Abstract. In a world that is becoming increasingly industrialized, and in a world where more people can afford to drive cars, air pollution is becoming a very big problem. While there are those who would debate whether or not our air pollution is causing global warming, versus the earth’s natural warming process since the last Ice Age. Definitive proof may or may not be found anytime soon. What is certain, however, is that there are confirmed problems caused by air pollution. These problems include respiratory problems and they also include problems regarding what we eat. (http://artificially. Com/)
As the world moves more into the modern age, more pollutants are spewed into the air. Rising middle classes in large, formerly poor countries now want the same privileges of driving cars. Additionally, countries that entered the latter half Of the 20th Century largely free Of industry are now establishing it in order to jump into the 21 SST Century and bring their economies up to date. Many of these countries are understandably resentful of regulations that others try to foist on them because the already industrialized countries had their opportunity for unregulated and explosive industrial growth.
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And the increasing demands for ears, coupled with lowered restrictions on pollution output, in the U. S. Continue to drive the air pollution machine. No matter where it comes from, however, air pollution causes health problems almost everywhere. Respiratory problems are a very natural and scientifically established result of air pollution. While mild pollution is not awful for a healthy person in the prime of his or her life, polluting particles in the air can cause problems both in children and adults. Additionally pollutants in the air can aggravate asthma symptoms and increase allergy symptoms.
This can be annoying and dangerous to the health of some people. Heavy air pollution can be damaging even to the healthiest of people. Mexico City, the largest city in the world, has major air pollution problems. It is said that just breathing the air each day is like smoking more than a pack of cigarettes. If the pollution is heavy enough, serious health problems, including cancer, can result from the toxins constantly breathed in through the air. The intention of this article is not to only point out the effects of air pollution but also how it can be reduced or prevent it from causing more health problems.
One of many forms of pollution, air pollution occurs inside homes, schools, and offices; in cities; across continents; and even globally. Air pollution makes people sick, it causes breathing problems and promotes cancer, it harms lands, animals, and the ecosystems in which they live. Some air pollutants return to Earth in the form of acid rain and snow, which corrode statues and buildings, damage crops and forests, and make lakes and streams unsuitable for fish and other plant and animal life. Air pollution is changing Earth’s atmosphere so that it lets in more harmful radiation from the Sun.
At the same time, our polluted atmosphere is becoming a better insulator, preventing heat from escaping back into space and leading to a rise in global average temperatures. Scientists predict that the temperature increase, offered to as global warming, will affect world food supply, alter sea level, make weather more extreme, and increase the spread of tropical diseases. 1. 1 . 1 Air pollution 2. Major sources of Air Pollution Most air pollution comes from one human activity: burning fossil fuels, natural gas, coal, and oil to power industrial processes and motor vehicles.
Among the harmful chemical compounds this burning puts into the atmosphere are carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and tiny solid particles including lead from gasoline additives called particulates. Between 1900 and 1970, motor vehicle use expanded rapidly, ND emissions of nitrogen oxides, some of the most damaging pollutants in vehicle exhaust, increased. When fuels are incompletely burned, various chemicals called volatile organic chemicals (Voss) also enter the air. Pollute nets also come from other sources.
For instance, decomposing garbage in landfills and solid waste disposal sites emits methane gas, and many household products give off Voss. Some of these pollutants also come from natural sources. For example, forest fires emit particulates and Voss into the atmosphere. Ultramarine dust particles, dislodged by soil erosion when water and weather loosen layers of soil, increase airborne particulate levels. Volcanoes spew out sulfur dioxide and large amounts of pulverize lava rock known as volcanic ash. A big volcanic eruption can darken the sky over a wide region and affect the Earth’s entire atmosphere.
The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinpoint in the Philippines, for example, dumped enough volcanic ash into the upper atmosphere to lower global temperatures for the next TTY. To years. Unlike pollutants from human activity, however, naturally occurring pollutants tend to remain in the atmosphere for a short time and do not lead to permanent atmospheric change. Once in the atmosphere, pollutants often undergo chemical reactions that produce additional harmful compounds. Air pollution is subject to weather patterns that can trap it in valleys or blow it across the globe to damage pristine environments far from the original sources. 3.
