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What is the difference between pollutants and contaminant?

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Pollutant: When the concentration of a substance already present in nature or of a new substance increases to undesirable proportions causing danger to human beings, other animals or vegetation and other materials, the substance is treated as a pollutant. 

The common pollutants are:

(i) Gases like carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen etc.

(ii) Compounds of metals like lead, mercury zinc, cadmium, arsenic etc.

Contaminant: A substance which does not occur is nature but is introduced by activity into the atmosphere, affecting its composition is called contaminant. For example, pyrosulphuric acid (H2S2O7) leaked from a defective tank killed many persons and caused skin and breathing problems to many persons in Delhi.

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