  • Angel of Mercy
  • Fast Food Industry
  • Life on Other Planets
  • Music in Schools
  • Mystery Weekend Break
  • Pollution Problems
  • Understanding Time
  • Workforce on the Move

For this part,  you have to express a message in different ways showing flexibility and resource in the use of language.

  • B2 First Use of English Part 4
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 1
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 10
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 2
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 3
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 4
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 5
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 6
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 7
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 8
  • B2 Key Word Transformation 9

For this part, you practice how to understand the details of a text, including opinions and attitudes.

  • Cycling to India
  • Hottest Place on Earth
  • Living and Working in Another Country
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • The Wrestler who Wrote a Book

For this part, you practice how to understand the structure and follow the development of a text.

  • Benefits of Getting Fit
  • Our Polluted World

For this part, you practice how to find specific information in a text or texts.

  • Collecting Things
  • English Seaside Resorts
  • Teenage Summer Camps

environmental problems essay pollution

Requires being able to follow and understand a range of familiar spoken materials, such as news programmes, public announcements and other sources, but targeted at the interests of the learners.

  • Speaking Part 1
  • Speaking Part 2
  • Speaking Part 3
  • Speaking Part 4
  • Listening Part 1
  • Listening Part 2
  • Listening Part 3
  • Listening Part 4

In this part you talk to the examiner about yourself and your life, e.g. your name, school, interests and future plans.

B2 Speaking Part 1 Exercise 1 B2 Speaking Part 1 Exercise 2 B2 Speaking Part 1 Exercise 3

In this part, you talk about two photos on your own which you have to compare for about 1 minute . After you have finished, your partner will be asked a short question about your photo. When your partner has spoken about their photos for about 1 minute , you will be asked a question about their photos.

B2 Speaking Part 2 Exercise 1

In this part you express ideas with your partner by looking at a discussion point that the examiner gives you.

This will be available soon.

In this part, you focus on general aspects of a topic with the examiner or you may involve your partner.

In this part, you will hear people talking in eight different situations.

Entertainment Short Conversations Talking about Sports

In this part, you will hear someone being interviewed.

Extreme Snowboarding Future Options Newly Published Book The Talent Show

In this part, you will hear five people talking about different things.

Demonstration Travel Worries

In this part, you will hear an interview.

Protecting the Environment Staying Healthy

execises

  • Customs and Traditions
  • Entertainment and Leisure
  • Environmental and Nature
  • Future Jobs and Education
  • Identity and Well-being
  • Travel and Adventure

Customs and Traditions explores how we celebrate our cultural identity across the globe.

  • Christmas Hard Exercises
  • Story of Halloween
  • Valentine Message

Entertainment and Leisure explores how we spent our free time.

Environment and Nature explores the way humans and animals live, adapt and change on our planet.

  • Global Changes

Exploring how different societies create roles for people to develop their skills and knowledge.

  • Future Schools
  • Sport at School
  • School Rules
  • Fashion Design

Exploring how we learn and adjust to the world around us. .

  • Taking Risks
  • Natural Disasters

Exploring how we experience the world through our life journeys

  • Travelling around the World

Cambridge English exams are designed for learners at all levels from the pre-intermediate level Cambridge English: Key (KET) to the very advanced level Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE). These exams give candidates proof of their ability to use English in a wide variety of contexts, relevant to work, study and leisure activities.

A2 Key | B1 Preliminary | B2 First

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Essay on Environmental Pollution, Issues, and Problems

Sample essay on environmental pollution, environmental issues, and environmental problems for students of all classes , and employees.

Essay on Environment Pollution Effect, and Problems

The only thing that makes our planet livable out of all those eight planets is environment. Environment is a very broad term it cannot be explained into one simple sentence. To put it lightly we usually refer air when we talk about environment, and how polluted it is being with each passing day. We sometimes forget that behind all this industrial advancements there is natural resources that are being compromised.

Ocean, and river water is being contaminated killing most of the marine life, smoke emitting from vehicles is making difficult to breath for everyone, and garbage thrown out openly conducting land pollution is a serious health threat to every living being.

Pollution is not only fight for environmental lawyers, or NGO’s working for it, it is a fight that everyone has to take a part in. We all need a greener earth, clean water, and fresh air to live. We need to remember that natural resources are not infinite if we will not start to work on another plan soon we will be left with a destroyed land, no tree, water with a high dose of chemical in it, and huge deal of smog in the air.

There are people out there who are making Earth a better place to live, and fighting for environmental laws but as long as all the big corporations, and research centers will not think about another way the planet, and all the species living on it are in danger.

We can all make this environment better by even just planting a tree, or throwing our garbage in the recyclable dust bin, and even stopping someone from throwing garbage on the roads where public’s health is exposed. It is our planet, and it is our job to save it.

Short Essay on Environment

Environment is basically our surrounding.  This is one of the most important things which affect our minds, and behaviors. If you are living in a good environment you can feel your moods are good, and your attitudes towards people are positive. But you can see the difference if you are come across a person which is living in noisy environment he has definitely more mood swings than you.

Environment affects our health as well if the environment has fresh air without the air pollution of cars, and factories then you are internally fresh. Environment affects us in another way as well this we can define as the environment of company in which we are sitting, or in which we have friends this affect us a lot, mentally. If we have friends with good nature, and nurture, then we are considered as the people with good surroundings, or environment but if we are with the people who do drugs with negative nature, and nurture we are considered as the people with terrible environment.

So basically environment affects us positively, and negatively it depends on us which kind of environment we are choosing for us.

