With the change in the current scenario, the amount of pollution present in the environment has increased by ten folds. There are various negative changes taking place in the environment. These changes are affecting the lives of humans, animals and plants. Pollution refers to the contamination of any natural resources. These refer to air and water pollutants as materials or substances that can cause pollution.
There are two types of pollutants: natural sources and man-made sources. Air pollution is one major type of pollution. It is defined as the contamination of air due to the presence of harmful elements in the earth’s atmosphere. These include methane, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and ammonia. Due to air pollution, the quality of air is affected adversely. The physical and chemical properties of the air are affected as well. There are many causes of air pollution, and you can trace them through the various aspects of pollution in general.
What is Air Pollution?
Air pollution is defined as the contamination of air due to the presence of chemicals and harmful substances like methane, chlorofluorocarbons, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and so on. It causes a significant change in the quality of air. It leads to the degradation of air, which makes it unfit for breathing. This also leads to many other health problems like asthma, sinuses, lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis and so on.
Air pollution changes the original quality of air by changing its physical, chemical or biological properties. Due to the presence of many pollutants in the environment, the concentration in the chemical level of the air changes. This results in the gradual degradation of the quality of air.
What are the Types of Air Pollution?
The various types of air pollution are caused by the two different sources. These are:
Natural calamities, such as volcanic eruptions and forest fires, can emit chlorine, sulphur, methane and so on. These can cause severe air pollution. These are one of the many causes of air pollution.
The burning of fossil fuels is one of the major causes of air pollution. Due to industrialisation, industrial sources and other fuels help in the proper functioning of the machines. There is a lot of equipment that releases harmful gases into the environment. These include hairsprays, paint, varnish, aerosol sprays and so on. Some military warfare equipment, like nuclear weapons, toxic gases and rockets, are included in this list as well.
Air Pollution: Causes
Many causes of air pollution should not go unnoticed. These are mentioned below:
Industries contribute a great deal to the amount of air pollution in the air. The huge machinery that is employed in factories emits harmful gases into the environment. They release carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, methane and other such gases into the environment.
The agricultural industry also contributes a great deal to air pollution. There are various pesticides and insecticides that are used by farmers. These can transmit many harmful emissions into the environment. The main component in them is ammonia. It pollutes the air excessively.
There are several landfills in every big city in the world. These large landfills produce a lot of methane gas in the environment, polluting it.
Mining requires a lot of heavy machinery to extract the minerals from the earth’s core. These machines produce a lot of noise in addition to contaminating the air. It is one of the major causes of air pollution.
Burning of Fossil Fuels
When coal and petroleum are burned or used as fuel, they release sulphur dioxide and nitrogen into the environment. Both these gases contribute to air pollution.
What are the 5 Effects of Air Pollution?
Air pollution has a variety of effects on humans, animals, plants and the environment. The disastrous effects of air pollution can bring about a great change in the environment. The 5 effects of air pollution are mentioned below:
Adverse Effects on Human Health
Humans are greatly affected by air pollution and how it easily spreads and causes problems in their bodies. The various health conditions associated with air pollution include asthma, allergies, sinuses, lung infection, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. According to WHO, each year, more than seven million people die due to complications related to air pollution. The disastrous effects of air pollution can cause permanent damage to the lungs.
Adverse Effects on Plants and Animals
When plants and animals are exposed to long durations of air pollution, it can affect their growth immensely. Plants have stunted growth and fail to give the desired yield.
In plants, the stomata can be damaged too. It is an important part of the photosynthesis process and can lead to serious problems later. Animals, on the other hand, find it difficult to survive and fall prey to infections. Due to this, most of them die.
Depletion of Ozone Layer
Due to the presence of air pollutants, the ozone layer is getting depleted. Currently, it has a hole in it. Through this, the harmful UV rays of the sun enter the earth’s surface.
Since air pollution gives rise to many harmful gases in the environment, the mixing of these gases with water droplets can result in acid rain. Acid rain can corrode surfaces and lead to the death of plant life.
Due to air pollution, the amount of sunlight that gets to the earth’s surface is relatively lesser. It also changes the appearance of the sky. Due to less sunlight, the lives of both plants and humans are affected.
In this article, we walked you through the general definition of pollution and pollutants. Pollution refers to the contamination of any natural resources. These refer to air and water pollutants as materials or substances that can cause pollution. There are two types of pollutants: natural sources and man-made sources. These pollutants cause great harm to the environment and cause pollution.
We then discussed air pollution, which is a major type of pollution. Air pollution refers to the contamination of the air due to the presence of chemicals, harmful gases and other such particles. It causes the degradation of air which makes it unfit for breathing. It also leads to many other health problems like asthma, sinuses, lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis and so on. It is high time that we take a step to stop the disastrous effects of air pollution.