Air Pollution

Forest
Introduction

Air pollution occurs when harmful or excessive quantities of substances are introduced into Earth's atmosphere. Sources of air pollution include gases (such as ammonia, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, methane and chlorofluorocarbons), particulates (both organic and inorganic), and biological molecules. It may cause diseases, allergies and even death to humans; it may also cause harm to other living organisms such as animals and food crops, and may damage the natural or built environment. Both human activity and natural processes can generate air pollution.

Air pollution is a significant risk factor for a number of pollution-related diseases, including respiratory infections, heart disease, COPD, stroke and lung cancer. The human health effects of poor air quality are far reaching, but principally affect the body's respiratory system and the cardiovascular system. Individual reactions to air pollutants depend on the type of pollutant a person is exposed to, the degree of exposure, and the individual's health status and genetics. Indoor air pollution and poor urban air quality are listed as two of the world's worst toxic pollution problems in the 2008 Blacksmith Institute World's Worst Polluted Places report. Outdoor air pollution alone causes 2.1 to 4.21 million deaths annually. Overall, air pollution causes the deaths of around 7 million people worldwide each year, and is the world's largest single environmental health risk.

Causes

Air pollution is caused mainly by Transportation, fuel combustion in stationary sources, burning of fossil fuels like coal, wood, dry grass, and construction activity. Motor vehicles produce high levels of Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Hydrocarbons (HC) and Nitrogen Oxides (NO). Construction activities, bad roads and burning of fossil fuels are responsible for Dust (particulate matter) Pollution. Residential and Commercial activities also contribute to Air Pollution.

Effect

Some of the effects of Air pollution on Human, Animals and Environment are as:

  • Reduced lung functioning, coughing, asthma attacks, bronchitis.
  • Irritation of eyes, nose, mouth and throat, headaches.
  • Cardiovascular problems.
  • Cancer
  • Acid rain destroys fish life in lakes and streams and kills trees, destroy the leaves of plants, can infiltrate soil by making it unsuitable for purposes of nutrition and habitation.
  • Excessive ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun through the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere which is eroded by some air pollutants may cause skin cancer.
  • Ozone in the lower atmosphere may damage lung tissues of animals and negatively affecting plants photosynthesis rates which will stunt plant growth.