What is Air Pollution-Types, Causes, Sources- Effects, Prevention, Control, Reduce

Air pollution means degradation of the air quality harmfully affecting the living organisms as well as certain objects. Environmental is the branch of science which deals the chemical changes in the environment. It includes our surroundings such as air, water, soil, forests, sunlight etc. Broadly speaking the environment has three main components. These are :

(i) Abiotic or non-living (ii) Biotic or living and (iii) Energy components.

  • The abiotic or nonliving components are lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere.
  • The biotic or living components of the environment are represented by plants and animals including man.
  • At the same time, the energy components include solar energy, geochemical, thermochemical, hydroelectric and nuclear energy. These are very vital for the maintenance of the life of the various organisms.

Air Pollution Introduction

Pollution is a serious problem in the modern times due to very rapid advancement in several areas such as industries, transport, agriculture, residential set-ups, thermal and nuclear power generation plants. It is causing deterioration and even poisoning of the environment including air, water and soil. It is posing a serious threat to human health as well as to almost all kinds of our surroundings.

Our main aim is to acquaint ourselves with the causes of the environmental pollution and the remedial measures necessary to free our environment from the pollution. The hazards of pollution are indeed, alarming. We have not so far forgotten the Bhopal gas tragedy ( INDIA December 1984) in which thousands of innocent people lost their precious lives and many more were rendered handicapped for the rest of their life.

There are five major types of pollution :

  • Air pollution.
  • Water pollution.
  • Soil pollution.
  • Radiation and
  • Noise.

What is Air Pollution?

Pollution is the addition of any such constituent to air, water or land which deteriorates the natural quality of the environment. – AND-  A pollutant is any such constituent which causes pollution.

Types of Air Pollution

The air pollution is basically of two types :

1.Gaseous Pollution: Harmful Gases given out from a variety of sources.

2.Particulate pollution: Particles such as those of dust, Smoke, mining, Stone drilling, wearing of rubber tyres of motor vehicles.

Causes of Air Pollution – Sources

Natural Sources

Examples: Ash from burning volcanoes, dust from storms and forest fires. These pollutions are beyond human control and will continue to occur.

Man-made Sources

Examples: Vehicular (automobiles), industries, garbage, brick kilns. These are the four major sources which, to a great harmfully affecting the living organisms as well extent, are under human control and the methods for controlling them are being developed.

Other Reasons

  • The fast growth of population.
  • The release of poisonous chemicals in the industrial processes.
  • Rapid use of pesticides in agriculture.
  • Increase in the urban population.

Effects of Air Pollution on Environment

Effects of Air Pollution

  • The smoke released from various sources may get mix with dust particles and small drops of fog to what is called smog. Smog is harmful to plants and inhaled, may cause asthma and allergies to humans.
  • It is interesting to note that the substances which are normally considered harmless can also cause pollution in case these are present in undesirable concentrations and also at wrong places. For example, nitrates of sodium, potassium and ammonium are added to the soil in order to increase plant growth. But the excess of nitrates present in drinking water and in air is injurious to human beings particularly the children.

Prevention of Air Pollution

Some of the methods of controlling air pollution are mentioned below.

  • Growing a large number of trees in urban areas.
  • By installing tall chimneys in home and factories
  • Installing electrostatic precipitators in the chimneys of industries.
  • Use of natural gas in the place of coal, wood, kerosene oil for cooking purposes.
  • Smokeless source of energy.

Control of Air Pollution

  • Efficient engines
  • good quality automobile fuels
  • lead-free petrol
  • Greater use of compressed natural gas (CNG).

How to Reduce Air Pollution?

  • Try to Avoid the plastic bags. It is because they are non-biodegradable.They have the bad impact on the planet.
  • Avoid use of vehicles for small walking distances.
  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. This will have a great impact. on air pollution.
  • Usage of public transport (bus). Avoid excessive use of personal vehicles.This will reduce the carbon emissions.
  • Purchase and use of low-polluting engines.
  • Buy recycled products.

This is all about the basics of Air Pollution – Introduction, Types, Causes, Sources- effects, Prevention, Control, Reduce.

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