- Since toxins accumulate up the animal food chain, top predators are likely to be full of toxins and die from toxin-related malaises.
- Acid rain can lead to baldness, thin and dull hair, head skin irritation, and other scalp problems.
- About 7 million deaths incurred worldwide are directly related to the effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution each year.
Among other human-induced problems that the world faces today, including water scarcity and loss of biodiversity, air pollution is a great concern in nearly all the places on the Earth. Having begun spiralling down during the industrial revolution, many industries today are more potent than ever at producing major air pollutants.
- What Causes Air Pollution?
- What Are Primary And Secondary Air Pollutants?
- How Does Air Pollution Affect The Environment?
- How Does Air Pollution Affect Humans?
- What Is Indoor Air Pollution?
- How Many People Die From Air Pollution?
- How Is Air Pollution Measured?
- How To Reduce Or Stop Air Pollution?
What Causes Air Pollution?
Air pollution is the release of gases and small fragments of human-made particles and chemicals into the air, the concentration of which is harmful to all living and breathing creatures on this planet.
Upon studying global warming, researchers have determined that air pollution is a significant contributor to this problem. The opaqueness of air-polluting particles in the atmosphere traps the sun rays in and prevents the Earth from cooling off naturally. At the same time, other air pollutants are destroying the outer atmospheric layer, primarily the ozone layer (which prevents too much sunlight from entering). Major changes in weather patterns have been recorded around the world, from unexpected monsoons to expanding deserts, caused by primary and secondary air pollutants contributing to climate change.
What Are Primary And Secondary Air Pollutants?
Primary air pollutants are small solids and particulates (liquid particles) that are suspended in the air and come at less than 10 micrometers in size. They can be observed in the form of soot, dust, smoke, fumes and mists, but some are invisible to the human eye. Primary air pollutants are released from the reaction of burning fossil fuels, like when a motorized vehicle running on gasoline emits carbon monoxide. Natural gas burned in houses for heating, most types of fires as well as power plants that release carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and sulphur dioxide, are also primary air pollutants. Diesel-run cars and some industrial processes release lead fumes, and at 0.5 micrometers in size, they are extremely harmful primary air pollutants.
Secondary pollutants occur when a primary pollutant reacts with another, often natural substance and creates a different pollutant. Ozone is considered a secondary air pollutant as it is formed when a primary air pollutant, nitrogen dioxide, reacts with the hydrocarbon particles naturally present in sunlight. It is the main component of smog, which is also a secondary pollutant.
How Does Air Pollution Affect The Environment?
Animal Health And Behavior
Since the exchange of gases does not happen in the same manner for all of the members of the animal kingdom, the negative effects of air pollution strike them in different ways, as well. Depending on whether they use lungs, gills, or passive diffusion across the surface of their skin for breathing, here are some of the most detrimental problems the animal kingdom faces from air pollution.
The inhabitants of the sky suffer from smog, with the warm dirty air remaining in their natural habitat. Top predators including eagles are especially susceptible to diseases from accumulated food toxicity.
One of the most common ways air pollution affects animals is through feeding. After gaseous fumes and small air particulates are absorbed by or descend on to primary food sources like grass, they are digested by herbivores and remain in the animal's body in the form of a toxic buildup. As that animal is eaten by a carnivore, such as an eagle, the toxins build up as they travel through the natural food chain.
Toxins, whether breathed in or digested, may disrupt the endocrine function of the animal, cause organ injury, weaken their immune system, alter their mental state, and make them more vulnerable to die from stress. Other common side effects are low reproductive success, weak newborns, and early death. Consequently, the premature deaths and the dwindling of species will leave predators to starve, creating an imbalance where a food source of the predator, no longer threatened, will deplete its food source or other natural resources it relies on.
Lastly, animals are very in-tune with climatic conditions, carefully choosing the environment they feel most comfortable in. On top of having to deal with floods, excessive sunlight, and relocation to less optimal environments, air pollution and climate change affect the natural patterns of the animal kingdom, including birds flying south for the winter and bears' hibernation schedules.
