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ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION
Any undesirable change in the environment, which affects biotic community, is known as pollution. The matter
which cause pollution is undesirable change in the environment is called pollutant. There are two types of
pollutants.
Degradable pollutants
Pollutants, which can degrade or decompose naturally, are degradable pollutant. They do not remain in the
nature for long time. They increase fertility of the soil and suitable for plant growth, e.g. Domestic sewage and
domestic fertilizers.
Non degradable pollutants
The pollutants which do not degrade naturally and cause pollution are non degradable pollutants. They remain
in the nature for long time. They decrease fertility of soil and unsuitable for plant growth e.g. aluminium cans
mercuric salts, DDT, plastics and glasses.

1. THE AIR POLLUTION
Any undesirable change in physical, chemical, and biological character of air, which
affects the living organisms, is called air pollution
Sources and pollutants
Automobiles
Automobiles are the major sources of air pollution. In Nepal, there are more than two
lakes automobiles and 50% of them are confined in Kathmandu valley. In the world,
there are more than 300 million automobiles.
The main pollutants emitted form are: CO2, CO, SO2, NOx, Hydro carbon compounds, aldehydes,
acids, dusts, particulate matters, smoke, lead etc. In major cities 800 to 1000 tons
pollutants per day produced from automobiles.
Industries
Sugar, Paper, Leather, Iron, Steel, Brick, Cement, Carpet, Plastic, Dyes manufacturing
industries are also major sources of air pollution.
The pollutants emitted from industries are: CO, CO2, So2, NOx, Hydrocarbons acids, metals like Hg,
Mn, Zn, Pb, Cd, smoke, dust etc. The Himal cement factory of Kathmandu produces
about 5-6 tons dust per day.
Domestic resources
Burning firewood, crop residues, burning gas, stove, oils etc are also source of air
pollution. These are indoor pollution.
The pollutants from domestic resources are: CO, CO2, So2, NOx, smoke, ashes etc.
Nepalese woman daily 6-8 hours expose to fire, but it is estimated that 3 hrs exposures
provide smoke equivalent to 20 packets of cigarettes. Tobacco smoking is another indoor
pollution from where CO, CO2, So2, NOx, hydrocarbons, and smokes are produced.
Effects of air pollution
CO: It is most dangerous air pollutant. It reacts with hemoglobin 210 times faster than
oxygen forming carbamino hemoglobin. It reduces oxygen carrying capacity of
blood causing disease called hypoxia. It reduces cellular respiration, mental
activities, reduces leaf size, and destroys chlorophylls.
300 ppm of CO causes vomiting, 500 ppm causes coma and 1000 ppm causes
death.
SO2: It causes eye irritation, air tract construction, vomiting, and headache, leaf
reduction in plants and affects in stomata opening and causes acid rain.
NOx: It causes lungs damage, injuries to plants, oxide of nitrogen react with hydrocarbon
in presence of UV rays forming peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) which is a toxic
substance.
H2S: It causes headache, nausea, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, pneumonia, respiratory failure.
High concentration of H2S in body causes coma and death.
CO2: It causes global warming i.e. increase earth's temperature or green house effect.
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Pb: it causes neurological problems; hematological problems i.e. destroy R.B.C.
anemia, liver kidney diseases, dangerous in pregnancy, and high concentration
of Pb in children affects neurology and hematological problems.
Zn: it is heavy metal which is injected in the atmosphere mainly from automobile
exhaust when it react with air it gives zinc oxide fume which is toxic
Cd: it affects liver and kidney and increase blood pressure i.e. cause hyper tension,
and cancer.
Hg: it damage brain eye and liver, cause headache, fatigue, loss of appetite.
HCs (benzene, benzopyrine, Methane etc): They cause respiratory diseases, lung cancer,
and noise throat and eye problem
Ozone: it damage plant, reduces crop yield and it affect negatively in human health.
Smoke: smoke when react with water gives smog. It causes eye irritation, asthma, lung
cancer etc.
Particulate matter: particulate matter like dust reduce visibility, damage plants and live
stock, cause cancer and allergy.
Aerosol: aerosols are chemicals produced from jet or planes. The chemicals contain
chlorofluorocarbon which destroys ozone layer.
Control and prevention
Industrial effluents must be treated before mixing it with air.
Smoke must be filtered.
Alternate source of energy are used like solar energy and electrical energy water energy etc.
Plantation should be done
Use catalyst process to change CO, HC into CO2, similarly catalyst converter should be used to
convert NOx to N2 and O2
CO, HC into CO2
Check population growth health education awareness and legislation
Establishment of laboratory for monitoring and study of pollution.

