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Air pollution is the introduction into the atmosphere of chemicals, particulates, or biological materials that cause discomfort, disease, or death to humans, damage other living organisms such as food crops, or damage the natural environment or built environment. The atmosphere is a complex dynamic natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on planet Earth. Stratospheric ozone depletion due to air pollution has long been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to the Earth’s ecosystems.

This essay identifies and explains the problem of pollution facing humanity today. It will also propose one of the first ideas which could more effectively limit air pollution, Emission Credit Trading. This can be seen as one of the first steps in the development of an ecosociety.

Problem Definition

The notion of a viable ecosociety has created considerable problems in terms of deciding the most effective and efficient policies to be implemented. Air pollution has become one of the most serious environmental problems here at home, and throughout the rest of the world.

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Air pollution is also perhaps one of the more politically sensitive problems because of the numerous economic, environmental and health implications involved. A key step in the policy-making process is to define the problem to be remedied. If we can not understand the problem, how are we to know what needs to be fixed.

Air Pollution Policy

Unfortunately, implementing policies on air pollution has the politically undesirable effect of having extensive economic consequences on all sectors of the economy.

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Therefore, those policies which lead to the development of an ecosociety must be aimed at having the greatest environmental impact while creating minimal economic distortions. For the purpose of this essay, pollution shall be identified as follows “…the deliberate or accidental introduction to the environment of contaminants, in the form of either wastes or products ” (Bryner, 10).

Air pollutants come from heavy industry, fumes from automobiles, jet planes and the like. When speaking of the automobile alone “…each gallon of gas burned releases 22 pounds of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere…the car is the single largest contributor to global warming ” (Rifkin 179). Although the majority of the problem areas are in the developing world, these areas can affect the entire world.

The atmosphere is not confined to borders like the land. Pollution spreads beyond the borders of any country, and as such, no one region can solve the problem alone. In some developing nations, there are areas that people and animals cannot live in for extended periods of time. One visitor to the Romanian ‘black town’ of Cops Mica noted that “the trees and grass are so stained by soot that they look as if they had been soaked in ink.” A local doctor reported that even horses can stay only for two years in the town; “then they have to be taken away, or else they will die” (Gore 81).

There are many reasons that pollution has come to the foreground of twentieth century politics. The most important is the effect it has on human life. This does not place the effects that it has on our natural environment as secondary, however, it seems that unless we as human beings are directly affected, we tend to look the other way.

The EPA’s 1990 report on urban air quality trends estimates that over 100 million Americans live in areas where pollution exceeds federal air quality standards, as well air pollution is responsible for more then 50,000 to 60,000 premature deaths each year (Bryner, 3) Air pollution is also the main cause of global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer.

If the earth’s temperature rises by a mere five degrees, the resulting catastrophe would be immeasurable. It is important to realize that global warming is a direct result of the depletion of ozone in the atmosphere. “A greater variety of greenhouse gases are created by a myriad of essential human activities, including the generation of power, industrial production, transportation, agriculture and forestry. Mitigating climate change will require major changes in life-style, especially those that consume large amounts of fossil fuels” (Vig and Kraft 313).

We can see that no matter where we look, air pollution has come to occupy a major part in our daily lives. The only way to reduce the quantity of poisonous emissions to the air would require a drastic change in the way we live. Due to inefficient regulatory policies, the different types of air pollution pose severe problems. Air pollution occurs when “gases and particles are combined or altered in such a way that they degrade the air and form substances that are harmful to humans, animals, and other living things (Bryner, 41).”

Human Interaction and Misuse of Our Environment

Some air pollution is a result of natural processes such as forest fires, volcanoes or wind blown dust. Conversely, the majority of pollutants are the direct result of human interaction and misuse of our environment. An example of this is the loss of the whales, who for centuries lived in the St. Lawrence region of the Atlantic Ocean, but had to migrate due to the “…polluted water emptying out of the Great Lakes. They are said to be contaminated with toxic chemicals at concentration levels high enough that they are technically classified as hazardous waste” (Keller, 262). “…the atmosphere will…need to be regulated as a global trust if the human community is to entertain any possibility of addressing the problems of global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain, and air pollution.

In June 1988, the prime ministers of Norway and Canada proposed a “Law of the Air” treaty to protect the atmosphere from global warming and ozone depletion. [The end result being]…the transition to renewable energy sources, and the research and development of alternatives to CFCs” (Rifkin 318).

Air pollution and pollution in general have reached such alarming levels because of human neglect and ignorance. They have been allowed to perpetuate due to the lack of clearly defined property rights within the ecosphere (natural resources and the environment). We must realize that individual actions as well as those of large and /or small corporations affect not only the lifestyle, but the quality of life of all organisms on the planet; human or not. “The corporation’s inherent tendency to maximize profits by mass-production and technological efficiency clashes with the desire to limit material growth and preserve nature” (Arnopoulos 150).

We must recognize the consequences our actions have on the environment or we are doomed to keep on repeating our mistakes. Another example could be what has become known as the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. “Perhaps the largest forced migration in American history was the mass departure from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska and other plains during the period of the early 1930’s… (Gore 71). The Dust Bowl resulted in huge sand storms as the farmland of the above mentioned areas became completely devastated as a result of the overuse of its agricultural ability. It was pushed to far, and the exploitation finally ended in rendering the land useless for decades.

The Protection of the Environment

The protection of the environment has become a major concern in all levels of political, social and economic arenas. As we enter the next millennium we must ask ourselves what type of environment do we want to live in? How do we want our children to grow up? The practical answers to these questions are difficult, but not the theoretical ones. Theoretically, the perfect world is one in which we do not have to fear pollution, we do not have to be afraid of the water we drink, or the air we breath. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and we have no choice but to worry. The idyllic world outlined above is what ecologists and social scientists alike hope for: an ecosociety. This ecosociety is sought after by so-called Green Parties. There are six key strategies which they employ (through different tactical means) in order to achieve their policies. They are: to think globally by acting locally.

The reason for this is to attempt to spread some sort of global awareness , but get citizens involved at a local level, hence having them feel that they are playing a key role and are important in the policy making process. Green parties also advocate more ecological education, and a more sustainable economy. This notion of a more sustainable economy can be achieved the following ways: conservation of resources, slow down material production, and lower industrial output. What this all amounts to is moving the tertiary and quaternary sectors of the economy to the fore, and eliminating the primary and secondary (to a literally subsistence level).

Furthermore, they want to get human beings to recognize the highly spiritual life that they are capable of living and not the hedonistic material one they are living. By the same token, they want to increase green spaces and partake in long range planning thereby helping to keep the earth alive as long as possible (Arnopoulos, 92). By concentrating on the above six strategies, Green Parties believe that it may be possible for people to change from a consumed to a conserved society.

A society in which we live in harmony with nature, not in dominance over it. As we look back today and see the damage that has been done to the environment, we wonder what went wrong. That question could be answered as such: “The thoughtless and shortsighted transformation of scientific knowledge into technical know-how has given mankind too much power too soon to be able to use it wisely (Arnopoulos 80)”. With these technological advances comes the inevitable depletion and deterioration of the earth. Depletion, in the sense that we are undoubtedly going to run out of natural resources at our present rate of consumption. Deterioration, in the sense of all the pollutants which we constantly spew into our environment, where our children and theirs will have to live.

Public opinion polls show wide spread support for stronger and more aggressive measures aimed at solving pollution problems and protecting our natural resources. These sentiments have become so pervasive that well over the majority of people believe that “protecting the environment is so important that requirements and standards cannot be too high, and continuing environmental improvements must be made regardless of cost (Mitchell, 85).” This mass popularization of environmentalism has had the effect of increasing demands for action being made on our political process and leaders.

In many industries, air pollution is a by-product of normal economic production. In some such cases government authorities have restricted firms’ production of effluents. This restriction is often imposed as a maximum rate of flow at which a firm may emit pollutants. This system in which emissions are managed on a source to source basis has been labeled one of “Command-and-Control (Vig and Kraft, 52).”

However, empirical studies have shown that costs under Command-and-Control mechanisms are as much as twenty times as expensive as the least-cost market oriented mechanism that achieves the same environmental quality. This discrepancy in efficiency is due to the high costs associated with regulating the C;C method since allocations must be made on a firm to firm basis. As well, even when all sources are in compliance with technological based standards, there is no guarantee that the sum of emissions will produce quality air.

Recently, there is growing consensus that the methods of control do not work on a uniform basis in terms of addressing different locations and types of pollutants with the most damaging health impacts. Presently, standards refer to ambient (outdoor) concentrations where measurements can most easily be made, most often from the tops of buildings.

However, in North America we spend under 10% of our time outdoors, and even less atop buildings. As negligible as this may appear to be, the exposure to pollutants which one receives varies greatly from being indoors, at street levels or on top of a high-rise. With particular pollutants, as little as 25% of total exposure is due to outdoor exposure. This is due to many of the air pollutants (environmental tobacco smoke, household chemicals…) which in terms of total levels are minimal, but because of the quantities we are exposed to have the greatest impact on human health (Saunders, 277-8). The implicit assumption underlining ECT is that health damages from pollution depend only on the effects of emissions on widespread ambient concentrations.

Local effects are for the most part ignored. Consequently, sources of pollution that may have substantial effects on a local level but a negligible effect on ambient ones are not taken into account. With this in mind Emission Credit Trading could be considerably improved, in terms of the impact it is to have on health and environmental conservation, by shifting from concentration to exposure levels (Saunders, 276). There is also the question of legitimate enforcement.