Similar to how car exhaust causes breathing problems in humans, smog, lower atmosphere ozone, and other particulate matter affect the lungs and cardiovascular system in animals, as well.
A natural reaction in the upper atmosphere, nitrogen dioxide and hydrocarbon particles combine in the sunlight to form a protective layer, the ozone layer, preventing the sun's harmful rays from entering the troposphere (lower atmosphere) of the Earth. Ever since the nitrogen dioxide-producing motorized vehicle has been invented, this complex reaction now also occurs in the troposphere, and is known asphotochemical smog. This is why sunny places like Los Angeles, with ample industry and countless highways, are major contributors to and suffer significantly from air pollution.
While plants photosynthesize oxygen and help clean the air, other environmental features, including mountains, certain weather conditions and temperature inversion (when cool air descends below the warm air), prevent the smog from clearing. Plants and their leaves are also damaged by the ozone, which impedes their ability to cleanse the air.
Acid rain occurs when the power plant-released sulphur dioxide combines with water vapour in the air to create sulphuric acid suspensions or mist in the air, which is brought down by the rain. Although harmful for scalp-health in humans, acid rain is deadly to smaller animals and plants in the waters, where it tends to stay and accumulate over time in high concentrations. Almost no part of the world is immune to this problem, including thousands of lakes and streams in and around large cities of Europe, parts of China, south-eastern Canada, and the north-eastern United States.
Mercury and lead are usually redistributed into the waters through water pollution, but small amounts of their evaporated fumes can also be brought down into the lakes and coastal waters during rainfall, making fishing in and around industrious areas particularly precarious.
How Does Air Pollution Affect Humans?
There is a good reason why lead thermometers are becoming less common, and many countries put a ban on lead-producing vehicles. Lead is especially harmful to children, whose bodies are not strong enough to handle even the smallest amounts of this potent toxic when inhaled in its fume or dust forms.
Depending on the amount and duration of exposure, effects can range from the immediate impediment of the brain's function, reflected in slowed thought process, awkward movements and sleepiness, to permanent learning disabilities, paralysis, seizures, and even death from lead poisoning. Nevertheless, the airborne lead particles are still released by some major industries, including oil refineries and smelting.
Carbon monoxide can be fatal if a person is left in a running vehicle in an unventilated area, such as a garage. A person experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning will feel overwhelming drowsiness as the pollutant displaces oxygen particles in their bloodstream. As asphyxiation, the extreme lack of oxygen in the body, occurs, the unconscious person stops breathing and dies soon after.
Sulphur dioxide is most commonly released in power-generating plants that burn impure coal and oil that contain sulphur. This gas cannot be seen but is pungent in odour, and it will leave one with a teary-eyed effect at low concentrations, cause throat irritation if exposure continues, and can eventually lead to lung failure from scarring at high concentrations.
Sulphur dioxide also reacts with oxygen and water vapour in the air to form airborne suspensions of sulphuric acid. When it rains, raindrops bring along this acid in the form of acid rain, potentially causing baldness, hair dullness, and other scalp problems for those who have been exposed to it. That is why it is important to have a head covering in highly industrious cities during rainfall.
Lastly, sulphur dioxide steals from the economy by oxidizing the surfaces of structures to cause expensive damages in need of repair. Corrosion of rooftops and deterioration of building facades and monuments are its most known work.
Nitrogen dioxide, a form of nitrogen oxide, is released by coal-burning plants when the molecular nitrogen in the air reacts with oxygen at high temperatures of the combustion process. Nitrogen dioxide has many similar properties and effects to sulphur dioxide, in that it is also a pungent and irritating gas, which causes serious lung problems. Edema, a build-up of lung fluid, is a common aftereffect of inhaling nitrogen dioxide in its concentrated gaseous form.
Nitric acid, a component in acid rain, is created when nitrogen dioxide interacts with the atmosphere. It is also a contributing compound in smog formation.
