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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. 


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.


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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Environmental Pollution Essay

Pollution is the presence and inclusion of unwanted items in the environment. The state of the environment is altered when it has become contaminated with potentially dangerous compounds as a result of human activity. Water, air, and land are dangerously affected by the pollution. Here are a few sample essays on environmental pollution:

100 Words Essay on Environmental Pollution

200 words essay on environmental pollution, 500 words essay on environmental pollution.

Environmental Pollution Essay

When it comes to protecting the environment, awareness is the key. As more and more people become aware of the causes, types, and impacts of environmental pollution, they are more likely to take steps to prevent it. Air pollution is created as a result of burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas. Water pollution results from industrial activities, such as the dumping of chemicals into rivers and lakes, as well as from agricultural runoff. Land pollution is caused by the misuse of land and improper disposal of waste. The causes of environmental pollution are numerous and varied. Some of the main culprits are industrial activities, burning of fossil fuels, use of pesticides, and deforestation.

Awareness and taking necessary resolving steps is essential when it comes to protecting the environment from the impacts of environmental pollution. By teaching people the importance of taking steps to prevent environmental pollution, we can ensure a brighter future for our planet. We must understand the causes of environmental pollution, the types of pollution, the impact it has on the environment, and how we can prevent it.

Causes | Environmental pollution is the contamination of the environment through the emissions of pollutants including harmful gases, chemicals, and particulate matter. It is caused by human activities such as burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial pollution. These activities have caused global warming, acid rain, and water and air pollution, leading to global environmental degradation.

Types | There are different types of environmental pollution. The most common type is air pollution, which is caused by burning of fuels and other industrial activities. Water pollution is another common type of pollution which is caused by sewage and industrial waste. Soil pollution is caused by overuse of pesticides and other chemicals. Noise pollution is caused by traffic, construction activities, and industrial noise. Light pollution is caused by the emission of artificial light.

Impact | The impact of environmental pollution is far-reaching and devastating. Air pollution can lead to respiratory diseases, while water pollution can contaminate drinking water and cause health issues. Land pollution causes reduction in soil fertility and even destruction of natural habitats for animals. In addition, it can lead to the destruction of ecosystems, which in turn leads to a decrease in biodiversity.

Environmental pollution has serious impacts on both humans and the environment. It affects air quality, water quality, soil fertility, and public health. Poor air quality affects the respiratory system, leading to respiratory illnesses like asthma and bronchitis. Water pollution can lead to the spread of diseases like cholera, typhoid, and dysentery. Soil pollution can reduce crop yields, leading to food insecurity.

Types of Environmental Pollution

Air | Air pollution is the introduction of dangerous compounds into the atmosphere, which has a negative influence on the environment and humanity. Air pollution simply makes the air impure or contaminated. It happens when noxious gases, scents, dust, or fumes are discharged into the air in concentrations that endanger human and animal comfort or health or even kill plant life.

Water | The act of contaminating water bodies, such as rivers, oceans, lakes, streams, aquifers, and groundwater, is known as water pollution. It happens when foreign, dangerous substances—such as chemicals, garbage, or polluted materials are released into bodies of water, either directly or indirectly.

Land | When the quality of the earth's land surfaces in terms of use, landscape, and capacity to support life forms is compromised or destroyed, this is referred to as land pollution. It is frequently brought on by human activity and the misuse of land resources, both directly and indirectly.

Soil | Chemical pollutants can pollute soil or cause it to degrade through activities like mining, clearing vegetation, or topsoil erosion. Typically, it occurs when human activities bring harmful chemicals, substances, or items into the soil.

Noise | Noise pollution is an unpleasant sound or a sound that causes excruciating ear pain. Noise pollution is described as unpleasant and unwanted sound levels that cause significant distress to all living beings. It is measured in decibels (dB).

Factors Responsible For Environmental Pollution

Environmental pollution has a variety of causes. One of the most prominent is the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas by power plants, factories and automobiles. This produces large amounts of carbon dioxide, which is a major contributor to global climate change. Other sources of environmental pollution include agricultural practices, such as over-fertilization and the use of pesticides, and industrial processes, such as mining, manufacturing and waste disposal.

What Can We Do

To prevent environmental pollution, we must reduce the emissions of various pollutants. We can do this by switching to renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. We should reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and use more efficient transportation methods. We should also reduce the emissions of harmful industrial chemicals and practise sustainable agriculture. Additionally, we should increase public awareness of environmental pollution and its impacts, and promote eco-friendly lifestyles.

By understanding the causes and effects of environmental pollution, we can work towards preventing it and ensuring a cleaner, healthier environment for all. Awarness and knowledge is essential in this regard, as it helps us to become more conscious and informed citizens. It helps us understand the importance of protecting and preserving the environment and make us more responsible citizens.

The world is facing an ever-growing threat from pollution, which if left unchecked will have catastrophic consequences. Education and taking conscious action plan can play a key role in helping to reduce environmental pollution.

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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.

essay on environment pollution in english

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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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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IvyPanda. (2023, December 18). Environmental Pollution: Causes and Consequences.

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IvyPanda . (2023) 'Environmental Pollution: Causes and Consequences'. 18 December.

IvyPanda . 2023. "Environmental Pollution: Causes and Consequences." December 18, 2023.

1. IvyPanda . "Environmental Pollution: Causes and Consequences." December 18, 2023.


IvyPanda . "Environmental Pollution: Causes and Consequences." December 18, 2023.

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

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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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Essay On Environmental Pollution

essay on environment pollution in english

Table of Contents

Short Essay On Environmental Pollution

Environmental pollution refers to the introduction of harmful substances or products into the environment. It is a major problem in today’s world and has a profound impact on both the natural world and human lives.

The sources of environmental pollution are numerous and varied, including industrial activities, transportation, and household waste. One of the most significant contributors to environmental pollution is the burning of fossil fuels, which releases toxic chemicals and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This not only contributes to air pollution, but it also has a significant impact on climate change, causing rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and melting of polar ice caps.

Another major source of environmental pollution is the disposal of hazardous waste. This includes chemicals, batteries, and electronic waste, which contain toxic substances that can contaminate soil and groundwater, leading to serious health problems for both humans and wildlife.

The effects of environmental pollution are far-reaching and often devastating. It can cause serious health problems for humans, including respiratory problems, heart disease, and cancer. Additionally, environmental pollution can have a significant impact on wildlife, causing a decline in biodiversity and threatening species with extinction.

To address environmental pollution, it is essential that we take a multi-faceted approach, addressing both the causes and consequences of pollution. This may involve reducing the use of fossil fuels and implementing clean energy technologies, as well as improving waste management and increasing public awareness about the impact of pollution.

In conclusion, environmental pollution is a serious problem that has a profound impact on both the natural world and human lives. To address this problem, it is essential that we take a comprehensive approach, addressing the causes and consequences of pollution and working to reduce its impact on the environment. By taking action now, we can protect the future of our planet and ensure a healthy and sustainable future for generations to come.

Long Essay On Environmental Pollution

Environmental pollution is one of the biggest threats to our planet today. It affects both the environment and human health, and it’s becoming more and more pervasive in our daily lives. In this essay, we’ll explore what environmental pollution is, how it affects us, and what the most effective solutions are to reduce its impact on people and the planet.


There are many different types of environmental pollution. Some of the most common include air pollution, water pollution, and soil contamination. Each type of pollution has different causes and effects. Air pollution is typically caused by emissions from factories and automobiles. These emissions can contain harmful chemicals that can cause respiratory problems, heart disease, and cancer. Water pollution is often caused by sewage or agricultural runoff. This pollution can contaminate drinking water supplies and make people sick. Soil contamination can be caused by hazardous waste disposal or mining operations. This contamination can make crops unsafe to eat and cause health problems in people who come into contact with it.

Causes of Environmental Pollution

There are many causes of environmental pollution. The most common cause is the release of harmful chemicals into the environment. These chemicals can come from factories, power plants, cars, and other sources. They can pollute the air, water, and soil. They can also cause health problems for people and animals.

Other causes of environmental pollution include sewage, agricultural runoff, and mining. Sewage can contain harmful bacteria and viruses that can pollute water supplies. Agricultural runoff can contain pesticides and fertilizers that can pollute rivers and lakes. Mining can release harmful metals and minerals into the environment.

Types of Pollutants and Their Impact on the Environment

There are many different types of pollutants that can have an adverse impact on the environment. Some of the most common pollutants include:

• Air pollution – This is one of the most visible forms of pollution and can cause a range of health problems, including respiratory illnesses.

• Water pollution – This can lead to contamination of drinking water supplies and also harm marine life.

• Soil pollution – This can contaminate crops and lead to soil erosion.

• Light pollution – This can disrupt the natural circadian rhythms of animals and cause light-sensitive species to suffer.

All of these pollutants can have a serious impact on the environment, both in terms of the immediate damage they cause and also the long-term effects. It is therefore important to be aware of the different types of pollutants and their potential impacts.

Effects Of Environmental Pollution

There are many effects of environmental pollution. Some of the most common include air pollution, water pollution, and soil contamination.

Air pollution is one of the most harmful forms of environmental pollution. It is a major contributor to respiratory problems, heart disease, and cancer. Air pollution is also a leading cause of climate change.

Water pollution is another major problem caused by environmental pollution. It can contaminate drinking water supplies, damage aquatic ecosystems, and make recreation in waterways unsafe.

Soil contamination can occur when pollutants such as chemicals or oil spills enter the ground. This can make crops difficult to grow and can contaminate food supplies. Soil contamination can also cause health problems if people come into contact with contaminated soil or eat contaminated food.

Prevention and Control Measures

There are a number of things that individuals can do to help prevent and reduce environmental pollution. One of the most important things is to educate yourself and others about the issue and its causes. This can help raise awareness and create a demand for change. Another key prevention measure is to support businesses and industries that are working to reduce their pollution output. This includes voting with your wallet by patronizing companies that have green policies in place, and investing in cleaner energy sources. Finally, you can take action in your own life to reduce your impact on the environment. This includes conserving energy, recycling, driving less, and composting.

In conclusion, environmental pollution has become a major global concern and it is important for us to take proactive steps to reduce the amount of pollutants that are entering our environment. We can start by reducing our consumption of single-use products, switching to renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power, and engaging in conscientious recycling habits. By taking these actions we can help protect our planet from further harm caused by environmental pollution.

Manisha Dubey Jha

Manisha Dubey Jha is a skilled educational content writer with 5 years of experience. Specializing in essays and paragraphs, she’s dedicated to crafting engaging and informative content that enriches learning experiences.

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Essay on Environmental Pollution

Here we have shared the Essay on Environmental Pollution in detail so you can use it in your exam or assignment of 150, 250, 400, 500, or 1000 words.

