The pollution of water bodies is, nowadays, a main environmental problem, affecting human health, water resources, and ecosystems. Pollution is linked to physical, chemical, and biological stressors. Heat and radiation are the main physical aquatic pollutants, although radiation is frequently linked to the emission of radioactive substances and should then be considered as chemical pollution. All living organisms can be potentially associated to biological pollution, although invasive species and pathogens are those receiving the most attention. Chemical pollution is covered by several main categories of contaminants; organic matter, acid rain, nutrients, and toxic micropollutants are the most relevant ones for the aquatic environment and specifically covered in this article.
Encyclopedia of Toxicology (Third Edition), 2014, Pages 1024-1027,