Why environmental pollution increases despite the usage of pollution prevention & clean-up measures

Wherever there is environmental clean-up, it’s expected that there should be an effective, complete or total clean-up of pollution or pollutants. On the contrary, prevention pollution and clean-up measures have rather lead to increasing environmental pollution, as highlighted in this article.

But first, what are the effects of pollutants on environment?

Pollutants discharged into the environment have three types of negative and unwanted effects. First, they degrade natural systems that support human, animal and plant life. Second, they affect the health of all living things (humans, animals and plants), and the internal structure of non-living things in the environment. Third and last, they create unpleasant and objectionable tastes, sights and smells.

Existing methods for handling pollution:

Mankind has been handling pollution in 2 major ways:

  • the first is by pollution clean-up (or output pollution control) which is normally employed in cleaning up pollution, or diluting pollutants after they are created or discharged.
  • the second is by pollution prevention (or input pollution control) which eliminates, prevents, or reduces production or discharge of pollutants.

Factors that increase environmental pollution despite usage of pollution prevention & clean-up measures:

Inasmuch as mankind has relied a lot on pollution prevention and clean-up, three noticeable major factors still make both measures ineffective in combating rising cases of environmental pollution:

(1) Rising population & consumption levels

Due to exponential rises in populations and consumption levels in many countries or regions of the world, pollution still increases without corresponding funding/improvement of existing pollution control measures which we might rightly call “temporary bandages of yet-to-be-healed wounds”.

For example, the use of catalytic converters in cars has reduced some forms of pollution like hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. On the other hand, the increase in the number of cars and total distance travelled by cars—which are as a result of increases in population—have reduced the effectiveness of catalytic converters as a clean-up measure or approach.

Catalytic converters don’t seem to have curbed air pollution to a desirable extent; in fact, in 2018, scientists from Harvard university and 2 Chinese universities reported that emissions of formaldehyde, majorly from vehicles, played a greater role in producing thick toxic pollution which has been contributing to China’s notorious wintertime smog, and to such an extent that was previously unknown.

Berkeley Earth, a non-profit organization, once estimated that 1.6 million people in China die each year from heart, lung and stroke problems caused by air pollution.

(2) Collection of waste from one environment, and disposal of the same waste in another environment

It’s unfortunate that mankind has no better option than to dispose waste within the Earth, rather than outside. It’s even more unfortunate that a lot of waste is being improperly disposed, and has wrecked the health of many human lives. Generally, disposal and clean-up have involved the removal of waste or pollutants from one environment, and disposal and pollution into another environment.

For example, people collect waste and burn it, thus causing air pollution and producing toxic ash which must be dumped elsewhere—probably on land; this could possibly lead to surface and underground water pollution when rainfall or water runoff transports the toxic ash away from the point of disposal.

The negative impacts of dumping wastes in open bodies of water are there for everyone to see: trashed rivers containing dead fish and aquatic animals surrounded by plastic products, etc. Also, the accumulation of toxins (like mercury) in the systems of many forms of marine life has resulted in seafoods that are unfit for human consumption.

(3) Lack of sufficient finance & funding for pollution prevention & clean-up measures

After pollutants are discharged into the environment, it’s usually challenging or difficult for governments and concerned persons to sponsor or finance prevention control and clean-up measures which could partially or completely sanitize the environment. Another thing to note is that the level of difficulty depends on the type of government or people living in a particular environment.

Recommendation

In order to address the rise in environmental pollution despite existing pollution prevention and clean-up measure, scientists, researchers, and governments need to work together, find and implement ways to curb pollution and pollutants despite the existence of the factors stated above.

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80 comments

  • Well explained

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jermain Anderson

    Quite an insightful and educative post with meaningful points. Very good ideas and plans will be needed to curb the issues raised in the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m shocked, but at the same time I’m greatly honored to be nominated by a fellow blogger whose posts I admire a lot…it’s my first time ever being nominated for a blogger award; Thanks a lot; and thanks for reading this post and commenting.

      Like

  • The Zero waste plan is something we all should think about … am I right?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Yea, really, at least something like that; nothing less. thanks for your visitation, and meaningful comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hey man that’s tough one… To show how desperate government is to decrease pollution you even get paid to take part in government programs dealing with pollution yet no difference is happening.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I appreciate your contribution—notable remark. there are pollution prevention measures in place but nothing positive to show for all the effort. however, there should be a way out. thanks for reading and commenting.

      Like

  • Very informative article. I liked the reminder about reducing waste in the first place.

    Liked by 2 people

  • That’s right.. You took up an important topic buddy…
    Second point is the main reason I would say.. Instead of disposing it completely they just collect it from one end and drop it at other….

