1
   

contamination vs pollution

 
 
fansy
 
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 08:21 pm
Can these two nouns be used interchangeably in collocations such air/water pollution/contamination? Or their meanings should be differentiated?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 1 • Views: 5,951 • Replies: 8
No top replies

 
Xenoche
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 09:15 pm
Unlike contamination, pollution is also medical term referring to the release of semen at times other than during sexual intercourse. So, depending on context, both terms are interchangeable.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 09:38 pm
I am in no way a linguist, but it is perfectly clear to me that "contamination" places the focus upon that which was previously pure, and the process of making it not pure. "Pollution" focuses upon that which makes something else not pure.
Xenoche
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 10:33 pm
@hawkeye10,
Hawkeye is right, ignore my little brain fart.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 04:23 am
@fansy,
Polluted usually means to have exceeded a standard of cleanliness. (EG "the drinking water is polluted with MTBE" (MTBE "in drinking water" standard for Pa is 20 ppb, so the water IS polluted with MTBE when the concentration of MTBE reaches 20PPB)

Contamination recognizes that a chemical has been released into the water but is only measurable , its still not reached the standard by which the water becomes polluted.


Other than when we speak of reaching a standard in water, soil,or air, the two terms can often be used interchangeably.
In reality though, the word "polluted" is becoming an outdated term in environmental sciences.
0 Replies
 
dizziroo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 12:29 pm
@fansy,
Pollition is the introduction of a substance that causes harm to the environment or what is in te environment. Contamination is where a substance is introduced but does not cause any obvious harm.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 08:05 pm
@hawkeye10,
You don't have to be a linguist to know your language, Hawkeye. We learn all these myriad things of language just by living it.
0 Replies
 
stlord
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 02:49 am
@fansy,
This blog may help answer your question, but it depends what angle you're coming from.
http://bit.ly/NXcB4i
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 02:55 am
@stlord,

I'd say pollution is a more general term, and could be due to a number of substances, and probably over a longer term.

Contamination is more specific.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Drs. = female doctor? - Question by oristarA
Let pupils abandon spelling rules, says academic - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Can I apply for a change of topic? - Question by WBYeats
Thou or thee? - Question by Aubert23
Trying to improve my english - Question by luismtzzz
Question - Question by 1jane1
 
  1. Forums
  2. » contamination vs pollution
Copyright © 2014 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.05 seconds on 08/21/2014 at 09:56:48