The arbitrary nature of enforcement in such a system as C;C creates an environment in which polluters have an incentive to be rent seeking competitors. And with the status of our political and administrative offices this can produce the perception of favoritism or in some cases corruption. Since rent seeking is economically inefficient, and it increases the publics (already high) cynicism about government, a decentralized Emission Credit Trading program would minimize these problems. ECT programs have been advanced as a major improvement over command-and-control pollution abatement programs.

This is one of the first pieces of proposed legislation toward an environmentally friendly shift in politics. The entire concept of Emission Credit Trading is bringing to the fore the notion that we do live in a sort of ‘Global Village’ and that the “… importance of a system is proportional to the degree it can affect its environment… the sensitivity of a system depends on how much it is affected by its environment. If the sensitivity is high, the system is dependent on the environment; if low, independent” (Arnopoulos 45). We are now realizing that we cannot act completely independently from nature, because we are all related. We cannot be sustained without nature.

Ways to Reduce Car Pollution

The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency went as far as to proclaim transferable discharge permits “the most important innovation in environmental policy for the next decade” (Rifkin, 66). As previously mentioned, the major contributor to air pollution is the automobile. Therefore, any thought of policy dealing with the elimination or reduction of air pollution should concentrate, but not be limited to the automobile. In dealing with the automobile in terms of reducing it’s impact on air pollution incentives must be given for manufacturers to reduce pollutant emissions from their vehicles and the costs associated with the pollution created from driving must be transferred to those people operating the vehicle. To increase manufacturers compliance with the production of less harmful vehicles, a combination of averaging and trading is the most effective solution.

This system is very similar to that of Emission Credit Trading in that manufactures will be given a fleet wide average standard to meet (ie: their sales-weight emissions can’t exceed the average). This average can then be met in two manners. By averaging emissions within their fleet, through methods such as installing pollution reduction equipment on their vehicle or by altering their sales mix towards more fuel efficient vehicles. Or the manufacturer can trade emission allocations with other manufactures in the same manner as ECTs (Bryner, 176). It is important to note here that this is a different proposal as to what is already in existence. The second method by which automobile pollution can be reduced focuses on internalizing the costs of pollution into the driving experience. The most effective and efficient manner is in the development of electronic scanning devices that would locate a vehicle at suitable points along the road and then monthly billings would be sent to the owner based on the vehicle’s contribution to congestion.

To increase fairness (due to different emission levels of vehicles) this can be combined with periodic inspections so as to determine emission levels of a particular vehicle, so as to adjust billings accordingly (Bryner, 5). A serious increase in fuel taxes would also not do any harm in reducing air pollution problems. It is important to note that by putting the costs of pollution onto drivers this will increase pressures on manufactures to produce more efficient cars, and develop alternative fuel sources. In a nutshell emission credit trading programs operate as follows. Rather than having each firm reduce it’s emissions by a given amount, the program requires that average emissions be reduced by a set amount. A firm that reduces it’s emissions below this average level would be given credits which could be sold or saved. Credits which are saved could then be used at a later date if the firm desired to increase production (hence pollution). Credits to be sold would go to firms finding it less costly to purchase credits at market rates than to actually reduce harmful emissions. Therefore, each firms incentive to invest in more effective pollution abatement technology will increase.

Emission Credit Trading

Through the trading of credits, dollars spent on pollution control are spent where they are most effective at reducing pollution. Some of the advantages of ECT’s are that no other method is as effective at allocating the decision making process to the people who are in the position to devise the best balance between the advantages and disadvantages of various methods of reducing polluting emissions. There are different methods by which a firm can reduce its pollution, most often being directly tied into complicated technological processes unique to its operations or industry. Consequently, unless the cooperation of management and technicians within the industry or activity can be effectively mobilized by self-interest motivation, it is unlikely that the best solution will be attained (Gore, 1). In addition, as mentioned earlier, nearly all other methods of reducing air pollutants involve a degree of arbitrary decision making on the part of officials charged with administering controls. Such controls may be necessary to even the best ECT system, but if administered in conjunction with such a system then the necessary discriminations will at least be minimized.

In such a case when controls need to be imposed, they will be done (if not in practice at least in perception) in a much more unilateral manner. This eliminates the perception of arbitrariness and discrimination, which in turn leads to greater levels of compliance and cooperation amongst corporations (Gore, 2). Furthermore, a system of Emission Credit Trading is at least in principle, highly flexible, in that the market price will vary in accordance with changing circumstances, even changing weather conditions . Technically, this may be difficult to incorporate immediately, but the potential for development is present. Perhaps most importantly, the use of ECT forces the air pollution problem to be brought into perspective.

Once transnational corporations take a stake in the problem, an ecosociety becomes more plausible. The reason for this is because of the power that they yield, and the influence which they are capable of spreading. Pollution costs shall also be internalized into the cost of production. This has the effect of greater adoptions of emission reduction technology, since there is a monetary incentive to do so. And with the increasing levels of global competitiveness these transnational corporations (as well as local firms) can not afford to ignore any forms of cost reductions. As well, in this day of information highways and increased consumer awareness firms which adopt environmentally sound practices are much likelier to show healthier bottom lines. Air pollution in recent years has become one of the more serious environmental concerns because of the many implications involved.

The problem has reached a degree of considerable concern, however because of the lack of political will to attack the problem in a radical manner (because of the economic distortions it would create) a market oriented alternative must be approached. There are many areas which need to be addressed so as to develop a comprehensive pollution reduction program. All sources of air pollution (industrial, home and vehicle) must be taken into account when dealing with the problem. However, by introducing environmentally friendly concepts such as Emission Credit Trading a serious reduction in air pollution can be achieved, and the initial steps toward the ecosociety taken.

Obviously this is not the ideal, having to put a price on the air we breath so as to ensure it’s quality, but unfortunately it is the most viable option considering the social system in which we all live.

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Air Pollution Discussion

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discussion essay about air pollution

Essays on Air Pollution

Air pollution: causes and effects, air pollution as a danger to humanity, how does air pollution effect on our health, problem of the air pollution, the move to reduce air pollution to preserve the human population, air pollution: causes, effects, and solutions, air pollution its causes and damaging effects, air pollution in china, human impacts on the environment, cases of air pollution in malaysia, the solution to the issue of air pollutants, the urgent problem of pollution in modern world, negative impacts of air pollution and steps that the usa is taking to curb this problem, environmental pollution in the transport sector and the benefits of electric cars to our environment, ways you can reduce air pollution from your business , factors influencing the climate change in california, emerging environmental issues in the big cities of pakistan, evaluation of the health impact of air pollution in america and china, assessment of the ecological problem arising from air pollutants, analysis of the bronx air pollutants problem and the responsibility of the government, trees against world pollution, pollution - a global issue that needs to be addressed with urgency by the citizens of the world, informative pollutions, their types, causes, impacts, and solutions, understanding the problem of air pollutants and its impact on temperature, the difficulties in mitigating the effects of climate change in the current world, analysis of the approach to better air quality and reduction of air pollution in the us, the problem of air pollution in china, review of the documentary "under the dome" and the risks associated with air pollution in china, negative impact of air pollution on taj mahal, air filter in thailand, feeling stressed about your essay.

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Air pollution is contamination of the indoor or outdoor environment by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere.

Household combustion devices, motor vehicles, industrial facilities and forest fires are common sources of air pollution. Pollutants of major public health concern include particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide.

Respiratory and heart problems, child health problems, mortality, global warming, acid rain, eutrophication, depletion of the ozone layer, negative effect on wildlife.

Policies and investments that support sustainable land use, cleaner household energy and transport, energy-efficient housing, power generation, industry, and better municipal waste management can effectively reduce key sources of ambient air pollution.

A child born today might not breathe clean air until they are 8. Inhaling air pollution takes away at least 1-2 years of a typical human life. Pollutants that are released into the air, as opposed to land and water pollutants, are the most harmful. Rising levels of air pollution in Beijing has brought a new disease – Beijing cough.

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discussion essay about air pollution

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Essay on Air Pollution

List of essays on air pollution, essay on air pollution – facts (essay 1 – 150 words), essay on air pollution – for kids and children (essay 2 – 250 words), essay on air pollution – for school students (class 3, 4 and 5) (essay 3 – 300 words), essay on air pollution – causes (essay 4 – 400 words), essay on air pollution in indian cities – causes, effects, prevention and conclusion (essay 5 – 500 words), essay on air pollution – for class 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 students (essay 6 – 600 words), essay on air pollution – for college students (essay 7 – 750 words), essay on air pollution in india – causes, effects and prevention (essay 8 – 1000 words), essay on air pollution in india – for civil services, ias, ips, upsc and other competitive exams (essay 9 – 1500 words).

Air pollution is the process of releasing any toxic particles into the air that lowers its quality. The presence of harmful chemicals and other substances in the air, which lead to various types of damage to living beings and other flora and fauna is called air pollution.

The essays for the students, prepared by us will be able to provide an insight into this issue. Moreover, the essays are written in simple language which will be beneficial for students of all classes.

Audience: The below given essays are exclusively written for kids, children and school students (Class 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10). Furthermore, those students preparing for IAS, IPS, UPSC, Civil Services and other competitive exams can also increase their knowledge by studying these essays.


Air Pollution is the presence of hazardous and harmful chemicals and gases in the air that makes the atmospheric air unfit for routine purposes by plants and animals. The changes, which can be physical, chemical or biological, in the nature of the air, deteriorate the quality of the biotic lives in the environment.

