Pollution Essay

3667 words - 15 pages

The litter problem on the coast of Guyana, 2010Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change.[1] Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution.Contents1 Ancient cultures2 Official acknowledgement3 Modern awareness4 Forms of pollution5 Pollutants6 Sources and causes7 Effects7.1 Human health7.2 Environment7.3 Environmental health information8 Regulation and monitoring9 Pollution control9.1 Practices9.2 Pollution control devices10 Perspectives11 Greenhouse gases and global warming12 Most polluted places in the developing world13 See also14 References15 External linksAncient culturesAir pollution has always accompanied civilizations. Pollution started from prehistoric times when man created the first fires. According to a 1983 article in the journal Science, "soot found on ceilings of prehistoric caves provides ample evidence of the high levels of pollution that was associated with inadequate ventilation of open fires."[2] Metal forging appears to be a key turning point in the creation of significant air pollution levels outside the home. Core samples of glaciers in Greenland indicate increases in pollution associated with Greek, Roman and Chinese metal production,[3] but at that time the pollution was comparatively small and could be handled by nature.Official acknowledgementKing Edward I of England banned the burning of sea-coal by proclamation in London in 1272, after its smoke became a problem.[4] [5] But the fuel was so common in England that this earliest of names for it was acquired because it could be carted away from some shores by the wheelbarrow. Air pollution would continue to be a problem in England, especially later during the industrial revolution, and extending into the recent past with theGreat Smog of 1952. London also recorded one of the earlier extreme cases of water quality problems with the Great Stink on the Thames of 1858, which led to construction of the London sewerage system soon afterward.It was the industrial revolution that gave birth to environmental pollution as we know it today. The emergence of great factories and consumption of immense quantities of coal and other fossil fuels gave rise to unprecedented air pollution and the large volume of industrial chemical discharges added to the growing load of untreated human waste. Chicago and Cincinnati were the first two American cities to enact laws ensuring cleaner air in 1881. Other cities followed around the country until early in the 20th century, when the short lived Office of Air Pollution was created under the Department of the Interior. Extreme smog events were experienced by the cities of Los Angeles and Donora, Pennsylvania in the late 1940s, serving as another public...

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