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Chapter 18 – Pollution of Air and Water

The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:


We know that the world is facing the problem of pollution, but India is feeling an additional pressure of a huge population that leads to an increase in the pollution of air and water. Therefore, you must understand the factors that cause pollution.

The air we breathe consists of 21% oxygen. When this air gets contaminated with harmful emissions coming out of vehicles, factories, or natural resources such as dung cakes, volcanoes, and forest fires, we call it air pollution.

Air Pollutants and their Sources

The substances that cause air pollution are called pollutants. Air pollution can severely impact the respiratory system of children and adults alike. 

  • Smog 

During winters, when the fog combines with the smoke that contains oxides of nitrogen emitted from vehicles and other pollutants, it causes smog. It can lead to asthma, wheezing, and coughing, especially in children.

  • Sulphur dioxide 

It is produced by petroleum refineries and fuel combustion, such as coal. It can lead to lung damage.

  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) 

Commonly utilized in refrigerators and ACs, CFCs can impact the Ozone layer that shields us from the harmful UV rays coming out of the Sun. These days, environment-friendly substitutes for CFCs are being used.

  • Other sources 

Burning of fuel in automobiles can release harmful particles in the air, which causes visibility issues and diseases when inhaled. Power plants emit ash particles that act as air pollutants.

Do you know that the Taj Mahal’s colour has changed  to yellow over time due to air pollutants? Several industries, such as oil refineries, automobiles, and chemicals around Agra produce nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide. These gases mix with the water vapour in the air and make the rains acidic. The resulting rain, known as acid rain, has reacted with the marble of the Taj Mahal over the years and corroded it.

The greenhouse in a nursery can absorb the sunlight and trap the heat. This is called the greenhouse effect that is essential for the plants to survive. Similarly, the Earth absorbs a part of the sunlight and reflects the rest of the light into space. Earth’s atmosphere absorbs this reflected light and warms up because of the presence of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), which absorbs heat and keeps the Earth warm. However, If its quantity increases more than necessary, this CO2 will act as an air pollutant.

Trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere for photosynthesis. However, due to increasing deforestation, CO2 is getting accumulated in the atmosphere and warming the Earth. This increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere is called global warming.

What Can be Done?

Here are some effective measures to deal with the menace of air pollution:

  • Substitute diesel and petrol in vehicles with CNG.
  • Run awareness campaigns and avoid crackers during festivals.
  • Use alternatives to fossil fuels such as solar energy, hydropower, and wind energy.
  • Participate in tree plantation drives.

Water Pollution and its Causes

The substances released into water as industrial and agricultural byproducts, bathing, and washing are called water pollutants.

The river Ganga is the source of water for lakhs of people. However, over the years, Ganga has been severely polluted due to release of garbage, sewage that is not treated, idols of Gods, plastic waste, and industrial discharge into the river. This is how the water gets polluted and affects the aquatic ecosystem due to depletion in oxygen.

The Government of India has launched a National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) initiative in 2016 to deal with the problem of pollution of Ganga.

Concept of Potable Water and Understanding How Is Water Purified

Water that is safe for drinking without any dissolved impurities and unseen microorganisms is called potable water.

Local municipal bodies treat water before it can reach us so that we are protected from water-borne diseases.

Let us see some ways to purify water:

  • A household candle type filter can be used to purify water.
  • Boiling water is one of the safest ways to purify drinking water.
  • Adding chlorine tablets and bleaching powder to water will purify water. However, we must be cautious not to add excessive chlorine tablets than recommended.

1) How are the polluting air and water?

Air and water are polluted by contaminants from industrial activities, global warming, etc. 

2) How does air and water pollution affect the environment?

Air and water pollution cause an increase in global warming and harmful emissions into the environment. 

3) What is land air and water pollution?

The pollution caused by contaminants, either on land, water bodies or in the atmosphere is called land, air, and water pollution. 

4) How can we prevent pollution of air and water?

Several ways to deal with the environmental menace have been mentioned in this article. Exercising caution by every citizen is also important. 

5) What are the 10 ways to reduce pollution?

  1. Replace bicycle with cars where possible, 
  2. Optimize the use of cars, 
  3. Prefer locally grown food to reduce pollution by transportation, 
  4. Mindfully use electricity,
  5. Use eco-friendly substitutes for detergents and chemicals used for washing, 
  6. Do not wash down medicines and pollute the groundwater, 
  7. Conserve water, 
  8. Minimize the use of AC, 
  9. Recycle plastic, and 
  10. Opt for taps and showers that limit the flow of water. 

6) What are the 3 causes of water pollution?

Release of industrial waste, human wastes such as food, faeces, and detergents, and disposing of dead, god idols, and flowers on the river banks are 3 important causes of water pollution.

Learn Effortlessly with the MSVgo App

You can also get more information on air and water pollution via MSVgo, a video learning app that provides a learning platform with animations and interactive sessions.

