Pollution Facts

Whether one likes it or not, pollution is one the most ignored concept in the modern world. Here are some shocking facts on pollution which give a quick glance through of how this destroyer is up to creating havoc on the earth.

Read more facts on global warming and climate change.

What is Pollution?

Pollution can be described as contamination of air, water and soil by introduction of a contaminant into a natural environment, usually by humans that are harmful to living organisms. The most common forms of pollution are air pollution, water pollution, agricultural pollution and land pollution.

Pollution is defined by The American Heritage Science Dictionary as the

“contamination of air, water, or soil by substances that are harmful to living organisms. 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.”

Below are 51 facts on Pollution

Fact 1: Pollution is one of the biggest killers, affecting more than 100 million worldwide.

Fact 2: More than 1 billion people worldwide don’t have access to safe drinking water.

Fact 3: 5000 people die every day as a result of drinking unclean water.

Fact 4: The garbage dumped in the ocean every year is roughly around 14 billion pounds. Plastic is the major constituent.

Fact 5: Pollution kills more than 1 million seabirds and 100 million mammals every year.

Fact 6: People who live in high-density air pollution area, have 20% higher risk of dying from lung cancer, than people living in less polluted areas.

Fact 7: Approximately 46% of the lakes in America are extremely polluted and hence risky for swimming, fishing and aquatic life.

Fact 8: In the great “Smog Disaster“, that happened in London in the year 1952, approximately four thousand people died in a few days due to the high concentrations of pollution.

Fact 9: United States produces 30% of the world’s waste and uses 25 % of the worlds natural resources

Fact 10: The Mississippi River dumps 1.5 million metric tonnes of nitrogen pollution in the Gulf of Mexico every year.

Fact 11: Every year around one trillion gallons of untreated sewage and industrial waste is dumped in the U.S water.

Fact 12: Children contribute to only 10% of the world’s pollution but are prone to 40% of global disease.

Fact 13: More than 3 million kids under the age of 5 years die every year due to environmental factors like pollution.

Fact 14: Composting and recycling alone have prevented 85 million tons of waste to be dumped in 2010.

Fact 15: China is the world’s largest producer of carbon dioxide. United States is number 2.

Fact 16: Almost 80% of urban waste in India is dumped in the river Ganges.

Fact 17: Noise pollution is the most neglected type of pollution.

Fact 18: The amount of money invested in nuclear test could be used to finance 8,000 hand pumps, giving villages across third world access to clean water.

Fact 19: Acidification of the ocean is the worst type of pollution. Oceans are becoming more acidic rue to green house emissions from fossil fuel.

Fact 20: Livestock waste majorly contributes to soil pollution. During monsoon, water runs over the fields carrying dangerous bacteria from the livestock into the streams.

Fact 21: More than 100 pesticides in any medium- air, water or soil can cause birth defects, gene mutation and  cancer.

Fact 22: There are more around 73 various kinds of pesticides in the groundwater, which is used as drinking water.

Fact 23: There are more than 500 million cars in the world and by 2030 the number will rise to 1 billion. This means pollution level will be more than double.

Fact 24: Major oil spills like those in the Gulf of Mexico, is the the worst type of pollution due to consistent oil spills in the water body which spreads everywhere else.

Fact 25: House owners use chemicals that are 10 times more toxic per acre, than the amount used by the farmers.

Fact 26: Around 1000 children die in India every year due to diseases caused from the polluted water.

Fact 27: In India, the Ganges water is gradually becoming septic, especially due to dumping of half burnt dead bodies and enshrouded babies.

Fact 28: 88% of the children in Guiyu, China suffer from various respiratory diseases as the area they live in is a huge e-waste site.

Fact 29: Antarctica is the cleanest place on Earth protected by anti-pollution laws.

Fact 30: Scientific research has proven that carbon dioxide emissions are lowering the pH of the ocean and are acidifying them even more.

Fact 31: A single car generates half a ton of CO2 and a NASA space shuttle releases 28 tons of C02.

Fact 32: Americans buy more than 29 million bottles of water every year. Only 13% of these bottles are recycled every year.

Fact 33: Tsunami in Japan during the year 2011,  has created a debris of 70 miles, which consists of cars, plastic, dead bodies and radioactive waste.

Fact 34: Cadmium is a dangerous pollutant that kills foetus’ sex organ cells. It is wide spread in many things that we eat and drink.

Fact 35: It takes only 5 days for a jet stream in Chine to carry the air pollution to the United States.

Fact 36: Pollution in China can change the weather in United States.

Fact 37: World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 6400 people die every year in Mexico due to air pollution.

Fact 38: A single person in United States produces 2 kilograms of garbage every day.

Fact 39: The UAE is one of the biggest waste producer and water consumer.

Fact 40: Every 1 million ton of oil that is shipped, approximately 1 ton from gets wasted in the form of spills.

Fact 41: Most of the hazardous pollutants that are discharged in the atmosphere each year are released to surface water, ground water, and land, combined.

Fact 42: Approximately 3 billion people without proper shelter and healthcare cook and heat their homes using open fires and leaky stoves, thus contributing more towards pollution and global warming.

Fact 43: Chronic obstructive respiratory disease (COPD) that develop due to indoor air pollution is responsible for the death of more than 1 million people every year.

Fact 44: The people more susceptible to high ozone levels are children, elderly, people with lung disease, and people who are active outdoors.

Fact 45: A glass that is produced from recycled glass instead of raw materials can reduce related air pollution by 20%, and water pollution by 50%.

Fact 46: If you think that you don’t smoke and you will be spared by lung cancer, just remember that your lungs or heart may be similarly damaged simply from exposure to ozone and particulate matter.

Fact 47: Places which are near to high traffic roads, seaports or railyards are dangerous place to live or work as they contain more concentrated levels of air pollution.

Fact 48: In cities, where there is huge traffic and vehicles run bumper-to-bumper, the pollutants in the air can seep into your car making the air you breathe inside your car up to 10 times more polluted than typical city air.

Fact 49: In 1987, the U.S. released 1.2 million tons of toxic chemicals into our atmosphere, 670,000 tons into our soil, and 250,000 tons into our water. (International Wildlife magazine)

Fact 50: In the US, 41% of all insecticides are used on corn. Eighty per cent of these are used to treat a pest that could be controlled simply by rotating the corn for one year with any other crop.

Fact 51: Public transportation and car pooling can help you to reduce air pollution and save money up to a great extent.

If these statistics are enough to give a wake-up call, then even more needs to be done beyond that. Step ahead and stop pollution yourself, today.

Image credit: Sam Williams , Mandar


Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.