Essay on Environment

What is environment? It is our surrounding, and everything our ecosystem, our living environment our, everything is included in environment.

Every country should invest in our environment to make it better for living; we live in a time when the environment is in danger because there is a lot of pollution which is effecting our environment. So it is important to protect it. We need a healthy environment in order to survive, so we must protect it from danger. We prevent environment from getting damaged then we can also prevent health problems. Better environment is very important for healthy living.

Pollution from the factories , and cars can cause damage to the environment. It makes the air dirty. Breathing in this dirty air, causes health problems, like asthma, lungs issue, liver problems, and stomach problems, particularly for children, and the elderly. We need to control the amounts of pollution we produce in order to prevent health problems, and especially our environment.

We also need to pay attention to the ecosystem. Plants life, animal’s life, and people all depend on each other. An unhealthy environment disturbs this ecosystem. For example, changes in environment may cause a certain kind of plant to die. If that plant is food for certain kind of animal, the animal will die too. If people use that animal as food source there could be big problem. To avoid the big problems, factories should pollute as little as possible, and use natural resources rationally.

If we do not protect our environment it will continue to get worse, and our children will suffer the consequences. The air, and water will be dirtier, natural resources will become scarcer, and more plants, and animals will be dying. Our children won’t have as much nature beauty to admire. Even worse, their well-being will be threatened. Without clean air to breath, a healthy ecosystem, and a future for our children the human race will not survive. That is why protecting our environment is important not only the company is going to make a profit but also workers, customers, and community.

Environment may differ place to place due to people, and their living styles etc. We should love, and care about our environment, and we should also pay attention to make it remain healthier for our future generations.

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Environmental Problems And Solution Essay : IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample & Tips

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Updated on 31 January, 2024

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study abroad expert.

Mrinal Mandal

Attempting the IELTS writing task 2 environmental problems and solutions essay? A minimum word count of 250 is compulsory, and you should complete this task in 40 minutes. You will get an essay topic to give an opinion, summarize information, outline major issues or identify solutions for relevant problems. 

While writing the problem of pollution IELTS essay, it must be accompanied by examples, arguments, and logical reasons. Read your instructions carefully before starting. Structure your essay beforehand and decide what you wish to say about the topic. Be clear about the paragraph count that you want and your conclusion. Here are some samples to help you.

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Ielts writing task 2 environmental problems essay samples - 1, download e-books for ielts preparation, download ielts sample papers, environmental problems and solutions essay samples - 2, important study abroad articles, frequently asked questions, learn more about study abroad, popular study abroad destinations.

Go through some samples that will help you frame a good essay:  

Question:   Many people think that environmental problems are too big for individual citizens to fix. In contrast, others feel that the government cannot solve them unless individuals take constructive actions. Discuss both perspectives, and let us know what you think.  

Answer:  

There are pressing environmental problems that the world faces today. Some believe that they are outside the ambit of individuals to solve, while others believe that unless people step up, the governments will be unable to solve them either. This essay will discuss both these views before concluding. 

The argument is heavily tilted towards individual citizens lacking the material resources and social networks to fix long-standing environmental problems. There are several facets towards solving environmental issues, notably those concerning the administrative, governmental, regulatory, authoritative, law and order, and legal domains. For instance, manufacturing units keep releasing poisonous gases into the atmosphere while polluting rivers with toxic materials. Individuals cannot possibly combat these instances. People may argue that every stakeholder can step up and pressure the authorities and companies to take proactive steps. However, this is not a feasible solution since these companies are largely under the ownership of businesses and funds that only seek profits and do not prioritize the environment. 

It leads to the natural deduction that solving environmental problems is the joint responsibility of public stakeholders and the government. The authorities should offer legal and administrative support towards curbing pollution and other environmental issues. If any individual wishes to notify the authorities of something harmful in their region, then steps should be taken to streamline this provision as much as possible. Governments may consider setting up pollution control bodies, desks in every administrative office, random environmental inspections at manufacturing units, fines and legal provisions for a rule violation, and similar steps. 

Hence, the above premise supports the argument that the government can't fix everything unless there is sustained pressure from a section of society and individuals. The responsibility seems to veer directly towards individual actions collectively harnessed to pressure legislative and administrative mechanisms to fix prevalent issues. The combined initiatives of citizens and authorities will be the most effective solution for solving environmental problems. However, this does not mean that individual responsibility takes a backseat until there is government support. Individuals can contribute in numerous smaller ways towards ecological preservation. (Words: 360)

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Question:   Some citizens feel that the biggest environmental issue currently is the loss of animal and plant species. Some think that there are bigger ecological issues worth addressing. Discuss both perspectives, and let us know what you think.  

Many people feel that there are bigger environmental issues and potential disasters that should be tackled first. In contrast, others believe that the loss of particular animal and plant species is the biggest threat at the moment. Despite the first argument having some merits, I agree that the loss of biodiversity through the vital plant and animal species is the biggest environmental issue we face today. 

Natural disasters have increased worldwide, and scientists cite climate change as the major reason. Many experts argue that the temperature increase, especially across oceans, has led to a higher risk of blizzards, hurricanes, cyclones, and tsunamis. There are multiple natural disasters, including the devastating cyclones  Aila and  Amphan,  which struck India periodically over the last two decades. The biggest tragedy of the entire century was arguably the 2004 tsunami that destroyed Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, causing innumerable deaths, serious injuries, loss of property and homes, livelihood risks, and unimaginable damages. 