You can use this Essay on Environmental Pollution in any assignment or project whether you are in school (class 10th or 12th), college, or preparing for answer writing in competitive exams. 

Topics covered in this article.

Essay on Environmental Pollution in 150-200 words

Essay on environmental pollution in 250-300 words, essay on environmental pollution in 500-1000 words.

Environmental pollution is the contamination of the natural environment by harmful substances, resulting in adverse effects on living organisms and ecosystems. It encompasses air, water, and soil pollution caused by human activities such as industrialization, transportation, and waste disposal.

Pollution poses severe threats to human health and the environment. It leads to respiratory problems, waterborne diseases, and ecosystem disruptions. Air pollution affects air quality, causing respiratory illnesses and contributing to climate change. Water pollution degrades water sources, impacting aquatic life and jeopardizing human access to clean drinking water. Soil pollution affects agriculture and food safety.

Addressing environmental pollution requires collective action. It involves adopting sustainable practices, promoting renewable energy sources, and implementing strict regulations on industrial emissions and waste management. Awareness campaigns and education about environmental conservation are vital to inspire behavioral changes.

Efforts to reduce pollution can help create a healthier and more sustainable environment for future generations. By prioritizing pollution control and embracing eco-friendly practices, we can protect human health, preserve biodiversity, and safeguard the planet’s natural resources.

Environmental pollution refers to the contamination of the natural environment by various pollutants, resulting in harmful effects on living organisms and ecosystems. It is a pressing global issue that poses significant threats to the health and well-being of both humans and the planet.

Various forms of pollution contribute to environmental degradation. Air pollution occurs when harmful gases and particles are released into the atmosphere from industrial activities, transportation, and the burning of fossil fuels. Water pollution occurs when pollutants such as chemicals, sewage, and waste are discharged into rivers, lakes, and oceans, endangering aquatic life and contaminating drinking water sources. Soil pollution occurs when harmful substances like pesticides, heavy metals, and industrial waste contaminate the soil, affecting plant growth and the food chain.

The consequences of environmental pollution are far-reaching. It leads to respiratory diseases, cardiovascular problems, and other health issues in humans. It also disrupts ecosystems, causing the decline of plant and animal species, and damaging habitats. Pollution affects the quality of air, water, and soil, posing a threat to biodiversity and the overall balance of nature.

Addressing environmental pollution requires collective efforts from individuals, governments, and organizations. Sustainable practices such as reducing emissions, conserving resources, recycling, and using eco-friendly technologies are crucial in mitigating pollution. Strict regulations and policies need to be implemented to control industrial emissions and ensure proper waste management. Awareness campaigns and education on the importance of environmental conservation can inspire individuals to make conscious choices and adopt environmentally-friendly lifestyles.

In conclusion, environmental pollution poses a significant threat to our planet and its inhabitants. It is imperative that we take immediate and proactive measures to reduce pollution levels and preserve the environment for future generations. By adopting sustainable practices and promoting environmental awareness, we can work towards creating a cleaner and healthier planet for all.

Title: Environmental Pollution – A Global Crisis in Need of Urgent Action

Introduction :

Environmental pollution is a pressing global issue that threatens the health and well-being of both humans and the planet. It refers to the introduction of harmful substances or pollutants into the natural environment, resulting in adverse effects on living organisms and ecosystems. Pollution can take various forms, including air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, and noise pollution. Each of these forms poses unique challenges and impacts different aspects of the environment. Addressing environmental pollution is crucial to protect human health, preserve biodiversity, and ensure the sustainability of our planet.

Air Pollution

Air pollution is one of the most significant forms of environmental pollution. It occurs when harmful gases, particles, and chemicals are released into the atmosphere, primarily as a result of industrial activities, transportation, and the burning of fossil fuels. The main pollutants include carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Air pollution poses severe health risks, particularly to vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and those with respiratory conditions. It can cause respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular problems, and even premature death. Additionally, air pollution contributes to climate change, global warming, and the depletion of the ozone layer.

Water Pollution

Water pollution refers to the contamination of water bodies, including rivers, lakes, oceans, and groundwater sources. It occurs when pollutants such as chemicals, sewage, industrial waste, and agricultural runoff are discharged into waterways without adequate treatment. Water pollution not only affects aquatic life but also endangers human health, as polluted water is often used for drinking, irrigation, and recreational activities.

The consequences of water pollution are far-reaching. It leads to the destruction of aquatic ecosystems, the loss of biodiversity, and the contamination of food sources. Waterborne diseases, such as cholera and typhoid, are prevalent in areas with contaminated water supplies. Moreover, the pollution of oceans and seas poses a threat to marine life and can cause widespread ecological damage.

Soil Pollution

Soil pollution occurs when the soil is contaminated by toxic substances, including heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals, and industrial waste. It can result from improper waste disposal, industrial activities, agricultural practices, and mining operations. Soil pollution not only affects plant growth and agricultural productivity but also poses risks to human health through the ingestion of contaminated food.

The impact of soil pollution extends beyond the immediate area of contamination. It can lead to the loss of fertile land, soil erosion, and the disruption of ecosystems. The accumulation of pollutants in the soil can enter the food chain, affecting the quality and safety of agricultural products. Long-term exposure to contaminated soil can lead to various health issues, including cancers, respiratory problems, and neurological disorders.

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution refers to excessive or unwanted noise that disrupts the environment and causes discomfort. It can arise from various sources, including transportation, industrial activities, construction sites, and urbanization. Prolonged exposure to high levels of noise can have detrimental effects on human health, including hearing loss, stress, sleep disturbances, and impaired cognitive function.

Effects on Human Health

Environmental pollution poses significant risks to human health. The inhalation of air pollutants can lead to respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, and lung cancer. Waterborne diseases caused by contaminated water sources can result in gastrointestinal issues, skin infections, and even death. Exposure to soil pollution can lead to various health problems, including organ damage, developmental disorders, and certain types of cancer. Additionally, noise pollution can have detrimental effects on mental health, leading to stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders.

Impact on Biodiversity and Ecosystems

Environmental pollution also has devastating effects on biodiversity and ecosystems. Air pollution harms plant and animal life disrupts ecosystems, and contributes to the loss of biodiversity. Water pollution affects aquatic habitats, leading to the decline of fish populations, the destruction of coral reefs, and the loss of other marine species. Soil pollution impairs soil fertility and affects the growth and survival of plants, which are the foundation of terrestrial ecosystems. The contamination of land and water by pollutants disrupts natural processes, jeopardizing the delicate balance of ecosystems and leading to ecological imbalances.

Solutions and Mitigation Strategies

Addressing environmental pollution requires a multi-faceted approach involving individuals, communities, governments, and international organizations. Some key solutions and mitigation strategies include:

  • Transitioning to clean and renewable energy sources to reduce air pollution and combat climate change.
  • Implementing stricter regulations on industrial emissions and promoting sustainable industrial practices.
  • Encouraging sustainable agricultural practices that minimize the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers to reduce soil pollution.
  • Improving waste management systems, including recycling and proper disposal of hazardous waste.
  • Promoting water conservation and implementing effective wastewater treatment methods to reduce water pollution.
  • Raising awareness and educating communities about the importance of environmental conservation and responsible behavior.
  • Investing in research and technological innovations that support sustainable development and pollution control.

Conclusion :

Environmental pollution is a global crisis that demands immediate and collective action. The consequences of pollution on human health, biodiversity, and ecosystems are severe and far-reaching. By adopting sustainable practices and implementing effective pollution control measures, we can mitigate the impacts of environmental pollution. It requires the commitment and collaboration of individuals, communities, governments, and international entities to address this pressing issue.

Through a combination of policy interventions, technological advancements, and behavioral changes, we can create a cleaner and healthier environment for future generations. It is essential to prioritize sustainable practices, reduce emissions, conserve resources, and promote responsible consumption and production patterns.

Ultimately, the fight against environmental pollution requires a global effort to protect our planet and ensure a sustainable future. By working together, we can preserve the beauty of our natural world, safeguard human health, and create a harmonious coexistence between humans and the environment. It is our collective responsibility to take action today for a cleaner and greener tomorrow.

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Pollution is the introduction of harmful materials into the environment. These harmful materials are called pollutants.

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Pollution is the introduction of harmful materials into the environment . These harmful materials are called pollutants . Pollutants can be natural, such as volcanic ash . They can also be created by human activity, such as trash or runoff produced by factories. Pollutants damage the quality of air, water, and land. Many things that are useful to people produce pollution. Cars spew pollutants from their exhaust pipes. Burning coal to create electricity pollutes the air. Industries and homes generate garbage and sewage that can pollute the land and water. Pesticides —chemical poisons used to kill weeds and insects— seep into waterways and harm wildlife . All living things—from one-celled microbes to blue whales—depend on Earth ’s supply of air and water. When these resources are polluted, all forms of life are threatened. Pollution is a global problem. Although urban areas are usually more polluted than the countryside, pollution can spread to remote places where no people live. For example, pesticides and other chemicals have been found in the Antarctic ice sheet . In the middle of the northern Pacific Ocean, a huge collection of microscopic plastic particles forms what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch . Air and water currents carry pollution. Ocean currents and migrating fish carry marine pollutants far and wide. Winds can pick up radioactive material accidentally released from a nuclear reactor and scatter it around the world. Smoke from a factory in one country drifts into another country. In the past, visitors to Big Bend National Park in the U.S. state of Texas could see 290 kilometers (180 miles) across the vast landscape . Now, coal-burning power plants in Texas and the neighboring state of Chihuahua, Mexico have spewed so much pollution into the air that visitors to Big Bend can sometimes see only 50 kilometers (30 miles). The three major types of pollution are air pollution , water pollution , and land pollution . Air Pollution Sometimes, air pollution is visible . A person can see dark smoke pour from the exhaust pipes of large trucks or factories, for example. More often, however, air pollution is invisible . Polluted air can be dangerous, even if the pollutants are invisible. It can make people’s eyes burn and make them have difficulty breathing. It can also increase the risk of lung cancer . Sometimes, air pollution kills quickly. In 1984, an accident at a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, released a deadly gas into the air. At least 8,000 people died within days. Hundreds of thou sands more were permanently injured. Natural disasters can also cause air pollution to increase quickly. When volcanoes erupt , they eject volcanic ash and gases into the atmosphere . Volcanic ash can discolor the sky for months. After the eruption of the Indonesian volcano of Krakatoa in 1883, ash darkened the sky around the world. The dimmer sky caused fewer crops to be harvested as far away as Europe and North America. For years, meteorologists tracked what was known as the “equatorial smoke stream .” In fact, this smoke stream was a jet stream , a wind high in Earth’s atmosphere that Krakatoa’s air pollution made visible. Volcanic gases , such as sulfur dioxide , can kill nearby residents and make the soil infertile for years. Mount Vesuvius, a volcano in Italy, famously erupted in 79, killing hundreds of residents of the nearby towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Most victims of Vesuvius were not killed by lava or landslides caused by the eruption. They were choked, or asphyxiated , by deadly volcanic gases. In 1986, a toxic cloud developed over Lake Nyos, Cameroon. Lake Nyos sits in the crater of a volcano. Though the volcano did not erupt, it did eject volcanic gases into the lake. The heated gases passed through the water of the lake and collected as a cloud that descended the slopes of the volcano and into nearby valleys . As the toxic cloud moved across the landscape, it killed birds and other organisms in their natural habitat . This air pollution also killed thousands of cattle and as many as 1,700 people. Most air pollution is not natural, however. It comes from burning fossil fuels —coal, oil , and natural gas . When gasoline is burned to power cars and trucks, it produces carbon monoxide , a colorless, odorless gas. The gas is harmful in high concentrations , or amounts. City traffic produces highly concentrated carbon monoxide. Cars and factories produce other common pollutants, including nitrogen oxide , sulfur dioxide, and hydrocarbons . These chemicals react with sunlight to produce smog , a thick fog or haze of air pollution. The smog is so thick in Linfen, China, that people can seldom see the sun. Smog can be brown or grayish blue, depending on which pollutants are in it. Smog makes breathing difficult, especially for children and older adults. Some cities that suffer from extreme smog issue air pollution warnings. The government of Hong Kong, for example, will warn people not to go outside or engage in strenuous physical activity (such as running or swimming) when smog is very thick.

