25 Shocking Facts About Pollution

Posted by , Updated on May 21, 2024

Let’s take a moment to face a harsh reality. Our planet, and almost all of its plants and animals, are suffering from the pollution caused by human activities. The statistics related to global pollution are truly staggering! The dire state of our world is painfully clear through heart-wrenching images of oil-covered birds, poisoned marine life, and turtles trapped in hazardous waste. It’s hard not to feel heartbroken when seeing these scenes. In this article, we will focus on the pressing issues of air pollution, water pollution, and land pollution, aiming to highlight the severe magnitude and breadth of this crisis. Here are 25 shocking facts about pollution.


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.

water pollutionworldnewsdailyreport.com

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.

a pile of garbage on the waterwww.bodhisurfschool.com

Landfills are among the biggest contributors to soil pollution. About 80% of the items buried in landfills could be recycled.


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.

car pollutiongreenmela.com

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.


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.

oil spillwww.dpreview.com

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.


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.

air pollutionthinkprogress.org

Moreover, almost 700 million Chinese (about a half of the country´s population) have to drink contaminated water.

Water pollutionrt.com

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.

river Gangesblogs.reuters.com

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.

noise pollutionen.wikipedia.org

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.

Lake Karachayimgarcade.com

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.

electronic wastewww.greencitizen.com

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.

poisoned fishblogs.cfr_.org

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.

water pollutionpixgood.com

Thousands of marine animals including fish, turtles, dolphins etc. die after swallowing plastic bags that resemble jellyfish.

plastic bagwww.huffingtonpost.com

In India, about a thousand children die every single day due to a disease caused by extreme water pollution.

Indian kidsearth66.com

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.

plastic bottlewww.theonion.com

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.

synthetic chemicalswww.duralabel.com

Pollution in China can change weather in the US. Almost a third of air pollution in San Francisco actually comes from China.

San Franciscowww.contiki.com

According to a scientific study, about 1 in every 8 deaths that occur in the world is somehow associated with air pollution.

Air pollutionenergysafe.ru

An average family in North America, Europe and Australia throws away more than a ton of garbage every year.


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.


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.

Light pollutionkerrydarksky.com

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.

dead birdwww.bluemarinefoundation.com