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  1. #1
    Mehrgan's Avatar
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    Question "pollution" and "Contamination"

    Hi there,
    Though this is a repetitive question, I'm still not sure if there's any case when either can't be used instead of another. Could anyone please tell us the difference?


    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "pollution" and "Contamination"

    For example, in wikipedia both air pollution and air contamination send you to the same definition. Just like water pollution/contamination.

    Here (look for air pollution and air contamination links in the text): Wikipedia - pollution

  3. #3
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    Default Re: "pollution" and "Contamination"

    In forensic processes, evidence can be contaminated, not polluted.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: "pollution" and "Contamination"

    And some things collocate- you hear nuclear contamination more than pollution, though both exist.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: "pollution" and "Contamination"

    Is contamination a result of toxic chemicals? (While pollution might refer to anything that makes it impure?)


    Ta!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: "pollution" and "Contamination"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    Is contamination a result of toxic chemicals? (While pollution might refer to anything that makes it impure?)


    Ta!
    Not necessarily. Food/water can be contaminated by bacteria, for example.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: "pollution" and "Contamination"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    Is contamination a result of toxic chemicals? (While pollution might refer to anything that makes it impure?)


    Ta!
    I actually feel it's the opposite. Pollution implies (to me) toxicity while contamination is just something there that shouldn't be. When you talk about soil or groundwater contamination, that (to me) is the same as polluted soil or polluted water.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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