Air pollution is the poisoning of air due to the addition of solid, liquid, or gaseous particles in a certain concentration, that may cause health hazards to Humans, Animals, Plants, etc, and also affects the environment or ecology in long term.
In India, to Prevent and Control air pollution government of India enacted a law which is called the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
Types of Air pollution
There are two type of Air Pollution: Indoor Air and Outdoor air pollution.
Indoor Air Pollution
It refers to Air Pollution, we face daily in the Home, workplace. It is caused by cooking, heating using traditional stoves, burning of log woods that results in high air pollution inside the rooms.
Outdoor Air Pollution
It refers to outside of Home or workplace, ambient air. It is caused by Petrol, diesel vehicles, solid fuel burning, and industries such as thermal power plants, etc.
Causes of Air Pollution
The burning of fuels by vehicles releases a high amount of carbon mono oxide. A million vehicles operate on roads every day leaving behind their own carbon footprint.
Thermal Power Plants
Power Plants use fossil fuels on a wide scale. That releases a lot of smoke into the environment. It also releases chemical waste such as Sulphur-di-oxide etc that travel and mixes rapidly in the environment. These things react with water molecules and fall as Acid rains.
Industrial plants and factories emit a wide range of air pollutants.
The construction site produces a lot of construction debris, dust particles, and gaseous emission into the atmosphere.
In agriculture, there is high usage of fertilizers. This releases byproducts of ammonia and other substance into the air.
Even nature produces a lot of air pollutants. Examples are Volcano eruptions, Forest, Dust storms, etc. The scale of natural causes is larger than the man-made ones.
It includes cooking, cleaning using chemicals, mosquito repellants, pesticides, artificial fragrances, etc.
Effects of Air Pollution
Heart and Respiratory Problems
It creates several health hazards including Heart and respiratory problems. In some cases there is Cancer. Children and old age people are highly vulnerable to air pollutants. The common disease caused due air pollutants are Pneumonia, Asthma, other respiratory allergies.
Global warming creates environmental effects such as an increase in sea level, melting of Icebergs, loss of habitats, forest fires, etc.
Acid rain is caused by the gases like nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides that release into the atmosphere. This reacts with water and falls as acid rain. This causes great damage to human beings, animals, and crops.
Effect on Wildlife
Can force wildlife species to move to new places and change their habitat.
Depletion of the Ozone layer
Ozone exists in the earth’s atmosphere and is responsible for protecting humans from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. This layer depletes due to chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons.
Outdoor air pollution is the major cause of disease globally. The effect is an increase in admissions to hospitals and the risk of premature death. It is estimated that 4.2 billion premature death that occurs globally are linked to ambient air pollution.
WHOEvery day about 93% of the world’s children under the age of 15 (1.8 billion children) breathe polluted air that puts their health and development at serious risk
How to control air pollution?
Aim pollution can control to a certain limit by following the ways:
- By establishing Industries, away from the area of high human pollution. Such as constructing the Industries outside the cities, towns etc.
- By Increasing the length of Chimneys in Industries. This may reduce may effect on the ground to a certain limit.
- By Planting more tree and plant.
- Encouraging the Public to use Biogas, Lpg, CNG for their motor vehicles.
- By using Public Transport such Trains, Bus etc.
- Avoid Air Travel as Aviation alone is responsible for 12% of CO2 emissions from all transports sources, compared to 74% from road transport.