There are many causes of air pollution. The human activities are the first and the only cause of environmental pollution of any form. Anything that we do by burning of any material, be it household items or the industrial chemicals, release harmful gases causing air pollution. The road traffic that produces a large amount of dust, the usage of refrigerators and coolers that release hydrofluorocarbons into the atmosphere cause air pollution. Another major source of air pollution is the industries.

Air pollution causes respiratory problems, cancers, and cardiovascular problems in humans. Children can suffer from diseases like pneumonia and asthma. The environment suffers global warming because of which there are climatic alterations and weather change. Acid rain is another effect due to which the agricultural lands lose their fertility. Animals as well face the brunt of air pollution and they shift their habitats from one place to other causing disturbances in the ecosystems.


There are many attempts made at various levels in society to curb the causes of air pollution. Let us also be responsible for maintaining a safe environment.

Air pollution is the process of releasing any toxic particles into the air that lowers its quality. These toxic particles are called pollutants. Some of them are natural, such as dirt, pollens, fog, sand, volcanic eruptions, etc. Whereas the examples of the man-made pollutants are smokes from industries and vehicles, combustion gases, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) from refrigerators, burning of coals, oils, and other fossil fuels, etc.

Tremendous cutting of trees and drastic growth rate in the industrialization sector have turned air pollution into the biggest problem for the human race. The consequences of the rapidly deteriorating air quality are clearly visible in the form of several profound damages.

Diseases like asthma, lung cancer, cancer, kidney and liver infections, etc., are repercussions of air pollution. Not only has it led to serious health problems for human beings but affected the wildlife as well. Many of the flora and fauna, especially the marine life, are becoming extinct due to the high contaminants present in the air.

The excessive sulfur present in the air gets mixed with the rain. As a result of this acid rain, the soil quality diminishes and the survival of the fishes, plants, and microorganisms becomes difficult. Air pollution also leads to deforestation, acid rains, depletion of the ozone layer, and global warming.

Global steps are being taken to protect the environment. Planting more trees, switching to solar power, using public transport, opting for energy-efficient appliances, and developing an eco-friendly lifestyle are some of them.

Air pollution is an environmental issue that negatively affects the ecosystem. Humans are wired to think about what happens to them in the current time and very few tend to think about the future. As industries, agro farms and human activity continue to contribute to air pollution, people are not affected immediately and therefore do not participate in control and prevention programs. Air is one of the most valuable gift from Mother Earth because all animate and inanimate objects on earth depend on it for survival. Without air, animals and humans would not have the privilege to breathe and plants would not have air exchange processes.

Future Effects of Air Pollution:

The future of human and animal life will be doomed by the increasing pollutants being released to the atmosphere. The accumulation of pollutants in the next ten years will have deleterious effects because a combination of toxic chemicals, radiations and harmful gases will have been accumulated. Climate change will be unnatural and dangerous, for e.g., the rise of sea level, intense global warming effects, and extreme of drought and storms. Would the earth be habitable with these crazy effects? When these extremities of climate change are reached, it would be irreversible. Food supply chain will also be adversely affected because plants will have toxins due to acid rain and therefore diseases and death will result from consumption of these toxins. The economy will be negatively affected because health will deteriorate as well as the quality of items for trade especially food crops.

Challenges in Prevention of Air Pollution:

Air pollution prevention programs are ineffective due to challenges. Finances are inadequate especially for developing countries to achieve the goals of air pollution prevention. The government and individuals lack the motivation due to misplaced priorities and policies.

Air pollution is a major threat to today’s growing world. Every day the rate of air pollution in the atmosphere is getting to a higher rate. This is usually due to the pollutants released into the air through many human activities. It is important for the present generation to know the threat behind this situation and to control it before it destroys the atmosphere.

Causes of Air Pollution:

1. Industrialization:

Industrialization is one of the biggest reason behind the increased air pollution. Use of high chemical ingredients and fuel materials cause pollutants to merge in the atmosphere. These particulates released will highly contaminate the fresh air. These contaminations will form a thick layer over the earth’s surface that causes many hazardous situations.

2. Automobile:

The release of carbon monoxide is another undeniable reason for this atmospheric pollution. When the fuel gets burnt in vehicles they release harmful gases to the outer world, which in turn pollutes the whole air around. This wouldn’t have been a serious problem if the number of vehicles that release such harmful gases was less in number. But in the present world, there are more vehicles on road and thus increasing their effect on the environment.

3. Waste Disposal:

Disposal of wastes, whether biological, plastic or e-waste, without proper treatment, also contribute to air pollution. Burning plastic will produce many harmful gases, which will be a threat to the surrounding atmosphere and cause serious breathing problem in people. This applies to e-wastes too. Biological wastes while decomposition releases the foul smell.

Disposal of waste in an authorized manner is an important task.

4. Cutting Trees or Deforestation:

Green leaves absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during days to produce food using the process photosynthesis. This process helps the atmosphere to maintain its balance with gaseous compositions. But in this modern world, we humans have made too many buildings cutting down these precious lifesavers.

Deforestation and destruction of plants have affected the rate of carbon composed gases in the atmosphere that resulted in a comparatively lesser rate of oxygen. Oxygen is the only gas that keeps us alive. Saving trees and green plants will not only clean the atmosphere but also help us to live this life happily.

It is our responsibility to keep this atmosphere neat and clean. We can accomplish this task by taking good care of our nature and avoid doing things that cause air pollution. Plant more trees and avoid the use of vehicles every step you take. Reduce the amount of harmful gas being released into the atmosphere.

A breath of fresh air has become quite unlikely for the densely populated Indian cities. Air pollution caused by the release of pollutants in the form of chemicals, gases, ash is increasing at an alarming rate. India is home to one-fifth of the world population and every year, nearly 1.2 million deaths are reported due to air pollution. The contamination of air due to pollutants has destroyed the natural balance of the environment, impairing human, and all other life forms.

Causes of Air Pollution in India:

India is marching ahead on its way to become an Industrial Super Power of modern times. The flip side is to achieve this goal is the high levels of organic compounds, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and chemicals released into the air by the industries.

2. Burning Natural Resources :

The thermal power stations significantly escalate air pollution by releasing enormous amounts of fly ash, carbon compounds, and SO 2 . The population explosion has expanded the reins of Indian cities, resulting in a pathetic traffic condition on the roads. Vehicles on the road release gases and dangerous fumes by carelessly burning petroleum and other fossil fuels.

3. Agricultural Practices:

The Indian farmers are indiscriminately using pesticides and fertilizers to increase their produce. These chemicals release hazardous ammonia gas, which is a major pollutant. The smog released due to stubble majoring in nearby agricultural lands was the major reason for choked the air in New Delhi.

1. Climate Change:

The biggest threat of air pollution is undoubtedly global warming and climate change. With every passing day the rise in temperature is drying up water resources, irregular rainfall is doing massive damage to the agriculture sector.

2. Health Hazards:

Air pollution is causing numerous respiratory disorders such as pneumonia, throat, nose or lungs irritations and asthma. People living in poor sanitation are subjected to harmful gases and chemicals which lead to severe health ailments.

3. Depletion of Ozone Layer:

Being a global citizen all Indians share equal responsibility to save the Ozone layer from depletion. Thinning of the Ozone layer results in harmful Ultraviolet (UV) rays coming back on earth leading to severe abnormalities, skin, and eye problems.

Prevention of Air Pollution:

The Indian Government has passed the Air Pollution Act of 1981, which clearly forbids industries, power plants and vehicles from releasing particulate matter, carbon monoxide, lead or other toxic materials beyond a cited level. Using public transport such as train or bus will greatly reduce the number of vehicles on the road and successively decrease the air pollution. By switching to green energy and renewable energy resources like solar, wind or hydroelectric, common people can prominently contribute to reduce air pollution. To plant more trees is the simplest solution to this colossal crisis.

Our future generations have a birth right to breathe clean air. India is at the brink of witnessing a national catastrophe if immediate measures are not taken to condemn Air Pollution. Awareness on this grave topic must be created on a large scale so that our daily practices are not contributing to these problems. All Indians must pledge and take concrete steps to eliminate air pollution.

The pure atmospheric air has been contaminated with chemical gases and suspended particles (aerosols) in the recent years. They have harmful effects on living beings and surroundings. This is known as Air Pollution.


For around 250 years, industrialization followed by introduction of motor vehicles, has led to air pollution. We have been unaware of the potential dangers for decades. But through sensitization measures, increasing health issues, and scientific satellite data, we have been helped to see how air pollution affects the quality of life on earth.

The Scientists at NOAA have reported 400 plus successive months with above average temperatures. NASA has reported warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, and glacial retreats, decreased snow cover on mountain peaks, increased rainfalls and sea levels in the last century due to the global temperature rise.

Causes & Effects:

Air pollution occurs due to natural phenomenon as well as human activities. Comparatively, human activities cause more dangerous and intensified air pollution than the natural phenomenon.

Natural Phenomenon:

Toxic gases from volcano eruptions, smoke from wildfires, emission from radioactive elements, and evaporation from volatile organic compounds are few naturally occurring phenomenon that causes air pollution.

Human Activities:

According to studies, the greenhouse gas, Carbon dioxide accounts for 57% of the air pollution.

When fossil fuels like coal are burnt for energy, greenhouse gases like Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide, Fluorinated gases etc., are released into the atmosphere. There, they form a layer and trap the heat from the sun. This warms the temperature globally and affects the normal climate of the earth.

