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  • The contamination of air, water, or soil by substances that are harmful to living organisms is called pollution. A pollutant is a waste material that pollutes air, water or soil.  
  • Three factors determine the severity of a pollutant: its chemical nature, the concentration and the persistence  
  • Pollution can occur naturally, for example through volcanic eruptions, or as the result of human activities, such as the spilling of oil or disposal of industrial waste.
  • Major forms of pollution:

    • Air pollution: release of chemicals and particulates into the atmosphere.  
    • Water pollution: release of waste products and contaminants into water bodies.  
    • Soil pollution: occurs when chemicals are released by spill or underground leakage.  
    • Noise pollution: encompasses roadway noise, aircraft noise, industrial noise etc.
  • The focus of this chapter will be on

    • air pollution, the quickest medium to get polluted and  
    • water pollution, the commonest type of pollution                  

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