Pollution can be easily controlled by mindfulness and following the measures described in this article. It is vital to be aware of the harmful effects of air and water pollution and find ways to curb them. It becomes important to know what can be done to bring the pollution levels down, how does air get polluted, and how does water get polluted.

High School Physics

  • Alternating Current
  • Atoms
  • Communication Systems
  • Current Electricity
  • Dual nature of Radiation and Matter
  • Electric Charges and Fields
  • Electricity
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Electromagnetic Waves
  • Electron Beams and Radioactivity
  • Electrons and Photons
  • Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance
  • Fluid Pressure
  • Force and Acceleration
  • Force And Laws Of Motion
  • Gravitation
  • Internal Energy
  • Kinetic Theory
  • Law of motion
  • Light – Reflection And Refraction
  • Magnetic Effects Of Electric Current
  • Magnetism and Matter
  • Management Of Natural Resources
  • Mechanical properties of Fluids
  • Mechanical properties of Solids
  • Motion
  • Motion in a plane
  • Motion in a straight line
  • Moving Charges and Magnetism
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Nuclei
  • Oscillations
  • Our Environment
  • Paths of Heat
  • Physical world
  • Ray optics and optical instruments
  • Semiconductor Devices
  • Semiconductor Electronics: Materials, Devices and Simple Circuits
  • Simple Machines
  • Sound
  • Sources Of Energy
  • Specific and Latent Heats
  • Spherical Mirrors
  • Static Electricity
  • Systems of Particles and Rotational motion
  • Thermal properties of matter
  • Thermodynamics
  • Units and Measurement
  • Vectors, Scalar Quantities and Elementary Calculus
  • Wave Optics
  • Waves
  • Work, Power and Energy

High School Chemistry

  • Acids, Bases and Salts
  • Alcohols, Phenols and Ethers
  • Aldehydes, Ketones and Carboxylic Acids
  • Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Alkyl and Aryl Halides
  • Amines
  • Analytical Chemistry 
  • Atomic Structure
  • Atoms And Molecules
  • Basic concepts of Chemistry
  • Biomolecules
  • Carbon And Its Compounds
  • Carboxylic acids and Acid Derivatives
  • Chemical Bonding and Molecular Structures
  • Chemical Energetics
  • Chemical Equilibria
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Chemical Reactions And Equations
  • Chemical Reactions and Their Mechanisms
  • Chemistry in Everyday Life
  • Chemistry of p-Block elements
  • Chemistry of Transition and Inner Transition
  • Classification of Elements
  • Coordination Compounds
  • Cyanide, Isocyanide, Nitro compounds and Amines
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrolysis
  • Elements, Compounds and Mixtures
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Equilibrium
  • Ethers and Carbonyl compounds
  • Haloalkanes and Haloarenes
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Hydrogen
  • Ideal solutions
  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry
  • Ionic equilibria
  • Matter
  • Matter Around Us
  • Matter In Our Surroundings
  • Metallurgy
  • Metals And Non-Metals
  • Mole Concept and Stoichiometry
  • Natural Resources
  • Organic Chemistry – Basic Principles
  • Periodic Classification of Elements
  • Physical and Chemical Changes
  • Physical and Chemical Properties of Water
  • Polymers
  • Preparation, Properties and Uses of Compounds
  • Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements
  • Redox Reactions
  • Relative Molecular Mass and Mole
  • States of Matter
  • Structure Of The Atom
  • Study of Compounds
  • Study of Gas Laws
  • Study of Representative Elements
  • Surface Chemistry
  • The d-block and f-block elements
  • The Gaseous State
  • The p-Block Elements
  • The Periodic Table
  • The s-Block Elements
  • The Solid State
  • Thermodynamics

High School Biology

  • Absorption and Movement of Water in Plants
  • Adolescent Issues
  • Anatomy of Flowering Plants
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Bacteria and Fungi-Friends and Foe
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Biofertilizers
  • Biological Classification
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomolecules
  • Biotechnology and its Applications
  • Biotic Community
  • Body Fluids and Circulation
  • Breathing and Exchange of Gases
  • Cell – Unit of Life
  • Cell Cycle and Cell Division
  • Cell Division and Structure of Chromosomes
  • Cell Reproduction
  • Cellular Respiration
  • Chemical Coordination and Integration
  • Circulation
  • Control And Coordination
  • Crop Improvement
  • Digestion and Absorption
  • Diversity In Living Organisms
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Issues
  • Excretory Products and their Elimination
  • Flowering Plants
  • Genes and Chromosomes
  • Health and Diseases
  • Health and Its Significance
  • Heredity And Evolution
  • Heredity and Variation
  • How Do Organisms Reproduce?
  • Human Diseases
  • Human Eye And Colourful World
  • Human Health and Disease
  • Human Population
  • Human Reproduction
  • Hygiene
  • Improvement In Food Resources
  • Integumentary System- Skin
  • Kingdom Fungi
  • Kingdom Monera
  • Kingdom Protista
  • Life Processes
  • Locomotion and Movement
  • Microbes in Human Welfare
  • Mineral Nutrition
  • Molecular Basis of Inheritance
  • Morphology of Flowering Plants
  • Neural Control And Coordination
  • Nutrition in Human Beings
  • Organism and Population
  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosynthesis in Higher Plants
  • Plant Growth and Development
  • Plant Kingdom
  • Pollination and Fertilization
  • Pollution; Sources and its effects
  • Principles of Inheritance and Variation
  • Reproduction and Development in Angiosperms
  • Reproduction in Organisms
  • Reproductive Health
  • Respiration in Human Beings
  • Respiration in Plants
  • Respiratory System
  • Sexual Reproduction in Flowering Plants
  • Strategies for Enhancement in Food Production
  • Structural Organisation in Animals
  • Structural Organisation of the Cell
  • The Endocrine System
  • The Fundamental Unit Of Life
  • The Living World
  • The Nervous System and Sense Organs
  • Tissues
  • Transpiration
  • Transport in Plants

