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Contamination versus Pollution

Discussion in 'English Only' started by amirnikou, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. amirnikou New Member

    Tehran, Iran
    When should I use "contamination" and when "pollution"?
  2. Cameljockey Senior Member

    British English
    Their meanings are similar, but contamination can include harmless but unwanted mixing of two things - the milk carton split and the milk was contaminated by rainwater. It's not really harmful or injurious (rainwater is clean? Debatable, I know).

    Pollution implies contamination by a definitely harmful substance.
    Air polluted by smog, or a lake polluted by chemicals. Definite harm results from pollution, whereas it has not necessarily to from contamination (of course it can, say in radioactive contamination).
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010

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