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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Pollution:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Expand: *Expand lead.
    • Look at using summary style.
    • Biological background should precede 'prehistory'. Anologues of pollution in other species are discussed in the chapter on pollution in Townsend, Begon and Harper's Essentials of Ecology, for example. For a very early case, consider the formation of oxygen in the ocean and atmosphere, which James Walker (1986) describes as "the most severe pollution episode in the history of the earth".
Priority 1 (top)


Greenhouse gases and global warming[edit]

First, carbon dioxide is not referred to as a pollutant. No one who works in environmental science refers to it as such. Second, this whole section is extremely disputed. At the very least, it needs citations, and a more neutral tone. -- (talk) 22:59, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Can you mention this Unique Pollution forecasting website?[edit]

This site does daily pollution forecasts for Asthma patients and researchers (talk) 18:24, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Drop Greenhouse Gas[edit]

Greenhouse gasses are a natural part of the ecosystem and slight changes in their concentrations have never been refereed to as "pollution". Use in this context is a political, not a scientific context so while links to global warming should be included, no other details should be (except maybe something like this statement) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:48, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

FYI: This article duplicates within it a large block of its own text--clean-up needed.[edit]

I just thought I'd mention it. I noticed this as I was browsing through contemplating an add. This should probably be cleaned up first though. I'll get to it later unless someone can take care of it. I don't know if the duplication is complicated by slight differences and improvements in one of the blocks so were I to do it I would want to compare both sections with some care before deleting one or the other--which could be somewhat time-consuming. The first block also has more wikilinks than the second. -Onceler 03:32, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

It looks like vandalism after (15:49, 30 December 2005) and (15:50, 30 December 2005) by ( that duped this block. It must just be that it looked enough like ordinary well-intended text that it didn't catch anyone's attention. Something like a new-year's, cat's-away prank. Onceler 07:50, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

the above text belongs in Indoor air quality talk for the present state of the article, we need less discussion of ambiguity which can often be an apology by industry and more technical detail regarding the manifestations of pollution..i whall be gald to help out with thisAnlace 00:59, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

I hadn't read the previous section until you mentioned it but after glancing through, I agree, though it is now almost two years old. There is also probably quite a bit of that posting that is discursive enough to be part of an article--that's not a bad picture of the smoky mountains either:
though I don't know if we need it or if there are copyright restrictions. In my estimate, the section above is 80% indoor pollution, 15% air pollution (CO2), and 5% water or thermal pollution. I believe dedicated articles already exist for each of these in some capacity. I'll take a look at migrating some of it.
Your point about the tone in the ambiguity section is also well taken. Perhaps it is getting lengthy as a treatment of mere "ambiguity". My initial involvement was to try and clean the article up and the headings I inserted do reflect the content, most of which was already there, fairly accurately. I might not even have stepped in if things hadn't been in such bad shape. I think I am just trying to work with what was already in the article and felt it was relevant enough not to remove. I'm trying to mold it more into context. My instinctive reaction to your insight would be that the more appropriate heading and focus is "Controversy"--there still doesn't seem to be any shortage of that around this topic. The content about ambiguity is not out of place (NPOV) but the emphasis is off. I'll endeavor to take another pass at this. Otherwise, I agree on the technical detail about pollution manifestations. More of that is in order. Did you have anything specific in mind? There are quite a few superficial examples already. Maybe these just need to be topped off to ensure thoroughness and then the work would be needed to fill the discussion out with sets of data, in table form if available. Perhaps some treatment of the topic of pollution measurement is appropriate and it might tie in well with the high-level regulations discussion. I don't know of any current wikipedia article about the topic and this might be a good place to begin it. As far as regulations in each country goes, more participation from wikipedians residing in other countries might be needed. The web should help there ...
The subjects in the following existing articles, most of which were found by searching only in Wikipedia for "pollution regulation" bear some mention:
  • Domestic/International Legislation/Regulation:
  • History:
  • Social manifestations:
  • Other:
Then there is also that awful mountain of garbage in the Philippines that seems to be the size of the cliffs along the Southern Californaia coast that nearly crushes entire neighborhoods during the rains. So there is plenty to talk about without getting very specific. But if it is appropriate, by all means add detail.
It seems like the scope of information and data here should be broad. I have been leery of adding too much detail to some articles such as this one when a dedicated article already exists. Because of this, pollution seems suited to be more of a hub-type article, with links to all the others, and where the topic of pollution can be treated in the most general sense. That would be politics, policy, history, etc. as well as the "meta-" or "interstitial"/interconnected pollution issues (eg, ties from atmospheric CO2 to ocean acidification, which already has a dedicated and vigorously maintained article itself). I had envisioned fleshed out specifics in this article sparely to illustrate points as needed lest all the other ones get rewritten here. Detailed data yes, but with a care that involved treatment does not overly duplicate existing content.
To your point about California standards: I tried to make mention of Prop 65 under the regulations section in this article, and one or two others as well, complete with a link to the dedicated article at California Proposition 65 (1986). To that article I added most of what I knew offhand and felt confident enough about. My inclination is that the prop 65-specific stuff should go there and any more general CA or US regs stuff should go on pollution as you suggest. By all means feel free to add to these. From your user page, it sounds as if you are quite qualified. By the way, there is a standing template request for expert review in the air pollution article if you are interested. Anyway, my intention was not to omit the California standard but rather to make sure it was mentioned as a start. If I have missed the crux of your comment about CA regs, don't hesitate to clarify.
A disclaimer: Most of my suggestions here should be taken as tentative wishlist/best course of action. I'm open to suggestions and don't necessarily expect to get around to it all. Compared to yourself, I don't have that much specialized knowledge of this topic beyond what I can garner through news sources and the web as a concerned consumer and earthling. Your reaction would be of interest. Thanks for the feedback. -cheers, -Onceler 12:15, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