High School Math

  • Algebra – Arithmatic Progressions
  • Algebra – Complex Numbers and Quadratic Equations
  • Algebra – Linear Inequalities
  • Algebra – Pair of Linear Equations in Two Variables
  • Algebra – Polynomials
  • Algebra – Principle of Mathematical Induction
  • Algebra – Quadratic Equations
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Calculus – Applications of Derivatives
  • Calculus – Applications of the Integrals
  • Calculus – Continuity and Differentiability
  • Calculus – Differential Equations
  • Calculus – Integrals
  • Geometry – Area
  • Geometry – Circles
  • Geometry – Conic Sections
  • Geometry – Constructions
  • Geometry – Introduction to Euclid’s Geometry
  • Geometry – Three-dimensional Geometry
  • Geometry – Lines and Angles
  • Geometry – Quadrilaterals
  • Geometry – Straight Lines
  • Geometry – Triangles
  • Linear Programming
  • Matrices and Determinants
  • Mensuration – Areas
  • Mensuration – Surface Areas and Volumes
  • Number Systems
  • Number Systems – Real Numbers
  • Permutations and Combinations
  • Probability
  • Sequence and Series
  • Sets and Functions
  • Statistics 
  • Trignometry – Height and Distance
  • Trignometry – Identities
  • Trignometry – Introduction

Middle School Science

  • Acids, Bases And Salts
  • Air and Its Constituents
  • Basic Biology
  • Body Movements
  • Carbon and Its Compounds
  • Cell – Structure And Functions
  • Changes Around Us
  • Chemical Effects Of Electric Current
  • Chemistry in Your Life
  • Coal And Petroleum
  • Combustion And Flame
  • Components Of Food
  • Conservation Of Plants And Animals
  • Crop Production And Management
  • Electric Current And Its Effects
  • Electricity And Circuits
  • Elements and Compounds
  • Fibre To Fabric
  • Food production and management
  • Force And Pressure
  • Forests: Our Lifeline
  • Friction
  • Fun With Magnets
  • Garbage In, Garbage Out
  • Getting To Know Plants
  • Health and Hygiene
  • Heat
  • Hydrogen
  • Life Processes: Nutrition in Animals and Plants
  • Light, Shadows And Reflections
  • Materials: Metals And Non-Metals
  • Matter and Its States
  • Metals and Non-metals
  • Micro Organisms: Friend And Foe
  • Motion And Measurement Of Distances
  • Motion And Time
  • Nutrition In Animals
  • Nutrition In Plants
  • Organization in Living Things
  • Our Environment
  • Physical And Chemical Changes
  • Pollution and conservation
  • Pollution Of Air And Water
  • Reaching The Age Of Adolescence
  • Reproduction In Animals
  • Reproduction In Plants
  • Respiration In Organisms
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Separation Of Substances
  • Simple Machines
  • Soil
  • Some Natural Phenomena
  • Sorting Materials Into Groups
  • Sound
  • Stars And The Solar System
  • Structure of Atom
  • Synthetic Fibers And Plastics
  • The Living Organisms And Their Surroundings
  • Transfer of Heat
  • Transformation of Substances
  • Transportation In Animals And Plants
  • Universe
  • Waste-water Story
  • Water: A Precious Resource
  • Weather, Climate And Adaptations Of Animals To Climate
  • Winds, Storms And Cyclones

Middle School Math

  • Addition
  • Area and Its Boundary
  • Boxes and Sketches
  • Data Handling
  • Fun With Numbers
  • Heavy and Light
  • How Many
  • Long And Short
  • Mapping
  • Measurement
  • Money
  • Multiplication and Factors
  • Multiply and Divide
  • Numbers
  • Parts and Wholes
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Patterns
  • Play With Patterns
  • Rupees And Paise
  • Shapes And Angles
  • Shapes And Designs
  • Shapes and Space
  • Similarity
  • Smart Charts
  • Squares
  • Subtraction
  • Tables And Shares
  • Tenths and Hundredths
  • Time
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