Defined: The ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘where,’ ‘when,’ ‘how’ and ‘why’ of pollution


To be human is to pollute. Think flatulence.


The_Earth_seen_from_Apollo_17[1]Okay, so pollution is what, exactly?

In consulting the 1991 Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, I find “pollution” is defined thusly: “1. the act of polluting or the state of being polluted. 2. the introduction of harmful substances or products into the environment: air pollution.”

So, it would follow then that air pollution is the presence in the air of unhealthful products or substances.


I know it would be a bit presumptuous-sounding to proclaim pollution is everywhere. Fact is it is not everywhere. But, pollution is in a good many places; it is both indoor and out. In some places the problem is more prevalent than in others.


Pollution has been around since time immemorial – no question. However, it was in 1760 with the introduction of the Industrial Revolution that a new era in terms of what and how much pollution was contributed to the air, was begun. In one sense, one might be inclined to say the Industrial Revolution in this regard was a key change agent or catalyst.

How (it happened)

So, what is responsible?

In “Air Pollution: The enormity of it all,” immediately I opened by identifying air pollution’s sources, and to repeat, these are:

  • Agricultural
  • Commercial (Business)
  • Construction (and Demolition)
  • Energy Production
  • Industrial (and Dredging, Drilling, Excavating and Mining)
  • Natural
  • Residential
  • Transportation
  • Other

This still stands


See: “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When” and “How (it happened)” above.

What (to do about it)

All of that which is currently being done and then some.


  1. Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, 1991 edition, pollution definition(s), p. 1046.

Image above: NASA

– Alan Kandel

2 thoughts on “Defined: The ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘where,’ ‘when,’ ‘how’ and ‘why’ of pollution”

  1. You need to also recognize biological pollution caused by the introduction of novel organisms into new localities.

  2. I think pollution is a big issue in these days because of development. Water pollution should also be considered. In my own understand water pollution water pollution is the contamination of water bodies such as rivers, oceans, lakes and groundwater. It have many effects on the health of people and sea animals.

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