Air Pollution: Air is an essential part of life, without this we cannot survive for even a few minutes. The atmosphere is layered and divided into four parts: Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere and Thermosphere. The atmosphere is composed of different gases, namely, Nitrogen(78.1%), Oxygen(20.9%), Carbon dioxide(0.03%) and other gases(0.07%). If the concentration of any gases increases it impacts the atmosphere leading to causes air pollution.
What is Air Pollution?
Air Pollution is defined as the contamination of air due to the presence of air pollutants in the environment that are harmful to living organisms, and human beings. The atmosphere contains different proportions of gases, imbalance of any gases causes air to get polluted. The emissions from motor vehicles, the release of chemicals from industries, factories, dust, mining activities, etc constitute some of the causes of air pollution.
Air Pollutant are physical, chemical or biological substances which at high concentration causes air pollution in the environment. it can be solid, liquid, droplets or gaseous form. There are two types of air pollutants, namely, Primary Pollutants and Secondary Pollutants.
Primary Pollutants: Pollutants that are the direct source of air pollution are called Primary air pollutants. Such as particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide etc.
Secondary Pollutants: Pollutants that are formed by the intermixing of primary pollutants and the pollutants that are present in the environment are secondary pollutants. Such as Smog which is formed by the mixing of smoke and fog.
Causes of Air Pollution
Some of the causes of air pollution are-
|Causes of Air Pollution|
|Burning of Fossil Fuels||The burning of fossil fuels emits a high amount of sulfur oxide. The burning of fossil fuels releases nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere which later mixes to cause global warming and acid rain. The poor and developing, traditional ways of burning biomass, cow dung are the major source of air pollution.|
|Automobiles||Emissions released from motor vehicles, marine vessels, and aircraft are the sources of air pollution. These even constitute the cause of greenhouse emissions.|
|Agricultural Activities||Slash and burn method of cultivation which involves fire as the main agricultural source of air pollution. The chemicals released from insecticides, pesticides, and weedicides constitute agricultural air pollution.|
|Factories and Industries||The smoke released from power plants, manufacturing factories and waste incinerators is some of the sources which air pollution.|
|Mining Activities||The dust produced during mining activities in the mining areas causes serious health impacts on the workers present there. They also contribute to causes air pollution.|
|Domestic Sources||Cooking, smoking, and household cleaning products are the sources of air pollution. Even household paints which contain chemicals that smell are also cause of air pollutants. Hence they cause air pollution.|
Effects of Air Pollution
Air Pollution tends to effects the environment, the health of human beings, and the economy harshly. Some of the effects of air pollution are-
|Effects of Air Pollution|
|Health Effects||Air Pollution has a significant effect on health conditions including respiratory infections, heart disease, and lung cancer, according to the WHO. Such effect includes breathing, wheezing, coughing, asthma and aggravation of existing respiratory and cardiac conditions.|
|Environmental Effects||Toxic air pollution can cause serious environmental effects such as acid rain, and a decrease in the level of ozone layers. These impact trees, plants, and animals and have serious effects on the skin of human beings.|
|Economic Effects||The economy blooms when people are healthy, and business that depends on cultivated raw materials and natural resources are running at full capability. Air pollution reduces agricultural crop and forest yields at the commercial level.|
Control Measures to Reduce Air Pollution
Solution efforts on pollution are always a big issue. This is why prevention interventions have always been the better way of controlling air pollution. These prevention methods can either be at the community level or at an individual level. The control measures to reduce air pollution are-
Community Level Prevention-
- The introduction of green energy such as wind energy, and solar energy, as well as renewable sources of energy, helps to reduce dependence upon the burning of fossil fuels.
- Companies to responsible for emitting pollution into the environment. (based on the polluter-pays principle, that is, the one who pollutes would pay for the pollution caused). This principle is even recognised at the international level.
- Building up of energy-efficient automobiles.
Individual Level Prevention-
- Use of Public transport vehicle.
- To use energy (light, water, boiler, kettle and firewood) wisely.
- Follow the principle of R3 (Reduce, reuse and recycle)
|Type of Pollution|