Local and Regional Pollution Local and regional pollution take place in the lowest layer of the atmosphere called the troposphere, which at its widest extends from Earth’s surface to about 16 km. The troposphere is the region in which most weather occurs. If the load of pollutants added to the troposphere were equally distributed, the Laotians would be spread over vast areas and the air pollution might almost escape our notice. Pollution sources tend to be concentrated, however, especially in cities. In the weather phenomenon known as thermal inversion, a layer of cooler air is trapped near the ground by a layer of warmer air above.
When this occurs, normal air mixing almost ceases and pollutants are trapped in the lower layer. Local topography, or the shape of the land, can worsen this effect, an area ringed by mountains, for example, can become a pollution trap. 3. 1 Smog and Acid precipitation Smog is intense local pollution usually trapped by a thermal inversion. Before the age of the automobile, most smog came from burning coal. In 19th-century, smog was so severe that in some areas, street lights were turned on by noon because soot and smog darkened the midday sky. Burning gasoline in motor vehicles is the main source of smog in most regions today.
The sunlight makes oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds react in the atmosphere to produce photochemical smog. Smog contains ozone, a form Of oxygen gas made up Of molecules with three oxygen atoms rather than the normal two. Ozone in the lower atmosphere is a poison because it images vegetation, kills trees, irritates lung tissues, and attacks rubber. Environmental officials measure ozone to determine the severity of smog. When the ozone level is high, other pollutants, including carbon monoxide, are usually present at high levels as well.
In the presence of atmospheric moisture, sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen turn into droplets of pure acid floating in smog. These airborne acids are bad for the lungs and attack anything made of limestone, marble, or metal. In cities around the world, smog acids are eroding precious artifacts, including the Parthenon temple in Athens, Greece, and the Tag Mall in Agar, India. Oxides of nitrogen and sulfur dioxide pollute places far from the points where they are released into the air. Carried by winds in the troposphere, they can reach distant regions where they descend in acid form, usually as rain or snow.
Such acid precipitation can burn the leaves of plants and make lakes too acidic to support fish and other living things. Because of acidification, sensitive species such as the popular brook trout can no longer survive in many lakes and streams in some countries. Smog spoils views and makes outdoor activity unpleasant. For the very young, the very old, and people who suffer from asthma or heart disease, the effects Of smog are even Worse: It may cause headaches or dizziness and can cause breathing difficulties.
In extreme cases, smog can lead to mass illness and death, mainly from carbon monoxide poisoning. SMOG 4. Global scale Pollution Air pollution is not limited to only local and regional but also it is global in nature. The stratosphere is the layer of the atmosphere between 16 km and 50 km above sea level. It is rich in ozone, the same molecule that acts as a pollutant when found at lower levels of the atmosphere in urban smog. At the troposphere level, however, ozone forms a protective layer that serves a vital function: It absorbs the wavelength of solar radiation known as ultraviolet-B (IV-B).
IV-B damages deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the genetic molecule found in every living cell, increasing the risk of problems such as cancer in humans. Because of its protective function, the ozone layer is essential to life on Earth. 4. 1 Ozone Depletion There are several pollutants that attack the ozone layer. Chief among them is the class of chemicals known as chlorofluorocarbons (CIFS), formerly used as refrigerants (it is present in air conditioners), as agents in several manufacturing processes, and as propellants in spray cans. CUFF molecules are virtually indestructible until they reach the stratosphere.
Here, intense ultraviolet radiation breaks the CUFF molecules apart, releasing the chlorine atoms they contain. These chlorine atoms begin reacting with ozone, breaking it down into ordinary oxygen molecules that do not absorb LIVE-B. The chlorine acts as a catalyst that is, it takes part in several chemical reactions, yet at the end emerges unchanged and able to react again. A single chlorine atom can destroy up to 100,000 ozone molecules in the stratosphere. Other pollutants, including nitrous oxide from fertilizers and the pesticide methyl bromide, also attack atmospheric ozone.
Scientists are finding that under this assault the protective ozone layer in the stratosphere is thinning. In the Antarctic region, it vanishes almost entirely for a few weeks every year. Although CUFF use has been greatly reduced in recent years and will soon be prohibited worldwide, CUFF molecules already released into the lower atmosphere will be making their way to the stratosphere for decades, and further ozone loss is expected. As a result, experts anticipate an increase in skin cancers, more cataracts clouding of the lens of the eye), and reduced yields of some food crops. . 2 Global Warm Eng Humans are bringing about another global-scale change in the atmosphere: the increase in what are called greenhouse gases. Like glass in a greenhouse, these gases admit the Sun’s light but tend to reflect back downward the heat that is radiated from the ground below, trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. This process is known as the greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide is the most significant of these gases-??there is 31 percent more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today than there was in 1750, the exult of our burning coal and fuels derived from oil.
