The quality of the air we breathe in remains an important factor in our health maintenance. However, it is saddened that the advancement of technology has brought about the development of machines and chemical substances that pollute this crucial necessity. In this article, we see how to actually control air pollution and discuss some of the important aspects of air pollution.
If you take a look at the major problems humans are suffering from, air pollution is one. We no longer breathe in fresh air instead we inhale dangerous air pollutants. Whether we are at home or at the office, these harmful substances surround us always.
But, What is Air Pollution?
Air pollution is an occurrence whereby the release of dangerous chemicals into the atmosphere results in the pollution of air, hence making it harmful to different life forms. This is a change in the biological, chemical and physical characteristics of air which results in severe effects on humans and other living organisms.
Air pollution is one of the most severe environmental issues globally. This is not surprising because it does lead to many health issues in humans. Also, it destroys the ozone layer, which in turn has its own harmful effects.
The final end result is the major change in the ecosystem and our natural environment. Materials or things that cause air pollution are referred to as air pollutants. These pollutants may be both natural and man-made and can be seen in form of solid, liquid, or gas within the atmosphere.
Before I progress on the causes of this environmental hazard, let’s take a look at some facts about it which you might not know.
Facts of Air Pollution:
- According to the World Health Organization, around 7 million humans died globally in 2012 due to environmental air pollution.
- Breathing in a polluted air can take away a minimum 1 to 2 years of a regular human life.
- Air pollutants are more harmful than water and land pollutants
- The air pollution rising level in Beijing resulted in a new ailment called Beijing a cough.
- The production of heavy crude oil raises the possibilities of air pollution by 40 percent than generating light crude oil.
- An average man breathes in two gallons of air every minute and this, in turn, means man breathes in about 3400 gallons of air every day.
- Deaths due to air pollution are known to cost the European Union at least 161 billion Euros.
- Lancet journal reported that harmful substances inhaled while waiting in traffic can increase the chances of death caused by heart attack.
- About 2 million automobiles cause eighty percent of air pollution in Manila, Philippines.
- Poisonous gases cause a greater risk to children, due to their lung capacity and smaller physical size.
- Those who live close to high traffic roads have a higher risk of getting bronchitis, asthma, cancer and heart disease has these places have a higher level of air pollution.
- Air pollution is not something new; the London great smog killed at least 8000 people in 1952.
- Smog caused by air pollution can create black lung diseases in dolphins.
- At least 5,000 of untimely deaths in Southern California are due to harmful gases from diesel vehicles.
- One of the best approaches to lessen air pollution is by riding a bicycle.
- It is believed by 28 percent of the Americans that they are most affected by air pollutants resulting from automobiles.
- Every year, about 527,700 deaths in India, 750,000 in China and above 50,000 in America are due to Air pollution.
- Outdoor air pollution ranks among the top ten killers on this planet.
- 25 percent of the deaths in India and 65 percent of the deaths in Asia are due to air pollution.
- Eighty percent of lung diseases resulted from harmful gases released from buses, trucks, vans, and cars.
- It is estimated that 6 million people will die every year by 2050 due to air pollution.
So why not be well-informed and keep yourself abreast about how air pollution occurs? Below are some causes of air pollution.
Causes of Air Pollution:
Nearly all of the common substances that pollute the air are created by industrial processes. These are caused by the combustion of fossil fuels that power these processes, thereby resulting in nitrogen and ozone oxides, particulates, toxic gases and so on.
- Forest Fires
Fires set up in the forest release pollutants into the air. They produce smoke particles, which are small enough to get into the lungs and cause damage to the heart and lungs.
Our means of transportation such as planes, cars, and ships use combustion to gather energy from fossil fuels. This process of combustion releases air pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, particles, and nitrogen oxides which are harmful to our health.
- Side Effects From Agriculture
Fossil fuels driven machine use by farmers to harvest produce and plow fields produces a great amount of pollution. Likewise, the animals reared for food also pollute the air in their own way.
Livestock releases an intestinal gas which contributes to the effect of the greenhouse that leads to global warming.
- Smelting Of Metal
Most industries produce metal pollution which also contaminates our air. Metal smelting is the main source of this metal pollution (lead). Industries that use lead to generate aviation fuels create a lot of harmful substances to our atmosphere.
- Cooking At Home
Energy used for cooking is gotten from energy plants, which has given rise to pollution earlier. Also, in the developing countries, where direct burning of wood and use of coals are used for cooking, this also remains a cause of air pollution.
- Volcano Eruptions
Many people believe that air pollution is only caused by humans but the truth is natural resources also play a great part. During Volcano eruption, Sulfur dioxide is released into the air and this can influence global warming
- Smoke From Tobacco
Tobacco smoke is common in the developed world, and this is the visible kind of pollution that always finds its way to the house. This substance is so harmful that it can cause a disease to the respiratory organs.