The key reason animal and plant species have to be safeguarded are the growing number of endangered species on the planet over the last few decades. Take the example of polar bears, who mostly reside in the Arctic, where they currently face threats due to the prolonged melting of the ice caps. Polar bears may completely become extinct by 2100, as per forecasts. It will have a chain effect on the Arctic ecosystem and other animals in the endangered category, such as narwhals and seals. It is only a single example of global warming and how it impacts the lives of plant and animal species. 

In my opinion, biodiversity loss is the biggest threat faced by the environment today. Citizens, action groups and governments, should find ways to collaborate and take positive steps towards preserving endangered wildlife and plants along with their ecosystems. It is because biodiversity is the bedrock of natural growth, maintenance, and evolution. Governments should simultaneously look at ways to lower carbon emissions, the usage of fossil fuels, and other factors causing climate change and deadly natural consequences. (Words: 353)

In conclusion, addressing environmental problems requires a comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand and a commitment to implementing practical solutions. Essays on environmental problems and solutions for IELTS Writing Task 2 should not only highlight the urgency of these issues, such as climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, but also emphasize the effectiveness of solutions like renewable energy adoption, conservation efforts, and sustainable practices. By critically analyzing these topics, candidates can demonstrate their awareness, analytical abilities, and language proficiency. Furthermore, such essays encourage a global discourse on environmental stewardship, underscoring the need for collective action and innovative approaches to safeguard our planet for future generations. As we move forward, it is imperative that we all contribute to these solutions, embodying the change needed to address the environmental challenges that face us today.

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How to keep our environment clean essay?

As human beings, we are blessed with a beautiful and nurturing environment. However, it is fast being reduced to shreds owing to the negative impact of our destructive and careless actions. Out of our greed, selfishness and carelessness, we are steadily destroying the environment brick by brick. The rising incidence of natural calamities throughout the world and growing emissions are only two indicators of what is to come if we do not mend our ways. I strongly feel that communities, Governments and individuals should take more concrete steps towards keeping their immediate environments clean and in good shape. 

We should enhance our environments by planting more trees and encouraging others to do the same, especially the future generations. We should also advocate legal regulations that ban usage of plastic in order to preserve our future ecosystems and oceans. We should reuse our plastic bags and not dispose them. We should gradually switch towards paper bags as well. 

We should also use more public transportation and reduce electricity and water consumption. I believe that with responsible steps, we can ensure a cleaner and healthier environment for the upcoming generations.

How to protect the environment essay?

Our environment refers to our ecosystems, communities, surroundings and our living conditions. However, it is now on its way towards being endangered owing to the callous actions of Man for greed and profit. Milking natural resources to the point of exhaustion, we have already been chipping away at the natural environment bit by bit. I believe that all is not lost however and we can start taking pro-active steps towards safeguarding our environment. 

We can start with more tree plantation since green cover is the only solution towards combating the impact of natural calamities, flooding and reducing the artificial  heat island effect that major global cities are suffering from. More oxygen will also ensure better quality of life in the bargain. We can also endeavor to protect natural habitats, urban forests and other natural ecosystems including water bodies. We should also conserve forests with dedicated initiatives and awareness programs. A lot has to be done at the Government level in this regard. 

Other measures include waste management, zero-tolerance policies for littering, soil conservation and preventing pollution. In this way, we can all work together to protect what is left of our environment in order to combat future calamities and destructive occurrences, while ensuring the sustainability of life itself on the planet.

How to save our environment essay?

Saving the environment is imperative in the current scenario. The word  save assumes immense significance here, since we have already managed to destroy large parts of our environments and natural habitats owing to greed, conspicuous consumption and politics. 

We can start by emphasizing more tree plantation and conservation of existing natural habitats and ecosystems. We should take steps towards reducing carbon emissions and footprints, while switching to electric mobility, cutting down on water waste and managing solid waste carefully. We should eliminate plastic usage in order to save our oceans. 

Forest and soil conservation are also essential for saving the environment for the future. Solar and wind energy should be promoted as the new-age formula for environmental conservation. Recycling and reusing is also the way to go with regard to conserving natural resources. With these positive steps being implemented by environmental organizations and authorities worldwide, we can attempt to save our environment, leaving it intact and sustainable for future generations.

How I care for the environment everyday essay?

As human beings, we are all governed by a set of fundamental duties and responsibilities to ourselves, our families, society and the environment. We are all entrusted with responsibilities to leave behind a sustainable environment for upcoming generations instead of defiling it and leaving behind the planet in a hazardous state. 

At my end, I try to take various pro-active steps towards caring for my environment. I try and plant trees as often as I can, not just in proximity to my residence, but also throughout my community, by organizing tree plantation drives. I gift saplings to my loved ones and acquaintances. I also reuse plastic bags at home while avoiding the usage of new ones. I use paper bags for my shopping as much as possible. I regularly volunteer for beach and park clean-up drives in my locality while also spreading awareness amongst children and younger generations. I try and use lesser water and encourage my family members to do the same. I also buy sustainable seafood and have cut down on my consumption of electricity. 

These are some small ways through which I care for my environment. I firmly encourage others to do the same. We only have one planet and it is time that we stopped taking it for granted.

How do humans affect the environment essay?

Over centuries, human beings have adversely impacted the environment, especially with a rapid growth in population, housing and societal requirements, along with widespread urbanization and industrialization. 

Human beings have contributed towards large-scale deforestation and elimination of precious forest cover throughout the world for housing, industries, profitable enterprises and other purposes. Industrialization and consumerism have become a lethal cocktail that has led to increasing usage of plastic that chokes up our oceans and causes pollution, more toxic emissions with an increase in vehicles and burning of fossil fuels and contamination of soil and water through harmful chemicals. 

