the most basic need for the human life since it supports life and its
existence. People, plants, and animals cannot survive without air. Air is
readily available to all living things and it also forms a layer of insulation
against the harmful rays of the sun and the excessive heat. However, in the
contemporary society, there is increased environmental degradation with
pollution of the environment being the most alarming (Agarwal, 100).
The human activities as well as natural factors have led to the increased air,
water and other forms of pollutions. Air pollution is the most alarming since
it has a direct impact on life and also poses a threat to the existence and
also on the quality of life for the next generations. The WHO defines air
pollution as the contamination of the both the indoor and the outdoor
environments by any form of chemical, biological or even environmental agents
that may lead to the altering of the natural
characteristics if the atmosphere (Venkatesan). Human beings are
mandated with the responsibility of taking care of nature since it is the
nature that supports their existence. Therefore, there is need for every
individual to participate and also play a role in preventing and addressing air
pollution by all means.
earth is surrounded by a layer that acts like a blanket of air composed of
various gases and is collectively referred to as the atmosphere. It is the
atmosphere that plays a crucial role in protecting the earth and also allows
for the continued existence of life. Without the layer of gases, then all life
on earth would be roasted or burnt up by the intense heat from the sun during
the day or even be frozen from the low temperatures that would be experienced
over the night (Agarwal, 97).
Any form of additions of particles or chemicals to the air may distort the
natural balance and ultimately result in adverse consequences to the living
things on earth.
the things that may pollute the air are referred to as the pollutants and may
include nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons, sulfur oxides, organic compounds as well
as sand or dust particles. The two primary types of pollutants are the primary
pollutants and the secondary pollutants.
primary pollutants are the gases or particle that may be released to the air
directly making it unclean. They include the carbon monoxide from pollutants
such as automobile exhausts and also sulfur dioxide that may be released from
combustion of coal. The major primary pollutants are:
common pollutant is the sulfur dioxide which is chemical compound that may be
produced by some industrial processes as well as natural causes such as
volcanoes. Coal and petroleum are energy sources that are majorly being used in
the contemporary society but they often lead to the massive release of sulfur
compounds to the atmosphere as a result of their combustion in engines and
other areas. The continued oxidation of sulfur dioxide may lead to the
formation of acid rain. It is because, the chemical reaction leads to the
formation of H2SO4 which is an acid. It is a significant concern over the
environmental impact of petroleum and coal are major en energy sources and
hence have a major environmental impact.
oxides are the next primary pollutants. Particularly nitrogen dioxides are
released from high temperature combustion. They are also produced during
extreme weather conditions such as thunderstorms and electric discharges
organic compounds (VOC) are the major outdoor air pollutants. They may be
categorized as either methane or non-methane. Methane is highly produced in
greenhouses and majorly contributes to global warming. There are other
hydrocarbon VOCs that are significant greenhouse gases due to their role in
creating ozone and also prolonging the retaining of methane in the atmosphere.
The effect may vary with the quality of air in a given area (Vallero, 49).
metals are the other major pollutants. The metals such as lead and mercury that
may have an effect on the air directly. Their compounds are also very dangerous
and cause a lot of harm to the atmosphere.
monoxide is a very toxic, odorless and non-irritating gas that is usually
produced from incomplete combustion of fuel such as the natural gas, wood or
coal. The exhausts of vehicles are a significant source of the pollutant in the
(CFCs) are the other major pollutants. These are harmful to the ozone layer and
are usually banned from use. They are also released from machines such as
refrigerators, air conditioners and also aerosol sprays; they may later raise
to the stratosphere where they get into contact with other gases further
damaging the ozone layer (Vallero, 75).
