Pollution may be defined as:
The presence in the environment of substances or energy in quantities that endanger human health, harm living organisms, diminish the amenity value of the environment or interfere with the natural functioning of ecosystems. (Ecology – advanced Biology readers – Peter Chenn)
Causes and classification:
Pollution can arise from the activities of humans (anthropogenic) or be caused by natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions.
There are many forms of pollution and they can be broadly classified under the following headings:
- Atmospheric or air pollution
- Water pollution
- Radioactive pollution
- Thermal pollution
This section will investigate pollution from the ‘human activity’ perspective and concentrate on the main issues that are covered by ‘A’ level examination boards.