As human beings, we have also managed to destroy the tender ecological balance through misuse and exploitation of natural resources for profits. Littering and careless waste disposal have also hurt the environment along with wildlife extinction and biodiversity losses. Last but not the least; we have also contributed towards soil erosion, higher radiation and noise pollution. These are the catastrophic ways in which we have harmed the environment. Decades of restorative measures are required to reverse these damages to an extent.

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Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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tassnim khaled

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The Ahupuaʻa is a complex system and worldview that evolved over thousands of years. It is a sustainable land management way of living that relates all things as divine, sacred, and at times prohibited or kapu. This worldview is manifested by the life from mountain to ocean. It is what would be considered these days as sustainability. In the ahupuʻa worldview, social systems and ecosystem are integrated as one. When social systems are separated from ecosystem, great ecological damage can be done. One example is the deforestation of North Korea by Japanese colonial forces. This deforestation of North Korean lands lead to millions of deaths. When social systems lead by anthropocentric values leave out sustainable development practices, ecological destruction can and will continue to lead to a chain effect of events unforeseen and sometimes unnoticed till it is too late. One example of seeming unrelated environmental problem that occurs during deforestation is water pollution. Forest hold soil, nutrients, and water that sustain the ecological systems. Without forests, soil is washed away with all its richness into the oceans and streams. This influx of runoff water causes a type of pollution called nutrient pollution. Nutrient pollution causes algae blooms which suffocate marine life and blocks light that is needed for some marine plants. Deforestation also is a key contributor to soil runoff water that directly effects one of the most valuable resources in the ecosystem, the coral reefs. The ahupuaʻa worldview can teach us how to heal and restore the damage done to our ecosystems by giving us a model on bridging social systems and ecosystems as one lifestyle. In

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Environmental Changes Are Fueling Human, Animal and Plant Diseases, Study Finds

Biodiversity loss, global warming, pollution and the spread of invasive species are making infectious diseases more dangerous to organisms around the world.

A white-footed mouse perched in a hole in a tree.

By Emily Anthes

Several large-scale, human-driven changes to the planet — including climate change, the loss of biodiversity and the spread of invasive species — are making infectious diseases more dangerous to people, animals and plants, according to a new study.

Scientists have documented these effects before in more targeted studies that have focused on specific diseases and ecosystems. For instance, they have found that a warming climate may be helping malaria expand in Africa and that a decline in wildlife diversity may be boosting Lyme disease cases in North America.

But the new research, a meta-analysis of nearly 1,000 previous studies, suggests that these patterns are relatively consistent around the globe and across the tree of life.

“It’s a big step forward in the science,” said Colin Carlson, a biologist at Georgetown University, who was not an author of the new analysis. “This paper is one of the strongest pieces of evidence that I think has been published that shows how important it is health systems start getting ready to exist in a world with climate change, with biodiversity loss.”

In what is likely to come as a more surprising finding, the researchers also found that urbanization decreased the risk of infectious disease.

The new analysis, which was published in Nature on Wednesday, focused on five “global change drivers” that are altering ecosystems across the planet: biodiversity change, climate change, chemical pollution, the introduction of nonnative species and habitat loss or change.

The researchers compiled data from scientific papers that examined how at least one of these factors affected various infectious-disease outcomes, such as severity or prevalence. The final data set included nearly 3,000 observations on disease risks for humans, animals and plants on every continent except for Antarctica.

The researchers found that, across the board, four of the five trends they studied — biodiversity change, the introduction of new species, climate change and chemical pollution — tended to increase disease risk.

“It means that we’re likely picking up general biological patterns,” said Jason Rohr, an infectious disease ecologist at the University of Notre Dame and senior author of the study. “It suggests that there are similar sorts of mechanisms and processes that are likely occurring in plants, animals and humans.”

The loss of biodiversity played an especially large role in driving up disease risk, the researchers found. Many scientists have posited that biodiversity can protect against disease through a phenomenon known as the dilution effect.

The theory holds that parasites and pathogens, which rely on having abundant hosts in order to survive, will evolve to favor species that are common, rather than those that are rare, Dr. Rohr said. And as biodiversity declines, rare species tend to disappear first. “That means that the species that remain are the competent ones, the ones that are really good at transmitting disease,” he said.

Lyme disease is one oft-cited example. White-footed mice, which are the primary reservoir for the disease, have become more dominant on the landscape, as other rarer mammals have disappeared, Dr. Rohr said. That shift may partly explain why Lyme disease rates have risen in the United States. (The extent to which the dilution effect contributes to Lyme disease risk has been the subject of debate, and other factors, including climate change, are likely to be at play as well.)

Other environmental changes could amplify disease risks in a wide variety of ways. For instance, introduced species can bring new pathogens with them, and chemical pollution can stress organisms’ immune systems. Climate change can alter animal movements and habitats, bringing new species into contact and allowing them to swap pathogens .

Notably, the fifth global environmental change that the researchers studied — habitat loss or change — appeared to reduce disease risk. At first glance, the findings might appear to be at odds with previous studies, which have shown that deforestation can increase the risk of diseases ranging from malaria to Ebola. But the overall trend toward reduced risk was driven by one specific type of habitat change: increasing urbanization.

The reason may be that urban areas often have better sanitation and public health infrastructure than rural ones — or simply because there are fewer plants and animals to serve as disease hosts in urban areas. The lack of plant and animal life is “not a good thing,” Dr. Carlson said. “And it also doesn’t mean that the animals that are in the cities are healthier.”