2. THE SOIL POLLUTION
Any undesirable change in physical chemical and biological characteristics of soil, which reduces
soil fertility and affects plants and animals life, is called soil pollution
Sources and pollutants
Industries
Several organic and inorganic pollutants come out from several industries like paper, pulp; iron,
steel leather etc pollute soil.
The pollutants from industries are: pollutants oils, acids, salts, dyes, cyanides, phenols, metals,
plastics and detergents etc are the major sources of pollution of soil
Sewage and domestic wastes
Water borne domestic waste and animal waste is called sewage. The dumping of sewage on soil
pollutes soil. The sewage also includes industrial waste.
The pollutants are: Human excreta, animal dung, paper, cloths, souls and detergents etc.
Agricultural discharge
Fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides are used in agriculture. Different chemicals are
dumped into land which pollutes land.
The pollutants are: DDT, BHC, aldrin dialdrin endrin malathion and urea etc.
Radio active substance
Substances which are produced by nuclear explosion are radio active substances.
The pollutants are: iodine, caesium, strontium, tritium etc.
Acid rain
Due to the mixing of gases like SO2, NOx coming from automobiles into rain cause acid rain. The
acid rain gets accumulate into soil causing soil pollution.
The pollutants are: HNO3 and H2SO4

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Effects of soil pollution
Chemical fertilizers: chemical fertilizers contain nitrate, which is toxic, when we eat food
containing nitrate it is converted into nitrites in intestine of man. The nitrites react with
hemoglobin forming methamoglobin in blood, which reduces the O2 carrying capacity of
blood. 20% methamoglobin causes headache and giddiness
60% causes eye problem and stiffness and unconsciousness, and 80% causes death.
Pesticides: When pesticides are used in agricultural land, they accumulate in plant.
Through food chain, they reach to animal body. Pesticides in animal body decline
rate of reproduction, calcium deficiency like thinning of eggshells of birds, hormonal
imbalances, and inhibition of gonad development.
Metals:Metals like Pb Zn Hg Cd Ni are toxic. All these metals cause adverse effect in
human health. Besides this, they reduce the soil fertility. High concentration affects
micro flora and fauna. It also reduces the water holding capacity of the soil.
Acids: acids like HNO3 and H2SO4 coming from acid rain makes the soil acidic which
cause death of number of micro flora and plants. They also degrade the quality and
fertility of soil.
Waste Products: the domestic waste consists of sewage detergents animal refuge and
solid wastes like plastics aluminium etc are also dumped in the soil. They decrease
quality of soil productivity of the soil and make the soil acidic as well as reduce water
holding capacity of the soil.
Radioactive substance: strontium accumulates in bone and replaces the calcium of
bone. This makes the bone weak. The iodine accumulates on the thyroid gland and
the excess iodine damage the thyroid gland. The caesium replaces potassium from
every part of the body.
Control and Prevention
The waste product should be recycled
The industrial effluents should be treated before discharging on the soil and water
Sewage or dumping sites should be properly managed.
The biofertilizers should be used instead of chemical fertilizers
The use of pesticides should be reduced and the biological method should be used
to control pests and diseases
Education awareness campaign legislation improving habit and plantation should be
increased.

