Air pollution means "undesirable amounts of particulate or gaseous matter in the atmosphere". Air pollution can occur naturally during a forest fire, dust storm or volcanic eruption, but the biggest source of air pollution for the past 100 years has been humankind. It is the introduction into the atmosphere of chemicals, particulates, or biological materials that cause discomfort, pulmonary, cardiac, vascular, and neurological impairments disease, or death to humans, damage other living organisms such as food crops, or damage the natural environment or built environment.
Major Causes of Air Pollution :
1) One of the main causes of air pollution is the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, this happens because of Deforestation and fossil fuel burning.
2) Sulfur dioxide is another air polluter and is released into the atmosphere by the burning of sulfur containing compounds of fossil fuels. Sulfur oxides are very dangerous to humans at a high concentration. Sulfur in the atmosphere is responsible for acid rain.
3) Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) also contribute to air pollution by reducing the amount of ozone the stratosphere. CFCs come from a variety of places such as: the burning of plastic foam items, leaking refrigerator equipment, spray cans.
4) Carbon monoxide is another major pollutant and an air pollution cause and it results from major human activities such as fuel burning and using appliances like wood stoves, gas stoves and automobiles.
5) Nitrogen dioxide as a result of human activities also leads to air pollution cause often as a result of burning of fuels on motor vehicles and in commercial and industrial sources this ultimately leads to increase in the nitrogen oxide levels which are very dangerous.
The other air pollution cause is the globalization effect, it has become a catalyst of air pollution since with an intention of improving the economy and the industry developed countries take advantage of dim munitions in international trade such as import quotas and tariffs. Their objective is to increase the material wealth and goods by using carefree and lenient environmental controls in developing nations. The air pollution in such nations is not controlled and this in turn affects the whole world.
Few Of The Consequences of Air Pollution :
1) CO2 is a good transmitter of sunlight, but it also partially restricts infrared radiation going back from the earth into space, which produces the so-called greenhouse effect that prevents a drastic cooling of the Earth during the night.
2) Increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere reinforces this effect and is expected to result in a warming of the Earth's surface.
3) When emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide from stationary sources are transported long distances by winds, they form secondary pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, nitric acid vapor, and droplets containing solutions of sulfuric acid, sulfate, and nitrate salts. These chemicals descend to the earth's surface in wet form as rain or snow and in dry form as a gases fog, dew, or solid particles, it is known as acid rain or acid deposition.
4) With the introduction of petroleum to replace coal economies in countries, photochemical smog has become predominant in many cities, which are located in sunny, warm, and dry climates with many motor vehicles.
5)Chronic exposure of leaves and needles to air pollutants can also break down the waxy coating that helps prevent excessive water loss and damage from diseases, pests, drought and frost.
There are several prevention measures which can be used to minimize them. We can help to reduce global air pollution and climate change by :
1) Recycling and reusing things like plastic bags thus contributing to the reduction of air pollution causes and global warming.
2) Using CFL bulbs over incandescent bulbs.
3) Keeping one’s car in good condition by making sure it is tuned properly.
4) Avoid purchasing products that contain CFCs
5) Avoiding congested roads that create traffic and result in over exhaustion of harmful gases, which are among the many air pollution causes.
6) Supporting much stricter clean air laws and enforcement of international treaties to reduce ozone depletion and slow global warming.
7) Avoiding the use of fire crackers as they are one of the many air pollution causes and there are other ways to express happiness apart from that.