What is Air Pollution?
Air pollution refers to any physical and 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.
There is a certain percentage of gases present in the atmosphere. An increase or decrease in the composition of these gases is harmful to survival. This imbalance in the gaseous composition has resulted in an increase in the earth’s temperature, which is known as global warming.
It 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.
Causes of Air Pollution
- Burning of Fossil Fuels: The combustion of fossil fuels emits a large amount of sulfur dioxide. Carbon monoxide released by incomplete combustion of fossil fuels also results in air pollution.
- Automobiles: The gases emitted from vehicles such as jeeps, trucks, cars, buses, etc. pollute the environment. These are the major sources of greenhouse gases and also result in diseases among individuals.
- Agricultural Activities: Ammonia is one of the most hazardous gases emitted during agricultural activities. The insecticides, pesticides, and fertilizers emit harmful chemicals in the atmosphere and contaminate it.
- Factories and Industries: Factories and industries are the main source of carbon monoxide, organic compounds, hydrocarbons, and chemicals. These are released into the air, degrading its quality.
- Mining Activities: In the mining process, the minerals below the earth are extracted using large pieces of equipment. The dust and chemicals released during the process not only pollute the air but also deteriorate the health of the workers and people living in the nearby areas.
Effects of Air Pollution
Air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year. WHO data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. WHO is working with countries to monitor air pollution and improve air.
- Global Warming
- Acid Rain
- Ozone Layer Depletion
- Effect on Animals