Environmental Studies     |     Ecology     |     Global Warming    |     Renewable Energy     |     Sustainability


Examine the contemporary issue of pollution, defined as the presence of contaminants in quantities large enough to cause damage, deterioration, or toxicity. While some forms of pollution have natural causes, debates around environmental pollution almost always refer to contamination caused by human activity. There are many different categories of pollution, including air pollution, water pollution, soil or land pollution, noise pollution, and light pollution.

Pollution became a serious public problem as people concentrated in cities to work in newly opened factories during the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century. Contaminated water, degraded air quality caused by smoke from coal-burning households and factories, and lack of adequate sanitation measures often resulted in deadly outbreaks of disease, giving rise to calls for legislation to handle the threat to public health that continued into the twentieth century and beyond. Pollution control through the passing of laws such as the Clean Air Act (1970) and Clean Water Act (1972) aimed to reduce the amount of harmful substances released into the environment and clean up existing toxic areas. Water-treatment plants, hazardous-waste management, and recycling programs also attempted to reduce the amount of pollutants in the environment.

Despite advancements, pollution remains a serious concern with enormous impact, particularly in regions of the world with concentrated populations, such as India and China. Chemical run-off from factories and pesticides used in agriculture can damage water systems and soil and harm plant and animal life; chemicals released into the air can concentrate in toxic levels and return to the earth as acid rain; non-biodegradable materials, such as plastic shopping bags, litter the environment and pose hazards to wildlife; oil spills from tankers and pipelines can destroy plants, animals, and fish as well as contaminate drinking water. High levels of air pollutants in particular have been linked to global warming.

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Pollution Resources

Gale provides pollution resources that support research, including databases, primary source archives, and eBooks.


Gale databases give researchers access to pollution resources.

Primary Source Archives

Gale Primary Sources contains full-text archives and collections that provide primary sources, including historical documents, archives, journals, and news articles that examine and analyze emissions.

Gale eBooks

Gale offers a variety of eBooks covering a wide range of pollution topics, including emissions, air pollutants, and more. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross search to pinpoint relevant material. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download content.

  • Air Pollution, 1st Edition

    Air Pollution, 1st Edition

    Greenhaven Publishing  |   2011  |   ISBN-13: 9780737759457

    As technology makes the world more accessible, it is increasingly important to develop a wide perspective on social issues as well as political, environmental, and health issues of global significance. This publication examines the issue of air pollution from a variety of international perspectives. Each anthology in the Global Viewpoints series (which does not duplicate any material in the Opposing Viewpoints series) delivers contemporary perspectives on the featured issue—with the majority of the material reflecting stances of countries other than the United States. Primary sources, including speeches and government documents, join essays from international magazines and news sources for a truly panoramic view. Helpful features include an annotated table of contents, a world map and country index, a bibliography, and a subject index.

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  • Atmospheric Transmission, Emission and Scattering, 1st Edition

    Atmospheric Transmission, Emission and Scattering, 1st Edition

    Elsevier Science  |   2013  |   ISBN-13: 9780080983981

    This publication introduces the physical processes and meteorology required to understand the behavior of light and radiation in the atmosphere. Integrating the treatment of atmospheric optics from the ultraviolet to the microwave, this book presents a detailed overview, together with discussions, on the associated meteorology and atmospheric composition that gives the meteorological background necessary to deal with the varying conditions found in the real atmosphere. Mathematical details provide a concise description of results, allowing readers with a knowledge of meteorology or a single wavelength region to comprehend the transmission, emission, and scattering in all wavelength regions. Rayleigh and Mie scattering are covered as well as the aerosol and raindrop distributions found in the atmosphere. Detailed models of the atmosphere and the distribution of trace gases are supplied, and finally, a chapter is devoted to standardized software and available databases.

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  • Fundamentals of Geoenvironmental Engineering: Understanding Soil, Water, and Pollutant Interaction and Transport, 1st Edition

    Fundamentals of Geoenvironmental Engineering: Understanding Soil, Water, and Pollutant Interaction and Transport, 1st Edition

    Butterworth-Heinemann  |   2018  |   ISBN-13: 9780128051450

    This publication examines soil-water-pollutant interaction, including physicochemical processes that occur when soil is exposed to various contaminants. Soil characteristics relevant to remedial techniques are explored, providing foundations for the correct process selection. Built upon the authors' extensive experience in research and practice, this book includes information on current processes and pollutants and discusses propagation of soil pollution and soil characteristics relevant to remedial techniques. Practicing geotechnical and environmental engineers can apply the theory and case studies in the book directly to current projects.

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  • Soil Management and Climate Change: Effects on Organic Carbon, Nitrogen Dynamics, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 1st Edition

    Soil Management and Climate Change: Effects on Organic Carbon, Nitrogen Dynamics, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 1st Edition

    Academic Press  |   2018  |   ISBN-13: 9780128121290

    This volume provides a state-of-the-art overview of recent findings and future research challenges regarding physical, chemical, and biological processes controlling soil carbon, nitrogen dynamic, and greenhouse gas emissions from soils. This book is for students and academics in soil science and environmental science, land managers, public administrators, and legislators. It will increase their understanding of organic matter preservation in soil and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

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