And the new study does not negate the idea that forest loss can fuel disease; instead, deforestation increases risk in some circumstances and reduces it in others, Dr. Rohr said.

Indeed, although this kind of meta-analysis is valuable for revealing broad patterns, it can obscure some of the nuances and exceptions that are important for managing specific diseases and ecosystems, Dr. Carlson noted.

Moreover, most of the studies included in the analysis examined just a single global change drive. But, in the real world, organisms are contending with many of these stressors simultaneously. “The next step is to better understand the connections among them,” Dr. Rohr said.

Emily Anthes is a science reporter, writing primarily about animal health and science. She also covered the coronavirus pandemic. More about Emily Anthes

#WaterWiseEU: How EU Ecolabel helps reduce water waste and pollution

environmental problems essay pollution

It’s time to be water wise! As one of our most precious natural resources, water must be protected. But our water cycle is broken. Not only has climate change worsened it, with droughts and floods wreaking havoc on our lives and economies, so has pollution, with our rivers, seas and groundwater now full of chemicals, plastics and other hazardous substances. 

It's not all doom and gloom though – it’s time to see water differently! The EU's new  #WaterWiseEU campaign aims to raise awareness on these issues, showcase solutions and inspire change. We can all work together to transform the way water is managed, used and valued, and the EU Ecolabel has an important role to play in this collective effort.  

Championing water conservation and pollution reduction   

EU Ecolabel products are part of the solution. Its certification criteria guarantee that a product has a demonstrated reduced impact on the environment and offers solutions for  businesses that want to reduce the environmental footprint of their products, especially on water consumption and pollution. These benefits trickle down to consumers, who, by purchasing products with the EU Ecolabel contribute to cleaner, healthier and more abundant water across the EU.   

The proof is in the pudding: the EU Ecolabel certification already ensures the reduced environmental impact of a  growing number of products . For example, this is how the EU Ecolabel strict criteria reduce the impact of products such as textiles, personal care products/cosmetics, tourist accommodations and cleaning services on water:  

  • Textiles: The textile industry accounts for 20% of global freshwater pollution and is one of the most impactful in terms of both water consumption and pollution. To comply with the EU Ecolabel’s strict criteria, textile manufacturers must demonstrate reductions in water pollution during the processing stages. 
  • Personal care products and cosmetics : The EU Ecolabel ensures limited overall aquatic toxicity, promotes the biodegradability of ingredients used and prohibits certain hazardous substances such as PFAs and microplastics. 
  • Tourist accommodations : To enhance water efficiency, the EU Ecolabel criteria promote towel and bedsheet reuse, set limits for tap flow rates and toilet flushing and encourage pool management optimisation as well as rainwater and greywater recycling practices. 
  • Cleaning services : Operators must train staff to ensure minimal water use and proper wastewater disposal. Limits on water consumption for washing machines are also set, and the promotion of cleaning products with low environmental impact is encouraged. 

Be water wise, choose EU Ecolabel  

Let’s be water wise together and act! Do you want to contribute to water preservation by choosing sustainable products? Are you open to transforming the way water is used in production processes or in your services? The EU Ecolabel is the solution!  

Look for  EU Ecolabel products next time you go shopping!  Get inspired by our  success stories and  apply for the EU Ecolabel for your environmentally “best in class” products. 

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Quieter, cleaner electric school buses hit Phoenix streets. Why they're good for kids

environmental problems essay pollution

The federal government has awarded funding for 47 new electric school buses to school districts across Phoenix, replacing gas-powered buses with zero-emission models. 

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Martha Guzman, regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, introduced some of the new fleet Tuesday with a ride-along at Isaac Middle School. The school received six electric buses from the EPA’s Clean School Bus fund. 

“These will be clean buses where we don’t have to worry about the tailpipe emissions,” said Gallego. “There’s a lot of implications of diesel fuel, and we’ll be able to move away from them and they’ll be high-quality, new buses.” 

The all-electric Bluebird buses run on 155 kilowatt-hour batteries that can travel about 100 miles per charge. Participating schools receive charging infrastructure to ensure drivers can fulfill their daily routes. 

With money from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program will provide $5 billion over five years to replace school buses with zero-emission and low-emission models. Eligible districts can apply for funding under the program. 

So far, the initiative has awarded nearly $2 billion, funding about 5,000 school buses for over 600 schools. 

The new buses are meant to benefit students and the environment, address ozone pollution in metro Phoenix and jump-start the future of electrification in the region’s public transit system. 

The benefits of electric school buses

Instead of the hum of a gas engine, all that was audible on the ride-along Tuesday was the riders' surprise at the strength of the bus’ air conditioning and the quiet of the drive. 

Officials say electric school buses will bring several benefits to schools beyond a quieter commute to school.

Gas-powered buses can expose children to harmful pollutants that can trigger asthma attacks and increase the risk of heart disease and lung disease. Children are more vulnerable to air pollution, as their respiratory systems are still developing.

“Asthma is a huge issue for so many children, and when they are exposed to diesel, it gets dangerous,” said Hazel Chandler, Arizona field coordinator for Moms Clean Air Force. 

She recalled one of the scariest moments of her life when she witnessed a child suffer a life-threatening asthma attack while waiting outside a diesel school bus. 

“We cannot mess with exposing our kids to diesel fuel,” she said, “Electric buses offer a cleaner, quieter and healthier alternative for all children.”