To add to the woe, these climatic changes further aggravates certain types of air pollution. Due to extreme heat levels and UV radiation, smog is experienced in big cities with huge factories and heavy traffic. It reduces visibility causing accidents and affects lung tissues aggravating asthma disease. Smog is also called ground level ozone.

On the other hand, the ozone layer in the atmosphere avoids damage to our skin, eyes etc., by filtering hazardous UV rays from the sun. But, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) emanated from burning plastics, discarded spray cans, leaky refrigerants etc., and causes depletion of Ozone layer by reducing ozone (O 3 ) to oxygen (O 2 ). Each CFC molecule has the capacity to destroy 1, 00,000 ozone molecules.

Deforestation for the sake of creating agricultural lands, breeding animals, timber logging, yielding firewood have elevated greenhouse gas emissions apart from damaging ecosystem, increasing soil erosion etc.

The lead from discarded batteries, carbon monoxide released from cigarettes, even particles from pesticides are some other causes of air pollution due to human actions.


Governments all over the world and stakeholders like United Nations, World Health Organisation (WHO) etc., have taken initiatives to sensitize people on the issue. Recommendations by these agencies are implemented at national and local levels. On Nov 4, 2016, the Paris Agreement has been signed by 118 nations to fight against climate change.

To ease traffic congestion and curb vehicular pollution, counter urbanization, public transportation, bicycling, walking etc., are encouraged. Saplings are planted to promote greenery and clean air.

Our Central Government has taken initiatives like promoting Solar Photovoltaic energy, wind energy, low emission diesel fuel from algae, natural gas, adoption of electric vehicles etc., in line with the Paris Agreement to improve air quality.

While engaged in agriculture, spraying pesticides at ground level is encouraged as against aerial spraying to avoid suspension of pesticide particles in air.

Every individual should contribute personally to reduce air pollution. Through daily activities, we are continuously emitting Carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is called our Carbon Footprint. We can reduce it through economical usage of water, electricity and transportation like to prefer walking over driving, locally grown food over imported, etc. If these disciplines are slowly inculcated into our normal everyday day life, we can help each other and the future generation with a clean air, free from pollution.

Air pollution is one of the side effects of the rapid growth of industry and urban development. Since we cannot last more than a few minutes without air (that is oxygen) maybe this aspect of the environmental crises the world is facing, needs most of our devotion. Air pollution has become a big challenge to both the citizens and the government of our country.

What Is Air Pollution?

The Earth’s atmosphere is filled with different gasses, mostly nitrogen, and oxygen. Sometimes this atmosphere can get certain elements in it that pollute it. Air pollution is the contamination of air by harmful substances like dust, smoke, etc., affecting the chemical, physical and biological property of the air.

Air pollution has two main causes. The first is through natural disasters like volcano eruptions and forest fires. The smoke and ash produced in the eruption of volcanoes and forest fires mix with the atmospheric air and degrades the quality of air, causing air pollution.

The second is through the influence of human activities and the growth of industry. The growth of industrialization and urbanization has contributed the most to air pollution. The harmful gases released into the air by the industries are one of the major causes of air pollution. In rural areas, most of the people use biomass and fossil fuels for cooking purpose, which again contributes to air pollution. Yet another cause of air pollution is the use of A/C and refrigerators which release harmful CFCs into the atmosphere. Use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides for agriculture also contributes to air pollution.

We pollute the earth’s atmosphere every day and this has caused significant changes in the temperature of the planet. Some cities have so many pollutants in the air that it is dangerous to breathe in them and people have to wear masks or oxygen bottles. This is a sad image if we consider that breathing is inherent to all living things.

Effects of Air Pollution:

Air Pollution affects the whole of ecosystem including the plants, animals, as well as the human beings. When the air that we breathe in gets polluted, the health of both animals and human beings are negatively affected. The particulate matter affects the respiratory tract causing bronchitis, asthma, and other lung diseases.

When smoke mixes with air, smog is formed, which reduces visibility and hence resulting in accidents. Acid rain is also a consequence of air pollution that corrodes the metals and buildings. Global warming is one of the major effects of air pollution, which causes depletion of ozone layer, resulting in skin diseases among humans. Global warming also brings about climate changes which again affects the ecosystem.

How can we stop Air Pollution?

The beginning of the 20 th century saw some of the worst examples of air pollution. People should understand that their survival is linked with the air they are breathing and they need to do all that is in their power to stop the bad effects of the modern and industrial world.

There have been many initiatives that changed the way we release dangerous pollutants into the air like less fossil fuel is being consumed and new and sustainable technologies are being implemented for the production of power. This is just the beginning because we have been influencing the content of air for a very long time the bad effect cannot be reversed so quickly.

Other methods of reducing air pollution includes promoting afforestation programs, using alternative fuels for cooking, using better quality fertilizers and pesticides that are less harmful, using more public transport, etc.

More can be done as systems are being designed that incorporate a range of plant life in them with the expressed purpose to clean air, factories are forced to install filters, and rentable energy sources that do not use fossil fuel or nuclear power.

Government has also taken many initiates to improve the quality of air by proper monitoring and making strict laws to maintain clean air standards.

If we continue doing these in a regular manner, we can all minimize the harmful effect of air pollution and create a healthy atmosphere to live.

The world will not change overnight and it will not change by itself. The responsibility is in every person’s hands and we all have to do our share to stop the increase of air pollution. That means that we have to make responsible decisions in order to reduce air pollution and start doing them every day.

Pollution is a major environmental issue that has challenged the country. Air pollution is the contamination of air by harmful substances that get introduced into the air. Air pollution is widespread and it continues to expand. With the growing population, a widespread air pollution is continually realized. This is a great challenge to both the citizens and the government because they are negatively affected by the consequences of air pollution. The country is affected by air pollution in almost all aspects but mostly the health effects are more adverse than the others. Air pollution is not only a threat to human life but also to animals, visibility, plants and odors.

Release of pollutants into air can occur either naturally or due to human intervention. Natural causes of air pollution rarely occur and they are not widespread compared to human interventions causing most of the pollution. Natural causes include eruption of volcanoes whereas human interventions include; greenhouse gas emissions, fuel combustion, industrial gases and wastes that have not been carefully disposed. These pollutants contain harmful substances e.g., lead and gases like Sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and monoxide and nitrogen oxide. The most harmful gas is Sulphur dioxide and lead substances suspensions in air result in adverse health effects. India experiences traffic congestion, which causes an increased emission of carbon into the air.

Carbon is the commonest pollutant in India due to daily combustion of fuel and biomass. Biomass consists of fuel wood, cow dung and wastes from crops. Cooking fuel in India is mainly derived from combustion of biomass. Biomass combustion emits a lot of smoke compared to other forms of combustion. The smoke resulting from biomass combustion is usually thick and concentrated. This human activity takes place both in urban areas and rural areas because it is sort of cultural practice. With the increase in population, the increase of biomass combustion increases and this is a trend that should be handled.

Air pollution causes challenges in form of the effects it has on the ecosystem. Once the air is polluted, every living thing that is dependent on air for life support is affected negatively. There effects are health related both in animals and human beings, for plants, the quality is reduced. The poisonous substances in the atmosphere harm the body systems of human beings especially the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Air pollution also results in the formation of acid rain that causes harm to plants. Acid rain can be consumed by unsuspecting individuals and they could develop illnesses from the chemical content in acid rain.

Global warming is a major environmental consequence of air pollution. Global warming results from the destruction of the ozone layer by harmful substances and gases emitted to the atmosphere. Destruction of the ozone layer has been gradually happening and the consequences have been experienced in most parts of the world. Global warming causes an irregular and abnormal change in weather for example the intensity of the sun’s hotness has greatly increased in most parts of the world and this causes a generalized rise in temperature of the world’s surface. Global warming has affected all aspects of life especially the agricultural sector because growth patterns of plants has been negatively affected. The impact of global warming is expected to continue over the years because greenhouse gases are still being emitted. The effects of global warming differ from region to region depending on the change in season e.g., excessive rainfall and snowfall or excessive heat and heat waves.

Prevention of Air Pollution in India:

Efforts made towards prevention of air pollution vary depending on the approach used. In response to the adverse effects that are being experienced and the challenges that are faced, prevention methods of air pollution have been initiated. The first approach was intended to control the rate of air pollution. In controlling air pollution, the emission of greenhouse gases have to be reduced through the use of better energy sources like electricity. Electricity has been installed in both urban and rural areas in India. The industries have also been regulated to filter their gaseous wastes before release to the atmosphere. WHO (World Health Organization) reported high incidence of death resulting from air pollution and it proposed strategies for handling air pollution as a public health emergency. The strategies to be implemented included the air cleaning project. The government has also implemented strict policies on the waste disposal systems in the country. The government, through the environmental ministry, has made use of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to monitor the air pollution in the country with aims of reducing it.

Adoption of modern energy generation advancements so that old models of energy creation that cause air pollution can be eliminated. Biomass combustion causes a lot of carbon release yet the energy produced is insufficient and the process is exhausting. New advancements like the use of electrical and solar appliances in cooking results in a controlled state of gas emission to the atmosphere. It is upon the people to embrace these modern methods and accept change. Public awareness is a key aspect in change implementation because if the public is well educated, accepting change will be easier.

In conclusion, air pollution challenges have been felts globally because life processes have been interfered with. The government and citizens have a collective responsibility in the prevention and control of air pollution. The effects of air pollution will reduce upon the reduction of air pollution. Although people do not have enough resources to repair the damage caused by air pollution, the prevention will gradually show improvements.

