pollution (regulation)

Some man-made pollutants found to be harmful have been largely discontinued (eg. the organophosphate insecticides and chloroflourocarbons), while fire retardants are partially banned but continue to be widely used. They are found in food and household dust. Plastics are generally classified as non-hazardous, having the same ranking for instance as grass clippings. Every year about 150Mt are thought to enter the global environment as litter (ie. excluding the quantity going to landfill etc.), about 8Mt of which enters the sea. Eventually it breaks up and can be ingested by animals as small or microscopic fragments. The wider effects, as they accumulate in the food chain, are unknown.

This definition is abridged from A – Z of tree terms: A companion to British arboriculture.
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