The zero-emission buses are better for the environment, as they will not produce greenhouse gasses that warm the atmosphere. They are also more cost-effective for districts, requiring less maintenance and lower energy costs. 

Electrifying the fleet: How a Phoenix district's electric school buses could protect kids and help them learn

Why is pollution a problem in Phoenix?

Maricopa County is in nonattainment for ozone and particulate matter pollutant standards set by the EPA, with pollution levels harmful to public health and the environment. 

The Phoenix metro was ranked the fifth-worst in the nation for ozone pollution, according to the American Lung Association’s 2023 State of the Air Report. 

Guzman said Maricopa County will soon be upgraded from moderate to serious nonattainment under stricter pollution standards. 

“It’s an issue we’re seeing a lot in the Southwest where we have warming happening at a higher level,” she said. “Warming exacerbates ozone, and buses and heavy-duty trucks are really some of the biggest sources of that pollution.” 

The transition to electric school buses will help reduce ozone pollution in Phoenix and across the state. 

Arizona has received $59 million for clean school buses from the EPA since 2002, providing 191 vehicles. Phoenix districts received $18 million from these grants for the 47 buses. 

Seeking tighter limits: Clean air standards don't go far enough, activists say

The future of transit

Isaac School District has applied for more EPA funding to add buses to its fleet in the future. Gallego hopes more buses will be converted to electric in Phoenix and across the country. 

A diesel bus produces about 3.3 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile and transitioning to electric buses nationwide could help avoid 2.1 million tons of carbon emissions every year, according to Gallego. 

The city will also upgrade heavy-duty trucks to electric models to address another major polluter. The EPA has launched the Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program , funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, providing $1 billion to help cities convert. 

“We want to do our part to lead on climate change so that when these young people are in charge, we have left them with a better planet,” Gallego said. “We want to make Phoenix the most sustainable desert city in the world.”

Hayleigh Evans covers environmental issues for The Arizona Republic and azcentral. Send tips or questions to   [email protected] .

Environmental coverage on azcentral.com and in The Arizona Republic is supported by a grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust .

Sign up for AZ Climate , our weekly environment newsletter, and follow The Republic environmental reporting team at  environment.azcentral.com  and @azcenvironment on  Facebook ,  X  and  Instagram .

You can support environmental journalism in Arizona  by  subscribing to azcentral today .

USA TODAY

Memphis residents say environmental racism prompted pollution ‘cesspool,' wreaking havoc

Clarification: This article was updated on May 1, 2024, to specify which substances leaked into the ground and groundwater and what changes will occur related to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s activities in Shelby County, Tennessee.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – For many years, Rose Sims had no idea what was going on inside a nondescript brick building on Florida Street a couple of miles from her modest one-story home on the southwestern side of town.

Like other residents, she got an unwelcome surprise in October 2022 at a public forum held by the Environmental Protection Agency at the historic Monumental Baptist Church, known for its role in the Civil Rights Movement. The EPA notified the predominantly Black community that Sterilization Services of Tennessee – which began operations in the brick building in the 1970s – had been emitting unacceptably high levels of ethylene oxide, a toxic gas commonly used to disinfect medical devices.

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Airborne emissions of the colorless gas can increase the  risk of certain medical conditions , including breast cancer. Sims, who is 59 and Black, said she developed breast cancer in 2019, despite having no family history of it, and she suspects ethylene oxide was a contributing factor.

“I used to be outside a lot. I was in good health. All of a sudden, I got breast cancer,” she said.

Local advocates say the emissions are part of a pattern of environmental racism. The term is often applied when areas populated primarily by racial and ethnic minorities and members of low-socioeconomic backgrounds, like southwest Memphis, are burdened with a disproportionate amount of health hazards.

The drivers of environmental racism include the promise of tax breaks for industry to locate a facility in a heavily minority community, said Malini Ranganathan, an urban geographer at American University in Washington, D.C. The cheaper cost of land also is a factor, as is the concept of NIMBY – or “not in my backyard” – in which power brokers steer possible polluters to poorer areas of cities.

A manager at Sterilization Services’ corporate office in Richmond, Virginia, declined to answer questions from KFF Health News. An attorney with Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, a law firm that represents the company, also declined to comment. Sterilization Services, in a legal filing asking for an ethylene oxide-related lawsuit to be dismissed, said the use of the gas, which sterilizes about half the medical devices in the U.S., is highly regulated to ensure public safety.

Besides southwest Memphis, there are nearly two dozen locales, mostly small cities – from Athens, Texas, to Groveland, Florida, and Ardmore, Oklahoma – where the EPA said in 2022 that plants sterilizing medical devices emit the gas at unusually high levels, potentially increasing a person’s risk of developing cancer.

The pollution issue is so bad in southwest Memphis that even though Sterilization Services planned to close shop by April 30, community leaders have been hesitant to celebrate. In a letter last year to a local Congress member, the company said it has always complied with federal, state, and local regulations. The reason for its closure, it said, was a problem with renewing the building lease.

But many residents see it as just one small win in a bigger battle over environmental safety in the neighborhood.

“It’s still a cesspool of pollution,’’ said Yolonda Spinks, of the environmental advocacy organization Memphis Community Against Pollution, about a host of hazards the community faces.

Oil, coal, trucks and barges jeopardize residents' health

The air in this part of the city has long been considered dangerous. An  oil refinery  spews a steady plume of white smoke. A coal plant has  leaked ash into the ground  and the groundwater. A coal plant, which is now closed, leaked components of coal ash, such as arsenic, into the ground and groundwater, according to a corrective action report from the Tennessee Valley Authority. The TVA is proposing to gut an existing gas plant and replace turbines in the facility with new ones. A continual stream of heavy trucks chug along nearby highways and roads. Other transportation sources of air pollution include the Memphis International Airport and barge traffic on the nearby Mississippi River.