Air pollution in simple terms is a type of pollution that affects the quality of air we breathe in and is caused by many different pollutants, of which carbon oxides, nitrogen oxides and Sulphur oxides are the main culprits. The level of air pollution depends on the type and amount of pollutants released from different sources as the pollutants do not stay in one place and spread all around because of the topographical and meteorological conditions.

It is a widespread problem that affects billion of people around the world and it is causing health hazards to people. It is an issue that is increasing day by day as there is a significant increase in concentration of harmful and toxic materials in the air. A vast variety of human activities are the reason behind this problem becoming life threatening.

In terms of PM 2.5 concentrations, according to WHO, India has 15 out of 15 most polluted cities in the world. As per the report, 9 in 10 people breathe polluted air and 7 million people die every year because of air pollution. These fine particulate matter are smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter and includes pollutants like sulphates, nitrates, and soot (black carbon).

The main sources of these fine particulate matter include the inefficient use of energy by households, industry, agriculture and transport sector, and power plants that are fired by coal. In some places, dust from sand and desert, burning of agricultural waste and even deforestation are also reasons behind air pollution. There are some natural sources of pollutants as well which include pollens, spores, volcanic gases and solar flares. Forest fires also result in pollutants that are harmful. Natural radioactivity and evaporation of organic compounds also fall in the category of natural events that result in air pollution.

The most common and easily managed cause of air pollution is the inefficient burning of fuels in industries, vehicles, cooking, and other activities which result in formation of soot, nitrogen oxides and Sulphur oxides. There are certain metallic pollutants that are released into air by the process of mining. Production of fertilizers, pesticides, etc., not only leads to air pollution but it also affects the quality of water. They have a negative effect even when they are used by farmers to increase crop production. Chemicals like ammonia are released which gets mixed with the fresh air resulting in air pollution. Industries release toxic smokes and gases which has high contents of carbon monoxide, organic compounds, hydrocarbons, chemicals, etc. And as the number of industries is increasing, there is an increase in these pollutants as the air is not treated before it is expelled in atmosphere. Even the improper waste disposal techniques are a reason for air pollution. It is not just a problem that results in land pollution but it also affects the quality of air as decomposition releases methane gas which is an air pollutant.

Pollutants can be divided into gaseous and particulate. Both of them can have negative effects on human health. There are other pollutants like nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and ozone which affect the health along with certain non-halogenated hydrocarbons and Sulphur gases. It can cause a large variety of lethal and non-lethal diseases. It can make people more susceptible to something as worse as cancer.

The particulate matter affects the respiratory tract and it can cause bronchitis, asthma and other lung diseases. Smog can lower visibility and which can result in accidents on road. It also harms plant life and causes respiratory issues. Some of the examples of problems created by these pollutants are: carbon monoxide binds with hemoglobin in blood and reduces its oxygen carrying capacity. It can also be lethal at high concentrations. Sulphur oxide causes irritation in eyes and also can cause damage to respiratory tract. Air pollution is responsible for many non-communicable diseases resulting in death. These include heart diseases, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.

Air pollution also damages the whole ecosystem and it affects plants and animals along with the humans. There is ozone depletion because of this which has long term adverse effects on the environment.

With increasing air pollution, global warming has increased as there is an increase in the temperature because of the greenhouse gases. These gases cause the greenhouse effect to multiply and that results in further temperature increase. This has resulted in melting of glaciers, increase in sea levels, changes in climate all over the world. There is depletion of ozone layer which exacerbates the problem with the greenhouse gases.

As we have seen that there are many negative effects of air pollutants, it is very important to control it. This damage because of air pollutants has reached a critical level and because of this, there are even harmful radiations that are coming into the Earth’s atmosphere. Control measures need to be taken so that the pollutants can be reduced in air.

Some of the common control measures include using alternative fuel sources for vehicles as well as cooking, promoting use of public transport, minimizing vehicular exhaust, massive afforestation programs so that there are many trees to absorb polluting CO 2 , proper treatment of air that is emitted from factories, and many such others. Recycling efforts at the grassroots level will help in improving the environment. Along with all these measures, there should be educational and awareness programs that will help people understand that this is a life threatening issue that needs to be taken seriously.

There are certain government initiatives also in place. There is now improved air quality monitoring which helps people understand the significance of this problem in India. There are action plans that are put together to ensure that strict action is taken so that all cities have to maintain certain clean air standards.

Air Pollution in India:

India is suffering from one of the worst air pollutions. According to 2017 State of Global Air Report by Health Effects Institute, there was almost 150% increase in the number of deaths due to air pollution in India between 1990 and 2015. The nation’s capital is choked with air filled with pollutants. It has been declared as a public health emergency. The particulate matter from the capital is spreading to nearby rural areas and they are affected by the polluted air as well. Because of this problem, the government had to close schools, implement odd-even vehicle number scheme, and increase parking charges in the capital. There were other measures like five-day ban on construction and demolition in Delhi.

It is not only the metro cities that are the cause behind this problem. Rural areas contribute just as much to this issue. Rural households use biomass as cooking fuel which produces pollutants. Practices like burning of crop stubble are also common. Polluted air can move from these areas to major cities and combine with pollutants in air that are present because of traffic, factory emissions and even construction dust. According to a report in WHO, there are higher chances of mothers delivering babies that are underweight in households that use biomass fuels. Poverty is one reason behind people still using this cooking fuel.

The mountains and hills in India also act as a reservoir that traps all the toxic air in various parts of the country. This makes the air too dangerous to breathe in.

There are anti-pollution laws in India but they are not well enforced. There is an Air Act (Prevention and Control of Pollution) that was set up in year 1981. It works towards prevention, control, and abatement of air pollution. There are some cities that have banned the pollution sources like brick kilns in the city boundary limits, the exhaust from these still blows over from where they are placed outside the city limits.

Air pollution has resulted in health problems, adverse effects on other plant and animal life. It was observed in a study that the crop yield was reduced drastically in areas affected by air pollution. Additionally, it is also becoming a problem for buildings and monuments like the Taj Mahal. It has affected operation of flights because of poor visibility. There are reports of traffic accidents because of smog on the roads.

Bottom line is that most people believe that they are not a contributing factor to this problem. The nation’s government is blamed for not taking measures to control air pollution and improve the air quality. There will be no effect of any of government’s action plans till there is an individual effort put in to control this issue. It includes something as small as taking public transport, or using electricity and gas efficiently. This tiny bit of effort can help controlling air pollution in the long run. There needs to be a shift towards greener sources of energy to achieve sustainable development and have a good life quality.

Air Pollution , Environment , Environmental Pollution , Pollution

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A Discussion of Air Pollution & Related Health Implications on the Community Analytical Essay

Various studies have found that air pollution causes serious health complications for adults and children, not mentioning that air pollution also affects animal and plant life. The primary air pollutants found in most urban settings include carbon monoxide and sulfur oxides generated mostly by vehicles and other machinery, hydrocarbons, and both solid and liquid particulate material (Socha, 2007). Air pollution is found in both indoor and outdoor settings. In the indoor setting, the Environmental Protection Agency has reported that some air pollutants found in most American homes, generated by such things as telephone cables, cleaning fluids, linoleum tile, and other building materials, are three times more likely to cause some types of cancer than outdoor air pollutants (EPA, 2002). Indoor and outdoor air pollutants cause a wide range of respiratory problems, which includes asthma, coughs, obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, heart failure, heart rhythm problems, and cystic fibrosis (Lipfert, 1994). It is a well-known fact that individuals suffering from chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes stand an elevated risk of developing complications and, even worse, dying when they are exposed to high concentrations of air pollutants. Lastly, both indoor and outdoor air pollution can enhance allergy symptoms, especially in children and the elderly. Children are more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution due to their weak immune systems and also since their vital organs are still in the developmental phase (Lipfert, 1994). On a more serious note, Ritz & Wilhelm (2010) observes that “…evidence is accumulating that environmental exposures can cause infants to be born premature (before 37 weeks of gestation) or low weight (less than 2500 grams, or 5.5 pounds), or to be born with certain birth defects” (para. 3). These babies, according to the authors, stand a higher risk of dying during infancy, and those who survive stands an elevated risk of the developing brain, cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive conditions in early life. According to EPA (2002), “…asthma rates have increased 160 percent in the past 15 years in children under 5 years of age” (p. 1-1). Studies have demonstrated that high exposure to air pollutants in early life increases the risks of children to develop diabetic and heart conditions later in life. As already mentioned, early childhood is a significant phase for the sustained development and maturation of critical biological systems such as the brain, the respiratory system, and the immune system. As such, children are particularly vulnerable to air pollutants because the toxins inhibit or impair the proper development of the mentioned systems, or worsen existing medical conditions, such as asthma (Ritz & Wilhelm, 2010; Air Resources Board, 2009). As such, it can be safely argued that air pollutants put children at an elevated risk of developing adverse health conditions. The first task in the multidisciplinary team should be to identify the leading sources of air pollution within the community and the nature of the specific toxics or hazardous chemicals associated with the pollutants (Lipfert, 1994). This calls for a comprehensive assessment of the observed and perceived air pollution impact on the health, growth, and development of the children. Hospital records may best serve the purpose of identifying the various medical conditions predominant in the community, and which may be directly related to air pollution. The second phase should entail the development and implementation of monitoring equipment to keep track of the trends. The third phase, inexorably viewed as the most crucial phase, should entail rolling out education and outreach programs aimed at sensitizing the community and road users of the need to reduce air pollution and the correlation between air pollution and some of the health problems observed in the community. Community members must be educated on how to adequately ventilate their houses to reduce indoor air pollution, while road users must be educated on the types of fuel to use to reduce outdoor air pollution. More importantly, community members can be taught how to reduce particulate pollution, which is directly linked to an increase in asthma and various forms of allergy in children, by dripping playing grounds and pavements with water and disinfectant (EPA, 2002). Children need to be educated on the need to play in a healthy environment and also the need to observe some basic hygiene principles such as the washing of hands after play to reduce contact with the toxic pollutants (CDC, n.d.). These preventive steps will curtail exposure of children to air pollutants.