When air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide mix with moisture, they change into acids . They then fall back to earth as acid rain . Wind often carries acid rain far from the pollution source. Pollutants produced by factories and power plants in Spain can fall as acid rain in Norway. Acid rain can kill all the trees in a forest . It can also devastate lakes, streams, and other waterways. When lakes become acidic, fish can’t survive . In Sweden, acid rain created thousands of “ dead lakes ,” where fish no longer live. Acid rain also wears away marble and other kinds of stone . It has erased the words on gravestones and damaged many historic buildings and monuments . The Taj Mahal , in Agra, India, was once gleaming white. Years of exposure to acid rain has left it pale. Governments have tried to prevent acid rain by limiting the amount of pollutants released into the air. In Europe and North America, they have had some success, but acid rain remains a major problem in the developing world , especially Asia. Greenhouse gases are another source of air pollution. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane occur naturally in the atmosphere. In fact, they are necessary for life on Earth. They absorb sunlight reflected from Earth, preventing it from escaping into space. By trapping heat in the atmosphere, they keep Earth warm enough for people to live. This is called the greenhouse effect . But human activities such as burning fossil fuels and destroying forests have increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This has increased the greenhouse effect, and average temperatures across the globe are rising. The decade that began in the year 2000 was the warmest on record. This increase in worldwide average temperatures, caused in part by human activity, is called global warming . Global warming is causing ice sheets and glaciers to melt. The melting ice is causing sea levels to rise at a rate of two millimeters (0.09 inches) per year. The rising seas will eventually flood low-lying coastal regions . Entire nations, such as the islands of Maldives, are threatened by this climate change . Global warming also contributes to the phenomenon of ocean acidification . Ocean acidification is the process of ocean waters absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Fewer organisms can survive in warmer, less salty waters. The ocean food web is threatened as plants and animals such as coral fail to adapt to more acidic oceans. Scientists have predicted that global warming will cause an increase in severe storms . It will also cause more droughts in some regions and more flooding in others. The change in average temperatures is already shrinking some habitats, the regions where plants and animals naturally live. Polar bears hunt seals from sea ice in the Arctic. The melting ice is forcing polar bears to travel farther to find food , and their numbers are shrinking. People and governments can respond quickly and effectively to reduce air pollution. Chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are a dangerous form of air pollution that governments worked to reduce in the 1980s and 1990s. CFCs are found in gases that cool refrigerators, in foam products, and in aerosol cans . CFCs damage the ozone layer , a region in Earth’s upper atmosphere. The ozone layer protects Earth by absorbing much of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation . When people are exposed to more ultraviolet radiation, they are more likely to develop skin cancer, eye diseases, and other illnesses. In the 1980s, scientists noticed that the ozone layer over Antarctica was thinning. This is often called the “ ozone hole .” No one lives permanently in Antarctica. But Australia, the home of more than 22 million people, lies at the edge of the hole. In the 1990s, the Australian government began an effort to warn people of the dangers of too much sun. Many countries, including the United States, now severely limit the production of CFCs. Water Pollution Some polluted water looks muddy, smells bad, and has garbage floating in it. Some polluted water looks clean, but is filled with harmful chemicals you can’t see or smell. Polluted water is unsafe for drinking and swimming. Some people who drink polluted water are exposed to hazardous chemicals that may make them sick years later. Others consume bacteria and other tiny aquatic organisms that cause disease. The United Nations estimates that 4,000 children die every day from drinking dirty water. Sometimes, polluted water harms people indirectly. They get sick because the fish that live in polluted water are unsafe to eat. They have too many pollutants in their flesh. There are some natural sources of water pollution. Oil and natural gas, for example, can leak into oceans and lakes from natural underground sources. These sites are called petroleum seeps . The world’s largest petroleum seep is the Coal Oil Point Seep, off the coast of the U.S. state of California. The Coal Oil Point Seep releases so much oil that tar balls wash up on nearby beaches . Tar balls are small, sticky pieces of pollution that eventually decompose in the ocean.

Human activity also contributes to water pollution. Chemicals and oils from factories are sometimes dumped or seep into waterways. These chemicals are called runoff. Chemicals in runoff can create a toxic environment for aquatic life. Runoff can also help create a fertile environment for cyanobacteria , also called blue-green algae . Cyanobacteria reproduce rapidly, creating a harmful algal bloom (HAB) . Harmful algal blooms prevent organisms such as plants and fish from living in the ocean. They are associated with “ dead zones ” in the world’s lakes and rivers, places where little life exists below surface water. Mining and drilling can also contribute to water pollution. Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a major contributor to pollution of rivers and streams near coal mines . Acid helps miners remove coal from the surrounding rocks . The acid is washed into streams and rivers, where it reacts with rocks and sand. It releases chemical sulfur from the rocks and sand, creating a river rich in sulfuric acid . Sulfuric acid is toxic to plants, fish, and other aquatic organisms. Sulfuric acid is also toxic to people, making rivers polluted by AMD dangerous sources of water for drinking and hygiene . Oil spills are another source of water pollution. In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, causing oil to gush from the ocean floor. In the following months, hundreds of millions of gallons of oil spewed into the gulf waters. The spill produced large plumes of oil under the sea and an oil slick on the surface as large as 24,000 square kilometers (9,100 square miles). The oil slick coated wetlands in the U.S. states of Louisiana and Mississippi, killing marsh plants and aquatic organisms such as crabs and fish. Birds, such as pelicans , became coated in oil and were unable to fly or access food. More than two million animals died as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Buried chemical waste can also pollute water supplies. For many years, people disposed of chemical wastes carelessly, not realizing its dangers. In the 1970s, people living in the Love Canal area in Niagara Falls, New York, suffered from extremely high rates of cancer and birth defects . It was discovered that a chemical waste dump had poisoned the area’s water. In 1978, 800 families living in Love Canal had to a bandon their homes. If not disposed of properly, radioactive waste from nuclear power plants can escape into the environment. Radioactive waste can harm living things and pollute the water. Sewage that has not been properly treated is a common source of water pollution. Many cities around the world have poor sewage systems and sewage treatment plants. Delhi, the capital of India, is home to more than 21 million people. More than half the sewage and other waste produced in the city are dumped into the Yamuna River. This pollution makes the river dangerous to use as a source of water for drinking or hygiene. It also reduces the river’s fishery , resulting in less food for the local community. A major source of water pollution is fertilizer used in agriculture . Fertilizer is material added to soil to make plants grow larger and faster. Fertilizers usually contain large amounts of the elements nitrogen and phosphorus , which help plants grow. Rainwater washes fertilizer into streams and lakes. There, the nitrogen and phosphorus cause cyanobacteria to form harmful algal blooms. Rain washes other pollutants into streams and lakes. It picks up animal waste from cattle ranches. Cars drip oil onto the street, and rain carries it into storm drains , which lead to waterways such as rivers and seas. Rain sometimes washes chemical pesticides off of plants and into streams. Pesticides can also seep into groundwater , the water beneath the surface of the Earth. Heat can pollute water. Power plants, for example, produce a huge amount of heat. Power plants are often located on rivers so they can use the water as a coolant . Cool water circulates through the plant, absorbing heat. The heated water is then returned to the river. Aquatic creatures are sensitive to changes in temperature. Some fish, for example, can only live in cold water. Warmer river temperatures prevent fish eggs from hatching. Warmer river water also contributes to harmful algal blooms. Another type of water pollution is simple garbage. The Citarum River in Indonesia, for example, has so much garbage floating in it that you cannot see the water. Floating trash makes the river difficult to fish in. Aquatic animals such as fish and turtles mistake trash, such as plastic bags, for food. Plastic bags and twine can kill many ocean creatures. Chemical pollutants in trash can also pollute the water, making it toxic for fish and people who use the river as a source of drinking water. The fish that are caught in a polluted river often have high levels of chemical toxins in their flesh. People absorb these toxins as they eat the fish. Garbage also fouls the ocean. Many plastic bottles and other pieces of trash are thrown overboard from boats. The wind blows trash out to sea. Ocean currents carry plastics and other floating trash to certain places on the globe, where it cannot escape. The largest of these areas, called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean. According to some estimates, this garbage patch is the size of Texas. The trash is a threat to fish and seabirds, which mistake the plastic for food. Many of the plastics are covered with chemical pollutants. Land Pollution Many of the same pollutants that foul the water also harm the land. Mining sometimes leaves the soil contaminated with dangerous chemicals. Pesticides and fertilizers from agricultural fields are blown by the wind. They can harm plants, animals, and sometimes people. Some fruits and vegetables absorb the pesticides that help them grow. When people consume the fruits and vegetables, the pesticides enter their bodies. Some pesticides can cause cancer and other diseases. A pesticide called DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) was once commonly used to kill insects, especially mosquitoes. In many parts of the world, mosquitoes carry a disease called malaria , which kills a million people every year. Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Muller was awarded the Nobel Prize for his understanding of how DDT can control insects and other pests. DDT is responsible for reducing malaria in places such as Taiwan and Sri Lanka. In 1962, American biologist Rachel Carson wrote a book called Silent Spring , which discussed the dangers of DDT. She argued that it could contribute to cancer in humans. She also explained how it was destroying bird eggs, which caused the number of bald eagles, brown pelicans, and ospreys to drop. In 1972, the United States banned the use of DDT. Many other countries also banned it. But DDT didn’t disappear entirely. Today, many governments support the use of DDT because it remains the most effective way to combat malaria. Trash is another form of land pollution. Around the world, paper, cans, glass jars, plastic products, and junked cars and appliances mar the landscape. Litter makes it difficult for plants and other producers in the food web to create nutrients . Animals can die if they mistakenly eat plastic. Garbage often contains dangerous pollutants such as oils, chemicals, and ink. These pollutants can leech into the soil and harm plants, animals, and people. Inefficient garbage collection systems contribute to land pollution. Often, the garbage is picked up and brought to a dump, or landfill . Garbage is buried in landfills. Sometimes, communities produce so much garbage that their landfills are filling up. They are running out of places to dump their trash. A massive landfill near Quezon City, Philippines, was the site of a land pollution tragedy in 2000. Hundreds of people lived on the slopes of the Quezon City landfill. These people made their living from recycling and selling items found in the landfill. However, the landfill was not secure. Heavy rains caused a trash landslide, killing 218 people. Sometimes, landfills are not completely sealed off from the land around them. Pollutants from the landfill leak into the earth in which they are buried. Plants that grow in the earth may be contaminated, and the herbivores that eat the plants also become contaminated. So do the predators that consume the herbivores. This process, where a chemical builds up in each level of the food web, is called bioaccumulation . Pollutants leaked from landfills also leak into local groundwater supplies. There, the aquatic food web (from microscopic algae to fish to predators such as sharks or eagles) can suffer from bioaccumulation of toxic chemicals. Some communities do not have adequate garbage collection systems, and trash lines the side of roads. In other places, garbage washes up on beaches. Kamilo Beach, in the U.S. state of Hawai'i, is littered with plastic bags and bottles carried in by the tide . The trash is dangerous to ocean life and reduces economic activity in the area. Tourism is Hawai'i’s largest industry . Polluted beaches discourage tourists from investing in the area’s hotels, restaurants, and recreational activities. Some cities incinerate , or burn, their garbage. Incinerating trash gets rid of it, but it can release dangerous heavy metals and chemicals into the air. So while trash incinerators can help with the problem of land pollution, they sometimes add to the problem of air pollution. Reducing Pollution Around the world, people and governments are making efforts to combat pollution. Recycling, for instance, is becoming more common. In recycling, trash is processed so its useful materials can be used again. Glass, aluminum cans, and many types of plastic can be melted and reused . Paper can be broken down and turned into new paper. Recycling reduces the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills, incinerators, and waterways. Austria and Switzerland have the highest recycling rates. These nations recycle between 50 and 60 percent of their garbage. The United States recycles about 30 percent of its garbage. Governments can combat pollution by passing laws that limit the amount and types of chemicals factories and agribusinesses are allowed to use. The smoke from coal-burning power plants can be filtered. People and businesses that illegally dump pollutants into the land, water, and air can be fined for millions of dollars. Some government programs, such as the Superfund program in the United States, can force polluters to clean up the sites they polluted. International agreements can also reduce pollution. The Kyoto Protocol , a United Nations agreement to limit the emission of greenhouse gases, has been signed by 191 countries. The United States, the world’s second-largest producer of greenhouse gases, did not sign the agreement. Other countries, such as China, the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases, have not met their goals. Still, many gains have been made. In 1969, the Cuyahoga River, in the U.S. state of Ohio, was so clogged with oil and trash that it caught on fire. The fire helped spur the Clean Water Act of 1972. This law limited what pollutants could be released into water and set standards for how clean water should be. Today, the Cuyahoga River is much cleaner. Fish have returned to regions of the river where they once could not survive. But even as some rivers are becoming cleaner, others are becoming more polluted. As countries around the world become wealthier, some forms of pollution increase. Countries with growing economies usually need more power plants, which produce more pollutants. Reducing pollution requires environmental, political, and economic leadership. Developed nations must work to reduce and recycle their materials, while developing nations must work to strengthen their economies without destroying the environment. Developed and developing countries must work together toward the common goal of protecting the environment for future use.

