Friday, April 23, 2010

Air Pollution

Air pollution is something that we cannot really ignore now-a-days. This is evident from the moment we step out of our house and are greeted with black colored smog that hits us directly reminding us that breathing clean air is more of a distant dream. It is so easy for us to endlessly rant and rave about the causes of air pollution and its ill effects, but little do we realize that each person is responsible for all the causes of air pollution and the situation that we face today. Take a look around you at the dismal state of affairs. The thick smog that is seen in the morning hours is not really due to somebody else but rather due to each and every one of us. Here is a look at the causes of air pollution and how it can affect us if the matter is not taken care of at this stage itself.

  • Causes of air pollution

Cars, trucks, jet airplanes and other combustion engine vehicles cause air pollution. The exhaust from these contains carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and gaseous oxide. This type of air pollution creates smog (as seen in Los Angeles) which causes respiratory health problems and holes in the ozone layer, which increases the exposure to the sun's harmful rays.

Factories, office buildings, homes and power-generating stations burn fossil fuels, which cause air pollution. The burning of oil and coal (fossil fuels) also contributes to smog. This air pollution destroys plants, damages buildings and creates oxidation on iron.

Petroleum refineries release hydrocarbons and various particulates that pollute the air.

Some power lines are not insulated and are high voltage. This creates air pollution.

Pesticides used to kill indoor and outdoor pests, insecticides used to kill insects and herbicides use to kill weeds all cause air pollution.

Radioactive fallout causes air pollution from the nuclear energy dispersed, which is a dust.

Dust from fertilizers used to help plants grow causes air pollution.

Sick building syndrome (SBS) is the term used when there is indoor air pollution. This happens when there is not enough ventilation to disburse the toxic fumes from new carpet, paint and/or cleaning chemicals that are used indoors. Mold can also cause SBS.

Mining causes air pollution by releasing a variety of particles.

Mills and plants, include paper mills, chemical plants, iron mills, steel mills, cement plants and asphalt plants, release emissions into the air causing air pollution.

  • Effects of Air pollution

pollution can affect our health in many ways with both short-term and long-term effects

Examples of short-term effects include irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, and upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Other symptoms can include headaches, nausea, and allergic reactions. Short-term air pollution can aggravate the medical conditions of individuals with asthma and emphysema. In the great "Smog Disaster" in London in 1952, four thousand people died in a few days due to the high concentrations of pollution.
Long-term health effects can include chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys. Continual exposure to air pollution affects the lungs of growing children and may aggravate or complicate medical conditions in the elderly. It is estimated that half a million people die prematurely every year in the United States as a result of smoking cigarettes.

  • How can we help to prevent air pollution

Carpool- This will help to reduce the number of vehicles on the already congested roads.
Always keep your car tuned properly so that it remains in a good condition.
Save energy- Try to use minimum amounts of natural gas and even electricity. Whenever possible, avoid the use of air conditioner and use a fan instead.
Always buy recycled products.
Reuse things such as paper and plastic bags, paper etc. This will contribute a lot towards reducing the effects of air pollution and global warming.
Avoid the use of firecrackers. You don’t really need it to express your feeling of happiness.
Go in for water-based paints instead of varnishes.
If you really cannot avoid using your car, plan your work systematically to reduce air pollution.

  • Solutions to Air Pollution on the Industrial Level

Air pollution aggravates the health problems of elderly and others who have cardio and respiratory diseases. Though everybody plays a vital role in combating air pollution, the industry should be the most aggressive in the implementation of the Clean Air Act. Meeting the ambient air quality standards by installing equipment such as smokestack scrubbers, electrostatic precipitators, and other filters will regulate the emissions of various pollutants.
The ultimate goal of every industry should be to eliminate the use of fossil fuel and replace internal-combustion engines if long-term solution to air pollution is important to them. Other suggested solutions such as increasing electricity rates and gasoline prices would deter waste and inefficiency and will have an impact.

(2010)causes of air pollution.
Nicole LaMarco.(2005).10 causes of air website.from
Staff contributor.(2009).How to solve air pollution.How to do things website.from

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