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Reference List

Air Resources Board. (2009). Health effects research . Web. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. An ounce of prevention keeps the germ away . Web. Lipfert, F.W. (1994). Air pollution and community health: A critical review and data sourcebook . New York. Van Nostrand Reinhold Ritz, B., & Wilhelm, M. (2010). Air pollution impacts on infants and children . Web. Socha, T. (2007). Air pollution and effects . Web. The United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2002). Planning and implementing a real-time air pollution monitoring and outreach program for your community . Web.

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discussion essay about air pollution

Essay on Air Pollution

Environmental changes are caused by the natural or artificial content of harmful pollutants and can cause instability, disturbance, or adverse effects on the ecosystem. Earth and its environment pose a more serious threat due to the increasing pollution of air, water, and soil. Environmental damage is caused by improper resource management or careless human activities. Therefore, any activity that violates the original nature of the environment and leads to degradation is called pollution. We need to understand the origin of these pollutants and find ways to control pollution. This can also be done by raising awareness of the effects of pollutants.

Air pollution is any physical, chemical, or biological change in the air. A certain percentage of the gas is present in the atmosphere. Increasing or decreasing the composition of these gasses is detrimental to survival. This imbalance in gas composition causes an increase in global temperature which is called global warming.

Introduction to air pollution 

The Earth and its environment are facing a serious threat by the increasing pollution of the air, water, and soil—the vital life support systems of the Earth. The damage to the environment is caused by improper management of resources or by careless human activity. Hence any activity that violates the original character of nature and leads to its degradation is called pollution. We need to understand the sources of these pollutants and find ways to control pollution. This can be also done by making people aware of the effects of pollutants. 

Air with 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, and 1% of all other gasses support life on Earth. Various processes take place to sustain the regular percentage of gasses and their composition in general. 

Atmospheric pollution can have natural sources, for example, volcanic eruptions. The gaseous by-products of man-made processes such as energy production, waste incineration, transport, deforestation and agriculture, are the major air pollutants.

Although air is made up of mostly Oxygen and Nitrogen, mankind, through pollution, has increased the levels of many trace gasses, and in some cases, released completely new gasses to the atmosphere. 

Air pollution can result in poor air quality, both in cities and in the countryside. Some air pollutants make people sick, causing breathing problems and increasing the likelihood of cancer. 

Some air pollutants are harmful to plants, animals, and the ecosystems in which they live. Statues, monuments, and buildings are being corroded by the air pollutants in the form of acid rain. It also damages crops and forests, and makes lakes and streams unsuitable for fish and other plant and animal life. 

Air pollution created by man-made resources is also changing the Earth’s atmosphere. It is causing the depletion of the ozone layer and letting in more harmful radiation from the Sun. The greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere prevents heat from escaping back into space and leads to a rise in global average temperatures. Global warming affects the average sea-level and increases the spread of tropical diseases.

Air pollution occurs when large amounts of gas and tiny particles are released into the air and the ecological balance is disturbed. Each year millions of tons of gasses and particulate matter are emitted into the air. 

Primary air pollutants are pollutants, which are directly released into the air. They are called SPM, i.e., Suspended Particulate Matter. For example, smoke, dust, ash, sulfur oxide, nitrogen oxide, and radioactive compounds, etc.

Secondary Pollutants are pollutants, which are formed due to chemical interactions between the atmospheric components and primary pollutants. For example, Smog (i.e. Smoke and fog), ozone, etc.

Major gaseous air pollutants include Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen Sulfide, Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide, etc.

Natural sources are volcanic eruptions, forest fires, dust storms, etc. 

Man-made sources include gasses released from the automobiles, industries, burning of garbage and bricks kilns, etc.

Effects of Air Pollution on Human Health

Air pollution has adverse effects on human health. 

Breathing polluted air puts you at higher risk of asthma.

When exposed to ground ozone for 6 to 7 hours, people suffer from respiratory inflammation.

Damages the immune system, endocrine, and reproductive systems.

A high level of air pollution has been associated with higher incidents of heart problems.

The toxic chemicals released into the air are affecting the flora and fauna immensely.

Preventive Measures to Reduce Air Pollution

We can prevent pollution by utilizing raw materials, water energy, and other resources more efficiently. When less harmful substances are substituted for hazardous ones, and when toxic substances are eliminated from the production process, human health can be protected and economic wellbeing can be strengthened. 

There are several measures that can be adopted by people to reduce pollution and to save the environment.


Promotion of public transport.

No smoking zone.

Restricted use of fossil fuels.

Saving energy.

Encouraging organic farming.

The government has put restrictions on the amount of fossil fuels that can be used as well as restrictions on how much carbon dioxide and other pollutants can be emitted. Although the government is attempting to save our environment from these harmful gasses, it is not sufficient. We as a society need to keep the environment clean by controlling the pollution of air.

discussion essay about air pollution

FAQs on Air Pollution Essay

1. State the Causes of Air Pollution ?

The following are the causes of air pollution.

Vehicular pollution consisting of Carbon Monoxide causes pollution.

Emission of Nitrogen oxide by a large number of supersonic transport airplanes causes deterioration of the Ozone layer and also causes serious damage to the flora and fauna.

The release of Chlorofluorocarbons into the Stratosphere causes depletion of Ozone, which is a serious concern to animals, microscopic, and aquatic organisms.

Burning garbage causes smoke, which pollutes the atmosphere. This smoke contains harmful gases such as Carbon dioxide and Nitrogen oxides.

In India, brick kilns are used for many purposes and coal is used to burn the bricks. They give out huge quantities of Carbon dioxide and particulate matter such as smoke, dust that are very harmful to people working there and the areas surrounding it. 

Many cleansing agents release poisonous gases such as Ammonia and Chlorine into the atmosphere. 

Radioactive elements emit harmful rays into the air.

Decomposed animals and plants emit Methane and Ammonia gas into the air.

2. What Does Global Warming Mean?

Global warming is the gradual rising average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere due to the concentration of methane in certain toxic gasses such as carbon dioxide. This has a major impact on the world climate. The world is warming. The land and the sea are now warmer than they were at the beginning and temperatures are still rising. This rise in temperature is, in short, global warming. This temperature rise is man-made. The burning of fossil fuels releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere which capture solar heat and raise surface and air temperatures.

3. Name the Alternative Modes of Transport. In What Way Does it Help to Reduce Air Pollution?

Public transport could be an alternative mode of transport. Public transport like trains, buses and trams, can relieve traffic congestion and reduce air pollution from road transport. The use of public transport must be encouraged in order to develop a sustainable transport policy.

4. Mention other means of transportation! How can I help reduce air pollution?

Public transportation can be another mode of transportation. Public transport such as trains, buses and trams can reduce traffic congestion and reduce air pollution from road transport. The use of public transport and to develop sustainable transport policies should be encouraged. While one passenger vehicle has the convenience factor, other modes of transportation reduce travel costs, spend less time, reduce stress, improve health, and reduce energy consumption and parking. Other trips for work include walking/cycling, public transport, hybrid travel and transport.

5. What are the effects of pollution?

Excessive air pollution can increase the risk of heart attack, wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing, as well as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Air pollution can also cause heart problems, asthma, and other lung problems. Due to the emission of greenhouse gases, the composition of the air in the air is disturbed. This causes an increase in global temperature. The damaging ozone layer due to air pollution does not prevent harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, which cause skin and eye problems in individuals. Air pollution has caused a number of respiratory and heart diseases among people. The incidence of lung cancer has increased in recent decades. Children living in contaminated areas are more likely to develop pneumonia and asthma. Many people die every year due to the direct or indirect effects of air pollution. When burning fossil fuels, harmful gases such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides are released into the air. Water droplets combine with these pollutants and become acidic and fall as acid rain, which harms human, animal and plant life.

6. What is the solution to air pollution?

Production of renewable fuels and clean energy. The basic solution to air pollution is to get away from fossil fuels and replace them with other energies such as solar, wind and geothermal. The government limits the amount of fossil fuel that can be used and how much carbon dioxide and other pollutants it can emit. While the government is trying to save our environment from this harmful gas, it is not enough. We as a society need to keep the environment clean by controlling air pollution. To more in detail about air pollution and its causes. To learn more about air pollution and its impact on the environment, visit the Vedantu website.


Air Pollution During The United States Essay

Pollution in america essay.

Air pollution is the type of pollution that is the most dangerous of them all. The major cause of pollution is by the emissions of smoke from automobiles that especially emit suplur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. These gases can play a role in creating acid rain and smog. Sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gases which are warming up the planet .Air pollution leads to people getting sick such as getting increasing the risk of lung cancer and other types of cancers, asthma, and allergies, getting headaches, respiratory diseases cardio vascular problems, and neurobehavioral disorders.