hello onceler. thanks for your in depth and well thought out strategy. i think i concur with you on all matters. the hub notion of the article is good, lest this site become an encyclopedia..ill try to add some insights as i can, but the biggest job is to distill the volumes of possible regulatory and historical data into some meaningful skeleton. im in california and know the U.S. scene pretty well. sounds like you are in the UK, where it would be great to have insight for UK and rest of europe. i would hope we might find someone knowledgable on china and russia and we could do this pretty well...ill also check out the air pollution article {its on my list of things to do). i just did some updating of the aircraft noise article, which ties in (in a minor way). best regards or cheers as you say :) Anlace 13:56, 10 February 2006 (UTC) salut,sa va? moi ué!

Military pollution[edit]

What about a paragraph about the military, like the following: Wars and violent conflicts are a source for pollution including ammunition dumps, depleted uranium in ammunition spreading low levels of radioactive contamination, sonar radar and its effects on whale beachings, bombing remants that are dispersed while containing toxic substances, contamination of lands surrounding military bases, drinking water disruptions from groundwater contamination, landmines, etc. Iraq suffers heavily from this kind of pollution with numerous unmanaged weapons depots that were looted in 2003. - Shiftchange 23:59, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

hi again shift, you have some good ideas, but i think we need to use an outline that manifests the types of pollution (eg air, noise, water, soil). other wise we sould end up with hundreds of paragraphs such as how lumberjacks, ironmakers, food processors etc pollute the environment) By the way food processors contribute much more to world wide pollution than the military !! we can work most of your material into those categorical headings. while I am a stong advocate of the environment as you are, we also have to be extremely objective and be able to prove each point. finally we have to maintain perspective. for exammple "bombing remnants" contribute much less to groundwater contamination than do fuel spills or dry cleaning solvent leaks. i think on the whole most of your material could better fit into other articles such as landmines, radar, or depleted uranium. keep up all that thinking :) regards Anlace 01:14, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Rename to Environmental pollution[edit]

i move that this article be renamed "environmental pollution" with a redirect from pollution. this is a more commonly used term in the scientific community to denote the class of effects discussed here. we want to clearly distinguish environmental pollution from indoor air pollution, for example...let others weigh in on this topic Anlace 05:58, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

It wouldn't be such a bad idea to have a disambiguation page called pollution along with that either. I don't think that would necessarily require too much change of this article though, per se. -Onceler 16:05, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
... which is to say I support the idea. It would be an improvement in clarity on the current situation of having the article named one thing and referred to in bold as another in the first sentence. The current situation usurps every other possible usage of the term pollution. A wiktionary link for pollution would also go well on the above-mentioned disambiguation page. -Onceler 18:48, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

good ideas onceler...ill wait a few days and see whether any other commenters weigh in...cheers, anlace

Oh, and also, as a minor comment, Pollution seems to be the "main article" in Category:Pollution. I am not sure how changing the name affects that. -Onceler 16:47, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

good point onceler, we would have to fix that category issue...would be tedious , but worth the way ive been busy upgrading the Noise pollution, Water pollution and Air Pollution articles. ive not finished with them yet, but they all needed a LOT of work and they are much improved. im getting close to being ready to come back to the environmental pollution article...i also created a new article called Noise barrier. cheers, Anlace 17:22, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your additions. Incidentally, some of these articles also seem to have a similar structure.
I had been working on the history section as a launching point and to provide context for changing the former "ambiguity" section since I was not sure how to word the latter. When I saw your alterations of the history section, I just threw in what I had. I think the content was fairly complementary overall. I reinserted the "pollution/dilution" mention because I think it is the nearest thing to an anti-environmentalism manifesto I know of to refer to. Though I have not yet been able to find sources stating that it was taught in schools, I have found literal broader corroborations of it so I made the assertion more tentative and added a couple of citations. I think this content still has legs and is relevant enough to leave in, especially in a historical discussion. I also began to have concerns that the history section was looking like a history of environmentalism but there doesn't seem to be too many other ways to really talk about pollution historically, aside from a timeline, since formal measurement and recognition is a recent development. Then again, I didn't see much of a history in the environmentalism article. This may all change down the line though. It can happan at any time and the current state of things is likely just temporary.
I changed the order of the sections because jumping right into history, pre-empting sources/effects/regulation seems like burying the lead a bit--however much it might interest me. A couple of things I wanted to mention. I was not aware of it before but the content under the article List_of_environment_topics seems to be as vast a compendium as I know of on Wikipedia, almost something of a tail wagging the dog within Category:Pollution. Also not to be overlooked: Timeline of environmental events. The other is that it seems incongruous that there is no article titled soil contamination or something near to it in scope. This topic seems to get wedged under the mention of other things. Cross-referencing is OK but it probably deserves more than sub-category status. -regards, Onceler 20:07, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
One more point about the question of renaming. If I recall correctly, there are between 700 and 750 articles which link to Pollution. Many wikilinks may need to be updated. As far as I can tell, the only thing making Pollution the main article in Category:Pollution is the fact that the name is the same and it is in that category. I couldn't find any further documentation of this. -Onceler 01:35, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
i appreciate thoughtful additions and our dialog here. AS far as soil contamination, thats an article i plan to write in the next few months (ive actually been more active in soil contamination in recent years than air pollution). i think we generally are seeing things in a similar light and our additions do seem quite complementary. regarding renaming pollution to enviromental pollution, i still favor this change and it seems like the 700 links will be solved by redirect, although we could clean up the more commonly used links. im stumped on the category issue you allude to ....any ideas on that? best regards, Anlace 01:51, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
I would bet that if the line about the "main article" disappears from the Category page, it won't be missed much. That should be all that happens if the name of the pollution article changes. I think it happens automatically, so probably not a big deal. The thing is that if there is a disambiguation article named pollution, the redirect to environmental pollution wouldn't be automatic. Maybe that is also not such a big deal and links could be gradually updated over time. Here is what I had in mind:

Pollution generally means environmental pollution, but may also refer to:

Alternatively, the disambiguation article could be named pollution (disambiguation) and pollution could become an automatic rdirect. Maybe that is the most practical way to go. I don't believe this falls foul of any Wikipedia standard of practices. -Onceler 02:36, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Can anyone present the source that says the maximum fine for dumping toxic waste is US$ 25,000? I can't seem to find any other source saying this, but has found some cases where the fines has surpassed this ammount.

I regret that this article remains a mess of disorganised and frequently incorrect information. We have debated the possible conversion to environmental pollution which would presumably be a relatively short article which itself references the many sub-topics. I will try and find a few hours to substantially re-vamp this article unless anyone else has the time to start it going. Mrs Trellis 17:04, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
I regret your regret but look forward to your improvements. Regarding the pending "rename" to environmental pollution, as far as my end is concerned, the hold-up is resolving all the redirects. As I understand it, "double redirects" are not a desireable wikipedia feature, and many would result from such a "move". Does anyone know how other-language inter-wiki links handle this? On a more minor note, the above-suggested pollution disambiguation article to take the place of this one would need to wait until all appropriate links to pollution are updated to environmental pollution. I don't know of any automatic or bot-based way to update such redirect links and don't quite have a chunk of time available to do all of this manually. If enough wikipedians are interested in signing up to a batch of manual updates though, then a number of us in concert could probably make quicker work of the task. Not having tried this before some traffic conventions could be helpful--have every volunteer's block proceed sequentially, lest a lot of edit collisions result, in relay fashion; once one person on the list is done, they can post a status, say to this page, by their name in the list and the next person can proceed and so on down until it is done. Checking just now, there are about 831 references in wikipedia to the current pollution article. I've added my name to the top of the list below. Anyone else interested feel free to add theirs in like fashion. Preceding each name by # will make it automaticlly number itself of course and we can start when the number of names is enough. That depends on how many edits each contributor wants to handle which we can also indicate by each name. I don't think I am willing to sign up for more than 20 with my slow-poke connection, though I am willing to be flexible about that. So if everyone thinks like I do, we would need about 40-42 volunteers, give or take. Once we have enough volunteers, we can get started. While I'm open to better suggestions, I'll start the list for now:
  1. Onceler 20:17, 2 August 2006 (UTC) (20 edits)
  2. Mrs Trellis 20:32, 2 August 2006 (UTC) (I'll volunteer 20)

There definitely needs to be some kind of disambiguation for this. I'm particularly thinking that this page is mostly concerned with one form of environmental pollution or other, completely ignoring the use of the term for 'ritual pollution'. A link along the lines of "For Ritual Pollution, see Ritual purification" would do as a stop gap until someone gets round to writing a new page, but this is a whole area of 'pollution' which is currently not mentioned at all. C Trone 13:06, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Link Removal[edit]

I removed a link to this site. It didn't seem like a suitable site to be linked to from a wikipedia article, but if anyone disagrees, I'd be glad to discuss it. --Ori.livneh 10:38, 17 June 2006 (UTC).

to User: re "Edward I" date correction[edit]

(reposting this from User talk: as that might be a shared connection)

Thanks for catching my mistake in the Pollution article re Edward I's legislating from the grave--"1361" definitely was wrong. However, I just double-checked the source for the original information and it said "1306"--I typo'ed this edit in February. Do you have a reference for "1272"? -regards, Onceler 19:10, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

List of doomsday scenarios[edit]

Could use votes to save this article, thanks MapleTree 22:33, 28 September 2006 (UTC) George Bush causes the most pollution. Its true, he is an alien from the fourth demension of bizanian. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:08, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Article uses Contamination and Pollution interchangably[edit]

Just completed a 3rd year University unit in Environmental Geology which focussed almost entirely on pollution and/or geological hazards (studying for the exam when I ran across this page). According to all three of my lecturers, contamination is any increase in a given pollutant above the background level, but it can only technically be defined as pollution when it reaches a point where it has an affect on health (mostly human, but also of the environment, animals etc.). Looks like it'd be a little bit of work to fix the article up, but it would increase the accuracy and technical correctness of the thing.