Other Air Toxics
Other air toxics include arsenic, asbestos, benzene, beryllium compounds, cadmium compounds, chlorine, coke oven emissions, cyanide compounds, formaldehyde, lead compounds, mercury compounds, nickel compounds, radionuclides, including radon, radium and uranium, selenium compounds, and vinyl chloride. These potent air toxics have gruesome effects on the whole human system.
Affecting both brain tissue and fetal development, the hundreds of chemicals and compound variations released into the air may have immediate and postponed effects in humans, as well as short and long-term health consequences. Among other progressive pulmonary illnesses, air toxics may cause the development of asthma and tuberculosis. After years of studies, it is clear that prolonged exposure to chemicals mutates human cells (think of the Chernobyl accident), causing cancer.
Upon entering the lungs and blood, they induce a whole series of cardio-pulmonary malaises. As the body tries to rid itself of these harmful particles, their presence will quickly become evident in various skin conditions, digestive problems, and the ability to rid of waste.
Air pollution and global warming also affect the societies and the economies of all countries in the world. The major strain faced by health systems dealing with malaises caused by air pollution, lower food production of unyielding crops, and shortages of water for whole populations are among the major socio-economic implications.
What Is Indoor Air Pollution?
The most common indoor air pollution comes from the chemicals used in households, such as cleaning products and disinfectants, room sprays, and even burning incense and scented candles. Using perfume or body spray at work, on the airplane, or other indoor spaces may cause irritation and breathing problems for others.
Today, more people make a conscious choice of switching to natural products for cleaning and body care. Although less harmful for the environment, even naturally sourced air pollutants will irritate the skin, nasal passages, and cause breathing problems for sensitive individuals.
How Many People Die From Air Pollution?
In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) has determined that nine out of ten people on the Earth breathe polluted air on daily basis. Globally, about 7 million deaths are incurred directly from the combined effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution each year. Of those, 2.2 million occur in the Western Pacific region, which stretches from China and Mongolia to New Zealand, covering over 28 countries.
How Is Air Pollution Measured?
Air pollution is measured to examine its quantity, compounds, and effects on the environment and human health, to compare this data periodically to notice trends over time. The measurements are taken in various ways depending on the source.
Carbon monoxide, ground ozone, lead, nitrogen dioxide, particular matter content, and sulphur dioxide are the most commonly measured air pollutants today. Performed by scientists and industry specialists, the measurements are reported to the appropriate governing bodies, which use the data to enforce controlling measures on their production. Measurements can also be simulated using computer models to predict the extent of the impact.
Some emissions can be measured directly from the source, such as car emissions from the tail pipe, using a gauge. The sample is taken for further examination of the compounds, with effects determined upon multiplying by the number of cars of the same make in the country.
Levels of radiation can be measured by Geiger counters, ionization chambers, and personal dosimeters. Atmospheric air pollution is measured in micrometers, while the concentration of a substance is measured as a mass or a volume per meter cubed. Lichen, a moss, can be used to measure the levels of air pollution in forests. A sun photometer can measure the amount of aerosol in the atmosphere.
How To Reduce Or Stop Air Pollution?
The future generation, whose parents dealt with air pollution, are more likely to be born weaker and with a predisposition to health concerns, not to mention having to deal with their own air pollution, should it keep increasing.
The first air toxics were regulated in the US by the 1970 Clean Air Act, including arsenic, asbestos, benzene, beryllium, coke, mercury, radionuclides, and vinyl chloride. In the US in 1990, 189 different substances were regulated, while by the end of that decade, control measures were enforced on specific sources that released more than 10 tons of these materials or more than 25 tons of their combinations per year.
In many countries, there is already a complete ban on the use of lead in gasoline, including in the US since 1996. Power plants were also redesigned to maximize their combustion efficiency which minimizes the release of carbon monoxide. Sulphur dioxide, released through the combustion of impure coal and oil, is minimized by sourcing those samples out.