How Long Does It Last? Different materials decompose at different rates. How long does it take for these common types of trash to break down?

  • Paper: 2-4 weeks
  • Orange peel: 6 months
  • Milk carton: 5 years
  • Plastic bag: 15 years
  • Tin can: 100 years
  • Plastic bottle: 450 years
  • Glass bottle: 500 years
  • Styrofoam: Never

Indoor Air Pollution The air inside your house can be polluted. Air and carpet cleaners, insect sprays, and cigarettes are all sources of indoor air pollution.

Light Pollution Light pollution is the excess amount of light in the night sky. Light pollution, also called photopollution, is almost always found in urban areas. Light pollution can disrupt ecosystems by confusing the distinction between night and day. Nocturnal animals, those that are active at night, may venture out during the day, while diurnal animals, which are active during daylight hours, may remain active well into the night. Feeding and sleep patterns may be confused. Light pollution also indicates an excess use of energy. The dark-sky movement is a campaign by people to reduce light pollution. This would reduce energy use, allow ecosystems to function more normally, and allow scientists and stargazers to observe the atmosphere.

Noise Pollution Noise pollution is the constant presence of loud, disruptive noises in an area. Usually, noise pollution is caused by construction or nearby transportation facilities, such as airports. Noise pollution is unpleasant, and can be dangerous. Some songbirds, such as robins, are unable to communicate or find food in the presence of heavy noise pollution. The sound waves produced by some noise pollutants can disrupt the sonar used by marine animals to communicate or locate food.

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Environmental Pollution Essay

The essay on environmental pollution explains how the earth and its natural resources are under the ever-increasing threat of pollution. All life on earth is threatened by this vicious process initiated by human intervention. The pollutants released from all kinds of human activity, including industrial processes, have had devastating effects on the delicate balance of nature. The most common forms of environmental pollution are air pollution, water pollution, and soil pollution. Environmental pollution has to be addressed as the most pressing problem facing humanity now, and solutions have to be implemented before it is too late. Pollution has been causing damage to natural resources in every corner of the world for decades, but it seems that we have been running away from taking any positive measures to mitigate its impact on the environment. This environmental pollution essay in English will help children realise these factors and instruct them to conserve the environment and handle natural resources with the care they deserve.

Environmental Pollution Essay

Reasons for Environmental Pollution

Environmental pollution is a significant problem in the world today. Some industries release chemicals into the air, which cause harm to the ozone layer that shields us from UV radiation. Some industries release harmful chemicals into water resources. These emissions will be carried by wind and rain and deposited on land or ocean surfaces.

Overpopulation is one of the primary reasons for massive environmental pollution. Besides, it has resulted due to improper waste disposal, hazardous chemical emissions, an increase in the number of factories, and overuse of natural resources.

Suggested Article: Causes of Environmental Pollution

Measures to Avoid Environmental Pollution

With the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, it is possible to limit global warming and reduce pollution at the same time. One of the leading causes of environmental pollution is the production, transportation and disposal of electronic waste. Companies should install recycling systems for computers and cell phones to reduce their need for landfills.

One of the measures to avoid pollution is to reduce the use of plastics. This includes using fewer disposable containers, choosing reusable bags, and reducing the use of plastics. Another way to avoid pollution is by recycling and disposing of waste responsibly.

Help kids learn how to write an essay on environmental pollution by asking them to read this essay.

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Essay on Environmental Pollution for Students in 1200 Words

Essay on Environmental Pollution for Students and Children in 1000 Words

In this article we have published an essay on environmental pollution for students and children in 1000+ words. It includes history, sources, types, effects and control measures for environmental pollution.

You can also read a detailed article on Pollution – What is Pollution? Complete Guide (Click Here)

Table of Contents

Essay on Environmental Pollution (1000 Words)

Mixing of contaminants into the natural environment, which causes an adverse change in the environment, is known as environmental pollution.

Environmental pollution can take the shape of chemical substances or energy, like noise, heat, or light. Pollutants, the components of Pollution, are often either foreign substances/energies or present contaminants. Pollution is usually classed as the beginning or non-point source pollution.

In 2015, Pollution killed 9 million people within the world. Significant sorts of environmental Pollution include Pollution, light pollution, littering, sound Pollution, plastic Pollution, soil contamination, radioactive contamination, Pollution, visual Pollution, Pollution.

History of Pollution

Air pollution has always accompanied civilizations and has been a significant lead in environmental Pollution.

Pollution started from prehistoric times when man created the primary fires, “soot” was found on ceilings of ancient caves provides ample evidence of the high levels of air pollution was created because of inadequate ventilation of open fires.”

The creation of metal forging has played a crucial turning point in creating severe air pollution levels outside the houses. Core samples of glaciers in Greenland show increases in Pollution related to Greek, Roman, and Chinese metal production.

What Are Sources of Pollution?

The burning of coal and wood, the presence of many horses in concentrated areas, made the cities the first sources of Pollution. The economic Revolution brought an infusion of untreated chemicals and wastes into local streams that served because of the water system.

The burning of sea-coal was banned in London by King Edward I of England after its smoke became a problem; the fuel was so prevalent in England that this earliest of names for it had been gained because it might be carted far away from some shores by the wheelbarrow.

It was the economic Revolution that gave birth to environmental Pollution as we all know it today. London also recorded one among the sooner extreme cases of water quality problems with the excellent Stink on the Thames of 1858, which led to the construction of the London sewerage system soon afterward.

Pollution issues escalated as an increase far exceeded the viability of neighborhoods to handle their waste problem. The reformers claimed the demand for sewer systems and clean water.

The large quantities of coal were consumed by the emerging factories giving rise to unprecedented Pollution. This led to an enormous volume of chemical discharge, which added to the growing load of untreated wastes — the first two American cities Chicago and Cincinnati to enact laws ensuring cleaner air in 1881.

In the early twentieth century, environmental Pollution became a severe issue as progressive reformers took effect with Pollution caused by coal burning. Pollution caused by inadequate sanitation and street pollution caused by the three million horses who worked in American cities in the 1900s generated vast quantities of urine and manure.

Nuclear weapons continued to be tested within the conflict, especially within the earlier stages of their development. Though extreme care has been taken but still disastrous, incidents like those at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima pose a lingering specter of public mistrust.

Worldwide publicity has been intense in those disasters. Widespread support for ban treaties has ended most nuclear testing within the atmosphere.

Pollution introduced by light in the dark is becoming a global problem, more severe in urban centers, but also contaminating vast territories, distant from towns. Increasing evidence of global and local Pollution and public information available over time has given rise to public awareness, which has to lead to the environmental movement to limit the human impact on the environment.

What Are the Major Types of Environmental Pollution?

1. air pollution.

