The Pollution is the introduction of polluting (chemical substances , genetic substances or energy in the form of noise, of heat, or light) into the environment to a point which its effects become harmful with the human health, with that of another living organisms, with the environment or the climate.
Old directionHistorically, pollution is the contamination (of a person, of a place, etc) by impure substances , i.e. inappropriate with the context (with the religious direction). It is thus a word of religious origin , and which, in fact, preserves a character crowned enough marked.
Until very recently (middle of the 20th century), its only nonreligious use was medical: it indicated the emission of Sperme apart from really sexual activity, mainly during the sleep of the teenagers.
A contemporary definition of the term pollution is a phenomenon or disturbing element of a balance established and more particularly if this element is harmful with the life . Pollution can be Anthropique (i.e. created by the Man), or of nonhuman origin
The Dictionary of the standardized vocabulary of the Environment of AFNOR in France defines the pollutant as: a Altéragène biological, physical or chemical, which beyond a certain threshold, and sometimes under certain conditions (potentiation), develops negative impacts on whole or part of a ecosystem or Environnement in general.
The concept of pollution thus calls that of Contamination of one or more compartments of the ecosystem S (Air, water, ground), of an organization (which can be the Homme) or of a group of organizations, or affecting the ecosystem, beyond a threshold or Norme . The contamination can in particular extend or change via the trophic Réseau (food chain) (Bioconcentration, Bioturbation).
Pollution of human originPollution of human origin, said also anthropic, have many forms while being able to be local, specific, accidental, diffuses, chronic, genetic, voluntary, involuntary, etc
This pollution is a direct or indirect diffusion in the Environnement of pollutants. They are often involuntary by-product of an human activity, like the emissions of the mufflers. They can also be physical phenomena (like the Chaleur, the Lumière, the Radioactivité, the electromagnetism, etc), on which the impure character or unhealthy is generally relative because depend on the amount, of the exposure time, of possible synergies, etc He is relative:
- is with their nature of “Poison” for the Man or the environment (example: mercury of bay of Minamata; London Smog generated by the combination of a natural climatic phenomenon and emissions caused by the district heating); by extension, the simple unpleasant character, even without danger, can be enough to call upon the qualifier of pollution where the word " Harmful effect " is often preferred;
- is with their nature Tératogène (causing malformations at the newborns), even nonassociated with a toxic character for the adult (typical example: Dioxane S, Radioactivity);
- is with their nature of Perturbateur endocrinien;
- either, in spite of their nature not directly toxic for the man and the living beings, with their possible capacity to change or disturb the operation of a ecosystem or or Biosphere, or by destroying the Life (example: Insecticidal S) or its conditions (example: Chlorofluorocarbon S destroying the layer of Ozone), is on the contrary by surfavorisant some certain expressions (example: Nitrate S or agricultural Phosphate S, supporting a flora nitrophile with the detriment of the other species, even the Eutrophication or the Dystrophisation of the Wetlands, marine bays, evolving to dead zones in the most serious cases). It can also be a question of introduction of species or genetic pollution being able to disturb the operation of the ecosystems, i.e. the introduction of species or genes into a biotope from where they were absent (p. e.g. muskrat or GMO) or of pollution by Gaz with greenhouse effect such as the Carbonic gas or the Méthane, cf will infra.
Pollution of nonhuman originThis pollution can be:
- direct consequences or indirect of natural disasters, such as the volcanicity;
- a pollution related to natural phenomena, such as the solar eruptions;
- a pollution of a collecting of drinkable Water by an animal which will make its needs in the vicinity, or which would have died and in decomposition in water.
LegislationFrom a legislative point of view, in the majority of the countries, the word “ pollution ” qualifies the Contamination of a medium by an agent Polluant beyond a Norme, Seuil, Loi, or assumption; It can be a question of the presence of an element, of heat or radiation in a medium or a context where he is normally absent in a natural state. Generally, nevertheless, it is not simply the presence but rather the superabundance of the element in a medium where it is naturally in balance (for example a Heavy metal fixed in the argilohumic complex and little biodisponible) or present in smaller quantity which creates pollution.
