Types of Pollution

By Irina Bright.

This article is part of our Environment section

See the complete list of all our Pollution Articles here.

Types of environmental pollution can be roughly classified by anthropogenic (human-caused) and natural sources.

Anthropogenic Sources of Pollution

By the object of pollution.

  • Air pollution
  • Water pollution
  • Soil pollution (contamination) / Land pollution

By the economic source (originator) of pollution.

lights street new york, pollution Despite being beautiful, lights can be a source of pollution. Photo: Jack Cohen.
  • Agricultural pollution
  • Industrial pollution
  • Transport pollution:
      ~   Car pollution / Heavy vehicle pollution
      ~   Ship pollution
      ~   Airplane pollution
  • Commercial and domestic sector pollution

Other types of pollution

  • Radioactive pollution (contamination)
  • Chemical pollution
  • Invasive species pollution
  • Light pollution
  • Noise pollution
  • Visual pollution

Natural Sources of Pollution

  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Dust storms
  • Smoke from forest and grass fires