contaminate is to taint or sully. You can contaminate the
land, air, or water. Contamination includes two common environmental
terms - pollution and waste.
Waste is anything that somebody wants to dispose of.
Pollution is any direct or indirect alteration of the environment,
that creates a hazard or potential
hazard to any living creature. Pollutants can have effects
locally (in the community), or nationally. Some, when dispersed,
can travel long distances, giving rise to "transboundary"
substances break down quickly in water or soil while others
are more persistent.
POPs are chemical substances that are persistent, accumulate
in living tissues, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects
to human health and the environment.
While the land, water, and air may be contaminated by work
processes, you are the most likely to be contaminated.
There are even international standards guiding how much you
can be contaminated.
Facts and more about Contamination