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Lesson Note on Pollution: Definition, Types, Effects and Causes of Pollution

For this week, we would be talking about Environmental Changes and under Environmental Changes, we would be talking about pollution, causes of pollution, types of pollution, effect and control of pollution.


This lesson presupposes that the students understands the concept of changes and the different types of changes. Nonetheless, these are re-explained throughout the lesson.


It is assumed that the students have seen a polluted site before


  • At the end of this class, the students should be able to define pollution
  • They should also be able to identify and differentiate between the types of pollution.
  • They should also be able to identify the primary causes of pollution.
  • The students should also be able to mention the effects of pollution
  • The students should also be able to mention the measures that can be taken to control pollution


This lesson would be delivered by;

  • Using pictorial evidence from the textbook and writing notes on the board.
  • Visiting pollution sites (If there is time for that).

Teaching Method



Question and Answer.

What is pollution


In the previous week, you were introduced to environmental changes and factors that could affect the environment in which we live. In that lesson, we explained the need to always observe our environments as science students. We also said that two factors affect an environment, one is the man-made factor and the other one is a result of natural occurrence.

At this point, the students should be asked questions concerning what they learnt in the past lesson regarding environmental changes, before the introduction of pollution. The use of videos and pictures are necessary here for a better explanation of what results in pollution and what a polluted environment may look like.

What is Pollution?

What is Pollution? Pollution is anything that makes our land, air and water dirty and unsafe for our use.

4 Types of Pollution

  • Air pollution
  • Water pollution
  • Noise pollution
  • Land and Soil pollution

The teacher will be expected to explain and give examples of each type of pollution and its causes.

1) Air pollution:

Air pollution is a situation whereby the air is harmful to us to breathe. Examples of air pollution: Smokes from factories and fumes from car exhaust, generator smoke, industrial waste, cigarettes, kerosene stove, bush burning, dust and the burning of refuse.

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2) Water pollution:

Water pollution occurs when the water is made harmful for humans as well as animals to consume. This is a situation whereby the water has been contaminated by introducing toxic materials/chemicals into the water. Wastewater, sewage, and fertilizers all contribute to water contamination.

Examples of water pollution: Pesticides and herbicides applied to crops can be washed off into water bodies by rain, oil spills and also industrial wastes are another source of water pollution. This is a situation whereby industries dispose of some of the chemicals used in making or producing some of their materials into nearby rivers or other water bodies.

3) Noise pollution:

Noise is a pollutant that is produced by home sources, social gatherings, commercial and industrial operations, and transportation. Any unnecessary loud noise that disturbs the peace of people within an environment is regarded as noise pollution. Noise pollution can also be defined as an unpleasant sound that affects our ears and leads to stress or hearing impairment.

Examples of noise pollution: Machines in factories, loud music, road noise, and noise from building operations are all sources of noise pollution.

4) Land and Soil pollution:

Land pollution is the degradation of land caused by human activities and the mismanagement of land resources. This happens when humans apply chemicals to the soil, such as pesticides and herbicides, inappropriate disposal of trash, and recklessly mine minerals.

Examples of land and soil pollution: Soil is also contaminated by leaky subterranean septic tanks, sewage systems, the leaching of hazardous chemicals from landfills, and the direct discharge of wastewater into rivers and seas by industrial enterprises.

Rain and flooding can transport contaminants from already contaminated fields to soil in other areas.

Asides from the examples of different types of pollution mentioned above, the students are encouraged to come up with other examples.

Effect of Pollution on the Environment

The teacher explains, in general, the effects of pollution on the environment. Pollution manifests itself in the form of dust, smog, and hazardous gas releases. Pollution can originate from a variety of sources, including natural and human activities.

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1) Effect of Air Pollution:

Polluted air can raise the risk of heart attack, wheezing, coughing, and breathing issues, as well as eye, nose, and throat discomfort. Air pollution can also aggravate pre-existing cardiac conditions, asthma, and other lung issues. Animals, like people, can suffer from a variety of health issues caused by air pollution, including birth abnormalities, reproductive failure, and illnesses.

In addition to the impacts on humans and animals, air pollution has a variety of environmental consequences. Acid rain comprises high concentrations of nitric and sulfuric acids, which are produced by oxides and sulfur oxides released into the atmosphere by the combustion of fossil fuels.

2) Effect of Water Pollution:

Water pollution endangers humans, animals, and aquatic life. The consequences of water contamination are determined by which chemicals are put in were.

Bodies of water surrounding metropolitan regions are highly contaminated by the illicit and legal disposal of waste and chemicals by industrial companies, health institutions, and people. The mortality of aquatic species is by far the most serious effect of water pollution, and it has the potential to disrupt the entire food chain. Pollutants like cadmium, mercury, and lead are consumed by small aquatic creatures, which are subsequently consumed by fish and shellfish, becoming more concentrated with each step up the food chain and creating significant health issues in humans and animals.

Toxic algal blooms in drinking water sources can be caused by nutrient pollution, which produces poisons that harm fish and other aquatic creatures. In humans, direct contact with this poisonous alga produces significant health problems such as neurological consequences, respiratory difficulties, stomach and liver sickness, and rashes.

3) Effect of Noise Pollution:

Noise pollution can induce stress, anxiety, headaches, irritation, hearing loss, and sleep loss, all of which can lead to lower productivity. Excessive noise from oil drilling, submarines, and other boats on and in the water has resulted in the damage or death of marine creatures, particularly whales.

4) Effect of Land and Soil Pollution:

Humans, animals, microbes, and aquatic life all suffer as a result of land and soil pollution. Contaminated land and soil can cause skin disorders, respiratory issues, and even several types of cancer. These hazardous chemicals come into direct touch with the human body by eating fruits and vegetables produced in polluted soils, drinking contaminated water, direct contact with the skin, and inhaling air polluted with dust and particles.

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When it comes to land degradation and soil erosion, deforestation is the most serious problem. Clear cutting of vegetation and tree cover results in severe circumstances that devastate ecosystems and habitats.

Deforestation also disrupts atmospheric conditions, lowering the amount of carbon that is normally removed from the atmosphere. This is a severe issue since the majority of pollution produced by humans is carbon-based.

The teacher uses pictorial evidence and videos to explain the different effects of pollution on humans, animals and the environment for better understanding.

Ways to Remedy the Effects of Pollution

  • Do regular sanitation around your environment.
  • There should be government regulations on the distance between residential areas and industries.
  • There should be a provision of good drinking water for people by the government.
  • There should be regulations against indiscriminate burning of bush and cutting of trees.
  • Proper disposal of refuse/waste should be ensured.
  • All landlords should ensure the provision of toilets facilities in their houses to prevent tenants from polluting the environment.

The teacher should ensure that she explains the different remedies and the expected outcome if the remedies are put in place.


(The teacher concludes the topic by telling the students the importance of controlling or preventing the different types of pollution).

We should make an effort to reduce pollution since it is ruining our ecosystem, polluting our food and water, causing illnesses and cancers in humans and wildlife, and damaging the air we breathe and the atmosphere that protects us from dangerous ultra-violet radiation.

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