Science: Human Impact on Environment: Impact of Human Population (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Impact of Human Population on the Environment


Cutting of the natural forest cover is called deforestation. Forests are being cut for various purposes. such as for: growing crops and grazing cattle, meeting the demand of wood and paper

Cutting down of Forests May Result in the Following

  • Destruction of habitat for wild plants and animals leading to loss and disappearance of many species leading to loss of biodiversity.
  • Reduced rainfall.


Any undesirable change in the environment due to human activity is pollution. The presence of unwanted substances in a concentration which can have an adverse effect on organisms and environment is called pollution. Although the development and technological growth has given new devices for human comfort it has also added substances that may have adverse effects on life and environment. Thus, an undesirable change in the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the environment especially air, water and land that may adversely affect human population and the wildlife and cultural assets (buildings and monuments etc.) is called pollution.

Air Pollution

Air Pollution

All human activities from cooking at home to the working of highly mechanized industries contribute to air pollution.

Water Pollution

The contamination of the water bodies by discharge of pollutants directly or indirectly into them is called water pollution. Water pollution could be due to natural or human activities.

Soil Pollution and Land Pollution

Addition of substances that change the quality of soil by making it less fertile and unable to support life is called soil pollution. Following are the sources of soil pollution:

  • Domestic sources: plastic bags, kitchen waste, glass bottles and other solid waste.
  • Industrial sources: chemical residue, fly ash, metallic waste
  • Agricultural residues: fertilizers and pesticides
  • Noise pollution:- Noise can be simply defined as “unwanted sound” . It is generally higher in urban and industrial areas than in rural areas. Workers using heavy machinery are exposed to high noise levels for long period of work hours every day. Intensity of sound is measured in a unit called decibel or dB. The lowest intensity of sound that human ear can hear is 10 dB.

Sources of Noise Pollution

The major sources of noise pollution are:

  • Industrial activities.
  • Vehicle such as aircraft, trains, automobiles, etc.
  • Use of loudspeakers and loud music systems at public places.
  • Noisy fireworks.
  • Increased volume of television.

Effects of Noise Pollution

Noise pollution can cause serious damage to ears leading to temporary loss of hearing, earache, sometimes even permanent deafness.

Waste and Its Management

Anything which is unwanted or useless is termed as waste. The waste generated from various sources can be categorized into two types: Biodegradable waste and Non-biodegradable waste.

  • Biodegradable waste includes substances that can be degraded by microbes into harmless and non-toxic substances. Agricultural and animal wastes like leaves, twigs, hay, dung, etc. are biodegradable wastes.
  • 2. Non-biodegradable waste cannot be easily degraded. Aluminum cans, plastics, glass, electronic waste, batteries etc. are examples of non-biodegradable wastes.

Incineration is the process of burning of waste after segregating the recyclable material. The end product of this process is called ash which is then disposed of in landfills.

If a waste material is processed by some means and converted to a product, we call the process recycling.

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