What is visual pollution?

We explain what visual pollution is, its causes and the different effects it produces. In addition, its possible solutions and examples.

  1. What is visual pollution?

Just as pollution is the presence in the environment of toxic or foreign substances to their physical and chemical cycles, we call visual pollution the presence of visual elements in a landscape that interrupt their aesthetics , violate their perception as a whole and hinder the perception of environment.

Visual pollution  can occur both in rural and urban environments, given the presence of non-architectural elements such as posters, antennas, cables, poles, advertisements, lattices among other possible factors that generate a visual over stimulation of an aggressive, invasive nature and usually simultaneous

This type of irruptions generate an environmental impact that is not negligible, since its impact on the quality of life in contaminated environments is notorious and considerable.

Usually these are elements that contradict the aesthetic or panoramic tendency of the landscape , introducing foreign visual content that affects or corrupts the environment .

Just like the other forms of pollution, the visual requires regulations, laws and ordinances that keep it below the minimum limits of what is acceptable. Highly visually contaminated environments generate rejection and force people to flee quickly.

  1. Causes of visual pollution

Visual contamination
Visual pollution tends to be a consequence of human activity.

Visual pollution, like other forms of pollution, tends to be a consequence of human activity . The advertising , urban expansion, industrialization and agricultural life often leave visual traces of their existence, many of which are not intended to interfere as little as possible in the environment , or even are designed to highlight the most of it.

All this tension that the visual pollutants put on passersby, forcing them to pay attention to them or distracting them from what could be a friendly or peaceful environment , ends up driving people away or, if they cannot, stressing them and making them suffer.

  1. Effects of visual pollution

The main effects of visual pollution in humans point to increased stress , which significantly deteriorates their living, working or development conditions.

Stress can have an impact on people’s cardiovascular health , their emotional or psychological health and even decrease their productivity margins by constantly distracting them.

On the other hand, visual pollution negatively impacts tourism and recreational activities, since it makes hostile environments that would have to be harmonious or peaceful, and this in turn has economic and social consequences .

  1. Solutions to visual pollution

Some possible solutions for environmental pollution are:

  • Reduction and control of the amount of advertising or other notices that are allowed in a specific area, urban or rural.
  • Frequent removal of signs, posters and other obsolete ads, especially when they have large dimensions and bright colors .
  • Planning of protected areas within cities, such as parks and other environments that allow visual and auditory rest.
  • Visually program the urban and architectural development of the city , allowing the town to exercise a comptroller in that regard.
  • Protection and promotion of trees in the city.
  1. Examples of visual pollution

Visual contamination
The abandonment of bulky buildings are an example of visual pollution.

Some possible examples of visual pollution are:

  • The excessive presence of poles and wiring of electricity or telephony in natural or tourist landscapes of importance.
  • The overcrowding of the intra or extra urban fast roads with advertising and large ads with lights, movement , colors.
  • The placement of announcements and messages on lampposts, walls and trees during election campaigns, which after the elections are not removed and remain in place for months and even years.
  • The abandonment of bulky or tall buildings without finishing in the cities.
  1. Noise pollution

And there visual pollution, noise pollution also exists (also called  pollution  sound  or  acoustic ): the presence or annoying loud noises in quiet environments , or excess simultaneous sounds in a given area.

This form of pollution produces stressful and overwhelming effects not only on human beings , but on other forms of life, and in the long term may lead to specific physical or medical damage.

Increased stress, damage to the auditory system and even headaches and symptoms of disorientation or stunning can occur in highly acoustically contaminated environments.

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