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Pollution – Definition & Causes

Grade 10
Aug 23, 2022



Anthropogenic Changes 

Anthropogenic means ‘changes in the environment caused by people.’ Those changes which are the result of human activities are known as Anthropogenic changes. They play a major role in causing pollution.  



Pollution is the contamination of the environment. Pollution is defined as the presence of dangerous compounds in the air, land, or water that can harm living things and the environment. 

 Pollution is also an unintended consequence of activities that disrupt the ecosystem’s biodiversity. It also endangers the environment’s long-term viability.  

Air Pollution 

Primary source of anthropogenic air pollution is combustion of various types of fuels. Both human health and the ecosystem are affected by the pollutant present in the air. 

Gases generated by cars, burning materials, or hazardous vapors emitted as a by-product of factories results in contamination of air. Global warming is one of the most serious side effects of air pollution. 


Water Pollution 

In water pollution, quality of water is reduced due to contamination of particles, microbes and waste materials. One of the most common forms of pollution is oil seepage, which is also known as littering. Lakes, oceans, rivers, and even underground reservoirs are the most common places where they can be found. 

Some anthropogenic factors that affect water quality are agriculture, manures, animal husbandry activities, uses of fertilizers, inefficient irrigation practices, deforestation of wood, aquaculture, pollution from industrial effluents and domestic sewage, and recreational activities. 

Noise Pollution 

Repeated exposure to excessive sound levels is known as Noise pollution, which may cause harm to humans or other living. Standard of living suffers from loud noise created by human activities. Trains, trucks, concerts, jets, loud music, and explosions are the sources which create noise pollution. 

Overburden removal, drilling and blasting, digging, crushing, loading and unloading, vehicular traffic, and the usage of generators are all common mining and mineral processing activities that contribute to anthropogenic noise pollution. 

Soil Pollution 

Another name for soil pollution is Land pollution. The land or soil contamination stops the flourishing of natural life. Wildlife habitat, irrigated land, and human settlement comprises land pollution. Some typical sources of soil contamination are mining, trash, hazardous waste, non-sustainable farming practices, and seepage into soil. 


The soil is said to be contaminated when the concentration of one or more harmful compounds is high enough to harm living creatures. 

One of the following is frequently the root cause of soil pollution: 

  1. Agriculture (abundant/inadequate pesticide use). 
  1. Excessive industrial activity is a problem. 
  1. Waste management or disposal that is inefficient.  


  • Changes that are the result of human activities are known as anthropogenic changes.
  • The presence of dangerous compounds in the air, land, or water that can harm living things is pollution. The combustion of various types of fuels is the primary source of anthropogenic air pollution.
  • Global warming is considered as one of the most serious side effects of air pollution.
  • Water pollution comprises bacterial, chemical, and particle contamination of water, which decreases the quality of the water.
  • Deforestation, aquaculture, pollution from industrial effluent, and recreational activities affect water quality.
  • Repeated exposure to excessive sound levels that may cause harm is noise pollution.
  • The contamination of the soil or land is what stops natural life from flourishing; it is called soil pollution.


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