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Types of Pollution

Pollution is major environmental concern.  Every type of pollution has negative side effects. Each kind is approached differently in order to secure a healthy environment.

 

Light Pollution

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What is Light Pollution?

Light pollution is all the unnatural light and is a result of industrial civilization.

Heath Side Effects

Light pollution can increase the amount of headaches individuals get. It can also cause fatigue, stress, and anxiety.  Some scientists believe that artificial light may increase the risk of breast cancer.

Environmental Side Effects

Light pollution is changing the behavior of nocturnal animals, especially nocturnal birds.   Birds use the moon and the stars for navigation, but when they fly into a lit area they become unstable.  Light pollution can also change animals competitive interactions and predator-prey relations.

What you can do

  • Only use lighting in areas and during times that it are needed.
  • Keep lighting low.
  • Installing motion sensors is a way to guarantee that lighting is only being used when needed and during certain times of the day. Motion sensors also decrease the amount of energy you use. As a result your energy bill decreases.
  • Use lights that are designed to reduce light horizontally.
  • Position lighting downwards or use shields to reduce unnecessary lit areas.
  • Rather than installing lights for your driveway purchase reflectors

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Noise Pollution

What is Noise Pollution?

Noise pollution is the sound generated by people in specific environments. The highest rates of noise pollution are traditionally found in large cities. The most common source is from transportation, more specifically motor vehicles, trains, and airplanes. Office equipment, machinery, construction, and entertainment systems are other factors that contribute to noise pollution. Noise pollution is difficult to monitor because it is hard to be certain of how much noise is too much. The measurement of noise intensity is in decibel units.

Health Side Effects

Noise pollution can cause hearing loss, high blood pressure, stress, sleep loss, and lost productivity.  Many people deal with second hand noise.  They are exposed to loud sounds that can cause them harm but without their consent.

Environmental Side Effects

Animals that rely on hearing to locate prey have a difficult time when they are exposed to noise pollution. They also have a harder time communicating, this includes humans. Noise pollution has been identified as reason for the extinction of some animal species. This is because it disrupts animal’s feeding and breeding patterns. Studies show that noise pollution also effects plant growth.

What you can do

  • Silence car alarms
  • Purchase a hybrid car. They are a lot quieter.
  • Keep your cell phone ring tone at the lowest level.
  • Keep your music at a low volume level.
  • Try to keep your household pets quiet.  
  • Set a quiet time in your household.
  • Set up scheduled times and specific distances in your neighborhood for certain activities that create noise. Such as: garbage pickup, lawn mowing, and snow blowing.
  • If you notice that you are raising your voice for others to hear you, look around and see what is causing the loud noise.

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Air Pollution

 

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What is Air Pollution?

Air pollution is the harmful substances that are being emitted into the atmosphere.  Smog, acid rain, the green house effect, and holes in the ozone layer are all consequences of air pollution. In Michigan the largest sources of air pollution are the industries and motor vehicles.  

 

Health Side Effects

Short Term:

  • Irritation to the eyes, throat, and nose
  • Upper respiratory infactions
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Allergic reactions

Long Term:

  • Lung cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Damage brain, nerves, and liver
  • Affects the lungs of growing children

Environmental Side Effects

  • The ozone layer is being depleted which increases the amount of ultraviolet radiation that is reaching the earth. This is damaging to crops, plants, and animals.
  • Soil can become unsuitable for plants. This affects animals and their food web.
  • Influences the amount of sunlight that is received by plants.

What you can do

  • Drive a car that gets at least 35 miles a gallon.
  • Keep your car in good condition.
  • Do not purchase products that come in aerosol spray cans.
  • Try carpooling, walking, riding a bike, or take a busing system to your daily destinations. Smart Bus conveniently travels throughout Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.
  • Do errands at one time
  • Recycle
  • Do not smoke.
  • Use a push electric lawnmower rather than a gas powered lawnmower.
  • Plant trees
  • When barbequing use electric or chimney briquette rather than lighter fluid.

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Water Pollution

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What is Water Pollution?

Water pollution is the contamination of bodies of water that is a result of human activities. This includes lakes, river, streams, oceans, and aquifers.  There are five categories of water pollution: microbiological, chemical, oxygen-depleting substances, nutrients, and suspended matter. Each kind of pollution occurs and is managed differently, but all are damaging.

Health Side Effects

Water polluction can poison the water, and make food sources unsuitable to eat. This includes fish and clams.

Environmental Side Effects

Water pollution can result to eurtrophication. Eurtrophication causes algae to grow fast in vast amounts. This requires large amounts of oxygen, which results in oxygen depletion and the death of plants and animals. Eurtrophication also leads to water having a bad odor and taste.

What you can do

  • Do not pour hazardous household products down sinks, toilets, or drains.
  • Buy non-toxic household products.
  • Recycle and dispose of all trash correctly.
  • Use low flow toilets and shower heads.
  • Fix leaks.
  • Do not water your lawn frequently.
  • Maintain your car. If your car is leaking, the chemicals may be transported to local waterways.
  • Properly store and dispose of chemicals.
  • Maintain your septic system.
  • Clean up after your pets.

 

Thermal Pollution

What is Thermal Pollution?

Thermal Pollution is the change in temperature in natural bodies of water due to human activity.

Health Side Effects

Thermal pollution affects the population of aquadic food. It also affects fish populations which affects recreational activities.

Environmental Side Effects

  • When the water temperature increases, the dissolved oxygen level decreases exponentially. This increases respiration rates and the consumption of oxygen occurs at a faster rate. 

  • Warm water also disrupts spawning and kills the young.

  • Cold water can change the productivity of fish and micro invertebrate fauna.

  • Causes Thermal Shock
 

What you can do

 
  • Power plants and factories can decrease thermal pollution by having the heated water go through a cooling tower (where the water is cooled by evaporation) before it is discharged into bodies of water.
  • Hot waste water can be used for heating.
  • Keep vegetation along streams and other bodies of water. This reduces erosion and keeps the water clearer and cooler.

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