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Difference Between Air and Water Pollution

Last Updated : 10 Apr, 2024
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Difference Between Air and Water Pollution: Pollution is the introduction of harmful substances into the environment that cause adverse effects on the air and water. The major difference between air and water pollution lies in the medium through which contaminants are introduced.

The difference between air and water pollution class 9 helps students understand the growing concern of pollution. In this article, we will cover the difference between air and water pollution in points.


What is Air Pollution?

Air pollution refers to the presence of dangerous compounds in the air that have the potential to seriously affect human health and the environment. Numerous factors, including transportation, energy production, and industrial activities contribute to air pollution. The various effects of air pollution on human health includes heart disease, respiratory issues, and even death. 

Air Pollution Causes

Air pollution is caused by various factors such as:

  • Vehicle emissions
  • Industrial processes
  • Agricultural practices
  • Household activities
  • Volcanic eruptions and dust storms
  • Construction
  • Landfills and incinerators

Also Read: Air Pollution

What is Water Pollution?

Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies like rivers, lakes, oceans, and groundwater with harmful substances, making it unfit for use and harmful to aquatic life. Water contamination can have both natural and man-made causes. The water pollution effects are extensive and have negative effects on both the ecosystem and public health. In addition to disturbing the food chain, it can result in the death of aquatic life. Also, both humans and animals consuming contaminated water may experience digestive disorders and other health issues.

Water Pollution Causes

Water pollution is caused by various factors such as:

  • Industrial discharge
  • Agricultural runoff
  • Release of sewage and wastewater
  • Septic tanks that leak
  • Oil spills
  • Mining activities

What is the Difference Between Air and Water Pollution?

Comparision between air and water pollution is given below in tabular form:


Air Pollution

Water Pollution

Type of Pollution Gaseous Liquid
Sources Factories, vehicles, household appliances, construction sites, etc. Industrial activities, agricultural practices, sewage and waste disposal, mining operations, etc.
Effects Respiratory problems, eye irritation, headaches, lung damage, etc. Death of aquatic life, skin irritation, gastrointestinal problems, economic impacts, etc.
Types of Pollution Chemical, particulate, and biological. Chemical, biological, and physical.
Causes Emission of harmful gases and particles. Release of hazardous chemicals, toxic waste, and other pollutants.
Spread Through air currents. Through water bodies and groundwater.
Occurrence Everywhere in atmosphere In water bodies, groundwater, and aquifers
Health Impacts Direct impact on human and animal respiratory systems. Direct impact on human and animal skin and gastrointestinal systems.
Visibility Can be seen in the form of smog, haze, and air pollution. Can be seen in the form of contaminated water and dead aquatic life.
Measurement Air quality index (AQI) Water quality index (WQI)
Mitigation Adopting sustainable practices, implementing regulations to reduce emissions, etc. Adopting sustainable practices, implementing regulations, promoting conservation and recycling, etc.

Conclusion – Difference Between Air and Water Pollution

The main difference between air pollution and water pollution is that they are two different types of environmental deterioration that have different effects on various environmental components. Water pollution affects bodies of water and the ecosystems around them, whereas air pollution has an impact on the atmosphere. Both types of pollution can have detrimental effects on the environment and public health, necessitating coordinated action to lessen and prevent them. 

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FAQs on Difference Between Air and Water Pollution

What are the Principal Causes of Water and Air Pollution?

Human activities including the combustion of fossil fuels, industrial processes, and transportation are the main causes of air pollution. Agricultural runoff, wastewater discharge, and industrial pollutants also contribute to water contamination.

What Effects do Air and Water Pollution Have?

While water pollution can affect aquatic life and negatively impact human health through tainted drinking water, air pollution can result in respiratory issues, cardiovascular disease, and climate change. 

What Distinguishes Water Pollution from Air Pollution?

While water pollution impacts water bodies, air pollution has an impact on the atmosphere. Water pollution can be brought on by both natural and human sources, whereas air pollution is mostly brought on by human activity.

Can Water Pollution Result from Air Pollution?

The pollution of water cannot be caused by air pollution. However, if airborne contaminants end up in bodies of water, they can cause water contamination. 

What is the Difference Between Air and Water Pollution?

The difference between air and water pollution is the medium of contamination: air pollution affects the atmosphere with harmful gases, while water pollution contaminates water bodies with toxic substances, affecting aquatic ecosystems.

What is Air Pollution and Water Pollution Class 8?

Air pollution refers to the contamination of the air by harmful substances, while water pollution involves the presence of pollutants in water bodies, both of which are significant environmental issues.

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