Although the costs to make all this possible add up, it will be more expensive not to do anything, in terms of flailing human health and the deterioration of the environment. Even without deforestation, there are not nearly enough trees in this world to clean the air if pollution continues increasing rapidly.
On a personal level, there are a few options one can take to reduce their impact on outdoor air pollution, thus helping to fight climate change. Individuals can choose to prioritize public or green transit instead of car use, avoid burning leaves, trash or other materials, and prioritize electric lawn equipment over gas-powered.
While scientists and governments are working together to limit outdoor air pollution, there are multiple actions one can take to prevent its indoor companion. By avoiding room sprays and potent chemicals when buying cleaning products, as well as switching to naturally sourced ones, one will be helping the environment, as well as staying healthier within their own home. Being conscious about one's environment when using body care products, is also important, as some people may develop asthmatic symptoms from the most innocent of scents and other reactions from various chemicals expelled into the air.
Alisa Mala in Environment
- What Is Air Pollution?
What is the air pollution answer? ›
Air pollution is contamination of the indoor or outdoor environment by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere. Household combustion devices, motor vehicles, industrial facilities and forest fires are common sources of air pollution.What is pollution very short answer? ›
Pollution is the introduction of harmful materials into the environment. These harmful materials are called pollutants. Pollutants can be natural, such as volcanic ash. They can also be created by human activity, such as trash or runoff produced by factories.How is air pollution caused short answer? ›
Vehicle emissions, fuel oils and natural gas to heat homes, by-products of manufacturing and power generation, particularly coal-fueled power plants, and fumes from chemical production are the primary sources of human-made air pollution.Why air pollution is a problem? ›
Air pollution causes damage to crops, animals, forests, and bodies of water. It also contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer, which protects the Earth from the sun's UV rays. Another negative effect of air pollution is the formation of acid rain, which harms trees, soils, rivers, and wildlife.What is a air pollution essay? ›
Essay on Air Pollution– Earlier the air we breathe in use to be pure and fresh. But, due to increasing industrialization and concentration of poisonous gases in the environment the air is getting more and more toxic day by day. Also, these gases are the cause of many respiratory and other diseases.What is air pollution and types? ›
The EPA identified six major types of air pollutants deemed especially harmful to human health. These are carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ozone, particulate matter and lead. Since the Clean Air Act of 1970 and the identification of these pollutants, air pollution has decreased markedly.What is air pollution and its causes? ›
Air pollution is caused by solid and liquid particles and certain gases that are suspended in the air. These particles and gases can come from car and truck exhaust, factories, dust, pollen, mold spores, volcanoes and wildfires. The solid and liquid particles suspended in our air are called aerosols.What is air pollution and its effects? ›
Air pollution consists of chemicals or particles in the air that can harm the health of humans, animals, and plants. It also damages buildings. Pollutants in the air take many forms. They can be gases, solid particles, or liquid droplets. Sources of Air Pollution.What is pollution 7th class? ›
Pollution was defined as the introduction into the environment of substances liable to cause harm to humans and other living organisms. Many human activities pollute our environment, adversely affecting the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the soil in which we grow food.How can air pollution affect humans? ›
Exposure to air pollution can affect everyone's health. When we breathe in air pollutants, they can enter our bloodstream and contribute to coughing or itchy eyes and cause or worsen many breathing and lung diseases, leading to hospitalizations, cancer, or even premature death.
How can we prevent air pollution? ›
- Using public transports. ...
- Turn off the lights when not in use. ...
- Recycle and Reuse. ...
- No to plastic bags. ...
- Reduction of forest fires and smoking. ...
- Use of fans instead of Air Conditioner. ...
- Use filters for chimneys. ...
- Avoid usage of crackers.