3. THE WATER POLLUTION
Addition of any substance to the water or any undesirable change in physical chemical
or biological characteristics of water, which interferes with its use for legitimate purpose,
is called water pollution. The water is never pure in chemical sense. There are many
natural impurities, which normally do not pollute water. Polluted water is turbid
unpleasant bad smelling and unfit for drinking and other use.
Sources of water pollution
Industries
Several organic and inorganic pollutants come out from several industries like paper
and pulp mills, iron, still, leather etc.
The pollutants are: oils, acids, salts, dyes, cyanides, phenols, metals, plastics and
detergents.
Agricultural discharges
The fertilizers, pesticides, Fungicides, herbicides are used in agriculture. Different
chemicals of these reach to water sources and pollute water. The pollutants are: DDT,
BHC, aldrin, endrin, dialdrin, malathion, urea etc.

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Sewage and other wastes
The water borne domestic wastes and animal waste is called sewage. The sewage
also includes industrial waste. Due to uncontrolled dumping water becomes polluted.
The pollutants are: Human excreta, animal dung, paper, clothes, soap, detergents and
microorganisms.
Thermal pollution
Water is used to cooling process. The hot water after cooling is discharged into water
source, which cause thermal pollution.
Effects of water pollution
Nitrate: the nitrate fertilizers are used in agricultural land it can inter our ponds and well. When we
drink nitrate containing water, the nitrate is converted into nitrites in the intestine. the nitrites
then reacts with haemoglobin to form methamoglobin in blood which reduces oxygen
carrying capacity of blood.. 20% methamoglobin causes headache3 and giddiness, 60%
causes eye problem and stiffness and unconsciousness, 80% causes death.
Biocides:Different types of biocides are used to prevent agriculture from the pests and diseases.
These are composed of different toxic chemical substances. From agricultural land, such toxic
chemical substance can reach to water resources when we drink such water they cause
various problems like kidney disorders, brain tissue damage and blood abnormalities. About
1000 people die per year by pesticide poisoning in developing countries.
Industrial effluents: the industrial effluents contain several toxic substances.
The paper and pulp industries cause mercury pollution. The symptoms of mercury poisoning
include visual disturbance, mental disorders, convulsions and genetic diseases and death. The
lead causes liver and kidney damage and mental disorder as well as weakness. The oils,
hydrocarbon compounds acids, alkalis, cyanides and metals cause several effects in human
health.
Sewage and other waste: several pollutants though sewage reaches to water bodies where
they are decomposed by microbes and water becomes unfit for drinking and use. Sewage
become rich in nutrients, especially phosphate and nitrate ions accumulate in water bodies.
The process is called eutrophication. Due to the eutrophication several microorganisms and
aquatic plants grow excessively in water. They absorb oxygen of water but carbondioxide
level increases and the water gives foul small.
When the microbes and algae absorb oxygen from water, the BOD is increased. The BOD
(Biological Oxygen Demand) is the amount of O2 required for biological oxidation by microbes
per unit volume of water. The BOD value is proportional to amount of organic waste present in
water.
Several microbes cause different types of diseases like hepatitis, cholera, typhoid, dysentery
diarrheas, amoebiasis, and other fatal diseases.
The chlorinated water of Kathmandu is heavily contaminated with faecal materials.
The 80% drinking water in Kathmandu valley contain about 8400 bacterial cell per 100 ml.
Hot Water: when hot water is mixed with water bodies from industries affects aquatic animals.
Prevention and control of water pollution
Different types of waste should be recycled or treated before discharging into the water
bodies
Dissolved substances from the water should be removed by physical or chemical method.
Sedimentation floatation and screening can be done to remove several wastes
Proper drainage for sewage and efficient sewage collection should be managed properly
Industrial effluents should be treated before discharging into the water bodies
Bad habits of people like open defecation disposal of wastes, and washing clothes near the
water sources must be changed
By education, awareness, campaign and legislation.