Weebs 01:43, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

That may be a difference worthy of distinction here. Some of the mentions within this article may not necessarily contradict the stricter definition you cite though, if contamination is really a superset of pollution. I recommend digging up a citation and stating this distinction near the top in the introduction section, then the existing uses of contamination can be edited or made less ambiguous as needed. Putting contamination in bold for the initial definition would also be a good idea because apparently, per my query a few seconds ago, this article is redirected to from contamination, thus serving as the "contamination" article itself. I had not been aware of that previously. -Onceler 03:37, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I suppose in a very broad sense, contamination and pollutiuon can be thought of as approximately the same thing. However, I would consider contamination to be the unnatural, usually unintended (and thus undesired) presence of substances, materials, or very small organisms in contact or mixed with otherwise desired materials, surfaces, areas, or environment. I would consider pollution to be contamination of the environment, including air, water, soil, etc., but this definition does not include noise, light, visual, or thermal pollution. I would not call these unconventional kinds of pollution contamination. Otherwise pollution would be a subset of contamination. There is enough difference that I think it would be reasonable to have a separate article on contamination, although it might be a short one. In the future, I may write some more on this in Talk:Contamination or start a new Contamination article. H Padleckas 19:49, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Citations needed[edit]

The history section is in need of citations. We need to know this information has some sort of backup, besides our own imaginations.

In the Sources and Causes section, there's no citation for the information giving Canada as the number two emitter per capita. I think, based on info from that the US is number one, and Canada is number two. Sentence needs to be rewritten for clarification. Saurdigger (talk) 19:25, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Merging Externality[edit]

Although the primary example of a negative externalities is pollution, the externality page should not be merged with this topic as there is much more to externalities than this one example. There are other types of negative externalities, and it is not a good fit to cover positive externalities. The focus of externalities is centered on economics, which does not seem to make that information a good fit on this page.

DJ Gregor 05:13, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

oppose merger first of all the pollution article is becoming large and unwieldy on its own. its a huge topic with a lot to cover on its own. secondly DJ Gregor is on target that externality is really focussed on economic aspects, even tho it does relate to pollution (btw it also relates to non pollution matters). Anlace 17:02, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Why has the person who added the merger tag to this article not discussed his reasoning here on the Discussion page? It must be obvious to anyone who has scanned the Externality article that it is much too huge to be merged into any other article and that most of it relates to economics. Very, very little of it relates this article on pollution. I oppose the merger. Since all three comments discussing the merger are in opposition, I am taking the bold step of deleting the merger tag. - mbeychok 06:47, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Opposed to merger: some mention of externalities and linking within the article or at the end as part of a "see also" section might be a good idea but merging looks like going overboard. -Onceler 03:37, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Proposal to merge Pollutant into Pollution[edit]

Hi everybody. I think Pollutants must be part of the Pollution article (maybe a subsection). The reasons are obvious. Wikipedia should be as concise as possible and not spread out in different articles which talk about the same thing. We are trying to gather information and make it clear for people not spread it all over Wikipedia. The Vindictive 16:44, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

I completely agree with The Vindictive that the merger he proposed will be beneficial. - mbeychok 18:49, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Support merge. - SpLoT // 05:35, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
     I agree with the merge. -AppleZapple
Support merger. See my comment in the "Pollutant merger" section below. A hypothetical situation in which I might oppose such a merger is when there is enough material for two long articles but it would make one article too long, which is presently not the case yet.
H Padleckas 13:04, 21 May 2007 (UTC)


I must definitely agree with all others attempting to merge this page pollutants with the page pollution76.175.24.159 04:00, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

get off the grass!

Pollutant merger[edit]

Since nobody seems to object the merger and since the articles have been tagged for some time now, I am going to undertake it in the following days, as a separate section within the Pollution article. Please let me know your ideas. The Vindictive 10:45, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Once Pollutant is merged into Pollution, it effectively becomes both the Pollution and Pollutant article. Pollutant, of course, becomes a redirect to Pollution. When merged, pollutant should be defined early in the introductory section, and the first mention of the word should be bolded, since this would be the article covering pollutant also. Good luck. H Padleckas 12:52, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
No problems here, I mean pollution is the act of polluting, and what do you take with you to make every polluting outing a successful one? A pollutant! Thumbs up for the merge. 21:15, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. Go ahead and merge Pollutant into Pollution. - Kevin23 04:19, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree, MERGE! MERGE! MERGE!- Aziraphale2000 8 July 2007
I have completed merging the Pollutant article into this Pollution article and redirected Pollutant to this article.
I have also completed merging the Pollution control article into this Pollution article as per the obvious concensus on the Talk:Pollution control page. The Pollution control article has also been redirected to this article. - mbeychok 19:05, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Pollutant should not have been merged if folks are just going to dilute (no pun intended) its meaning by including it in an article that reasons that because a substance may (or may not) have an effect on weather patterns that makes it (i.e. carbon dioxide) a source of "pollution". Pollutants are by definition substances that are toxic to life vis a vis direct action on living tissueAwotter 07:07, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

When you comment out an article section, as you did with the CO2 bit, you've gotta close the tag or everything following disappears. I've fixed that by removing the start tag. If you feel CO2 doesn't belong - then discuss it here. Vsmith 14:13, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

European pollution[edit]

I removed the entire Pollution#Europe section, as it is patent nonsense:

[[Image:Urban pollution.jpg|right|thumbnail|200px|Noticeable pollution in [[Bordeaux]]]] Generally the European countries lagged significantly behind the United States in meaningful environmental regulation, including [[air pollution|air quality]] standards, [[water quality]] standards, soil [[contamination]] cleanup, [[indoor air quality]] and [[noise regulation]]s.<ref name="92-574"> Public Law No. 92-574, 86 Stat.) [[Noise Pollution]] and Abatement Act of 1972, codification amended at 42 U.S.C. (1988)</ref> In the year 2000, UK [[Air Quality Regulations]] were established and they were further amended in 2002. There has also been [[United Kingdom|British]] harmonization with [[EU]] [[regulation]]s.