Methane, nitrous oxide, and CIFS are greenhouse gases as well. Scientists predict that increases in these gases in the atmosphere will make the Earth a warmer place. They expect a global rise in average temperature of 1. 4 to 5. 8 Celsius degrees in the next century. Average temperatures have in fact been rising. Some scientists are reluctant to say that global warming has actually begun because climate naturally varies from year to year and decade to decade, and it takes many years of records to be sure of a fundamental change. There is little agreement, though, that global warming is on its way.
Global warming will have different effects in different regions. A warmed world is expected to have more extreme weather, with more rain during wet periods, longer droughts, and more powerful storms. Although the effects of future climate change are unknown, some predict that exaggerated weather conditions may translate into better agricultural yields in areas such as the western United States, where temperature and rainfall are expected to increase, while dramatic decreases in rainfall may lead to severe drought and plunging agricultural yields in parts of Africa, for example.
Warmer temperatures are expected to partially melt the polar ice caps, leading to a projected sea level rise of 9 to 100 CM by the year 2100. A sea level rise at the upper end of this range would flood coastal cities, force people to abandon low-lying islands, and completely flood coastal wetlands. If sea levels rise at projected rates, the Florida Everglades could be completely under salt water in the next century. Diseases like malaria, which at present are primarily found in the tropics, may become more common in the regions of the globe between the tropics and the Polar Regions, called the temperate zones.
For many of the world’s plant species, and for animal species that are not easily able to shift their territories as their habitat grows warmer, climate change may bring extinction. 5. Indoor Air Pollution Pollution is more harmful indoors than outdoor, inside the homes and buildings where we spend most of our time. Indoor pollutants include tobacco smoke, radon, an invisible radioactive gas that enters homes from the ground in some regions; and chemicals released from synthetic carpets and furniture, pesticides, and household cleaners.
When disturbed, asbestos, a nonflammable material once commonly used in insulation, sheds airborne biers that can produce a lung disease called asbestosis. Pollutants may accumulate to reach much higher levels than they do outside, where natural air currents disperse them. Indoor air levels Of many pollutants may be 2 to 5 times, and occasionally more than 100 times, higher than outdoor levels. These levels of indoor air pollutants are especially harmful because people spend as much as 90 percent of their time living, working, and playing indoors.
Inefficient or improperly vented heaters are particularly dangerous. So therefore designs for residential building should be properly made with enough ventilation systems. 6. One of the solutions to help slow the depletion is to use hydro- fluorocarbons (Huffs) instead of CIFS, cutting down on the use of CIFS, and using alternative jet fuel which doesn’t release Nitrous gas. Ozone is constantly being created. The reason we have a problem is that it is being destroyed at a much faster rate than it is replenishing itself.
All we need to do is slow down it human the emission of these gases. This will give the ozone time to repair itself. Then we need to keep the emissions low so that this problem will not reoccur. Another way is to increase the production of oxygen. Oxygen in the atmosphere saves our life. This oxygen is exhaled by trees. Trees make the oxygen and spread it in the air for us. So therefore we should plant more trees in our environment in order to increase the production of oxygen so as to eradicate our environmental pollution.
In other words deforestation should be stopped Finally, there should be an arrangement for a global Air Pollution act or control in which both individuals and bodies will have to comply with in everyday living. If an arrangement could be made locally or regionally for example each country with her own air pollution act it will be a big Step to reducing air pollution. 7. When it comes to air pollution, everyone has a part to play. When everyone participates in the reduction practices of air pollution, then all that has been affected by it be it humans, animals, or nature will all be relieved.
We can all start by planting tress all around us today, when we stop deforestation and start planting tress all around us, we make green areas available almost everywhere space is available we can say we have started air pollution reduction process. The work is not supposed to be left to the government alone but everyone, we should all participate. If this is achieved locally, regionally and globally, we an call it step one to putting an end to Air Pollution then and only then can some other major steps be taken to finally put an end to Air pollution as it is a killer disease to us and our planet.