Reference Terms
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Pollution

Environmental pollution is the release of environmental contaminants, generally resulting from human activity.

Carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides produced by industry and motor vehicles are common air pollutants.

Arguably the principal source of air pollutants worldwide is motor vehicle emissions, although many other sources have been found to contribute to the ever growing problem.

Principal stationary pollution sources include chemical plants, coal-fired power plants, oil refineries, nuclear waste disposal activity, incinerators, large animal farms, PVC factories, metals production factories, plastics factories, and other heavy industry.

Pollutants can cause disease, including cancer, lupus, immune diseases, allergies, and asthma.

Adverse air quality can kill many organisms including humans.

Motor vehicle emissions are one of the leading causes of air pollution.

Principal stationary pollution sources include chemical plants, coal-fired power plants, oil refineries, petrochemical plants, nuclear waste disposal activity, incinerators, large livestock farms (dairy cows, pigs, poultry, etc.), PVC factories, metals production factories, plastics factories, and other heavy industry.

Some of the more common soil contaminants are chlorinated hydrocarbons (CFH), heavy metals (such as chromium, cadmium--found in rechargeable batteries, and lead -- found in lead paint, aviation fuel and still in some countries, gasoline), MTBE, zinc, arsenic and benzene.

Ordinary municipal landfills are the source of many chemical substances entering the soil environment (and often groundwater), emanating from the wide variety of refuse accepted, especially substances illegally discarded there, or from pre-1970 landfills that may have been subject to little control in the U.S. or EU.

Pollution can also be the consequence of a natural disaster.

For example, hurricanes often involve water contamination from sewage, and petrochemical spills from ruptured boats or automobiles.

Larger scale and environmental damage is not uncommon when coastal oil rigs or refineries are involved.

Some sources of pollution, such as nuclear power plants or oil tankers, can produce widespread and potentially hazardous releases when accidents occur.

Adverse air quality can kill many organisms including humans.

Ozone pollution can cause respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, throat inflammation, chest pain, and congestion.

Water pollution causes approximately 14,000 deaths per day, mostly due to contamination of drinking water by untreated sewage in developing countries.

Oil spills can cause skin irritations and rashes.

Noise pollution induces hearing loss, high blood pressure, stress, and sleep disturbance.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Pollution", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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May 28, 2015

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