The EU is presently entertaining use of the (possibly [[carcinogen]]ic) [[MTBE]] as a widespread [[gasoline]] additive, a chemical which has been in the process of phaseout in the U.S. for over a decade.

Not only does it make a bold (and false) claim, it attempts to reference that claim with an American law passed in 1988. "Look we have a law, therefore US = better". It is possible thesource does claim American proficiency, but there's obviously a significant COI, as well as it being 20 years old, making it not the ideal source. European countries vary massively, and the EU is very strict on such matters.

MTBE (which is certified non-carcinogenic) was used in Europe, but is being phased out. The section is full of anti-European mistruths. — Jack · talk · 18:11, Monday, 3 September 2007

Link removal[edit]

Per your request, follow the link. The "A special issue of Environment International" is an attempt to sell you a collection of journal articles. WP:LINKSPAM pure and simple. Admittedly, calling it plain ol' vandalism was a little hasty on my part, and in retrospect, I should have rolled back the article with the edit summary of pointing to LINKSPAM instead. Mea culpa. Burzmali 03:09, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Burzmali, thanks for your response. I had already followed that link. Yes, it does advertize that special edition of the Environmental Journal. However, that is a prestigeous journal published by Elsevier, an eminent publisher of scientific journals ... and it is most probably available in the libraries of most good universities. The linked web page has the redeeming virtue of listing and providing an abstract of each of the many articles in that special edition. That means we can all read what that edition contains and, if interested in any of them, we can simply go to our nearest university library and read them free of charge. For that reason, I believe it should not be deleted as linkspam. It serves a very useful purpose. Regards, - mbeychok 04:13, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Eminent or not, linking to that page fails Wikipedia:External_links#Links normally to be avoided items 5 and 7. Also, since the linked page does not provide the ISBN of the book, I can't convert the page to an ISBN link. As such, the link should be deleted, and if any of the specific articles should be stored and you have access to them, you should list them on Wikipedia:List of sources. Burzmali 12:37, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
It is a journal not a book and the ISSN is 0160-4120, the journal name is Environmental International, the publisher is Elsevier International and the editor is R.E. Alcock. Burzmali, with all due respect, Wikipedia policies are guidance rather than set-in-stone, hard and fast rules. Note that Wikipedia:External_links#Links normally to be avoided uses the word "normally" rather than "always". This is a quote from the top of the first page of WP:MOS:
"This page is part of the Manual of Style. It documents a guideline on the English Wikipedia. It is generally accepted among editors and should normally be followed, but it has exceptions; use common sense when applying it."
Surely, some discretion may be applied in this case. Regards, - mbeychok 16:06, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
That looks even worst
Let's start over. How does linking information about a journal add to this article? Burzmali 18:17, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Burzmali, if you can make it look better, please do so. If not, than either leave it as it is or delete it. I have said everything that I can think of saying. As it says in the above quote from the MOS, "... use common sense ...". Regards, - mbeychok 18:52, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
So be it. I didn't mean to start an argument. Have a good day! Burzmali 19:13, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Pollution Types[edit]

This is a very good article and very through. Most people never consider other forms of pollution beyond chemical and waste but, light and energy are just as damaging to our delicate eco-systems as all the rest[1]. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rdaily (talkcontribs) 14 September 2007, 12:21 (UTC)

I agree, you have some people with rare skin disease thats caused sun the suns rays. some of these other pollution types have been looked past!(Shinea-sha (talk) 18:09, 14 December 2009 (UTC))

Fish swimming up Thames and other rivers in UK[edit]

In living memory there were virtually no fish in the Thames because of the pollution. Then in the 1960s I think the pollution was stopped and fish gradually returned. It would be nice to have info about this in the Thames and other rivers, eg northern England. 17:02, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Suspected Vandalism[edit]

The article begins with "CODY RUTHERFORD is the introduction of pollutants (whether chemical substances, or energy such as noise, heat, or light) into the environment to such a point that its effects become harmful to human health, other living organisms, or the environment.". Unless I have misinterpreted the meaning of this sentence, I think it has been vandalized. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:08, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

changes to intro; is pollution harmful by definition?[edit]

An editor has recently changed the definition of pollution from:

substances that are "harmful to human health, other living organisms, or the environment"

to a more qualified statement that "Some pollutants cause harm to human health, other living organisms, and the environment."

This is not in keeping with the given citation, which defines pollutants as substances harmful to organisms ("Pollution means the introduction by man, directly or indirectly, of substances or energy into the environment, resulting in deleterious effects of such a nature as to endanger human health, harm living resourcesand ecosystems, and impair or interfere with amenities and other legitimate uses of the environment.“) --Newsroom hierarchies (talk) 16:13, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Clarification regarding pollution definition and distinguishing from contamination[edit]

I made an attempt to make better clarification of the difference between pollution and contamination. I think it answers the question "is pollution harmful by definition?" and sorts out the earlier discussion on the ambiguity between pollution and contamination. Went to merriam-webster as a reference for the definition and added some contextual description to hopefully describe the following levels: -natural levels (pristine concentration) -unnaturally elevated levels (contamination) -unnaturally elevated levels + harmful to biological life (pollution)

This is the distinction I hear in use by many scientists when communicating to the public. --Alloquep (talk) 21:04, 28 December 2007 (UTC)


The article list chemicals and energy as the only forms of pollution. My question is how do we classify Solid Waste?