Air pollution remains something we must all deal because its consequences on human beings are life-threatening and fatal. Regular exposure to these pollutants causes a lot of diseases. Below are some of them:
Effects Of Air Pollution:
One of the most common effects of air pollution is later having an issue in breathing, and in more critical cases, asthma. This is caused by the inflammation of the air passage due to a lot of pollutants in the atmosphere.
Asthma results in problems in someone’s daily life and can lead to death if not given much attention.
- Cardiopulmonary disease
This disease is not well-known and it is actually a deadly disease. The cardiopulmonary disease can affect both the heart and lungs. Also, it can cause infection in the air passage and lead to critical complications.
This is one of the most common diseases due to air pollution, and most common in the underdeveloped countries due to the very high level of air pollution in these countries. Pneumonia is caused due to the inflammation of the tissue in the lungs. If not properly treated on time can result in death.
- Premature Death
Since air remains the important thing in our lives, and also remains the most essential factor in our existence. Our bodies function properly due to the regular provision of fresh air that gets to our numerous organs through the bloodstream. So if this air gets polluted, it can result to both long-time and short-time damage.
On a long run, these organs cease to function properly if there is a lack of fresh air in the organs and can eventually lead to untimely death.
- Heart Attack
The human body is controlled by the heart. The lungs provide oxygen to the heart continuously, which in turn pumps blood to the whole body. This combination between with the heart and the other body organs make sure we live healthily.
Breathing in a polluted air causes a lot of serious problems. These pollutants get into the bloodstream and get accumulated in the heart arteries. This can affect the functioning of the heart, and in turn, cause heart attacks.
- Vascular Disorder
Prolonged exposure to the pollutants in the air can result in severe damage to the lungs. One out these serious lung conditions is the vascular dysfunction. If not properly taken care of, this situation can be fatal.
- Trouble In Breathing
A lot of people all over the world today have trouble when it comes to breathing either in a big or a small way. And this is due to rise in air pollution in our world.
We live healthily due to the supply of air-rich blood to our body parts continuously. When the flow of blood to any body part interrupts, the part becomes blue due to blood clotting. If right blood flow is not reinstated, that part starts to degenerate. This situation is referred to as thrombosis.
- Coughing and Wheezing
Prolonged cough and wheezing cough are symptoms of asthma and are due to air pollutants and this can affect the way of new air into the respiration tracked over time.
We should all be aware of this ever-increasing air-pollution and we need to take steps to make this world free from pollution. Below are some of the measures to control and reduce air pollution:
How To Actually Control Air Pollution?
- Automobiles remain the major source of air pollution is the vehicles; hence, these car engines need to be redesigned in a way that the emissions from the vehicles should cause very little pollution. Though various steps have been taken towards this regard, however most of them preliminary level.
- The forest should be covered by limiting deforestation and encourage afforestation. Trees remain the great controllers of air pollution. A study was proved that if at least 33% of our land area has tree cover, it will assist in reducing air pollution and as well as assist in maintaining the balance in the ecosystem.
- There should be the creation of green belts. Every industrial area, towns, and villages should be surrounded by ‘green’ belts.
- Also, you can make use of technologically advanced control equipment, such as wet scrubbers and fabric filters. Fabric filters will help you to eliminate the dirt in a process known as ‘bag filtration’, while wet scrubbers will assist you in disposing of acid gases such as like sulfur dioxide, present within the environment.
- There should be an arrangement of pollution control by industries.
- Alternatively, we should make use of energy resources such as wind power and solar power whenever possible. These energy resources emit low-carbon emissions which make it safe and environmentally friendly. Using these resources as your secondary source of energy will be of help and as well as reduce pollution of air.
- Industrial areas must locate far from the residential areas.
- Waste gotten from your house and garden should not be burned but should dispose into a garbage disposal. Also, you make use of the traditional methods like decomposing. Even, decomposing really help to benefit the soil by improving its quality and also help to save money and resources.
- Make use of the newly designed furnaces which are smoke-free.
- Fires in the forest need to be checked. And proper preventive measures must be followed to shield the forests.
- Adhere to the rules and guidelines meant to prevent air pollution and also try to inform people about the present hazards in our environment. Though the numbers might not be impressive when this is done personally. But over time the collective effect will be good for you and the environment.
- Steam engines used by trains must be stopped. Combustible materials like coal when burn produces toxic gases which are released into the atmosphere. Electric powered engines should be used in preference to steam or diesel engines.
- Less expensive devices for air pollution control should be created.
Now you know how to actually control air pollution and various causes and effects of air pollution. And also some of the important facts of air pollution.
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- How To Actually Control Noise Pollution?