Air Pollution

One of the main cause of air pollution is human activities like mining, construction, transportation, industrial work, agriculture, smelting, and some others. There are also natural causes that result to air pollution also such as wild fires, volcano eruptions. These are even rare and for the most part only affect the area that it surrounds. The bigger problem is going back to us humans and knowing that we can stop certain activities to help better the world and our air we breathe every day. One of the “invisible killers” in today’s air pollution includes nitrogen oxides, ozone, and very small particulate matter. (Frank) Today, PM has been researched to be held most responsible for most of the health effects caused by the air. Fossil fuel combustion is most common in more of the urban areas, which would come from the road construction that occurs quite frequently. (Frank) There has also been a rise in deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease with older people. (Seaton)

Annotated Bibliography

The author begins the article by discussing the death percentage related to air pollution and what causes the elevated levels of air pollution. Huth continues the article by pointing out that different areas have different problems related to air pollution. Finally, Huth draws attention to the fact that different countries have different solutions to the air pollution. Though this piece was written for the entire United States, the fact that air pollution can be deadly to humans is universally applicable. Though Huth is a reporter and not an environmental scientist, Huth does cite reports made by credible institutions. Though this article talks only about how air pollution is deadly and does not expand the idea to talk about other health complications, the fact that air pollution is dangerous to human health does support my claim that a reduction in air pollution will lead to a better quality of

Theodore Roosevelt Environmental Issues

Another big problem in polluting places and things is air pollution which can make air foggy, unbreathable, and toxic. According to “34 Facts about Pollution”, the text states breathing the air in Mumbai, India, for just one day is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes. One of the things that can cause air pollution is releasing factory fuels and fossil fuels into the air. We also cause it from burning certain things like plastic, chemicals, and other

Air Pollution in Los Angeles Essay

Being one of the biggest social issues in Los Angeles, Air pollution has two main reasons: vehicle traffic and population growth. Actually, it is in a such crucial level that scientists indicate that air pollution in Los Angeles may endanger peoples lives. Scientific researches show that the air pollution causes cancer and have an impact on pregnant woman. Advertisements shows us some solutions like making public transportation common and sustainable housing. With the growing population of Los Angeles, something has to be done . Otherwise it is going to be impossible to deal with the air pollution. Population growth in Los

Pollution In The United States

A controversy issue in the United States is whether or not we should be involved in the controlling international pollution. Pollution is problem world-wide. Many would like to be involved in pollution while others would not. I believe that the United States should not be involved in the controlling of international pollution.

Pollution Of The Air During The United States

The large majority of todays cars and trucks travel by using internal combustion engines that burn fossil fuels and gasoline. A variety of emissions are polluted into the atmosphere when burning gasoline to power cars and trucks. Emissions that are released directly from cars and trucks into the atmosphere are the primary cause of car pollution but it still causes pollution the air during the manufacturing and refueling processes. Primary pollution from motor vehicles is pollution that is emitted directly into the atmosphere where as secondary pollution is caused from chemical reactions between pollutants after they have been released into the air at least 92 million Americans still live in areas with chronic smog problems. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency predicts that by 2010, even with pollution controls more than 93 million people will live in areas that violate health standards for ozone (urban smog) and more than 55 million Americans will suffer from hazardous levels of fine particle pollution, which is especially dangerous to children and senior citizens.

Air Pollution In The United States

One of the reasons that cause air pollution in the United States is combustion of fossil fuels. United states known as the developed countries. For big countries, there will have many moving vehicles. Burning oil from fossil fuels such as diesel is burnt in moving vehicles cause air pollution. When the oil is burned, dangerous gases released into air and the environment. From that, if the people overuse of fossil fuel, its will kill the environment as dangerous gases are polluting the environment and harm the habitat. Because of our selfishness, other must face hardship cause of air pollution that is produced from the environment also from the human. From the source that was found, according to Rakesh from Conserve Energy Future (CEF), dangerous

How To Increase Air Pollution In The United States

One environmental problems that greatly impacts the United States, and more severely threatens low-income countries is pollution; specifically air pollution. Air pollution is caused when the ozone (smog) is a pollutant close to the ground, unfortunately so much pollution causes irritation to the eyes and lungs that leads to serious medical attention. This causes million of deaths worldwide annually, ranking it to be the worlds fourth highest risk factor for death. A fairly recent new article dated, February 12, 2016, titled Poor air quality kills 5.5 million worldwide annually, by University of British Columbia closely annualizes the serious threat air pollution has and states some eye opening facts about the issue needed to raise awareness.

The Role Of Poor Air Pollution In The United States

Poor air quality is a serious issue as it affects the environment and human health. Pollution in the United States continues to be an ever-growing problem. In 1970, the Clean Air Act was amended and has since made great process in cleaning the air. The 1990 Amendment signed on November 15, 1990 marks the biggest change in protecting the ozone layer, reducing acid rain and toxic pollutants, and improving air quality.1 This law serves under the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that the environment is being protected and human health.

The Role Of Air Pollution In The United States

According to National Geographic Magazine, countries around the world have undertaken and implemented measures to combat air pollution. These measures aim to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to air pollution. The United States of America is one of the hundred and seventy five (175) countries that signed the Paris Agreement to combat climate change which includes air pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of United States of America formulates strategies and enforces laws and regulations such as the Clean Air Act (CAA). The EPA as the enforcing agency stipulated in the clean air act that all stationary sources such as factories and chemical plants “must install pollution control equipment

The Importance Of Air Pollution In New York

New York City has a significant air pollution problem that causes death for hundreds of people year round. Researchers at NYU’s medical school have reported that just

The Dangers Of Air Pollution In The United States

In the United States alone, nearly 150 million people live in areas that don’t meet federal air quality standards. For many years, air pollution has been on the rise but more recently it’s been proved how pollution poses a greater danger to both the environment and the everyday individual. Its everlasting effects on the world, such as global warming and its depletion of the ozone layer, are going to play a huge role in the years to come. Consequently, there has been an increase in death rates from various illnesses caused by air pollution, varying from breathing problems to even worse, lung cancer. While these effects may go unnoticed, they are still an enormous issue at hand and are triggering more complications within our society. Though

The Importance Of Air Pollution In The United States

Hundreds of thousands of people die from air pollution in the U.S. each year, some of which can be attributed to burning transportation fuels, Marshall said.

Air Pollution Problem In The United States

Air pollution is a problem in the United States. However, many committed programs such as the Environmental Protective Services (EPA) and the Clean Air Act are working to make the environment healthier and improve air quality. A report in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology concluded the planting green plants and tree improve the nitrogen and particulate matter at street level which is harmful to the population's health. Nitrogen oxide(NO2) reduced by 40% and particulate matter (PM) by 60% (www.acs.org, 2012). The atmosphere and lakes have been used as a cesspool to cause; it is vital in the continuous of finding the safe renewable energy that will impact the health of the people and benefit the plantet. The government

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Essay About Air Pollution Air pollution is a type of environmental pollution that affects the air and mostly happens because of smoke or other harmful gases, mainly oxides of carbon, sulphur, and nitrogen. It occurs when those gases are introduced into the atmosphere in a way that makes it harmful to humans, animals, and plant. One of the biggest things that cause air pollution are cars, every time you see that smoke that comes from below your car’s exhaust pipe, you see air pollution. Air pollution refers to the presence of foreign substances in the air that doesn’t belong there or excessive amounts of certain impurities that wouldn’t harm us otherwise. When cars burn gasoline, they emit pollutants. Gasoline fumes escape into the air even when we pump gasoline into our fuel tanks. There are a large number of pollutions that come from cares, the first one is when cars produce carbon monoxide. That happens when the carbon in fuel doesn’t burn completely and ruins the air. Second, is when a car’s exhaust emits hydrocarbons meaning a toxic compound of hydrogen and carbon. Last, When fuel burns, nitrogen and oxygen react with each other and form nitrogen oxides and that pollutes the air. The air pollution causes a lot of problems like global warming, climate change and it also ruins the environment. An example is that air pollution impacts the process of photosynthesis in many cases, with serious consequences for the purification of the air we breathe. A solution that was invented for air pollution from cars was the Tesla. Tesla is an American automotive and energy company based in California. The main difference between normal cars and Teslas is powering. If gas is the number one fuel for cars around the world, Tesla cars are using electricity as their fuel. This makes a huge impact on the environment pollution as electricity lives no trace whatsoever in the air and the noise is minimal. Aside from air pollution, cities are battling with enormous sound pollution, and if cars become powered by electricity globally, a lot of the environmental problems that I listed will be solved just with this change. Regular vehicles need constant oil checks and if the oil runs out, much of the car won’t function because almost all the parts of the car need some kind of oil. Tesla cars do not need oil at all. Tesla cars work with a powerful battery, which is charged with electricity. This gives juice for the car to run for a certain period of time. This battery is a little similar to the batteries that you can find in your laptop and smartphone, you charge it, it drives for a couple 100 kilometers and then you need to charge it again. Tesla uses lithium-ion batteries in order to power up their supercars. These batteries are extremely powerful. In fact, a battery that you can find in a Tesla car is made out of thousands of lithium-ion cells and weights at least a thousand pound. Tesla cars work with a small motor, which is about the size of a watermelon. This is one of the latest innovations in electronic engineering. It converts electrical energy drawn from the batteries to mechanical power in order to move the vehicle. This is a more efficient technology when compared to the combustion engines that you can find on traditional cars. In other words, people who drive Tesla cars will be able to get a longer range for their charge, which can help them to save money in the long run. In conclusion, I think that Teslas are one of the best solutions for air pollution right now. They don’t use gas which helps the environment and decreases the possibilities of global warming which is a very dangerous thing in our world right now. Sure, they aren’t the perfect solution and I’m sure that better solutions will be made in the future or are in the making right now but Tesla is a simple easy solution that is accessible for a lot of people and it makes a big change in our world for the better.  