Read more about – Air pollution

Air pollution may be a mixture of solid particles and gases within the air. Car emissions, chemicals from factories, dust, pollen, and mold spores could also be suspended as particles.

Ozone, a gas, maybe a significant part of Pollution in cities. When ozone forms Pollution, it is also called smog. Some air pollutants are poisonous.

2. Plastic Pollution

Read more about – Plastic Pollution

Plastic Pollution is the accumulation of plastic objects and particles (e.g., plastic bottles, bags, and microbeads) within the Earth’s environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, and humans. Plastics that act as pollutants are categorized into micro – or macro debris supported size.

3. Soil Pollution

Read more about – Soil Pollution

Soil is the thin layer of inorganic and organic materials that covers the rocky surface of the Earth, which gets polluted because of the persistent toxic compounds, salts, radioactive material, etc. which has an adverse effect on the health of the soil.

4. Water Pollution

Read more about – Water Pollution

The contamination of water bodies because of human activities is known as water pollution. Water bodies include, for instance, lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers, and groundwater; the release of waste and contaminants into surface runoff flowing to surface waters groundwater pollution from waste disposal and leaching into the bottom, including from pit latrines and septic tanks; eutrophication and littering.

It includes urban runoff and agricultural runoff, which can contain chemical fertilizers and pesticides; also including human feces from open defecation–still a severe problem in many developing countries.

5. Radioactive Pollution

Read more about – Radioactive Pollution

The dangerous Pollution is defined as the release of poisonous substance because of the results of freedom of radioactive materials into the environment during nuclear explosions and testing of atomic weapons, the weapon of mass destruction production and decommissioning mining of radioactive ores, handling and disposal of radioactive material, and accidents at nuclear power plants.

Effects of Environmental Pollution

There are adverse effects of Pollution on all living organisms on Earth. Ozone pollution can cause respiratory illness, disorder, throat inflammation, pain, and congestion. Pollution causes approximately 14,000 deaths per day, mostly thanks to contamination of beverage by untreated sewage in developing countries.

About 500 million Indians haven’t any access to a correct toilet, over ten million people in India fell ill with waterborne illnesses in 2013, and 1,535 people died, most of them children.

Nearly 500 million Chinese lack access to a safe beverage. A 2010 analysis estimated that 1.2 million people died prematurely annually in China because of Pollution. The top smog levels China has been facing for an extended time can damage to civilians’ bodies and generate uncommon diseases.

The WHO estimated in 2007 that Pollution causes half 1,000,000 deaths per annum in India. Studies have determined uncommon diseases that the number of individuals killed annually within us might be over 50,000.

Also read – Rainwater Harvesting

Environmental Health Information

The Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) at our National Library of drugs (NLM) maintains a comprehensive toxicology and environmental health internet site that has access to resources produced by TEHIP and by other government organizations.

This links to the database, bibliographies, and tutorials are included in the internet site. TOXMAP may be a Geographic data system (GIS) that’s a part of TOXNET. TOXMAP uses maps of us to assist users visually explore data from our Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory and Superfund Basic Research Programs.

How to Control Environmental Pollution?

Environmental pollution management (Solutions) termed pollution control, to control emissions and effluents into the water, air, or soil.

The waste products generated from various types of human activities like agriculture, mining, manufacturing, transportation, overconsumption, heating, etc. with pollution control, whether they accumulate or disperse, will degrade the environment.

Within the hierarchy of controls, pollution prevention and waste minimization are more desirable than pollution control. Within the field of exploitation, low-affected development may be a similar technique to prevent urban runoff.

Hope you liked this educational essay on environmental pollution for students.

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Essay on Environmental Pollution for Children, Students and Others

essay on environment pollution in english

Table of Contents

Essay on Environmental Pollution: Environment pollution is a global concern since it affects the environment and people’s health. Environmental pollution refers to the introduction of harmful pollutants into the environment. These pollutants contaminates the environment. It has a hazardous effect on the natural world and on the activities of living beings. Environmental pollution is one of the most important global problems. It means adding impurity to environment. The environment consists of earth , water , air , plants and animals . If we pollute them, then the existence of man and nature will be hampered.

Short and Long Essays on Environmental Pollution

We have provided below short and long essay on environmental pollution in English for your information and knowledge. All the essays have been written in simple yet effective English language so that it would be easy for you to remember it and present it when required. After going through these environmental pollution essay, you will know the definition of environmental pollution; facts of pollution for kids; types of environmental pollution and their causes; ways to prevent environmental pollution etc. These environmental pollution essays will prove extremely helpful in your school/college assignments and competitions like debate, essay writing and speech giving. Types of Polluiton

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Environmental Pollution Essay 100 words – Sample 1

Environmental pollution refers to the introduction of undesirable polluting substances into the environment. These substances are produced mainly due to human activities like transportation, industrialization and urbanization among others. There are even some natural factors that cause environmental pollution like volcanic eruption, storms etc., but their impact on the environment is temporary as well as negligible as compared to the human induced pollution.

Pollution poses a serious threat to the environment and also to the life and heath of humans, plants and animals. Any living species could only survive if the environment remains clean and pure, otherwise life on the planet would be really difficult and impossible to imagine.

Environmental Pollution Essay 150 words – Sample 2

Very often we hear the term environmental pollution while talking about harm human’s quest for progress is doing to the environment and what impacts it has on the health of humans and other species as well.

Pollution of the environment happens when our natural environment is disturbed by the introduction of unwanted and harmful substances known as pollutants. Many human activities like use of fossil fuels in the vehicles, dumping of industrial waste, cutting down trees and forests for urban settlements and large use of plastic are some of the main human induced causes of environmental pollution.

Causes of Polluiton

Environmental pollution leads to a series of undesirable outcomes like global warming, acid rain, species depletion, flood and famines among several other severe consequences. If we want the planet to be green and inhabited for millions of more years then it is very necessary that we should take all the necessary steps to prevent environmental pollution.

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Environmental Pollution Essay 200 words – Sample 3

Environmental pollution is described as the introduction of external pollutants into the environment. Our natural environment consists of the air, forests, rivers, streams, land, soil, vegetation etc. If anything unwanted generated due to human activities enter this otherwise pristine environment, this phenomenon is termed as environmental pollution.

Some of the major human activities causing environmental pollution are industrialization, deforestation, urbanization, nuclear spills etc. Often the production industries are set up near the natural water sources as water is a major resource for several kinds of industrial works.

Water used as coolant and also used for purposes like cleaning, washing etc. But also the waste produced by industries dumped into the water bodies resulting in their pollution.

Water a precious natural resource and though, almost 70% of earth’s surface is covered with water, only 1% of it is actually fresh water and suitable for consumption. Industrial waste pollutes that 1% of extremely rare reserve of fresh water, which has actually taken hundreds of years to be build.

It is very necessary therefore to prevent any damage to the environment and natural resources caused by the human activities. Environmental pollution is a global threat and it must be prevented by making new laws and implementing them with full diligence.

Environmental Pollution Essay 250 words- Sample 3

The term environmental pollution used to describe the contamination of environment by external substances called pollutants. These pollutants generated due to human activities and could be in gaseous, solid or liquid state, depending on their respective process of generation.

Gaseous pollutants include gases like Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Sulphur Dioxide (SO 2 ) generated due to the combustion of fossil fuels. These gases are toxic in nature and harmful to breathe in, when present in the atmosphere in large quantities.

Solid pollutants include industrial waste and waste from human settlements. They consists of all types of solid compounds like plastic, metal, wood, leaves, etc. Solid pollutants not only cause land and soil pollution but also reach our water bodies and pollute them.

Liquid pollutants on the other hand consist of oil and other petroleum products, chemicals, acids etc. The main source of liquid pollutants is petroleum and fuel production industries.

Environmental pollution has an adverse effect on the vital resources like air, water and plants as well as on the health and life of humans. Air pollutions causes respiratory ailments while the pollution of water bodies leads to water borne diseases. Soil pollution also causes contamination of soil affecting the crop production in that particular area.

There is an urgent need to control the environmental pollution by effectively controlling the production of pollutants by adopting more environment friendly policies. Use of more eco friendly fuel sources and proper collection and disposal of waste are some of the methods that could adopted to control environmental pollution.

Environmental Pollution Essay 300 words- Sample 4


When an unwanted toxic substance enters our otherwise pure environment, it is termed as pollution. Environmental pollution is serious threat to the environment and its resources. Ironically, almost all of the causes of environment pollution human induced. Below we have presented some important pollution facts for kids, to improve their knowledge.

Pollution Facts for Kids

Below we have provided bulleted point wise narration of environmental pollution facts for kids.

  • Pollution is a serious health concern for people around the world, including the children and adults. Nearly 10 million people worldwide are suffering due to pollution related issues and it is also responsible for the death of more than 2 million children under the age of 5.
  • Water pollution in developed countries is chiefly due to industrial waste. Around 70% of industrial waste in developed countries dumped into water, making the lakes and rivers too polluted for any activity.
  • Pollution of fresh drinking water is one of the main causes of loss of life throughout the world. Every year at least 250 million cases of water borne diseases reported, which subsequently causes 2 to 10 million deaths.
  • A normal human being breathes in around 11,000 liters of air per day. Therefore, breathing polluted air causes severe lung diseases and people living in places with poor air quality are more susceptible to it.
  • Motor vehicles are the main source of air pollution than anything else. An average car produces at least half a ton of carbon dioxide.

Though, the pollution affects the environment and the health of flora and fauna; it is the children who are more susceptible to it health hazards. We must take necessary steps to curb pollution in order to safeguard the health and future of our children.

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Environmental Pollution Essay 350 words- Sample 5

Environmental Pollution refers to the introduction of external pollutants into the environment. These pollutants primarily generated from several human activities like transportation, industrialization etc. Environmental pollution has many effects on the environment. Some of the major effects of environmental pollution described below.

Major Effects of Pollution

  • Global Warming

Global warming refers to the rise in average surface temperature of earth. The main reason of global warming is the greenhouse effect which in turn caused due to a large concentration of green house gases into the atmosphere. Gases like Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), Water vapor (H 2 O), Methane (CH 4 ) and Nitrous Oxide (N 2 O) are green house gases and emitted mainly due to the fossil fuel combustion. Greenhouse gases help retain the sun’s heat into the atmosphere, consequently resulting in a rise in earth’s surface temperature.

Acid rain is another environmental degrading effect of pollution. It refers to a rain or a kind of precipitation that is acidic in nature with more concentration of Hydrogen ions, in other words the pH level of Acid Rain is low. It is very harmful to the plants, aquatic species and buildings also. The main human induced causes of acid rain are nitrogen and sulfur compounds generated due to activities like generation of electricity, meat production industries and transportation.