Lead contamination is also a concern, not just in drinking water but in the soil from now-closed lead smelters, said  Chunrong Jia , a professor of environmental health at the University of Memphis. Almost all the heavy industry in Shelby County – and the associated pollutants – are located in southwest Memphis, Jia added.

Sources of pollution are often “clustered in particular communities,” said Darya Minovi, a senior analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit that advocates for environmental justice. When it comes to sterilizing facilities that emit ethylene oxide, areas inhabited largely by Black, Hispanic, low-income, and non-English-speaking people are disproportionately exposed, the group has found.

Four sites that the EPA labeled high-risk are in low-income areas of Puerto Rico. Seven sterilizer plants operate in that U.S. territory.

The EPA, responding to public concerns and to deepen scientific understanding of the hazards of ethylene oxide,  recently released rules  that the agency said would greatly reduce emissions of the toxic gas from sterilizing facilities.

Battling the 'toxic soup'

KeShaun Pearson, who was born and raised in South Memphis and has been active in fighting environmental threats, said he is frustrated that companies with dangerous emissions are allowed to create “toxic soup” in minority communities.

In the area where the sterilization plant is located, 87% of the residents are people of color, and, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center, life expectancy there is about 10 years lower than the average for the county and state. The population within 5 miles of the sterilizer plant is mostly low-income, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Pearson was part of Memphis Community Against the Pipeline, a group formed in 2020 to stop a crude oil pipeline that would have run through Boxtown, a neighborhood established by emancipated slaves and freedmen after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.

That campaign, which received public support from former Vice President Al Gore and actress-activist Jane Fonda, succeeded. After the ethylene oxide danger surfaced in 2022, the group changed the last word of its name from “pipeline” to “pollution.”

Besides their role in breast and lymphoid cancers, animal studies have linked inhaling the gas to tumors of the brain, lungs, connective tissue, uterus and mammary glands.

Last year, with the help of the Southern Environmental Law Center, the South Memphis community group urged the Shelby County Health Department to declare the ethylene oxide situation a public health emergency and shut down the sterilizing plant. But the health department said the company had complied with its existing air permit and with the EPA’s rules and regulations.

A health department spokesperson, Joan Carr, said Shelby County enforces EPA regulations to ensure that companies comply with the federal Clean Air Act and that the agency has five air monitoring stations around the county to detect levels of other pollutants.

When the county and the Tennessee Department of Health did a cancer cluster study in 2023, the agencies found no evidence of the clustering of high rates of leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or breast or stomach cancer near the facility. There were “hot and cold spots” of breast cancer found, but the study said it could not conclude that the clusters were linked to the facility.

Scientists have criticized the study’s methodology, saying it did not follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for designing a cancer cluster investigation.

Meanwhile, several people have sued the sterilizing company, claiming their health has been affected by the ethylene oxide emissions. In a lawsuit seeking class-action status, Reginaé Kendrick, 21, said she was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 6. Chemotherapy and radiation have stunted her growth, destroyed her hair follicles, and prevented her from going through puberty, said her mother, Robbie Kendrick.

In response to proposed stricter EPA regulations, meanwhile, the Tennessee attorney general helped lead 19 other state AGs in urging the agency to “forgo or defer regulating the use of EtO by commercial sterilizers.”

Sims said she’s glad her neighborhood will have one less thing to worry about once Sterilization Services departs. But her feelings about the closure remain tempered.

“Hope they don’t go to another residential area,” she said.

KFF Health News  is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues and is one of the core operating programs at  KFF  – the independent source for health policy research, polling, and journalism. Learn more about KFF.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Memphis residents say environmental racism prompted pollution ‘cesspool,' wreaking havoc

New EPA rule says over 200 US chemical plants must reduce toxic emissions linked to cancer

ScienceDaily

US Navy Growler jet noise over Whidbey Island could impact 74,000 people's health

Bob Wilbur thought he'd found a retirement home that would be a place of peace. Nestled against Admiralty Bay on the western edge of Whidbey Island, the three-story house is surrounded by trees and shoreline. It offers the kind of quiet that only an island can provide. Except when the Growlers fly.

As often as four days a week, Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft based at the nearby Naval Air Station Whidbey Island fly loops overhead as pilots practice touch-and-go landings. The noise is immense, around the level of a loud rock concert. "It interrupts your day," Wilbur said. "You're unable to have a pleasant evening at home. You can't communicate. You constantly try to organize your day around being gone when the jets are flying."

New research from the University of Washington shows that the noise isn't just disruptive -- it presents a substantial risk to public health. Published May 9 in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, an analysis of the Navy's own acoustic monitoring data found that more than 74,000 people are exposed to noise levels associated with adverse health effects.

"Military aircraft noise is substantially more intense and disturbing than commercial jet noise," said lead author Giordano Jacuzzi, a graduate student in the UW College of the Environment. "Noise exposure has many downstream effects beyond just annoyance and stress -- high levels of sleep disturbance, hearing impairment, increased risk of cardiovascular disease -- these have real impacts on human health and quality of life. We also found that several schools in the area are exposed to levels that have been shown to put children at risk of delayed learning."

