The rapid and indiscriminate industrialization has quickened the process of environmental pollution. Our cities and towns are so full of smoke, noxious fumes, dust, rubbish, corrosive gases, too much loud noise and foul odors that they are no fit for human living. The burning of fuels and coal in factories and mills releases a great amount of sculpture oxide in the atmosphere. The heavy vehicular traffic has created grave pollution problems. The air in the urban areas is saturated with such pollutants as carbon monoxide, oxides of sculpture, nitrogen, hydrocarbons, pesticides, flashes, soot, and sometimes by radioactive substances too. These pollutants in the atmosphere cause a variety of serious human and animal diseases, and damage crops and plants. Aerosols etc., released into the atmosphere cause the depletion in the protective layer of ozone. The ozone hole detected over Antarctica a couple of years back was of the size of a football field. But it has now grown into the size of a continent. The consequences of such reckless and continuous depletion of ozone layer in the biosphere are bound to prove very dangerous. It is the need of the hour that something urgent, solid and substantial is done to restore atmospheric balance.
Raise is another great pollutant. The general noise level in the cities and towns has been rising alarmingly. It has resulted in loss of normal hearing-ability in many. Moose coming from buses, trucks, cars, scooters, trains, trams, aircrafts, factories, mills, power-houses, sirens, public address systems, radio, television, religious and social functions, and processions is already too much^ It has caused many types of serious physical and mental disorders. It has affected adversely our rest, sleep, and creativity, social and family behaviour.
The water of our rivers and oceans is polluted with much kind of effluents, industrial wastes, suspended solids, bacteria etc. The sewage has dangerously damaged the health of our various water resources like lakes, rivers, ponds, tube wells, canals and streams. These discharges contain a variety of poisonous effluents from factories, workshops, tanneries and colonies. It causes the spread of many water-borne diseases which may ultimately develop into epidemics. The detergents, fertilizers, pesticides, oil-spills etc., are other major sources of water-, pollution. Wastes from slaughter-house, dairies, breweries, tanneries, paper and sugar mills, chemical plants etc., has further worsened the problem. Like air and water, soil is also being polluted. It has decreased the productivity of the soil. Pesticides and artificial fertilizers have been identified as the main pollutants of the soil. They kill beneficial soil organisms and make the soil poisonous and toxic for plant-growth. Deforestation, overgrazing, cutting of trees for timber and fuel hove caused soil-erosion, droughts, floods and such other calamities on a vast scale.
The use of polythene bags and wrappers has added another dimension to the problem. These plastic wastes choke our drains, provide breeding facility to deadly germs and pollute the atmosphere. There are tones and tones of plastic waste every day in major cities. This non-degradable waste chokes the sewer-system and clogs the pores of wetlands. Even the villages and small towns are not free from this kind of pollution. As polythene and plastic bags remain undisclosed in the mud and so stop the rainwater from seeping deep into the earth. This adversely affects vegetation and agriculture. As these bags are lightweight, they fly here and there in the air and cause visual shocks and accidents. The massive use of such bags and wrappers has created environmental havoc. If it is not checked now, there would be time when our Earth would be covered with a layer of plastics.
There is a need of global and united efforts to check the menace of environmental pollution. The world’s ecological mess and pollution can be stopped only by an environmental ethics. Masses should be involved in the movement to save our atmosphere. Environmental education should now form an integral part of learning and teaching in schools and colleges. Anti-pollution laws should be practiced firmly and those found violating them should be suitably punished. It is the duty of every man and woman to keep the environment of the Earth clean and pollution free. More and more trees should be grown and planted. The use of solar and wind energy should be encouraged. Some effective alternative to petrol and diesel should be found to keep our atmosphere clean from traffic-smoke. The popular awakening and awareness towards the problem of environmental pollution should be matched with the world wide pollution control efforts. Such world bodies like the NET. Can play a significant role towards the achievement of these goals.