  • Species Depletion

One of the most serious effects of environmental pollution is species depletion both on land and in water. Water pollution severely impacts the quality of water, making it toxic and harmful to live in for the aquatic animals like fishes and tortoise etc. They are highly sensitive to the pollution and often succumb to it. Land pollution and air pollution also causes the depletion of the species of flora and fauna respectively. Air pollution causes some serious respiratory ailments in humans as well as animals.

Pollution not only effects the environment, but it also threatens the very existence of life on earth. It has a large degrading effect on the environment and we must take necessary remedial measures for its prevention if we want our planet to stay healthy and green.

Environmental Pollution Essay 400 words Sample 6

Environmental pollution refers to the inclusion of unwanted toxic pollutants into the environment. These pollutants mainly generated due to several human activities and causes environment degradation. Different types of pollutants lead to different types of environmental pollution which we will discuss below.

Types of Environmental Pollution

Water Pollution

Water Pollution occurs when toxic substances like chemicals, plastic and other waste enters our water resources. The pollutants could include chemicals from agricultural runoff, industrial waste, urban sewage, oil spills by boats etc. Fresh water is very precious natural resource and must kept clean at any cost. As per an estimate provided by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), 64% of lakes are not suitably clean for activities like fishing and swimming.

  • Air Pollution

Air Pollution occurs when particles and other harmful gases generated due to human activities get mixed with the environmental air and causes its degradation. A main cause of the air pollution is the production and use of fossil fuels. The fossil fuel production industry produces harmful gases like SO 2 (Sulphur dioxide), CO 2 (Carbon dioxide) etc. These gases are toxic in nature and cause other serious complications like greenhouse effects and acid rain.

  • Land/Soil Pollution

The main cause of land/soil pollution is urban waste and agricultural runoff. Urban waste consists of all type of degradable, and non degradable waste likes vegetables, waste food, plastic, hospital waste etc. In the absence of a proper waste collection and disposal mechanism, these wastes get disposed on land resulting in land pollution. Moreover, the use of chemical fertilizers in the agricultural industry causes the chemical pollutants to get absorbed in the soil, causing soil pollution.

  • Noise Pollution

Noise pollution also known as sound pollution and caused when the noise level into the environment reaches up to dangerously high level so as to interfere with normal activities of humans and animals. Transportation vehicles, heavy machineries, aircrafts are the main sources of noise pollution. Noise level is measured in Decibel (dB) and the permissible limit of noise as described by the World Health Organization (WHO) is 50 dB. Though, in the areas of dense population, urban settlement and traffic it often reaches up to 98 dB, which is very harmful to the humans and animals.

There many types of pollution depending on the activities they generated from; nevertheless, the ability to deal with all of them lies only with humans. It required that we take immediate responsibility of our environment and also take necessary steps towards preventing its pollution.

Environmental Pollution Essay 500 words – Sample 7

Everything that surrounds us constitutes the environment. It is the condition in which humans, plants, animals and other creatures live and operate. Environmental Pollution on the other hand is the introduction of unwanted and often toxic substances in to the environment. These substances termed as pollutants and mainly produced due to human activities. In the following essay we will go through causes, effects and control of environmental pollution.

Causes of Environmental Pollution

Many causes of environmental pollution including oil spills, burning of fossil fuels, industrial waste, use of chemical fertilizers in agriculture, use of plastic etc. for instance, transportation industry relies on fuel like petrol and diesel that has derived formed due to anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms. The main pollutant gas emitted when fossil fuel burned in a transport vehicle are CO 2 (Carbon dioxide) and CO (Carbon Monoxide). Former is a potent greenhouse gas while the latter is toxic in nature.

Industrial waste generated in industries throughout world carelessly dumped in to environment due to lack of proper planning. It pollutes our water bodies, land and is also harmful to the health of human and other living species.

Effects of Environmental Pollution

Effects of Environmental Pollution are on number of factors including human health as well as survival and health of other living organisms, animals and plants.

Air pollution causes severe respiratory ailments in humans and animals alike. Water pollution renders water toxic and natural water resource unusable. It also causes depletion of aquatic species and flora and fauna that depends on it.

Above mentioned effects of environmental pollution, some more severe effects like global warming, floods and acid rain. Global warming caused due excess environmental concentration of gases like CO 2 (Carbon dioxide), CH 4 (Methane), N 2 O (Nitrous Oxide) and O 3 (Ozone). These gases primarily released due to human activities like transportation, industrialization etc.

Environmental Pollution Control

Pollution control refers to the controlling of emissions from human activities, into the environment. The waste products that generated by transportation, industrialization, and several other similar activities; leads to the degradation of the environment.

Pollution caused by these waste products could controlled by adapting to new environmental friendly norms for industries. And by allowing recycling or proper disposal of waste.

Methods like dust collection system and electrostatic precipitation can used to control air pollution; sewage treatment like sedimentation can used for treating industrial and urban waste.

Environmental pollution is one of the greatest threats to health of the planet. Ever growing human needs and man’s quest for progress is consistently degrading the atmosphere and its elements. An urgent need to take necessary action for controlling environment pollution caused due to human activities by taking remedial measures.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Environmental Pollution

What are the environmental issues faced today.

Today, critical environmental issues include global warming, deforestation, air and water pollution, and biodiversity loss. These problems affect our health, resources, and entire ecosystems.

What is the government action on pollution?

Governments tackle pollution by enforcing regulations to limit emissions, implementing green initiatives, and promoting renewable energy sources. These actions aim to improve air and water quality and protect citizen health.

What causes environmental problems?

Environmental problems stem from human activities such as industrialization, deforestation, and irresponsible waste disposal, leading to climate change, resource depletion, and habitat destruction among others.

Who is responsible for environmental pollution?

Everyone contributes to environmental pollution, but industrial entities, transportation, and agricultural sectors majorly impact through emissions and chemical runoffs. However, collective human activities across the globe are the overarching contributors.

Why is it important to prevent environmental pollution?

Preventing environmental pollution is crucial to maintain healthy living spaces, protect wildlife, conserve natural resources, and ensure the well-being of future generations. It helps sustain our life-support systems on the planet.

Why is environmental protection important?

Environmental protection is vital to preserve the Earth's ecological balance. It safeguards biodiversity, prevents resource depletion, and helps in mitigating natural disasters, ensuring a healthier and sustainable planet.

What is the importance of the environment?

The environment is essential as it provides us with air, water, food, and shelter - the fundamental aspects of our survival. It supports biodiversity, drives climate patterns, and allows the continuation of life on Earth.

What is environmental pollution?

Environmental pollution refers to the contamination of our surroundings, including the air, water, and land, caused by harmful substances. It adversely affects the natural world and human health, leading to a compromised ecosystem.

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Environmental Pollution Paragraph | 100, 150, 200, 250 Words

Environmental pollution paragraph in English : One of the serious issues faced by our modern world is environmental pollution. In this article, you are going to learn how to write a paragraph on environmental pollution in English. Here, we’ve included short & long paragraphs on environmental pollution (100, 150, 200, and 250 words). All the paragraphs will be helpful for students of all classes (class 1 to 12). So, let’s begin.

Table of Contents

Environmental Pollution Paragraph: 100 Words

Pollution of the environment is the biggest bane in modern civilization. The environment is polluted due to various reasons. Global warming and widespread cutting down of trees cause pollution. People are forced to inhale poisonous gases because of the automobile exhausts and the gradual increase in the number of vehicles in a busy city life.

Water is polluted by industrial wastes and the cleaning of utensils and clothes. The soil is polluted because of the excessive use of pesticides. The use of sound beyond the permissible limit causes sound pollution which is causing a real menace for us. All these together is the making life difficult. Government should take strict action to curb environmental pollution. At the same time, general awareness should be spread, for the benefit of the people.

Environmental Pollution Paragraph in English

Paragraph on Environmental Pollution : 150 Words

The damaging of the purity of anything is called pollution. And the pollution of air, water and land around us is called environmental pollution. Environmental pollution affects our health and causes loss to us in different ways. Air pollution is caused by smoke from vehicles, chimneys of mills and factories, cooking ovens, etc. Bad smell of rotten garbage dumped in the streets, bad smell of dead or rotten animals, filthy surface drains pollute the air. If we inhale impure air, it will cause great harm to our lungs.

Water is polluted when dirty, poisonous refuse matter from mills and factories are discharged into rivers. If we drink this water, it will affect our health. Shrill sounds of the horns of lorries, buses, microphones, fireworks cause sound pollution. Sound pollution affects our power of hearing. Therefore, we should work towards reducing pollution if we want to live a healthy life.

environmental pollution essay in english 150 words

Also Read: Paragraph on Pollution 

Environment Pollution Paragraph : 200 Words

Environmental pollution implies the pollution (rather poisoning) of the human environment. The environment covers a wide range and it is a technical term. It includes air and atmosphere, water, land, sound and mineral. Environmental pollution refers to the way in which different elements in the environment get polluted. Different natural elements easily get polluted by various factors in today’s complicated, industrialized life.

There is, thus, the pollution of air. This is caused particularly by smoke from the chimney of modern factories or gas from automobiles and engines. Water pollution results from industrialization. The land gets polluted by the excessive use of fertilizer. Environmental pollution has dangerous consequences. It makes life insecure and mind morbid. People suffer from some strange and dreadful diseases and even from mental disorders.

New scientific and technological measures are necessary to control pollution. Proper schemes to clear the garbage, conserve soil and clean rivers are to be undertaken to resist this.

Paragraph on Environmental Pollution in English

Environmental Pollution Essay: 250 Words 

Addition of certain materials to the physical environment (water, air, and land) which can cause harmful effects on various forms of life is called environmental pollution. At present our environment is getting polluted every moment, causing extensive damage to all sorts of life on earth.

Environmental pollution is a direct consequence of industrial progress. It is, therefore, more pronounced in larger cities and industrial belts. In these areas, the air is getting polluted by the exhausts of automobiles, furnaces, industrial soots, emission of smoke from boilers, etc. Decomposition of garbage and other refuses make the atmosphere heavy. Indiscriminate burning of all sorts of conventional and unconventional fuels are responsible for large-scale accumulation of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the air We breathe. Green forests purify the air, but with the random felling of trees, the percentage of these highly poisonous gases in the air increases.

With the development of industries, large amount of industrial wastes are discharged into rivers or lakes. Thus water gets polluted with toxic chemicals resulting death of marine lives. Emission from refineries float on seas destroying marine lives and coastal vegetation. However, the greatest contributors to environmental pollution are carbon emissions and radioactive wastes which pollute the atmosphere beyond imagination.