Guided by conversations with community members and local advocacy groups, researchers analyzed four weeks of acoustic and flight operations data collected by the Navy in 2020 and 2021, in addition to prior-year data collected by a private acoustics company and the National Park Service. Researchers then mapped noise exposure across the region to estimate how much noise specific communities were exposed to in an average year.

Researchers estimated that two-thirds of Island County residents, including everyone in the cities of Oak Harbor and Coupeville, were exposed to potentially harmful levels of noise, as was 85% of the population of the Swinomish Indian Reservation.

In total, an estimated 74,316 people were exposed to average noise levels that posed a risk of annoyance, 41,089 of whom were exposed to nighttime noise levels associated with adverse effects on sleep. Another 8,059 people -- most of whom lived within fairly close proximity to aircraft landing strips -- were exposed to noise levels that can pose a risk of hearing impairment over time.

"Our bodies produce a lot of stress hormone response to noise in general, it doesn't matter what kind of noise it is. But particularly if it's this repeated acute noise, you might expect that stress hormone response to be exacerbated," said co-author Edmund Seto, a UW professor of environmental and occupational health sciences. "What was really interesting was that we're reaching noise exposure levels that are actually harmful for hearing. Usually I only think of hearing in the context of working in factories or other really, really loud occupational settings. But here, we're reaching those levels for the community."

Taken as a whole, the potential harms can be quite serious, Seto said. "Imagine people trying to sleep, or children in school trying to understand their teachers and you've got these jets flying."

Every monitoring station on Whidbey Island measured noise events in excess of 100 decibels when jets were flying. In some instances, noise levels were "off the charts" -- exceeding the limits of models used to predict the health effects of noise exposure around the world.

"We found it striking that Growler noise exceeds the scientific community's current understanding of the potential health outcomes," said co-author Julian Olden, a UW professor of aquatic and fishery sciences. "For this reason, our estimates of health impacts are conservative."

The noise has been the subject of community disputes and legal controversy since 2013, when the U.S. Navy moved more Growler jets onto Whidbey Island and increased the number of flights to more than 110,000 per year. Bob Wilbur is a member and the current chair of Citizens of Ebey's Reserve, a community group that has sued the Navy over the jet noise and increased flight operations. The group also helped facilitate the UW study, and Wilbur is a co-author.

Like other military aircraft, the Growlers' noise differs significantly from commercial jets -- louder and deeper, the kind of sound that people feel before they hear.

"It's the intensity, the intermittent nature of the noise, and the low-frequency energy specifically," Jacuzzi said. "Those three things are very different than what you experience from normal commercial flights, which are predictable and high in altitude. When Growlers fly over a home, they emit a rumbling noise that penetrates windows and shakes walls."

While commercial jet noise has been the subject of extensive study, research into military aircraft noise is relatively rare. Previous UW-led research found that military flights were the largest cause of noise pollution on the Olympic Peninsula. While discussing that study, Whidbey residents complained that the noise disturbed their sleep and interfered with students' schoolwork, which prompted this new line of inquiry. While conducting this study, researchers worked closely with community members and advocacy groups and held multiple webinars to share results and shape future work.

"Our research was motivated by the growing chorus of complaints by Washingtonians across multiple counties," Olden said. "We believe the science speaks for itself. It's no longer a question of whether noise impacts people, but how, where and how much these effects are experienced."

Other authors are Lauren Kuehne of Omfishient Consulting, and Anne Harvey and Christine Hurley of Sound Defense Alliance. This research was funded by the UW Population Health Initiative.

  • Workplace Health
  • Diseases and Conditions
  • Environmental Issues
  • Oceanography
  • Environmental Policies
  • Educational Policy
  • Urbanization
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Public health
  • Epidemiology
  • Military aviation
  • Scientific misconduct

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Washington . Original written by Alden Woods and Kiyomi Taguchi. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Related Multimedia :

  • YouTube Video: Navy Growler jet noise could impact people's health according to UW research

Journal Reference :

  • Giordano Jacuzzi, Lauren M. Kuehne, Anne Harvey, Christine Hurley, Robert Wilbur, Edmund Seto, Julian D. Olden. Population health implications of exposure to pervasive military aircraft noise pollution . Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology , 2024; DOI: 10.1038/s41370-024-00670-1

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  23. How the EU Ecolabel helps reduce water waste and pollution

    The EU's new #WaterWiseEU campaign aims to raise awareness on these issues, showcase solutions and inspire change. We can all work together to transform the way water is managed, used and valued, and the EU Ecolabel has an important role to play in this collective effort. Championing water conservation and pollution reduction

  24. EPA funding puts quieter, cleaner electric school buses on Phoenix streets

    The new buses are meant to benefit students and the environment, address ozone pollution in metro Phoenix and jump-start the future of electrification in the region's public transit system. The ...

  25. Getting dirty to clean up the chemical industry's environmental impact

    Getting dirty to clean up the chemical industry's environmental impact. ScienceDaily . Retrieved May 10, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com / releases / 2024 / 05 / 240509110817.htm

  26. Memphis residents say environmental racism prompted pollution ...

    The pollution issue is so bad in southwest Memphis that even though Sterilization Services planned to close shop by April 30, community leaders have been hesitant to celebrate.

  27. US Navy Growler jet noise over Whidbey Island could impact 74,000

    Population health implications of exposure to pervasive military aircraft noise pollution. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology , 2024; DOI: 10.1038/s41370-024-00670-1

  28. China Cuts Air Pollution After Reimposing Winter Controls: CREA

    China's reintroduction of a pollution action plan this winter helped improve air quality after its disappearance last year led to a surge in smog, according to a new report.. Levels of PM2.5 ...