5.1. 1: What is pollution?

February 15th, 2011

A pollutant can be defines as: “The addition to an environment of a substance or an agent (such as heat) by human activity, at a rate greater than that at which it can be rendered harmless by the environment, and which has an appreciable effect on the organisms within it.

The interactions within the biosphere may be changed or damaged by human activity, this is obvious from even just examining the picture on the left. Today, we are probably more conscious of the environment than ever before, but damage has been done, and continues to be done. Industrial processes, burning of fossil fuels, agricultural production, and growing population pressures all increased levels of pollution.

Incidents such oil well failure and release of toxic chemicals into aquatic systems, may grab big headlines, but as important are the many small acts which added together increase the load upon a habitat.

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