So, the air we breathe, and the water we drink are not always healthy or pure. The necessary steps must be taken to root out the causes of pollution. People should be encouraged to plant more trees to purify the air. Smoke iced for general consumption. Laws should be enforced to refrain the industries from discharging any poisonous or noxious matter into any stream or river. Strict measures must be taken to prevent the emission of harmful gases. Heavy penalties should be imposed for violating the rules & regulations.

The price of pollution could be the death of mankind. We have to take every step to save this planet from environmental pollution.

Also Read: Paragraph on Global Warming

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Environmental pollution can be defined as any undesirable change in the environment (Water, Air, Soil) that may disturb the ecological balance and cause harmful effects on various forms of life or property.

We can reduce environmental pollution by taking some necessary steps like planting more trees, avoiding firecrackers, reducing chemical fertilizers and pesticides, recovering and recycling material, following the limits of noise level etc.

There are many types of pollution. But the common ones are – air pollution, water pollution, noise Pollution, land Pollution and radioactive Pollution

Read More: 1. Paragraph on Importance of Trees

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Environmental Pollution Essay in English

environmental pollution article in English

Environmental Pollution Essay

Pollution means making something dirty. Environmental pollution means making the environmental dirty, it includes air, water, soil etc. If our surrounds are clean or unpolluted, life is safe but if it is dirty or polluted, life is in danger. Our present world faces this problem  awareness about it but now it is increasing. Now the people and the government of the world are realizing the hazards of pollution There are so many reasons of pollution

  • Sounds of aircraft, ships, trains, machine and human crowds.
  • Use of chemicals, particularly the use of petrol and gases.
  • Smokes, causing smokes by the factories or other machine.
  • Cutting of jungles and trees also causes pollution.
  • Throwing garbage here and there and into the seas and rivers.
  • Using machine at large scale.

Man should get rid of pollution, otherwise human life on the earth will become a question mark. We should take these measures in this regard:

  • The use of machine must be minimized.
  • Loud and noisy sound and voices should be controlled, like the loud sound of machines and loudspeakers.
  • We should protect forests and number of trees and plants should be increased. The hobby of plantation should be encouraged.
  • The use of those things or machine that produce smoke should be reduced.
  • We should avoid throwing garbage here and there and into the waters.
  • Awareness about pollution and its hazards in the public should be roused.

Environmental Pollution Essay

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essay on environment pollution in english

  • 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:


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


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

essay on environment pollution in english

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


  • 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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  • Cover Story

The Great Stink: Britain’s pollution crisis

How privatisation and the pursuit of profit lead to the devastation of England’s waterways.

By Will Dunn

essay on environment pollution in english

At the bottom of a steep bank beside a dual carriageway in Oxfordshire, a tiny, unnamed stream flows between  the trees. The A40 thunders overhead but the water here is clear; among the pebbles and crumbs of golden sand on the bottom, a few freshwater mussels are growing. Sticklebacks flick between strands of green water weed. The stream passes through a culvert, emerges from a concrete pipe and flows into Colwell Brook, where almost everything is dead.

Colwell Brook is perhaps six feet across, and for its entire length only one form of life can be seen: Sphaerotilus natans , a type of bacteria that gathers into grey, hair-like filaments a few centimetres long. Sphaerotilus can thrive in water that is low in oxygen and high in organic matter, hence its colloquial name – sewage fungus. It covers the bottom of the brook for hundreds of metres. Beneath the waterline the fronds sway lazily in the gentle current, but when Peter Hammond pulls up a branch they form into dangling, snotty clumps, the kind of stuff you might expect to find in the guts of an elderly dishwasher.

Peter, a computational biologist, tells me the Sphaerotilus colonies provide a medium on which the other bacteria found in sewage sludge can flourish, such as the antibiotic-resistant microbes that grow in the faeces of people taking certain medications. Colwell Brook is also polluted by all the other things that 40,000 people have flushed into their drains: bleach, detergent, food waste, drugs and microplastics. The water is a luminous orange-grey. “That is now the typical colour of the River Windrush in summer,” says Ash Smith, a retired police officer, “and this is not unique. Many, many other rivers have a similar story.” Colwell Brook flows into the Windrush downstream; the Windrush joins the Thames, which flows into the sea, where the pollutants enter the wider food chain. 

It is a bright, windy April day but the smell becomes unavoidable as we walk upstream to where two pipes emerge from the bank. The first rushes with clear water, treated by the sewage plant, which is visible beyond the fence on the other side of the brook. The other pipe, 20 feet upstream, disgorges a thick, greasy current of brown liquid. Most of the wet wipes and condoms have been sieved out but this is effectively an open sewer, flowing directly into the river. It has been doing so continuously for the last nine days. The air is thick with the smell of rotting faeces, but not only that. Every now and then, the brown stuff flowing from the pipe surges darkly, and a new smell, acrid and menacing, belches across the stream. Ash adds that the outflow will also contain the waste from a nearby abattoir.

Wearing gloves, Ash scoops a small phial of water into the brook. With a few drops of dye and a handheld colorimeter (a device about the size of an egg timer) he can determine how much ammonia is in the sample. After three minutes the reading appears: it is ten times the lethal level for fish.

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Here is the stark truth of how the UK’s water industry is regulated. The treated water from one pipe will be tested by the Environment Agency, and it will pass inspection while the other outflow pours human faeces and pigs’ blood into the same stream, 20 feet away. The amount of time in which untreated sewage is spilled is not measured by the regulator itself but by Thames Water, the private company doing the spilling. The environmental devastation we’re witnessing won’t be recorded as a serious pollution incident because they require certain markers to be observed, such as dead fish, and here the fish were all killed years ago. Government and the market have reduced the complex and elegant ecosystem of the brook – and hundreds like it – to a pungent slime.

The summer of 1858 was unusually hot and the Palace of Westminster (newly rebuilt after a fire in 1834) was mostly empty. London was the largest city in the world by population, and the untreated sewage of more than three million people was running directly into the Thames. The windows of the Commons and Lords were hung with drapes soaked in chloride of lime (bleach) and the riverbank outside parliament was doused with carbolic acid, but few could remain in the offices above the stinking mud.

MPs told the Derby Mercury that it would “not be possible to legislate, surrounded and penetrated by this mephitic vapour”. Diarrhoea and throat infections were common. Committees abandoned their meetings as MPs and peers wretched and gasped in the miasma. As a result the Tory government went largely unopposed – “Gladly will the Liberals… consent to their reign,” a contemporary account reported, “if they will but hurry on the necessary business, and let us go.” The Great Stink commanded a majority.

Today, the state of the nation’s rivers is once more an electoral issue. Far from protecting the government, however, it now confronts Tory voters with the reality that their party’s leadership of the country for the past 14 years has been anything but conservative. Britain’s water companies spent 3.6 million hours dumping raw sewage into rivers in 2023, a more than 100 per cent increase on the previous year. Rowers in this year’s Oxford and Cambridge boat race complained of bacterial infections impeding their training; the post-race tradition of jumping in the Thames has been abandoned. Lake Windermere has begun to turn green in the summer. On beaches in Kent, tomato plants that grow from undigested seeds in human faeces spring up each year.

River pollution, litter and fly-tipping are raised on doorsteps in every rural constituency. Last year, a poll of 6,000 people found that more than half of the people who voted Conservative in 2019 would consider the government’s handling of the sewage crisis when voting in the upcoming general election.

The political implications of the new Great Stink are about to become even more significant, however, because the finances of Britain’s privatised water industry, which has taken on debts of more than £60bn since it was privatised in 1989, are if anything more putrid than the rivers it pollutes. The largest of Britain’s water companies (the same company that is spilling sewage into Colwell Brook) is Thames Water, which supplies water and sewage services to 16 million people. It may be about to collapse.

A person with inside knowledge of Thames Water, who asked not to be identified, told me about the wide spread frustration within the company at failing equipment and a lack of money to fix problems that have been growing for years. They also said there is a sense among those working for Thames Water today that they are paying the price for the past, specifically the years 2006 to 2017, when the firm was owned by the Australian investment manager Macquarie. It loaded Thames Water with billions in debt while paying very large dividends. In that time, debt rose from £3.4bn to £10.8bn. “It seems like people got carried away with taking money out of the business,” the person said.

The consequences are now becoming evident. On 28 March, shareholders in the parent company of Thames Water, Kemble Water Finance Ltd, announced it would not make a planned £500m investment to prop up the company’s finances; it was, they declared, “uninvestable”. A week later, on 5 April, Kemble notified its creditors that it had begun to default on its debts. For any ordinary company this would be a disaster, but Kemble is not in a normal position. As the monopoly provider of an essential public service, there is no question of Thames Water being allowed to fail.

The government has drawn up a plan (“Project Timber”) for placing Thames Water into special administration, as it has with energy companies in recent years. It is a plan no one wants to use: shareholders would lose around 40 per cent of their capital while the state would take on the cost (estimated at £16bn) of cleaning up its balance sheet.

Thames is offering to avoid this situation, at a cost: it has pitched for steep increases in bills (by up to 44 per cent by 2030), looser rules on dividend payouts and lower environmental penalties. Its shareholders – a mix of pension and sovereign wealth funds from around the world – will invest more only if they can expect to receive more. The board of the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat), which is responsible for economic regulation of the privatised water industry, will meet on 23 May to discuss whether a quarter of the country’s households can be asked to rescue Thames Water from itself through higher bills; the deadline for agreement is next month.

The government, however, can’t afford to call Thames Water’s bluff; the £16bn debt on the company’s balance sheet is more than the “headroom” of about £13bn allowed by the fiscal rules to which Jeremy Hunt and Rachel Reeves are both committed. A deepening crisis at Thames Water could cause other companies to wobble (as happened in the deregulated energy industry), making the wider problem more expensive and harder to fix.

The bridge over the Windrush was a favourite spot for Peter and Eileen Hammond for many years before they moved here, a waypoint on their walks through the Oxfordshire countryside. Then, one day, they drove past and saw that the derelict mill-house and cottages were being redeveloped. They bought one, moving in in 2002. Their garden, shared with the other three cottages, is across the lane: a long thin island, sharpened to a point by the river.

Had they arrived a century earlier they might have bumped into Nancy Mitford, who lived at nearby Asthall Manor (fictionalised as Alconleigh in The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate ). The Windrush was Alconleigh’s “famous trout stream”, to which Uncle Matthew came for “his greatest treat of all the year, an afternoon’s chub fuddling”. The fuddler was employed to intoxicate or fuddle the numerous fat bronze chub because Matthew – like Mitford’s father, Baron Redesdale – was a fisherman who wanted the trout to flourish. Nancy and her father are buried now at a small church along the lane.

Ash Smith, who moved here in 2013, has a video of the river from 1998. When he watched it recently he could hardly believe the colour; the river looked as if it was full of gold. Clear water ran over bright yellow pebbles and sand, laced with rich green swathes of water-crowfoot. Barbel and roach hung in the current between the reeds. The chub were often visible from the bridge, especially in the spring when they would abandon all caution to spawn, scales flashing, in the shallows.