Items which get into streams and the sea or are piled up in heaps all over the place spoil the environment and may be said to "pollute it". these items place the humans and ecosystems at risk in a variety of ways. (talk) 09:34, 28 January 2008 (UTC) pollution is fake198.60.170.97 (talk) 16:25, 28 February 2008 (UTC)


A little side list of a lot of types of pollution as seen on the french pollution page would be very useful. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:18, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

The history section is unsupported and incorrect[edit]

The history section is written without supporting citations. I think that most of it is as the author wishes it would be rather than as it really was. There were local areas heavily impacted by air, nutrient, and water pollution in the roman and greek empires. Sewage systems date to 2000 bc in the Harappa culture in the Indus valley, and so on. The idea that industry was reduced during the Middle ages is probably false... This section needs to be supported with archaeology and actual history before it can be trusted. If I had the background I would start...someone else should, as this would add greately to the articles worth. Furthermore, the dictionary definition at the beginning of the article is obscure and incomplete. There is no list of forms of pollution. Heat, infectious agents, acids, explosives, teratogens, and carcinongens...or where they are mentioned it is in unconventional language. The Philosophy section is not about the environment, which is the main focus of the article, yet it appears in the middle. If it is worth retaining it should be moved to a place outside of the environmental pollution discussions. The perspectives section is clothed in obfuscation and lacks application. It looks like a personal polemic. If the greenhouse gases section is worth retaining then there should be short blurbs on other major pollution issues to go along with it. I suggest acid rain, and factory farms.

[User:Primacag|Avram Primack]] (talk) 18:13, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

The first sentence is ungrammatical[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} The first sentence is ungrammatical—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I removed "they are in". The sentence can be made even better I think. –Capricorn42 (talk) 07:44, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

dunnohhhfgggggssss —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:30, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Pollution :D[edit]

Pollution is a big problem because not only can it effect the environment but it can also effect animals. Pollution effects animals by the litter we are too lazy to put in the bins. We chuck it in the creeks, rivers, oceans and also on our streets so these poor animals come along and dont know what this is so they suspect that it is food so that they eat it and choke. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:09, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Locking Article[edit]

I see lots of repeated vandalism, so can we lock this article? It is a significant topic in science. (talk) 22:20, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

IT IS LOCKED NOW BUT THERE IS MO SYMBOL Stuvaco922 (talk) 22:59, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Thavks for locking ti and putting symbol.-- (talk) 11:15, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Why is there no mention of meat and dairy industries?[edit]

Given the findings of the UN FAO "Livestocks Long Shadow" study, surely it is hugely erroneous to not mention the meat and dairy industries anywhere on this page? At the very least there should be reference to this study in the 'sources and causes" sub? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jkaska (talkcontribs) 14:40, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Definition of "Pollution" needs work[edit]

This article felt ambiguous, giving rise to the following questions: Is it pollution when a volcano erupts? Is it pollution to send nuclear waste out into space, where there are no living organisms to disturb? Is it pollution to boil water (in a solar powered oven) killing the bacteria in the water? Are houses and streets and office buildings pollution (in and of themselves)? Is chopping down an ancient redwood tree (and leaving it where it falls) pollution? Is it pollution when a wild rabbit poops in your vegetable garden, while nibbling on your prize lettuce? Do the rabbits which overran Australia count as a "contaminant"? Would it be pollution to introduce a chemical that wiped out an invasive non-native pest which was smothering an eco-system (like kudzu in the southeastern USA), while supporting the resurgence of native species that had been crowded out by the pest?

On further consideration, I think pollution entails all of the following factors:

(1) Some human activity (2) produces a by-product (pollutant) (3) which lowers the desirability or utility, to the polluter, of the location where it is produced, (4) so the polluter then removes the pollutant to somewhere else less important to them,[Note1, Note2] (5) lowering the desirability or utility of that (polluted) place (6) to other people.

Note1: The removal process may be automated, as in the case of car exhaust or the drainage of a washing machine. In that case the polluters are the people benefiting from the operation of the machine.

Note2: The polluter may produce the pollutant in a place they plan to leave soon, and then remove themselves to a more desirable location, instead of removing the pollutant.

At its root, the issue of pollution is about being considerate (or not) of other people. It is clearly not about plants or animals or chemicals in the broadest sense, but about Human Preferences for some plants and animals and chemicals (and buildings and roads...) over others, in a given place.

The issue is confused by several factors.

(a) Much pollution is invisible, like car exhaust, so people don't know they are doing it, unless they are informed. (b) Small amounts of pollution often don't matter much (like peeing in a river), so each individual might contribute a tiny amount to a huge problem and it doesn't seem fair to blame individuals for this mass effect, while on the other hand, the only way to stop the mega-problem it is for millions of individuals to each stop contributing their micro-shares. (c) There are legitimate disagreements between well-meaning people over which plants and animals are "good" in which places, and also about the relative value of, e.g. cheap coal, vs the value of the watershed the coal mining operation contaminated. (d) Ecosystems are at times disrupted by natural events (such as hurricanes or volcanoes), as opposed to human activity. (e) The people who are harmed by pollution are not always reachable for comment. Often they are not yet born. This is also true of the people who benefit from pollution. So the ethics of pollution needs to take many absent parties into account. (f) Other activities that do not involve "contaminants" may produce the same sort of harm as pollution.

