Friday, May 29, 2015

Effects of Pollutants

by Anton Antonio
May 4, 2015

Pollution could take place everywhere in and on our planet --- land, air and sea.  “Environmental pollution is defined as the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse changes.  It is the presence in or introduction into the environment of a substance or thing that has harmful or poisonous effects.” (Antonio, 2014)  “Fresh water sources such as esteros, urban waterways, streams, rivers and lakes are traditionally being used as dumping sites for effluents (meaning: Liquid waste or sewage discharged into a river or the sea) from all sources (industrial and residential).  Many of these water systems, contain high concentrations of toxic effluents, very high BOD and low DO, are considered biologically dead.”  (Antonio, 2014)

Pollution could also be tangible and intangible.  “One of the less regarded forms of pollution is noise pollution.  Noise pollution, by definition, is the disturbing or excessive levels of noise that may harm the activity or balance of human or animal life.  Medical research has proven that high levels of noise may contribute to cardiovascular problems, rise in blood pressure and coronary artery disease among humans.”  (Antonio, 2014)  There are over 70,000 synthetic chemicals in commercial use and application at present.  A majority of these chemicals have harmful effects to humans.  Examples of pollutants are particulate materials, lead, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, VOC and sulphur dioxide.

Pollutants have ACUTE EFFECTS on organisms, including human organisms, which can immediately be observed upon exposure.  The acute effects of pollutants largely depend on (a) the properties of the chemical pollutant; (b) the concentration of the chemical pollutant; and, (c) the length of time of exposure.  The response to chemical pollutants could  range from skin rashes, to nausea or even death.  On the other hand, some effects are hardly noticed even if exposure is on a day-to-day basis and for a longer period of time.  These are called the CHRONIC EFFECTS of chemical pollutants.  A combination of chemical pollutants can also create what is commonly referred to as the SYNERGISTIC EFFECT.  Synergistic effect occurs when chemical pollutants interact with each other or react to other substances.  The effect of these chemical pollutants in synergy, also called a bioaccumulation process, is very hard to detect.

Not all chemical interaction or reaction to other substances of chemical pollutants is harmful.  In rare instances these are also helpful to the environment… but, again, these occurrences are very few.  We could only wish that good and healthy effects are the only effects of pollutants.

Just my little thoughts…

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Antonio, A. C. (2014). “Pollution”. Retrieved May 4, 2015 from

Antonio, A. C. (2014). “Environmental Noise”. Retrieved May 4, 2015 from

Antonio, A. C. (2014). “Biologically Dead”. Retrieved May 4, 2015 from

Antonio, A. C. (2014).  “The Problems of Philippine Urban Centers”. Retrieved May 4, 2015 from

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