Air pollution can damage crops and trees in a variety of ways. Ground-level ozone can lead to reductions in agricultural crop and commercial forest yields, reduced growth and survivability of tree seedlings, and increased plant susceptibility to disease, pests and other environmental stresses (such as harsh weather).How did air pollution began? ›
First it was wood fires in ancient homes, the effects of which have been found in the blackened lungs of mummified tissue from Egypt, Peru and Great Britain. And the Romans earn the dubious credit of being perhaps the first to spew metallic pollutants into the air, long before the Industrial Revolution.What are the effects of pollution? ›
Exposure to high levels of air pollution can cause a variety of adverse health outcomes. It increases the risk of respiratory infections, heart disease and lung cancer. Both short and long term exposure to air pollutants have been associated with health impacts. More severe impacts affect people who are already ill.When did the air pollution start? ›
Evidence from Greece shows that the problems of polluted air outdoors were being documented at least 2400 years ago.What is air pollution definition PDF? ›
Air pollution occurs when gases, dust particles, fumes (or smoke) or odour are introduced into the atmosphere in a way that makes it harmful to humans, animals and plant.What are the causes of air pollution 100 words? ›
Air pollution is caused by vehicles, factories, power plants, and trash burning. Vehicles emit air pollution from burning gasoline or diesel fuels. The most significant cause of air pollution is burning fossil fuels to create energy like coal and oil.What does pollution mean in 250 words? ›
Pollution is the process of making the environment land water and air dirty by adding harmful substances to it. Pollution causes imbalance in the environment. This imbalance has threatened the very survival of all forms of life. It is a threat to the whole world.Which is the main air pollutant? ›
The main gaseous pollutants are ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. The main particulate matter (PM) pollutants are defined according to their aerodynamic diameter (those ≤10 μm referred to as PM10 and those ≤2.5 μm referred to as PM2.5).What are the types of air? ›
There are four categories for air masses: arctic, tropical, polar and equatorial. Arctic air masses form in the Arctic region and are very cold. Tropical air masses form in low-latitude areas and are moderately warm. Polar air masses take shape in high-latitude regions and are cold.
What is good air quality? ›
Think of the AQI as a yardstick that runs from 0 to 500. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. For example, an AQI value of 50 or below represents good air quality, while an AQI value over 300 represents hazardous air quality.What is the main cause of pollution? ›
Burning Fossil Fuels
The biggest contributors of air pollution are from industry sources and power plants to generate power, as well as fossil fuel motor vehicles. The continuous burning of fossil fuels releases air pollutants, emissions and chemicals into the air and atmosphere.
When the air becomes dirty due to smoke and harmful gases it is called AIR POLLUTION. We should always breathe clean and fresh air because breathing impure or dirty air can make us sick and it can also harm the atmosphere. Some major causes of Air Pollution are:- 1.What are the types of pollution? ›
- Air pollution.
- Water pollution.
- Soil pollution.
- Radioactive pollution.
- Noise pollution.
Pollution Essay (150 words) Pollution is the mixing of some harmful or poisonous materials into the natural resources available on the earth. It affects the ordinary living of the living things on this planet by disturbing the natural life cycle.What is water pollution 6? ›
Water pollution can be defined as the contamination of water bodies. Water pollution is caused when water bodies such as rivers, lakes, oceans, groundwater and aquifers get contaminated with industrial and agricultural effluents.What is pollution class 2nd? ›
What is Pollution? “Pollution is the introduction of substances (or energy) that cause adverse changes in the environment and living entities .”How can we save air? ›
- Drive your car less. ...
- Keep your car in good repair. ...
- Turn off your engine. ...
- Don't burn your garbage. ...
- Stop having campfires in the city. ...
- Plant and care for trees.
Reducing pollutants in the air is important for human health and the environment. Poor air quality has harmful effects on human health, particularly the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Pollutants can also damage plants and buildings, and smoke or haze can reduce visibility.What is air pollution made of? ›
Air pollution is a mixture of solid particles and gases in the air. Car emissions, chemicals from factories, dust, pollen and mold spores may be suspended as particles. Ozone, a gas, is a major part of air pollution in cities. When ozone forms air pollution, it's also called smog.
