Let’s take a moment to reflect on a sad truth. Our planet and almost all animals and plants living on it are struggling with man-made pollution. The world pollution statistics are simply alarming! These horrible state of our planet is made tangible when we see revolting pictures of birds covered in oil, poisoned fish, trapped turtles, etc. You can’t help but feel sad at the mere sight of it all. On today’s list, we’re going to share with you facts about air pollution, facts about pollution in the ocean, and facts about land pollution in order to show you a glimpse of the seriousness and scale of the problem. These are 25 shocking facts about pollution.
25. Every year, more than 14 billion pounds (6 billion kilograms) of garbage is dumped into the world's ocean. Most of it, is plastic that is toxic to marine life.
24. Known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, there even is a “continent” made from the plastic trash, floating in the Pacific Ocean. According to some estimates, the patch can be as large as twice the size of the US.
23. Landfills are among the biggest contributors to soil pollution. About 80% of the items buried in landfills could be recycled.
22. There are more than 500 million cars in the world now and the number is expected to rise to over a billion by 2030, which means the pollution caused by cars could potentially double by that year.
21. Americans make up about 5% of the world´s population but produce as much as 30% of the world´s waste and use about a quarter of the world´s natural resources.
20. We know massive deadly oil spills are created after tankers or drilling rigs have accidents but in fact, for every million tons of oil shipped, there is always one ton of oil spilled – without any accident.
19. The only relatively clean place on Earth is Antarctica. The continent is protected by the Antarctic Treaty that prohibits military activities, mineral mining, nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal.
18. China is among the countries with highest air pollution in the world. Breathing air in Beijing, the country´s capital, increases the risk of lung cancer in the same way as smoking 21 cigarettes a day.
17. Moreover, almost 700 million Chinese (about a half of the country´s population) have to drink contaminated water.
16. Water pollution is even worse in India, where almost 80% of all urban waste is dumped into the river Ganges – the most sacred river to Hindus. The river is now also the place where poor Indians bury their deceased family members.
15. Noise pollution is one of the most ignored types of pollution but it can cause serious problems including stress, hearing loss, sleep disorders, high blood pressure etc. In the US alone, millions of people suffer from noise pollution.
14. A radioactive waste dumping site for the former Soviet Union, Lake Karachay, western Russia, is the most polluted spot on Earth. Spending just an hour in the lake would be fatal for a human.
13. With computers, TVs, cell phones and other electronic devices becoming more and more available in the world, electronic waste has been an increasing problem in recent years. In 2012 alone, people produced almost 50 million tons of electronic waste.
12. About a third of fish in British rivers are in the process of changing sex due to water pollution. Hormones in human sewage, including those in contraceptive pills, are thought to be the main cause.
11. The US has also been struggling with serious water pollution. About 40% of American rivers and 46% of American lakes are too contaminated for fishing, aquatic life and swimming.
10. Thousands of marine animals including fish, turtles, dolphins etc. die after swallowing plastic bags that resemble jellyfish.
9. In India, about a thousand children die every single day due to a disease caused by extreme water pollution.
8. In America alone 3 million plastic bottles are thrown away every hour. However, it takes up to 500 years for the plastic bottle to decompose.
7. These days, there are up to 500 chemicals in an average human body that were not found in humans before 1920. In total, there are almost 80,000 synthetic chemicals on today´s market.
6. Pollution in China can change weather in the US. Almost a third of air pollution in San Francisco actually comes from China.
5. According to a scientific study, about 1 in every 8 deaths that occur in the world is somehow associated with air pollution.
4. An average family in North America, Europe and Australia throws away more than a ton of garbage every year.
3. In 2010, recycling and composting prevented 85 million tons of material from being disposed of, which is great but considering that humans produce tens of billions tons of garbage every year, it is still a negligible number.
2. Light pollution usually doesn’t have a significant impact on humans but it causes major problems to many animals. Birds often confuse days and nights and scientists found that light pollution can even change migration patterns in some animal species.
1. Almost half of all seabird species, 22% of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic found in or around their bodies.