    Liked by 1 person

  • This is really a huge problem, I can relate since we’re suffering here and the government didn’t find yet a suitable solution
    Thank you for sharing these valuable information 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your welcome huguetta… so it seems the problem occurs in almost every place one could think of…Please I will appreciate if you tell me the name of your country…this is an opportunity for me to get one more piece of information about a place that has this problem… my background is environmental science & engineering

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes sure, I’m from Lebanon, a small country in the middle east
        Nice to know you and it’s a pleasure to read your blog and learn from your experience 👍

        Liked by 1 person

        • that sounds funny… you’re from Lebanon, a small country, but very popular… I got to hear much about Lebanon when Hezbollah put up some very tight resistance against Isareal some years ago—much to my admiration… let’s not go there…

          Thank you for visiting, reading and commenting…. its a pleasure to come across your blog…I’m not the best writer/blogger out there, but there are not to many blogs that give off a good impression, possibly because of the different types of content each person is individually attracted to….

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh yes we are very famous and I rather also not to go there 🙂
            About visiting your blog, let’s say I have some rules in blogging and it’s related to reciprocity and respect as I act in real life, I visit the bloggers that usually visit my blog and really read , I tried to interact with some bloggers and it wasn’t mutual so I retreated, not all topics interest me but I believe that we can always learn something from each other’s that’s it. I follow some blogs and I don’t care if they follow back because their topics really interest me but with the other bloggers I only accept mutual respect
            Thank you for your reply, where are you from ?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yea, you’re right; and like me too, I interact more with bloggers who visit and absorb my content…also, like you too, I’ve interacted with some bloggers but it wasn’t mutual, so I was compelled to retreat as well; However, I still followed them because there are things I could still learn from them… in fact, there are things I can learn from every person on Earth, regardless of whether or not they follow me, read my posts or comment…one interesting thing in life is that we can learn from anybody or anything.

              I am from, what I must say is arguably the most financially corrupt black nation in the world: Nigeria

              Liked by 1 person

              • Well seems you don’t have enough information about Lebanon financial situation, because we can have the Oscar certainly!
                Glad to know you, and I still follow many blogs I just don’t interact and I also write in some of my posts how every person can teach me something, but the thing that I really spend lot of times and energy reading and interacting so I rather spend them on people that do the same or on my favorite topics…
                Thank you again for your reply and your wise words

                Liked by 1 person

                • Have an Oscar? that was funny, but it tells the extent of Lebanon’s low financial status, if I’m right. It’s been a pleasure meeting you, and look forward to more interactions on this platform, and probably on other platforms…

                  Liked by 1 person

  • Pingback: Plastic: a silent killer – The Last Melon

  • Thanks so much for linking your post to this post and mentioning the blog. I’m deeply appreciative.

    Like

  • Hear, hear! Reduce first and always, reuse and recycle next.

    Like

    • Hear, hear: not everything can be easily reused and recycled. also, reusing, and especially recycling, is not as easy as breathing air; maybe you’re from a developed nation where there is high awareness about reusing (which affluent and middle-income people don’t usually practice) and strong regulations that ensure that recycling is financed to a great extent.

      at most, a lot of things could be reused, and a good quantity could be recycled, but too many countries (especially the developing and underdeveloped) don’t have the awareness, technology and money to practice the religion of recycling—far from it; also how do you reuse and recycle combustion from a population growing and using cars at an exponential rate?

      if you actually read the post carefully, you would observe that waste and pollution due to exponential increase in population, is a great problem which reusing and recycling would find very very difficult to surmount; and also reusing and recycling is far off the table of especially developing and undeveloped nations which have a lot of poor people who first need enough orientation before there can be any expectation of practicing and putting finances into recycling.

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      • I know recycling is not easy, or cheap, or always feasible. That’s why reducing our use of plastic and reusing the plastic we can’t avoid are so important.

        Like

        • Plastic is not the only problem. you have chemical wastes from batteries, waste from biodegradable items, human and animal wastes, etc, etc—generally, waste that is too common and which many poor people and countries have no idea about their detrimental effects on environment, not to talk about reusing and recycling.

          also, you have other smaller forms of nuclear waste and radioactive waste from especially developed nations which involve a lot of risk, and expensive reusing and recycling strategies or technologies.

          Like

          • I agree. But biodegradable wastes are the most tacklable of these. In my city, Bangalore, we are trying to make each person responsible for composting their own kitchen waste (yes, this is only one component of biodegradable human waste) through home composting. All this needs is a few clay pots, and sanitary waste can also be reduced. Education is a very important part of this, and poverty need not preclude better management of our waste. The most important thing is understanding and the will to reduce our waste.

            Liked by 1 person

      • It’s difficult to avoid plastic in our times. In this post, I have shared some of my tips and tricks:
        https://wp.me/p7iOls-2c

        Like

        • In my opinion, although it may be difficult to avoid using plastic, it’s not impossible to avoid it and use metals or alloys which, although are expensive, would guarantee the environment more protection because people wouldn’t litter them (metals and alloys) in the environment the way they easily litter plastic. why? it’s expensive but not something people would just throw away because of the amount of money invested in it. also it’s not as brittle as plastic which breaks easily and creates an easy platform for litterting, etc, etc.

          Like

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