The secondary pollutants
may arise from the mixing up of various pollutants released into the air
resulting in a chemical reaction. Secondary pollutants are not emitted
directly. One major example of a secondary pollutant is photochemical smog. Air
pollutants may be in the form of solid particles, gases, and even liquid
droplets. Some pollutants may also be both primary and secondary since they are
emitted directly and formed from other primary pollutants.
of air pollution
are a series of pollutants that have indications of being harmful to the human
health and also the environment. In the majority of the areas in Europe,
America and also China, the pollutants are majorly of products of combustion
from industries, power generations and also motor vehicle traffic. The
pollutants may lead to a severe and at times fatal effect not only to the
immediate vicinity or areas of the sources but can also travel long distances.
effects of air pollution
elevated exposure as a result of increased accumulation of pollutants in the
atmosphere may lead to symptoms and conditions that have effects on the human
health (Kampa and Castanas, 112). Dangerous chemicals and
compounds in the environment such as benzene or vinyl chloride, when released
in large amounts to the air, may lead to birth defects, cancer, long-term
injury of lungs as well as have effects on the nervous systems and the human
brain that inhale it. In some cases, some chemicals may be so dangerous that
they may cause death out of breathing them (Kampa and Castanas, 112). Breathing in such
contaminants may also make the eyes and nose burn, and this may eventually
trigger respiratory problems especially so for individuals that have asthma and
other respiratory related complications. There is also research that indicates
that the continued exposure and use of cars, power plants and factories have
led to asthma attacks. Pollutants in the environment have also been attachÃ© to
other symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, breathing difficulties as well as
the chest pains. It also leads to an increased risk of heart attack (Kampa and Castanas, 114).
pollution can result in a variety of environmental effects. It may result in
acid rain which is precipitation that contains high amounts of sulfuric and
nitric acids. The acids fall on the earth either as wet precipitation such as
rain, snow or fog or dry precipitation such as gas. The wind carries some of
them to large areas. The acid rain may lead to severe damaging of the trees,
acidify the soils and water bodies. As a result, it may make the water
unsuitable for some fish and also other wildlife. Moreover, it leads to the
increased decay of buildings, statues, and sculptures. Acid rain is attached to
the damaging of Massachusetts Rivers, soils, lakes, and ponds that may
eventually lead to damaging of wildlife and the forests (Agarwal, 112).
pollutants in the air also have an effect on wildlife. It is because; they may
deposit in soils and also waters leading to a negative impact on wildlife. The
animals may experience health complications due to the exposure to toxic
products. The toxic air may contribute to birth defects, reproductive failure
and diseases in animals (Agarwal, 113).
The toxins that break down slowly in the environment may be of particular
concern on the aquatic ecosystem. It is these that accumulate in sediments and
may biomagnify in tissues of animals.
release of some pollutants that affect the ozone layer mat lead to ozone
depletion. At the Earthâ€™s level, ozone are pollutants that may be harmful to
life. However, at the stratosphere level, it may result in the formation of the
ozone layer that protects life from direct and damaging rays of the sun such as
the ultraviolet rays. However, the ozone layer is also destroyed by man-made
chemicals such as halons and chlorofluorocarbons. The hazardous substances may
be contained in coolants, fire extinguishers, solvents, aerosol propellants and
also pesticides (Jacobson, 73).
also lead to the global climate change and also global warming. It is because
the earthâ€™s atmosphere contains some delicate balance of the naturally
occurring gases that may trap some of the sunâ€™s heat on the earthâ€™s surface
(Jacobson, 73). The pollutants may be released to the air may lead to causing
an imbalance through the production of excessive greenhouse gases including
methane and carbon dioxide. It ultimately leads to the earthâ€™s atmosphere
trapping more of the sunâ€™s heat causing a rise in the average temperature of
the earth through a phenomenon called global warming. Global warming may have
an adverse and significant impact on the human, agricultural, wildlife, and
other natural resources.
pollution may also have severe effects on the economy of a nation. It is
because it leads to health consequences and also affects the environment of
which majority of economic activities is pegged upon. If the health of
individuals is affected then, their productivity is reduced hence affecting the
economy (Venkatesan). Moreover, air pollution may lead to a reduction in
agricultural and commercial forests that yield millions of dollars annually.
conclusion, air pollution is a global problem and does not spare any
individual. It is imperative to realize that it is essential to protect and
safeguard the environment to minimize the release of pollutants to the
environment. There is also a need for every individual to come up and also take
up environmental conservation mechanisms that lead to the reduction of air
pollution. It is because; air pollution has adverse and devastating effects on
the populations and the environment. The pollutants also travel long distances
regardless of where the source of pollutant may have been leading to effects to
other regions. Hence, the need for every individual to participate and also
play a role in preventing and addressing air pollution by all means.
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