IELTS Cue Card: Describe a harmful environmental problem

Describe a harmful environmental problem

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 303 with Model Answer:

Describe a harmful environmental problem.

You should say:
  • what is it
  • how it is harmful
  • what harmful effects it has
and explain what can be done to prevent this environmental problem.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]


Model Answer :
Air is an important element of the environment. And the pollution of air is one of the most crucial environmental degradation in the present day. Due to this pollution, a wide number of people lose their lives and get affected with many respiratory and other disorders. Thank you very much for this interesting question, and I will answer it in brief now.


Air is polluted in different ways. People pollute air mostly by creating smoke. The smoke gets mixed with the air and it becomes hard to breathe in within the air. Besides, people burn fossil fuels, create fire for numerous purposes including to cook their meals. All these events create smoke and the smoke pollutes the air to the greatest extent. Recently, dumping wastes on roadsides also pollute the air to some extent. As a result, the unwanted biological and other substances get mixed with the environment and cause damage people, animals and plants. Besides, the pedestrians and other surrounding people have troubles in various forms when they come in contact with the pollution. It appears that all the matters jointly contribute in the air pollution process.

Yes, this is a harmful issue indeed. Carbon emission, smoke belching by vehicles and factories – everything is responsible for the pollution. The atmosphere becomes damaged by the unwanted substances and molecules. It can damage the environment and even the entire ecosystem severely. The rise of carbon dioxide, sulphur oxides, toxic metals and other chemical substances in the air is greatly harmful to the environment. A good number of detrimental impacts are found so far from this pollution. And they are generated from various locations and sources. In fact, the ultramodern lifestyle is largely responsible for the air pollution. Random cutting down of trees in the urban areas and deforestation in the rural areas are also behind the problem.   

The list of harmful effects of this pollution is larger than it is imagined. There are both long-term and short-term effects available for this type of pollution. The air comes in close contact with numerous toxic chemicals and as a result, there are chemical reactions on the air. Then the air can cause damage to vegetation and even damage buildings. The air becomes acidic and also cause acid rain which seriously destroys plants. The rain can even kill trees and also cause damage to marine resources in any locality. The increase of ozone layer is another concerning issue in this case. It damages people’s health and also endangers animals as well. Besides, air pollution irritates eyes, nose and creates respiratory disorders line pneumonia, bronchitis, damage to brain, lungs and nerves among women, children and senior people.        

Prevention of air pollution is not easy, I think, in this modern age. In fact, all the materials used for development are producing smokes. As a result, the environment is suffering badly. So, it appears to me that there are two types of preventive measures could be adopted for air pollution prevention. Firstly, the government should take measures from its end to control the pollution. In this case, the government can issue some rules and regulations and also formulate air pollution prevention acts. Conducting campaigns is a very good way to create awareness among everyone in the state. Besides, smoke control areas should be created in different important places which are responsible for producing huge smokes. On the other side, recycling and reusing things is a good way to prevent this type of pollution, and it should be initiated in individual or family level. If the plans are activated, air pollution will be minimised gradually. 

Matched Content