The EU law defines pollution as the direct or indirect introduction, in consequence of the human activity, of substances or heat in the air, water or the ground, likely to attack the human health or to the quality of the watery ecosystems or the terrestrial ecosystems depending directly on the watery ecosystems, which involve deteriorations with the tangible properties, a deterioration or an obstacle with the approval of the environment or other legitimate uses of this last and a pollutant like one substance being able to involve a pollution, in particular those being reproduced on the list of appendix VIII . These definitions tackle the problem of water and avoid those of the grounds which will be treated by the means of the directive ground.
In France, in the legal field, for the products subjected to standards or thresholds, one should thus theoretically speak about pollution only in the case of going beyond of the thresholds or standards Those are listed in a report/ratio of the National institute of the industrial environment and risks (INERIS) which brings back values in the same medium with identical units, which is not always the case in the statutory texts. The values, into force to March 1st, 2006, are given there for information. It is thus advisable after this date to check that they were not modified or were repealed, and systematically to refer to the original texts.
Conversely, in France, in the absence of law or of standards specific to old pollution related to the After-effects of war, of the territories which one knows very strongly contaminated (the Forêt S of the Red zone of Verdun for example) are officially recognized as not polluted; No recommendation concerning the food products resulting from these grounds never seems to be emitted by the prefectoral or ministerial authorities. This applies to the Champignon S which can strongly accumulate the Heavy metals, but also for the Sanglier S (so of the analyzes were carried out by " experts" AFSSA or others showed a going beyond of the standards meat, these results were never made public…)
Lastly, the Parent directive on water introduces clearly that a “obstacle with the approval of the environment or other legitimate uses of this last” can be regarded as a pollution.
Types of pollutionOne speaks about “ pollution diffuses ”, when the sources of a pollutant are multiple (mufflers, spreading of pesticides.) and of “ chronic pollution ” during repeated emissions of pollutant, or sometimes when the pollutant is very remanent.
See also: Air pollution
Air pollution is caused by the atmospheric pollutants. Whereas the other forms of pollution are likely to be covered by effective regulations within a national framework (even for marine pollutions), it is less the case for the atmospheric pollutants, in particular concerning persistent gases able to modify the planetary operation of the alive world.
Pollution of the ground
See also: Pollution of the ground
The pollution of the ground can be of industrial origin, following the presence of a polluting industry not taking all the precautions necessary to avoid the escapes or agricultural, with the massive use of Engrais or Insecticide S which infiltrates in the grounds. This agricultural pollution can have several impacts on the human health, by touching ground water on the one hand and by contaminating by Bioaccumulation the cultures pushing on these grounds on the other hand.
See also: Pollution the water
The water pollution can have various origins among which it there a:
- industrial farms: who reject various products present in the Engrais (like Nitrate S) or the produced plant health can pollute the ground water and involve the closing of points of drinking water collectings if their presence is too important
- industry: whose its by-products are one of the sources of pollution of water among most important. It is primarily of chemicals and Hydrocarbure S (degasification).
- the Waste water: who if they are not correctly not treated can be a source of pollution of water. In countries developed as in France, of the legislations were installation obliging at a treatment of waste water, this type of pollution thus becomes less and less important
Pollution by polluting agents
- the genetic Pollution,
- the atmospheric pollution,
- the electromagnetic Pollution, (pollution related to the nonionizing ionizing rays and ).
- the thermal Pollution
- pollution related to tourism
- the space pollution
- the military pollution of origin
- “sensitive pollution”. Recently, the terms “pollution sound” and “visual” were proposed to indicate the supposed increasing harmful effect being caused by the aggressive sounds (car, train, plane, music), the images violent or considered as such (primarily publicity and television) or an unpleasant town planning. The term was specifically selected to connect “physical” pollution and “mental” pollution, without this term being reduced to indicate a psychic disturbance: indeed, it is possible that “sound pollution”, in particular, induces states of stress and causes somatic diseases.
Measurements, cartographiesAtlases or land registers of pollution are set up little by little on communal scales at world for certain pollutants, concerning the emissions and/or pollution of stock.
Europe has a European register of the polluting emissions (Eper) covering fifty pollutants (water and air only), emitted by the principal (large and average) industrial facilities. It made it possible to conclude semi 2007 with one mitigated assessment . If one observes a reduction in two thirds of the fifty industrial pollutants follow-ups, in particular nitrogenized in water (- 14,5% in water), Phosphore (- 12% in water) and Dioxine S and Furane S (- 22,5% in the air); these improvements are counterbalanced by a rise of the emissions of certain pollutants of which the CO2 that the commission hoped to reduce thanks to the introduction of the Community system of exchange of quotas of emission.