Who died from air pollution? ›
WHO: 4.2 million premature deaths per year due to outdoor air pollution from anthropogenic and natural sources. The WHO estimates that 4.2 million die prematurely every year as the result of exposure to outdoor (or ambient) air pollution.Where does pollution happen? ›
stationary sources – such as power plants, oil refineries, industrial facilities, and factories. area sources – such as agricultural areas, cities, and wood burning fireplaces. natural sources – such as wind-blown dust, wildfires, and volcanoes.What are the harmful effects of air? ›
|Pollutant||Health effects at very high levels|
|Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Ozone||These gases irritate the airways of the lungs, increasing the symptoms of those suffering from lung diseases|
The Quelccaya core first records evidence of pollution from Inca metallurgy around 1480 in the form of trace amounts of bismuth, likely released into the atmosphere during the creation of bismuth bronze, an alloy which has been recovered from the Inca citadel at Machu Picchu.How does pollution affect water? ›
Water pollution depletes aquatic ecosystems and triggers unbridled proliferation of phytoplankton in lakes — eutrophication —. Contamination of the food chain.What is air pollution for Class 3? ›
When the air becomes dirty due to smoke and harmful gases it is called AIR POLLUTION. We should always breathe clean and fresh air because breathing impure or dirty air can make us sick and it can also harm the atmosphere. Some major causes of Air Pollution are:- 1.What is air pollution for Class Fifth? ›
Air pollution refers to any physical, chemical or biological change in the air. It is the contamination of air by harmful gases, dust and smoke which affects plants, animals and humans drastically.What are the 4 types of air pollution? ›
These six pollutants are carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, ground-level ozone, particle pollution (often referred to as particulate matter), and sulfur oxides.What is air pollution short answer in Brainly? ›
Air pollution occurs when the air contains gases, dust, fumes or odour in harmful amounts. That is, amounts which could be harmful to the health or comfort of humans and animals or which could cause damage to plants and materials. The substances that cause air pollution are called pollutants.What causes air pollution for Class 2? ›
Air pollution is caused by solid and liquid particles and certain gases that are suspended in the air. These particles and gases can come from car and truck exhaust, factories, dust, pollen, mold spores, volcanoes and wildfires.
What is pollution class 2nd? ›
What is Pollution? “Pollution is the introduction of substances (or energy) that cause adverse changes in the environment and living entities .”What is pollution for class 4th? ›
It is the unwanted substance added into the environment that can damage our earth. Pollution is mainly of 4 types, and they are air, noise, water and land. Pollution depletes ozone layer. Pollution is harmful for riled life. Pollution is harmful for nature.What is air pollution and its effects? ›
Air pollution consists of chemicals or particles in the air that can harm the health of humans, animals, and plants. It also damages buildings. Pollutants in the air take many forms. They can be gases, solid particles, or liquid droplets. Sources of Air Pollution.What is water pollution 6? ›
Water pollution can be defined as the contamination of water bodies. Water pollution is caused when water bodies such as rivers, lakes, oceans, groundwater and aquifers get contaminated with industrial and agricultural effluents.What is pollution for kids? ›
Pollution is anything that makes the earth dirty and unhealthy. Land, air, and water are all affected by pollution. Pollution takes up space on our land. Many of the things people use every day come in packages, like food, games, school supplies, and electronics.How can we prevent air pollution? ›
- Reduce the number of trips you take in your car.
- Reduce or eliminate fireplace and wood stove use.
- Avoid burning leaves, trash, and other materials.
- Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
Answer: Air pollution is the contamination of air due to the presence of substances in the atmosphere that are harmful to the health of humans and other living beings, or cause damage to the climate or to materials.What is water pollution in Brainly? ›
Answer: Water pollution is the pollution of bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, seas, the oceans, as well as groundwater. It occurs when pollutants reach these bodies of water, without treatment. Waste from homes, factories and other buildings get into the water bodies.