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Biology Discussion

Essay on Air Pollution: Sources, Types and Effects

discussion essay about air pollution


Essay on Air Pollution: Sources, Types and Effects!

The earth’s atmosphere contains various gases, water vapor and suspended particles. The dry air of the atmosphere is composed of four major gases nitrogen, oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide that account for more than 99.5% (Table 55.1).

The other gases found in traces in the air include helium, methane, krypton, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide (N 2 O), nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ), ammonia, ozone, sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide.

The lower part of the atmosphere (up to about 12 km) also contains water vapor at a concentration, ranging from 0.01 to 5.0%. This water is mostly contributed by evaporation from the hydrosphere.

Composition of the Dry Air

The air is getting contaminated by pollution due the natural and unnatural activities of man. Air pollution is basically the presence of foreign substances in the air at a concentration that will adversely affect the health and property of the individual.

As per the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria, air pollution refers to ‘the substances put into the air by the activity of mankind into concentration sufficient to cause harmful effects to his health, vegetables, property or to interfere with the enjoyment of his property.’

According to Indian Standards Institution ‘air pollution is the presence in ambient atmosphere of substances generally resulting from the activity of man, in sufficient concentration, present for sufficient time and under circumstances which interfere significantly with the comfort, health or welfare of a person or with the full use or enjoyment of his property.’

The term pollutant refers to a substance which increases in quantity in the air and adversely affects the environment e.g. carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead. On the other hand, a contaminant is a substance which is not present in nature, but released due to human activity e.g. methyl isocyanate. DDT, malathion. However, this distinction is not very rigid, and most authors use the term pollutant to represent both (pollutant as well as contaminant).

Sources of Air Pollutants :

The sources that contribute to air pollution may be broadly categorized into two types:

1. Natural sources:

These include volcanic eruptions, sand storms, and decomposition of organic matter, forest fire, pollen grains and cormic dust. The problem of pollution due to natural sources in general, is considered to be minimal.

2. Anthropogenic (man-made) sources:

Air pollution due to human-induced activities is very high. The sources of pollution include industries, burning of fossil fuels, emissions from vehicles, agricultural activities and warfare’s. The sources of air pollution may also considered as stationary (industries, open combustion) or mobile (motor vehicles, trains, aircraft) in nature.

Industrial pollutants :

The major problem of air pollution is due to industrial activities. Among the several industries, nine types of industries are considered to be the major air pollutant generating industries (Table 55.2). Among these, thermal power plants, steel industries, petroleum refineries and metal smelters are the most dangerous polluting industries.

Major Industrial Sources of Air Pollution

Classification of Air Pollutants :

Air pollutants are classified based on their origin, chemical composition and the state of the matter.

Classification based on origin :

Air pollutants are divided into two categories, based on their origin-primary and secondary.

Primary air pollutants:

These pollutants are directly emitted into the atmosphere and present there as such (i.e. in the form they are originally emitted). Primary air pollutants contribute to as much as 90% global air pollution. Particulates, carbon monoxide, (CO), oxides of sulfur (SO x ), oxides of nitrogen (NO x ), hydrocarbons (HCs), radioactive compounds, pollen and bacteria are the major primary air pollutants.

Secondary air pollutants:

These are produced in the air as a result of interaction among the primary pollutants, or by a reaction that occurs between a primary pollutant and a normal constituent of the atmosphere. Good examples of secondary air pollutants are ozone (O 3 ), peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN), formaldehyde and smog.

Classification based on chemical composition:

According to chemical composition, air pollutants are categorized as organic and inorganic.

Organic air pollutants:

These pollutants are mainly composed of carbon and hydrogen. In addition, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus may also be present e.g. hydrocarbons, organic sulfur compounds, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids.

Inorganic air pollutants:

These are purely inorganic in nature e.g. carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, oxides of sulfur, oxides of nitrogen, ozone.

Classification based on the state of matter:

Air pollutants may be divided into two types, based on the state in which they exist-particulate and gaseous.

Particulate air pollutants:

The solids and liquids dispersed in the atmosphere constitute the particulate air pollutants. Solid particulates e.g. smoke, dust, fly ash. Liquid particulates e.g. mist, fog, spray.

Gaseous air pollutants:

These are the organic and inorganic gases that are present in the air as pollutants. Organic gases e.g. methane, butane, aldehydes. Inorganic gases e.g. CO 2 , SO 2 , NO 2 , NH 3 , and H 2 S.

Effects of Air Pollution:

Majority of the air pollutants are present normally in the atmosphere, although at low concentrations. Such pollutants are unlikely to cause any significant harmful effects. When the concentrations of the air pollutants go beyond the acceptable limits (variable for each pollutant) they are dangerous and cause several harmful effects. The WHO has set guidelines and fixed threshold limit values (TLV) for each air pollutant. The general effects of air pollutants on humans, plants, animals, materials and global climate are briefly described.

Effects of air pollutants on humans :

On an average, man breathes around 22,000 times and inhales about 16 kg of air each day. Primarily, the air we breathe is life sustaining. However, pollutants present in the air often cause harmful effects. The nature of the pollutant, its concentration and duration of exposure are among the factors that affect the health of humans.

In general, infants, elderly people and those with respiratory diseases are more susceptible to air pollution. Further, adverse health effects of air pollutants are maximum during winter compared to other seasons. Some of the important air pollutants and their effects on human health are given in Table 55.3. Sulfur dioxide is the most dangerous pollutant gas to man. It is produced in many industries and causes respiratory disorders.

Oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide reduce O 2 supply to the tissues. Lead pollution is associated with tissue damage and abnormal behavioural pattern. Suspended particulate matter (SPM) mainly causes chronic pulmonary diseases. Prolonged exposure to radioactive isotopes results in anemia, besides a heavy risk of cancer and genetic defects.

Health Effects of Some of the Air Pollutants

Effects of air pollutants on plants:

At low concentration, the air pollutants may not cause any visible damage to the plants. However, even at this level, the pollutants may be stored and introduced into the food chain. This in turn, may affect animals as well as humans.

The entry of the gas air pollutants (SO 2 , NO 2 ) predominantly occurs through the stomata, openings on the leaves. Stomata are located at the bottom of the leaves through which CO 2 enters for photosynthesis. In the same way as CO 2 enters the leaves, the gaseous pollutants also enter and cause various effects.

The solid particles are adsorbed on the surfaces of leaves. This may result in clogging of the stomata and a reduced intake of CO 2 . Further, the suspended particles deposited on the leaves, may adversely affect the leaf functions (reduced exposure to sun light, decrease in chlorophyll content, interruption of gaseous exchange).

The effects of common air pollutants on leaves are given in Table 55.4. The sensitivity of plants to pollutants depends on many factors such as climatic conditions (light, temperature, and humidity), soil and water, and the individual plant’s response to a particular pollutant. The major air pollutants affecting plants are SO 2 , NO 2 , O 3 , fluorides, ammonia and ethylene, besides the particulates. They may damage the plants to varying degrees as outlined in Table 55.4.

Effect of Air Pollutants on Plants

The sensitivity of certain selected plants to air pollutants can be used for bio-monitoring of air pollution.

Effects of air pollutants on animals :

The effect of air pollution on animals is mostly indirect, as it occurs after they eat polluted plants or foliage. Fluorine, lead and arsenic are three main air pollutants that cause harmful effects to livestock.

Fluorine causes loss of weight, muscular weakness, diarrhea, wearing of teeth, and even death. Fluorosis mainly affects the ruminants, particularly dairy cows.

Lead poisoning is commonly observed in animals grazing near lead mines. It is associated with loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing, diarrhea and paralysis.

Arsenic toxicity in animals is associated with increased salivation, thirst, irregular pulses, abnormal body temperature and paralysis. Chronic poisoning may result in anemia, diarrhea, paralysis and even death.

Effects of air pollutants on materials :

Air pollutants cause immense damage to various materials — stone, metal, paint work, fibre materials, glass, ceramic, textiles, rubber, architecture etc. The adverse effects of air pollution on materials and properties are associated with severe economic losses throughout the world.

Effects of air pollutants on global climatic changes :

Air pollution is associated with significant changes in global climate and the related processes e.g., ozone depletion, green house effects, acid rain.

Bio Monitoring of Air Pollution :

Plants are used to monitor (bio monitoring) air pollution and such plants are referred to as indicator plants. This is based on the principle of sensitivity and response of the plants to air pollutants. A list of the plants used for bio monitoring and the corresponding air pollutants is given in Table 55.5. Among these, lichens and mosses are most commonly used to check the quality of air. The pattern of occurrence of patches on lichens serves as an index for bio monitoring of air pollution.

Air Pollutants and the Plants

Bioluminescence in air pollution monitoring :

Bioluminescence is the phenomenon of emission of visible light by an organism. It occurs as an enzymatically catalysed light emitting reaction in living cells. Bioluminescence is an indicator for the analysis of atmospheric gases such as SO 2 , formaldehyde and ethyl acetate. The microorganism, Photo bacterium phosphoreum can be used as a special photo detector. The changes in the emission of light due to a pollutant can be detected by a sensor, amplified and recorded.

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