Eper will be in 2009 replaced by a European register of the rejections and transfers of pollutants (European PRTR) built starting from the data of 2007, this time for more than 91 substances of industries in 65 spheres of activity. And the diffuse emissions of the highway traffic, domestic heating and agriculture” will be added there.
IndicatorsIt is delicate to measure the impact of a pollutant, and it is particularly difficult to measure the ecotoxicological impact of pollutants acting as synergies. The application of the écotaxe or the principle pollutant-payer required that one creates indices of pollution. One of the units retained in France is the Métox, but only for eight pollutants of the type metals and Métalloïde S (Arsenic, Cadmium, Chrome, Cuivre, mercury, Nickel, Plomb and Zinc).
International regulationSeveral international conventions relate to the marine pollutions, animated by the commissions OSPAR and HELCOM in particular.
The European commission presented the February 9th 2007 a project of directive aiming at condemning in a uniform way within the European Union the environmental Crime S. Currently (February 2007), the definition strongly varies from one Member State to another, with often judged sanctions " insuffisantes" by the Commission. Free Frattini, the Police chief in charge of Justice, with freedom and safety declared that 73% of green crimes are caused by the companies, it thus had to be more strongly penalized. Thus Fine S going from 750 000 euros with 1,5 euros million can be inflicted, like for the people, of the custodial sentences going from 5 to 10 years.
The crimes taken into account by this project are in particular:
- illicit emissions of dangerous substances
- illicit transport of waste
- illicit trade of threatened species
Regulation in FranceIf law LAURE specifies that the source of pollution is the human activity, there exist sources of pollutant gases natural such as volcanicity, causes gigantic emissions in certain areas. Urban pollution is generated primarily by the human activities: displacements, distribution of gasoline, factories, heatings, incinerators… The polluting human sources are especially concentrated in urban environment, where the populations exposed to the consequences themselves are concentrated. In Paris, city very little industrialized, pollution is due mainly to automobile transport and for a small portion to the fixed activities (factories, heatings, incinerators).
Law on waterThe law n° 92-3 on the water of the January 3rd 1992 aims at a total management of the water resource and aquatic environments. It is based on principles of division of this resource between the worn ones and of protection of the ecosystem S. It subjects to a mode of declaration and authorization (according to the same principle as the regulation on the I.C.P.E) certain installations, works and work involving a taking away on surface or underground waters, a modification of the level or mode of water run-off or a rejection. The Interservice Mission of Water (PUT), regrouping secondary road of the services of the State (DDASS, DDAF, DDE, DRIRE, DIREN,…) is charged to ensure the police force of water .
In order to allow a balanced management of water, France was cut out in six basins principal slopes hydrogeographic. On each one of these basins the methods of this management are defined in a Master development plan and management of water (SDAGE). This document develops in three points:
- an inventory of fixtures of the aquatic environments, and resources,
- objectives of management, quality and quantities to be reached,
- measures to be taken to satisfy these objectives.
In order to allow a management closer to the local requirements, a tool on a hydrogeographic unit scale smaller (under-basins) was installed: the Diagram of installation and management of water (WISE).
Regulation on the classified installationsIt aims at regulating the installations likely to present a danger to the environment, the vicinity or the person. These installations called I.C.P.E. (Installations Classified for Environmental protection), indexed in a nomenclature, are held before their setting in activity or a change or a diversification of their activity to present a dossier in prefecture indexing all the harmful effects which they are likely to cause and the means which they intend to implement to prevent them and to repair them if necessary. The activities thus indexed are subjected either to a simple declaration (deposit of the file) or with an authorization for the installations presenting the most important risks. The declaration must all the same be the receipt object attesting that the file is complete and in conformity with the legislation.
Principle of the pollutant-payer
See also: Principle pollutant-payer
The Principe of the pollutant-payer is the fact of making assume the financial expenses of the prevention, the reduction and the fight against pollution to the pollutant. Accordingly, the polluting equipment and products are taxed than with the products known as ecological . Financial incentives, like reductions of tax S, aiming at promoting the development of the renewable energies are applied. And at the time of an ecological catastrophe (like a Oil slick), the pollutant is supposed to assume the cleaning of the contaminated zones.
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