Pollution  

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"The 20th century saw the large-scale exploitation of fossil fuel resources (especially petroleum), which offered large amounts of energy in an easily portable form, earning this era the nickname the Age of Oil. This development also caused widespread global pollution and long-term impact on the biophysical environment bordering on an ecocalypse." --Sholem Stein

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution.

Ancient cultures

Air pollution has always accompanied civilizations. Pollution started from prehistoric times when man created the first fires. According to a 1983 article in the journal Science, "soot found on ceilings of prehistoric caves provides ample evidence of the high levels of pollution that was associated with inadequate ventilation of open fires." Metal forging appears to be a key turning point in the creation of significant air pollution levels outside the home. Core samples of glaciers in Greenland indicate increases in pollution associated with Greek, Roman and Chinese metal production, but at that time the pollution was comparatively small and could be handled by nature.

Forms of pollution

The major forms of pollution are listed below along with the particular contaminant relevant to each of them:

See also

Air pollution


Soil contamination


Water pollution


Other





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pollution" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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