Air pollution is now a common place term, that our ears are attuned to. We hear about the various forms of pollution and read about it through the mass media. It occurs when any harmful gases, dust or smoke enters the atmosphere. Thus, makes it difficult for plants, animals and humans to survive as the air becomes dirty.
Generally, any substance that people introduce into the atmosphere that has damaging effects on the environment is considered air pollution.
Smog hanging over cities is the most familiar and obvious form of air pollution. But there are different kinds of pollution that contribute to global warming; some visible, some invisible.
Industrialized countries have worked to reduce levels of sulphur dioxide, smog, and smoke to improve people’s health. But a result, not predicted until recently, shows that lower sulphur dioxide levels may make global warming worse. Sulphur dioxide from volcanoes can cool the planet by blocking sunlight. Also, cutting the amount of the compound in the atmosphere lets more sunlight through, warming the earth.
Causes of Air pollution
- Burning of Fossil Fuels:Sulphur dioxide emitted from the combustion of fossil fuels and other factory combustibles is one of the major cause of air pollution.
- Agricultural activities: Use of insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers in agricultural activities has grown quite a lot. They emit harmful chemicals into the air and can also causewater pollution.
- Exhaust from factories and industries:Manufacturing industries release large amount of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and chemicals into the air thereby depleting the quality of air.
Effects of Air Pollution
- Respiratory and heart problems:The effect of air pollution is alarming. They are known to create several respiratory and heart conditions along with cancer, among other threats to the body.
- Acid Rain:Harmful gases like nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides are released into the atmosphere during the burning of fossil fuels. When it rains, the water droplets combine with these air pollutants, becomes acidic and falls in form of acid rain.
- Effect on Wildlife:Just like humans, animals also face some devastating effects of air pollution. Toxic chemicals present in the air can force wildlife species to move to new place and change their habitat.
In conclusion, most people agree that to curb global warming, a variety of measures need to be taken. On a larger scale, governments are taking measures to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. One way is to put taxes on carbon emissions or higher taxes on gasoline. This will enable people and companies have greater incentives to conserve energy and pollute less.
The most immediate method of improving air quality would be the use of biodiesel, solar energy, and hybrid vehicle technologies.