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In 2013, the human population on Earth exceeded 7 billion. Each of us is making increasing demands on the planet's resources, destroying its habitats and producing waste in a way which is quite simply unsustainable.

Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change.

It is vital that we all take measures to stop the pollution of our environment to safeguard our planet's future.

About Pollution

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Pollution affects our whole planet. 

In fact, pollution in China can affect the weather in the United States - it only takes five days for the jet stream to carry polluted air to the U.S.

There are three main types of pollution: air, land and water, for example;

Exhaust fumes from vehicles and waste gases from power stations and oil refineries contribute to greenhouse gases causing acid rain and illnesses such as asthma.

Chemical waste such as asbestos can cause cancer; insecticides kill wildlife feeding on treated insects, and household rubbish rots producing methane which contributes to climate change.

Over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 sea mammals are killed by the pollution of their watery habitat every year.



We are all part of the problem and must all be part of the solution

Pollution Facts

Pollution can result in acid rain, climate change, unclean water and disease, habitat loss and species extinction,

29 million bottles of water are sold in the USA every year. Only 13% of those bottles are recycled. Plastic bottles take centuries to decompose—and if they are burned, they release toxic by-products such as chlorine gas and ash containing heavy metals.

In 1989, oil from the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill polluted about 1,300 miles (2,092 km) of coastline near Alaska. The spilled oil killed as many as 500,000 seabirds and other animals. For every 1 million tons of oil transported 1 ton is spilled.

The average family in North America, Europe, and Australia throws away more than a ton of rubbish each year. Over 80% of items buried in landfills could be recycled instead. We are getting better though - recycling and composting stopped an extra 85 million tons of material being disposed of in damaging landfill in 2010, up from 18 million tons in 1980.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 6,400 people die every year in Mexico City and more than 1 million suffer from permanent breathing problems due to air pollution. More than 3 million children under age five die annually from environmental factors.

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Rubbish is pollution and can harm creatures such as albatross and turtles that try to eat it.

Stop Pollution

YOU can play your part in helping to reduce pollution.

Follow the 3 Rs rule: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle! Walk or cycle instead of using the car and dispose of rubbish thoughtfully.

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation aims to raise awareness of the effect of pollution on our planet's species. Enter our art and poetry competition and share your ideas about human impact on the environment.


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