Peter and Ash noticed the river getting worse. The water became more turbid, there was less wildlife, fewer ducks wandering into the garden. They began, like so many of Britain’s amateur river watchers, by taking a few samples, but Peter and Ash are far from dabblers. Peter worked at University College London and Oxford, training AI models to recognise patterns in medical data; Ash has 30 years’ experience as a police officer, investigating corruption. They have spent years collecting and analysing evidence on how Thames Water has treated the Windrush.

As in many rivers, the deterioration of the Windrush appears to have begun around 2010. Peter and Ash believe the river’s decline was related to two policies: operator self-monitoring, or OSM, which was introduced by the Labour government in 2009, and austerity.

The Environment Agency, which regulates water quality, was a casualty of the latter. Among the many achievements of Liz Truss, her time as environment secretary from 2014 to 2016 is notable: she oversaw the agency’s tightest period of spending on water quality. Despite years of headlines on the sewage crisis, real-terms water quality spending in 2022/23 was 22 per cent lower than in 2012/13.

Peter and Ash say the Environment Agency has failed in its remit. OSM allowed companies to mark their own homework, and to test water when they know it will be cleaner. The companies, Peter claimed, “only monitor half of the sewage that’s ever treated. For two big heaps of sewage in a day, the second half is never monitored.”

The pair began requesting data under the Environmental Information Regulations, a retained EU law that compels public authorities to release information on the environment. A common tactic used by water companies was to provide a bewildering excess of numbers – “sending the needle and the haystack”, as Ash describes it. They didn’t realise they were submitting data to a professor of computational biology.

Peter gave his algorithms ten years of sewage treatment data, and the results – published in a peer-reviewed journal, Clean Water , in 2021 – showed not only that sewage had been dumped into the river, but that it had happened during dry weather, when doing so could be illegal.

Water companies don’t hose effluent into our waterways for the fun of it. The “spills”, as they are known, are caused by the fact that we have combined sewers: one pipe carries away the rainwater from the street and the waste from our homes and businesses. During periods of heavy rain, the extra water in the pipe spills out from “storm overflows” to avoid sewage welling up out of the drains in the road. This is perfectly legal and some overflows are almost entirely rainwater. With old, cracked pipes, however, groundwater gets in and the pipes overflow even when it isn’t raining. These “dry spills” are illegal. Peter and Ash showed that they were happening far more often than the water companies, or the Environment Agency, admitted.

For years this has been described by water companies and politicians as a problem of “Victorian” sewers. The combined sewer was a Victorian invention, but then so was the self-raising hat. In fact, modern sewers are the problem. Very little of the British sewer system – less than 1 per cent, in some areas – is Victorian, and it is not the Victorian sections that are responsible for the most spills. It is the smaller, cheaper, less well-maintained parts – much more recently built – that are at fault. Meanwhile, above ground, the pressures increase as populations grow, extreme weather becomes more likely and millions of front gardens are paved over.

To see how far a water company will go to avoid building new infrastructure, I travelled to Exmouth in south Devon. The town’s main industry is tourism; since the 18th century people have come to Exmouth to swim in the sea. Among them is Jo Bateman, who arrived via the long-distance coastal path. After a week’s holiday walking with her dog, Jo told me, she “fell in love with the sea”. She sold her house in the Midlands, quit her job and resumed walking the path until it brought her to Exmouth, where she has lived since 2018.

We followed the long curved beach, a strong wind blowing the sand around our feet. In the sea, kite-surfers leapt through the spray. Somewhere out there, a sewage outflow – incredibly, South West Water doesn’t know where it is – regularly discharges untreated sewage directly into the sea. The advice from the water company is to avoid swimming for 48 hours after a spill; for anyone following this advice, this would have been the first day the water was safe for almost two weeks.

In December, a pipe that carries sewage to a nearby treatment plant broke. While it was repaired, the sewage was pumped into large tankers and driven to the pumping station near the beach. For several days, a constant stream of tankers – 240 loads per day, of up to 18,000 litres per tanker – arrived to pump untreated sewage directly into the sea.

Other residents told me this was far from a one-off event. One described the night, a few years ago, when he awoke to the sound of heavy goods vehicles thundering along his quiet street. The trucks have become an overground pipeline that can be redirected to take sewage wherever it can be most cheaply treated – or dumped.

South West Water (SWW) has the highest sewerage bills in the UK. For decades, residents of the south-west have been told that this is because they’re paying for cleaner beaches (and therefore the jobs that come from tourism), but this isn’t true. SWW’s owner, Pennon Group, has made the steepest cuts to capital spending of any of the UK’s privatised water companies. Its spending on waste water treatment was slashed by 60 per cent from the 1990s to the 2010s. The company’s Environmental Performance Assessment for pollution incidents has been rated red (“significantly below target”) every year since 2011.

Bateman began by refusing to pay the sewage part of her bill, and soon received letters that raised the prospect of bailiffs and county court judgments. “It did freak me out,” she told me, “so I started paying it again.” Instead, she sued SWW for “loss of amenity”. Her claim – which she has prepared herself, using only her phone, as she doesn’t own a laptop – is that SWW denied her the opportunity to swim on 54 days of last year by dumping sewage when there was not a legal reason to do so.

The claim is tiny – less than £400, including her costs – and there is evidence that similar claims have been quietly paid off. Bateman wants her day in court, however, to defend the right to the physical and mental health benefits of swimming in public waters. This is a right the company claims does not exist: in a letter to Bateman, it told her “there is no absolute right to swim each day”.

Other lawsuits are for higher stakes. Professor Carolyn Roberts, for example, is the plaintiff in a class action against six water companies that have, she alleged to me, “seriously under-declared” the amount of sewage they have spilled into rivers. In doing so, she says, they have persuaded Ofwat to allow them to increase bills by more than they should have done. “The extent of under-reporting is very, very large,” Roberts claimed, and so, therefore, is the penalty: if successful, the action could require the companies to refund their customers by up to a total of £800m.

Even an award of this size would be small, however, in comparison to the tens of billions extracted from billpayers and decaying infrastructure in the past 35 years (England and Wales remain the only countries in the world to have fully privatised their water industry).

Privatisation was a con from the start: the Thatcher government had restricted the amounts that regional water boards could borrow, preventing them from investing in infrastructure, then presented private sector investment as the only answer to the investment crisis it had created.

Michael Howard, who as minister for water and planning from 1988 to 1989 oversaw the privatisation process, wrote in the Telegraph last year that “there is no such thing as a free lunch”, and that the best option is private equity funding, because it doesn’t affect fiscal headroom or the price of government debt. What the public understands, and Howard does not, is that they will be paying for water anyway. The £78bn that has been distributed to shareholders since privatisation has been extracted entirely from the public. The £96bn the industry says is needed to fix the system by 2030 will also come from the public.

It has always been obvious that bills will be higher and infrastructure worse if that money is raised by private investment rather than government borrowing. Mathew Lawrence, the director of Common Wealth, a think tank that specialises in research on asset ownership, explains that the underlying problem is the “maturity mismatch” between investment in public infrastructure, which pays off over the very long term, and the time-limited investments created by financial institutions.

An investment manager such as Macquarie, for example, will create ten-year funds in which its clients will invest. These funds, Lawrence explained, work against long-term fixed capital investment, “because if you’re exiting within ten years and you’re preparing to exit before then, why would you undertake 25-year-long capital investment projects?”

There’s also a risk mismatch in any such deal. Thames Water shareholders include the sovereign wealth funds of China and Abu Dhabi, which collectively hold more than $2trn in assets under management. Thames Water represents a tiny fraction of a percentage of their overall investments and the risk of its failure as an investment is easily tolerated. The same is not true for the 16 million people who rely on the company for clean water.

The only people who win from keeping the water system off the government’s balance sheet are politicians like Michael Howard (or Jeremy Hunt, or Rachel Reeves), who can claim to have saved the country money by relying on the munificence of the private sector. But this is a fiction, Lawrence explains: “It’s not that the UK’s debt-to-GDP doesn’t go up. It’s just that it happens on private sector balance sheets, in a more expensive fashion”.

Most of the public (69 per cent, in the most recent YouGov poll) now believe water should be renationalised, but none of the major political parties is committed to doing so. Both main parties say operator self-monitoring should end (in the next parliament) and Labour wants to block executive bonuses and issue criminal charges to polluting companies. Among all the people I spoke to, however, there is a consensus that the regulators, Ofwat and the Environment Agency, are in need of reform, particularly the latter. Carolyn Roberts described the agency’s testing of rivers as “woefully inadequate”, while Ash Smith called it “probably the worst organisation I’ve ever encountered, in terms of incompetence and lack of professional curiosity”. 

More fundamentally, however, there needs to be a recognition that the political mathematics that have led us to this point have failed to produce the right outcomes. Fiscal rules have created a system in which government is incentivised to portion essential services off to the private sector to keep them off the balance sheet. This creates a mass of competing needs that Dieter Helm, professor of economic policy at Oxford University, describes as “the classic example of system failure”. Every aspect, from agricultural subsidies to flood defences to planning regulations and parking spaces, is considered in isolation. “We pay farmers to pollute [through agricultural subsidies], and then we pay water companies to take the pollution out of the water.”

For now, Colwell Brook will have to wait. Thanks to Thames Water’s financial problems, planned works will be pushed back into the next five-year spending period. Water companies have little to lose from doing this; the longer environmental problems persist, the more they can say they will need to increase bills to fix the disasters that have occurred on their watch. In rivers and streams, in village ponds and on beaches, Britain’s new Great Stink will continue to grow until Westminster decides it can no longer hold its nose.

This appears in the 17-23 May issue of the New Statesman magazine

essay on environment pollution in english

[See also: The Tory doomscroll ]

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This article appears in the 15 May 2024 issue of the New Statesman, The Great Stink

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Stocktaking of security sector roles in climate and environmental security - Report on Iraq

May 8, 2024.

Iraq is facing a range of climate and environmental risks, whose impacts on security are becoming increasingly apparent. 

From rising temperatures and water scarcity to widespread pollution and biodiversity loss, the combined effects of climate change and human pressures on the environment are contributing to local unrest, tensions and increasing different dimensions of fragility.

This stocktaking study explores the significant potential in the Iraqi reform process to improve service delivery of security institutions regarding mitigating and adapting to the impact of climate and environmental risks on communities and the environment, as well as strengthening social cohesion and contributing to sustainable peace.

“Conflicts around the distribution and management of natural resources are frequently linked to pollution and degradation of critical ecosystems. What is needed is a focus on protecting the ecosystems communities depend on for their livelihoods.”

This report was produced in partnership with DCAF . 

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