The word pollution suggests something bad, foul, immoral, offensive. Scientific progress has also brought some ecological, social and economic problems in its wake. Environmental pollution is one of them. It has become a great threat to human and animal life. Pollution is the most rapidly growing problem of modern technological society. In fact, it is a direct result of scientific and technological development.
The environment is the sum total of all external conditions and influences affecting life and development of organisms.
The two main aspects of the environment are:
Land, air, and population have contaminated the natural surroundings in most of the countries of the world. Big cities like Karachi are worst hit. Man is an essential part of a highly complex web of living organisms called the biosphere. Any harm done to any part of the biosphere, is bound to effect human welfare and well being.
Water and air are basic media in which life exists. Water gets contaminated from any foreign matter natural or artificial. Water pollution is the cause of 40% diseases in Pakistan, Water pollution is caused by urbanization and industrial activities. Oil, gas and industrial wastes and products in Karachi, pose a great danger to life. About 700,000 tons of pollens are released into the air every year. It is clear violation of Factory, Act.
Public health has suffered due to bad management of pests; poor sanitation and waste disposal. Industrial development has directly effected environmental air pollution. Smoke, harmful gases, radioactive fallout, unburnt hydrocarbon from automobiles continue to make the situation worse. Carbon monoxide is the most harmful automobile pollutants congested city like Karachi and Lahore. The effects are a headache, loss of visual power and deceased muscular co-ordination.
Food and drinking water are contaminated by bacteria, chemicals, sprays and radioisotopes. The same applies to soil pollution. The stinking domestic and household wastes are littered about in the city. They pose great danger to public health. So is the case with overflowing gutters.
Noise is another nuisance in industrial cities. Noise pollution is a chronic problem due to factories, motorized vehicles, pressure horns and boilers. Noise has adverse effects on health, on ears, cardiovascular system, eyes, and respiratory tracts. It interferes with sleep.
The coastal areas are also threatened by marine pollution. Karachi is no exception to it. We read reports about dead fishes and prawns floating on the coastline due to oil layer suffocation. Toxic and other waste poison coastal water. It has also destroyed wildlife and breeding habitats of fish, shrimps and banthoms.
Different kinds of pollution discussed above are present in Pakistan. Environment and human behavior, social and economic aspects of development, are to be handled as a unified and holistic system in development planning. Strict enforcement of Environmental Ordinance (1980) will reduce the pollution danger.