Sea: Pollution

Authored by: Bogdan Skwarzec

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-EEM-120046099

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Abstract

Pollution is the process of introducing contaminants into the environment, of whatever predetermined or agreed upon proportions or frame of reference; these contaminants cause instability, disorder, harm, or discomfort to the physical systems or living organisms therein. Pollution can occur naturally, for example, through volcanic eruptions, or as the result of human activities, such as the spilling of oil or disposal of industrial waste. Marine pollution is the result of products being thrown into seas and oceans, mostly by mankind: domestic wastes (sewage and rubbish, pollutants in runoff water), industrial wastes (hydrocarbons, metals, synthetic chemical and organic substances, radionuclides), and agricultural wastes (fertilizers, pesticides). This includes water pollution and marine sediments, and more generally all damage to marine ecosystems caused by harmful substances being discharged into the sea, either by their nature or their quantity.

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