Contamination vs Pollution: Difference and Comparison

It is not so considerable, but when we put those chemical-based washing detergents every day in a small lake, that lake water gets contaminated.

After a few years, that lake will get polluted. So there is a small difference between pollution and contamination. Here are a few points that will help to clear the doubts between contamination and pollution.

Key Takeaways

  1. Contamination involves the presence of unwanted substances in a natural environment, while pollution refers to releasing harmful substances into the environment.
  2. Contamination may not always cause harm, but pollution negatively affects ecosystems and human health.
  3. Both contamination and pollution require remediation, but pollution demands broader efforts to reduce or prevent its causes.

Contamination vs Pollution

Contamination and pollution are both harmful to the environment, but contamination is localized and direct, whereas pollution refers to broader, more diffuse harm to air, water, or land.

Contamination vs Pollution

When a drop of color is mixed with a tube of water, the water in the tube gets contaminated. The solute is called a contaminant. The solvent gets contaminated.

There are many types of contamination, such as radiological, biological, or chemical in nature.

Even at some places, people also drop-dead bodies in the water, which gets decomposed, and the river water gets contaminated. When people drink this contaminated water, it leads to health hazards.

Air pollution is caused by the industrial vapours coming out from the chimneys, the loud horns of the vehicles, the high sound of the loudspeakers, etc.

All these practices are now under observation by the government. Crackers are banned in many cities to stop air and sound pollution.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonContaminationPollution
DefinitionWhen some other particle gets added or mixes with the original productWhen contamination reaches to high level
Harm causedIt may be harmful and even may not beThis is harmful to the environment as well as organisms.
GovernedLess governed issueMost governed issue
EffectsMostly hazardous to healthMostly hazardous to the environment
ExampleChemistry, forensic science, etcAir pollution , water pollution, etc.

What is Contamination?

When some external products get mixed up with the original product, that is called contamination. The external product that is mixed with the original is known as a contaminant.

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For example, when a drop of color is mixed with a tube of water, the water in the tube gets contaminated. The solute is called a contaminant. The solvent gets contaminated.

There are many types of contamination, such as radiological, biological, or chemical in nature. Mostly this contamination is seen in forensic science.

When the pieces of evidence are collected from the crime scene if the pieces of evidence are mixed somehow with any chemical, it gets contaminated, and the gene samples are tougher and sometimes even get lost.

If e consider chemistry when one chemical gets mixed accidentally with another chemical, that leads to a chemical reaction and contamination of the chemical.

In the case of food chemistry, the pathogens are the contaminants responsible for the food’s contamination and the consumer‘s health problem.

It is always said that awareness spreads to drink purified water. Some people in India still take river water as their daily intake of water.

The river water easily gets contaminated as it is used for many other uses like washing utensils, clothes, etc.

Even in some places, people drop-dead bodies in the water, which decomposes, and the river water gets contaminated. When people drink this contaminated water, it leads to health hazards.

The diseases like Diadora, hepatitis, etc., spread through contaminated food and water. This is somehow a less concerning issue governed by the government and other public societies.

What is Pollution?

Pollution happens when the contamination reaches its peak. That condition is known as pollution. At that time, the solvents are termed pollutants.

There are many types of pollution, like air, water, sound, etc. Pollution is now one of the major concerning issues for the government and public societies. 

The increased pollution in the country is leading to many health and environmental hazards.

Water pollution is happening due to unfiltered and non-refined waste products from industries.

Industrial waste is mainly composed of harmful chemicals that affect the aquatic organism and those who use the river water for drinking and their household work.

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Some selected lakes and rivers are allowed for idol emersion purposes.

So to avoid this type of usage, many of the lakes and rivers are now under observation of the government. These practices have been going on for many decades, which has now led to the pollution of the water bodies. 

Similarly, air pollution is caused by the industrial vapours coming out from the chimneys, the loud horns of the vehicles, the high sound of the loudspeakers, etc.

All these practices are now under observation by the government. Crackers are banned in many cities to stop air and sound pollution.

contamination

Main Differences Between Contamination and Pollution

  1. Contamination is the most hazardous to health. On the other hand, pollution is the most hazardous to the environment.
  2. When some other particle gets added or mixed with the original product leads to contamination, but in comparison to that, when contamination reaches a high level, then that is known as pollution.
  3. Contamination is comparatively a less governed issue, but in contrast to that, pollution is the most governed issue at the current time.
  4. Contamination may be harmful and even may not be, but in contrast to that, pollution is harmful to the environment as well as to organisms
  5. Contamination mostly happens in chemistry, forensic science, etc., in contrast to that, pollution happens mostly in air pollution, water pollution, etc.
Difference Between Contamination and Pollution
References
  1. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED070670
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF00338239.pdf

Last Updated : 13 June, 2023

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6 thoughts on “Contamination vs Pollution: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article highlights an important issue and its distinction which is necessary for everyone to understand. The content is educative and well-explained.

    Reply
  2. I think the post is very informative and helpful for understanding the impact of contamination and pollution. It provides useful examples, making it easier to comprehend.

    Reply
  3. It is clear that the author has done extensive research. The detailed explanation of the differences between contamination and pollution shows the depth of knowledge on the topic.

    Reply
  4. I disagree with some points mentioned in the article. It would be more convincing with a larger scope of evidence from various sources.

    Reply

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