Pollutant vs Contaminant
Both pollutant and contaminant are waste or unwanted materials. Contaminant is a word which is used to describe some constituent or ingredient of any product. Contaminant, in the field of chemistry, also refers to the mixtures that are prepared chemically. These can be cellular materials as well. Contaminant can simply be defined as a portion of specific material or body which is not wanted at that place and can cause contamination due to its presence in that product, body, or that specific environmental area. Pollutant is a material consisting of some waste. This can cause pollution in different parts of the environment such as soil, water or air.
Pollutants are most of the times cause of pollution in most of the areas. The pollution which a pollutant can cause is dependent on the nature of this pollutant, the concentration of this pollutant and the time for which it can exist as a pollutant in certain area. The nature of chemicals involved in the pollutant also helps in determining the reactions that it can cause and the severity of pollution that is produced as the result of it. There are a number of pollutants such as the biodegradable pollutants which can’t survive for a long period of time in the environment. On the other hand, there are pollutants which can survive in the environment and for longer time periods and can cause major problems. There are some pollutants which cause products after degradation. These degraded products are also a major cause for pollution. Products that come under these pollutants are DDD and DDE which are the results of the degradation of DDT.
The major difference between pollutants and contaminant is that pollutants are graded in to different types such as Stock Pollutants, Fund Pollutants and Notable Pollutants. Stock pollutants are pollutants that are degraded quickly. The fund pollutants are those which can cause part of the environment and take time before they are completely degraded. On the other hand, Contaminant can be used to refer to any kind of pollution that is caused due to a substance which is not needed in any way. The notable pollutants are those which can be noted quite easily such as Organic Pollutants, Metals, and Organic Compounds etc. Contaminant is the substance which has been introduced by man in to the environment through any means while pollutant can be either introduced by man or it can be introduced in to the environment naturally. Contaminant is a term mostly used to the sources of pollution that are caused due to substances which have been made by human beings. One of the most common examples is the production of harmful chemicals by different factories. These contaminants have a long life to stay in the environment and have ability which allows them to be spread in major portion of the environment causing even more problems as compared to those caused by pollutants. Another difference between pollutants and contaminants is that pollutants can be found in environment in various forms such as smoke, chemicals etc while contaminants can be found in different things such as soil, plants, air, water, and also in waste excreted by human beings.