Air Pollution – A Global Problem

Air Pollution – A Global Problem

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Have you ever noticed that our new generation’s immunity and resistance power is weaker than the previous generations? Today’s human lifestyle and environment is responsible for that. The majority of people around the world are not getting purity in food, not drinking pure water and not inhaling pure oxygen. These all are essential for living. Industrial waste is draining in rivers, chemicals and pesticides are using in crops and mixing of emission from the vehicles and industries is making poisonous oxygen. Almost all the major cities of the world are suffering from all these problems. A human can live for more than three weeks without food and 3 days without water but cannot live without air. Oxygen is most important for living creatures and for trees also but nowadays air pollution is around all over the world. Carbon dioxide is one of the major causes of climate change, while Nitrogen Oxide and Sulphur Dioxide combine to form harmful acid rain.

What is Air Pollution

Air pollution is the contamination of air naturally or man-made which has a poisonous effect. In other words, air pollution is a mixture of solid particles and gases in the air which is not good for our health as well as dangerous for the ozone layer. For examples, vehicle emissions, chemicals from industries, dust, and many more. Ozone, a gas, is a major part of air pollution in cities. When ozone forms air pollution, it’s also called smog. The Ozone layer considered crucial for the existence of the ecosystems is depleting due to increased pollution. Global warming is a live example. Air pollution is poisonous for all. Inhaling them can increase the chance of health problems like heart or lung disease.

Types of Pollutants:

Air pollution is usually described in two types; Primary pollutants and Secondary pollutants.

Primary pollutants: If any pollutants put directly into the air by humans or natural sources is called Primary pollutants. Emission from vehicle and gases from factories are the best examples of primary pollutants.

Secondary pollutants: Secondary pollutants are pollutants that are made from chemical reactions when pollutants mix with other primary pollutants or natural substances. Ozone gas is secondary pollutants. Ozone is a gas that stops harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. When it is near the ground, though, it can poison people and other organisms.

Causes of Air Pollutions:

There are many causes of air pollution. It could be natural or man-made. We all contribute somehow to air pollution. Here are some major causes of air pollution.

Natural Causes:

  • Volcanic Activities
  • Winds and air currents
  • Wildfires
  • Microbial decaying processes
  • Radioactive decay processes
  • Increasing temperatures

Man-Made Causes:

  • Mining and smelting
  • Mine tailing disposal
  • Foundry activities
  • Various industrial processes
  • Transportation
  • Construction and Demolition activity
  • Coal Power Plants
  • Heating of buildings
  • Waste Incineration
  • Landfill disposal practices
  • Agriculture
  • Control burning in forest and agriculture management
  • Military activities
  • Smoking
  • Storage and use of household products

How Air pollution affect our health?

If we talk about India, many schools and colleges are closed in November month due to heavy air pollution and smog in National Capital Region (NCR). Knowing or unknowingly, all these people are inhaling pollutant air which is similar around 15-20 cigarettes a day. A report of the World Health Organization (WHO) says that 2.4 million people died because of the direct problems of air pollution.

Here are some health issues which can affect our health.

Respiratory and Heart Problems:

If you inhaling pollutant air which is similar around 15-20 cigarettes a day, what will be your health condition? It will definitely damage your respiratory system, your lungs, and your heart as well. Air pollution also irritates your eyes, nose, and throat and later on it will create respiratory problems such as asthma, emphysema, and sometimes cancer also.

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), 43% of all lung disease and lung cancer deaths are attributable to air pollution. It causes 1.8 million deaths due to lung disease every year. 25% of all heart disease deaths are also due to air pollution which causes 2.4 million deaths every year and 24% of all stroke deaths are due to this which causes 1.4 million deaths from stroke every year.

Global Warming:

Increased temperature of the earth, an increase of sea level, melting of glaciers; all these are symptoms of global warming. Our earth is surrounded by the Ozone layer which protects our planet from ultra-violet rays. Air pollution directly accelerates the rate at which global warming happens by depleting the Ozone layer. These higher temperatures lead to the melting of the polar ice caps and icebergs, which elevate sea levels and which can create a lot of problems for all the creatures of the earth.

Acid Rain:

When fossil fuel burns, Sulfur Oxides and Nitrogen Oxides are released into sky. These substances can rise very high into the atmosphere, where they mix and react with water, oxygen, and other chemicals which cause of Acid rain. Acid rain can cause great damage to humans, animals, and crops.

Effect on Wildlife:

Air pollution is also affects the wildlife and forest life. Pollutant air can force wildlife species to move to a new place and change their habitat. The toxic pollutants deposit over the surface of the water and can also affect sea animals.

Solution to Air Pollution:

Air pollution is a global problem. Every living creature is directly or indirectly is affected. There are some causes which are controllable and cannot be controlled. Here we will discuss some points which can be controlled.

  • Minimize the use of fossil fuel
  • Use public mode of transportation
  • Use energy efficient devices
  • Turn off lights, computers, and electric appliances when not in use
  • Keep your automobile well maintained
  • Drive electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
  • Use electric or hand-powered lawn care equipment
  • Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when full
  • Choose environmentally friendly cleaners
  • Use water-based or solvent-free paints

It is our moral duty to clean an environment not only because of us; because of our new generations also. Today, the air pollution level is so high in many of the world’s city. It is more harmful than smoking. If it is not controlled, the future is in dark. Later on the condition will be worst and the situation could be un-controllable. We all need to step ahead and contribute to stop air pollution.

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