The Effects of Pollution

Zakary Robinette, Student

Because oceans are so large, National Geographic states that polluting them will not affect it, but now many parts of the oceans are highly polluted. About 80% of the ocean is polluted and 60%-95% of it is plastic.

Pollution is causing many animals to die and making the water worse for people. According to National Geographic, 14 billion pounds of trash is dumped into the ocean each year and around 1.3 million gallons of oil. Most of the pollution in the world comes from China and the US. Before 1972, people thought that it was okay to throw waste into the ocean. Most of the pollution gets carried far away from the original source. It either sinks or stays on the surface, or it gets eaten by animals.

Chemical pollution is probably the worst. They contain harmful contaminants that are poured into streams and rivers which eventually reach the ocean. The chemicals may contain fertilizers, detergents, oil, and sewage. The fertilizers are used on farms to help grow crops, they eventually end up leaking into streams. The fertilizers grow algae in the water creating dead zones where there is no oxygen so not much can survive.

Plastic bags are deadly for birds and turtles because the bags resemble jellyfish. When the birds and turtles catch the bags, they can choke on them and die. Because of this, dead sea animals wash up on shore with plastic bags inside them. Since plastic takes hundreds of years to break down, it is likely for an animal to eat the plastic or it will pollute the water for longer.

Some places are protected from pollution like the Andaman Islands in India, where people are not allowed to go because it is a nature reserve. They are the few non-polluted places in the world while other nature preserves are not so lucky. For instance, the National Parks of Isreal is very polluted.

Air pollution is also very bad. The Ozone is starting to get holes in it because of extreme air pollution caused by millions of factories. Air pollution is also caused by billions of cars polluting the air from the exhaust pipes. Coal-burning factories produce a lot of very thick pollution which kills the ozone layer protecting people from radiation. Weed killers also kill a lot of the wildlife by seeping into waterways of which animals drink out of. Water and air currents carry pollution around the world causing pollution to spread. Air pollution often can’t be seen, but large amounts can make people’s eyes burn and make them have difficulty breathing, it can also increase the risk to get lung cancer. Some air pollution is natural from things like vulcanos and dead animals, but most of it is from people. Pollution has gotten so bad that most of the rain is acid rain without people realizing it. Greenhouse gasses cause the world to heat up. Natural gasses like carbon dioxide and methane affect the atmosphere. When there is too much of the gasses, the planet heats up, when there is too little of the gasses, the planet cools down. But when the gasses are released by industrial facilities, it causes more of those gases to heat up the planet.

Global warming causes ice caps and glaciers to melt causing the sea levels to rise, which will eventually flood low lying coastal regions. Global warming causes more storms to flood some regions and severe droughts in others. When the ozone gets damaged, it causes a higher chance of getting skin cancer and eye diseases. Some places are forced to drink polluted water because they cannot obtain freshwater, the water has dangerous bacteria in it causing diseases.

Large cities have more pollution because there are more people to contribute to pollution. The cities air may have bacteria in it or make the air smell very bad. Some cities have landfills nearby causing even more bacteria and a worse smell. Rodents like mice and rats often live in landfills scavaging on plastic, food, or resort to cannibalism. Paper, metal, plastic, and glass are mostly in landfills where rodents and workers could cut themselves and get infected, then it could be possible that they could infect others. Sometimes plants grow in landfills, when animals eat the infected plants, they become infected, if they get eaten, the predator will become infected.
Some cities incinerate their garbage. While it does get rid of the trash, it also pollutes the air with a lot of extremely thick chemicals.

Other cities try to collect the garbage and recycle it to give it a use. Other people keep their trash for personal projects or to help save the environment.

Some people pick up trash that they see outside to help keep that area clean, while others just see it and leave it alone. But some people just throw something that they don’t want anymore causing local pollution in neighborhoods and parks because they are too lazy or selfish to care about the environment or other people.
Noise pollution is caused by loud sound which makes animals stay away from that area causing them to be in a smaller environment which could cause a large increase or a large decrease in a local population.