A productive discussion of real life pollution problems will identify all the factors (1-8) above, and will clearly address each of the potentially confusing aspects (a-f). Davidfrayne (talk) 00:05, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

plastic disposal[edit]

what happens if plastic burned? which gases are released to air what residues remain after burning plastic please tell me —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:10, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Soviet poster[edit]

The Soviet poster ("The smoke of chimneys is the breath of Soviet Russia") is NOT about pollution. It says that industry is a key element for Soviet Russia: working industry=chimney smoke is as important for Soviet Russia as a normal breath for a human.

BTW, intensive smoke from plant chimneys was regarded in Rissia in the beginning of the 20th century (before the October Revolution) as a sign (and a sort of an advertisement) of a successfull, intensively working enterprise. An idiom труба пониже и дым пожиже (a lower chimney and a thinner smoke) emerged from this, and it is still used, with meaning "the latter is the same as the former, but of far less scale/success/intensity". (talk) 22:32, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Ah, okay. Since it's not relevant to the article, I will remove it. Being a neat image is not a good enough reason to keep it in the article. -- (talk) 22:49, 17 February 2010 (UTC)


do you think there is any good sides of pollution? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:09, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Industry and industrialists make more profit if they don't have to control polluting discharges, whilst the local ordinary people have to put up with an often seriously degraded, and sometimes harmful, environment. In the worst case we all suffer the consequences as some pollutants are now ubiquitous across the planet  Velella  Velella Talk   19:07, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

jagged85 clean up[edit]

I cut this out:

The earliest known writings concerned with pollution were written between the 9th and 13th centuries by [[Iran|Persian]] scientists such as [[Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi]] (Rhazes), [[Avicenna|Ibn Sina]] (Avicenna), and [[al-Masihi]] or were [[Islamic medicine|Arabic medical treatises]] written by physicians such as [[al-Kindi]] (Alkindus), [[Qusta ibn Luqa]] (Costa ben Luca), [[Ibn Al-Jazzar]], [[al-Tamimi]], [[Ali ibn Ridwan]], Ibn Jumay, [[Isaac Israeli ben Solomon]], [[Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi (medieval writer)|Abd-el-latif]], Ibn al-Quff, and [[Ibn al-Nafis]]. Their works covered a number of subjects related to pollution such as [[air pollution|air contamination]], [[water pollution|water contamination]], [[soil contamination]], [[municipal solid waste|solid waste]] mishandling, and [[environmental impact assessment|environmental assessments]] of certain localities.<ref>L. Gari (2002), "Arabic Treatises on Environmental Pollution up to the End of the Thirteenth Century", ''Environment and History'' '''8''' (4), pp. 475-488.</ref>

It is taken from here [2]

"In Antiquity, the physicians studied causes and treatment of widespread illnesses or crowd diseases, both endemics and epidemics, as part of medicine. A handful of books in this field was translated into Arabic during "The Translation Period" of the Arab/Islamic intellectual history (8th to 9th Centuries). Among those were the works of Hippocrates and Galen. Two Hippocrates' works, namely Airs, Waters and Places and Epidemics, were among the most influential works used by the Arab physicians later."

This paper reviews a group of Arabic texts that studied environmental pollution as a cause of various illnesses, endemic and epidemic.

I took it out because its not about pollution in the sense of the article and what is in the source is misrepresented by the editor J8079s (talk) 02:07, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Cited reference 2 should say "Blacksmith Institute" not "Blcksmith Institute"[edit]

Cited reference 2 should say "Blacksmith Institute" not "Blcksmith Institute" (talk) 09:47, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Fixed. (You can edit unprotected articles yourself, btw.) Rivertorch (talk) 16:44, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

potential resource[edit]

A Pollution Fight Powered by Bioluminescent Sea Creatures by Erik Olsen "Edith Widder's New Crusade: The marine biologist Edith Widder has spent a career studying bioluminescent sea creatures." NYT December 20, 2011

See Deep sea communities (talk) 01:01, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

See Edith Widder (talk) 07:34, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Add planetary boundaries?[edit]

Add planetary boundaries (talk) 07:36, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Add Global commons[edit]

Add Global commons. (talk) 07:38, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Most polluted places on earth[edit]

There are mentioned "Lake Karatschay" and "Chelyabinsk". I think both are associated with the mayak-desaster. Is there a difference? One should somehow merge this together. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:28, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

show the different kinds of environmental pollution we see around us[edit]

plz tell me it's urgent — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:20, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Not sure that I understand ? Is this a question or request to the Wikipedia community ? Perhaps you could give us some examples of things you would like to see included ?  Velella  Velella Talk   13:25, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Proposed a new WikiProject for this specific purpose: Expose Pollution --Ne0 (talk) 08:49, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Definition paragraph[edit]

The opening paragraph states that

Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, harm, or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms.

. The source is given as Mirriam Webster Dictionary. The references does not support the text. Mirriam Webster states:

Definition of POLLUTION. the action of polluting especially by environmental contamination with man-made waste; also : the condition of being polluted .

which isn't very helpful.

I have real issues with the words Cause.... discomfit... to the ecosystem. I don't believe that ecosystem can be caused discomfit. Discomfiture is an anthropogenic concept. One could say that humans may be discomfited about the effects that pollutants have on the ecosystem, but that is a second-hand impact.

May I propose an alternative definition for consideration.

