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CONTENT: Meaning of Pollution


The discharge of waste substances into the environment in quantities that are harmful to human beings is known as pollution.

The materials and energy that cause pollution are called pollutants. Examples of pollutants are Acids, Soaps and Detergents, Alcohol, Oils, Chemical compounds such as Lead, Sulphide, fertilizers, herbicides, refuse and sewage etc. Making the environment undesirable, unpleasant, threatening the health and existence of living organisms including humans.


There are mainly three types of pollution namely:

  • Water pollution;
  • Air pollution;
  • Land or Soil pollution

Water pollution can be defined as the discharge of harmful waste substances into a body of water.

 When water loses its natural, physical properties, and becomes coloured with offensive odour and bad taste; the water is said to be polluted.


These are water pollutants such as:

  1. Domestic Wastes: These are wastes from homes or surroundings which consist of soap and detergents used in washing clothes, plates, refuse dumped beside the river or stream, dung from animals such as chickens, dogs, goats, cows and human faeces left on land may be washed into the river/stream.
  2. Industrial Wastes: These are wastes from industries or factories such as acids, e.g., hydro-cyanic acid present in the water squeezed out from cassava in the garri processing industry soaps and detergents used in washing up some industrial equipment, alcohol which may be washed out from bottles in the breweries. Industrial Water Pollution
  3. Agricultural Wastes: Agricultural activities such as the use of fertilizers on the soil and pesticides on plants can

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