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

. This is consistent with many dictionary definitions - without being an exact copy of any of them. Views welcomed .  Velella  Velella Talk   10:29, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

While you're mixing up "discomfit" and "discomfort", the latter isn't any better. Your text would be an improvement. I think we can probably do a little better than dictionaries for sourcing this, though. Will poke around if I can get a spare moment. Rivertorch (talk) 19:24, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
You are right - should never make these sorts of edits in a hurry!. I have made a simplification change to the opening sentence but would be happy to see an enhanced version if you can locate good refs. Regards  Velella  Velella Talk   08:32, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Polluted places[edit]

Just a quick to note to better explain why I've removed the "Polluted places" section that was recently added. Nearly all of the developed world, and much of the undeveloped world, is polluted. I don't see any way of quantifying polluted sites to vet them for inclusion in such a list, and I think the section might quickly grow to be longer than the rest of the article. Depending on how one defines a "place", there are thousands or even millions of polluted places on the planet. Or consider non-point-source pollution sources, which contaminate air and water globally. It's just unmanageable to include such a list. Rivertorch (talk) 19:28, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

I fully support your reversion. It would be hard to identify truly pristine places on the planet. Such an endless list would be of no value to readers and would distort the perception of pollution as only those places listed. Regards  Velella  Velella Talk   20:22, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't agree at all with that. I didn't find so many Wikipedia articles dealing specifically with polluted places. Maybe I should have called this list "Most polluted places around the world" and could be restricted to good articles to avoid indigestion. The very problem of the actual article about pollution is that there's no example. If this list grows to be too big a specific article could be easily created to regroup them, ceasing immediately to "pollute" main article. I already spotted:
Some of these articles are very well done, and could serve as models for future works. It's quite a pity, they're not more visible. Nonetheless, I was also very surprised to read the one about Pollution in California : very short. And this state is the most polluted of the US. This list could be a resource for those who alert and fight against pollution. It would also stimulate wikipedians to contribute with articles such as Pollution in Texas or Polluted waters with fracking... Refusing to even try is similar to ostrichs burying their head in sand, refusing to see danger anymore. Pollutant industries (or military...) who pollute the most, would be also very pleased with Rivertorch or Vellela opinions. Are they working as PR for them ? ;-D Auto-censure will not drive us anywhere. And don't forget: pollutions make us ill. Pollutions kills. BTW I'm a physician... I guess Rivertorch and Vellela are still in good healthPraticien (talk) 21:13, 1 January 2013 (UTC) There're not so many WP articles dealing SIGNIFICANTELY with polluted sites around the world, Superfund sites regrouping the vast majority of american sites.Praticien (talk) 17:31, 2 January 2013 (UTC) Praticien (talk) 18:11, 2 January 2013 (UTC) Praticien (talk) 18:58, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Praticien, I've left a note on your talk page. Rivertorch (talk) 06:10, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Pollution Eating Organisms[edit]

My edits to this page were recently reverted; they mentioned a fungi and bacteria which consume plastic and steel respectively. I believe they should be mentioned for there potential in environmental cleanup along with any other bacteria people can find that consume a major pollutant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CensoredScribe (talkcontribs) 20:24, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Aside from grammatical issues, there were two problems that I identified with the additions. First, I'd have liked to see stronger sourcing, either from peer-reviewed journals or from highly reputable mainstream publications (e.g., Scientific American, major daily newspapers). One was sourced to a website that I found it nearly impossible to navigate; I have a faster than average Internet connection but gave up trying to load the home page, which froze my browser after loading more than 600 files. The other had better sourcing but still seemed inadequate. More fundamentally, I think that adding the content as written gave undue weight to something that is unquestionably interesting but of very limited relevance to the general topic of pollution. A brief mention, better sourced, would suffice for this article, if it's needed at all. A more specialized article might be better suited to covering this in any detail. (Inicidentally, neither of the sources provided mentioned steel, an alloy which in and of itself is not generally considered a pollutant.) Rivertorch (talk) 21:47, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Rivertorch, I think you should edit whatever you want, i will review and tell how much i agree with your proposed edits. Thank you. Bladesmulti (talk) 12:45, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't understand what you mean, Bladesmulti. I do edit whatever I want, and I'm always glad for constructive feedback. Rivertorch (talk) 17:13, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Never mind, you already understood. Bladesmulti (talk) 16:58, 18 September 2013 (UTC)


There seems to be a lot of information qualifying pollution in this article without the accompanying statistics or estimates of local and global production and accumilation of specific pollutants. I came to this page in search of a metric or statistic for annual by-country production of pollutants, or a survey of the accumilation per-pollutant. These would be good statistics to include.

In the event these statistics do not exist compiled, what is the policy on extrapolating information from other wikipedia articles to include on an article? This article notes that pollution increased dramatically in response to smelting and refining activities, and though I might not have easy access to all the pollution information, I can find or extrapolate information for global and per country ore refining and metal recycling practices, their energy use, carbon footprint, what pollutants they emit and in what quantity. It would be nice to get the big picture in this article which would quantify the activities of man in terms of pollution instead of just 'pollution: history and molecules' -RR — Preceding unsigned comment added by RotogenRay (talkcontribs) 18:48, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 22 September 2014[edit]

plz i request the writer to make the information bigger and better and add photos for each topic it helps us to understand the topic better........if u want to contact me plz mail in .......... i am Rohan Agarwal so once again i request u sir to give a bit importance to my words ........ Thanking You .... (talk) 03:53, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Cannolis (talk) 04:15, 22 September 2014 (UTC)