Table of Contents
We are always breathing air into our bodies. It keeps us alive.
People need to breathe, and so do lots of other animals and plants. Breathing is part of a process called respiration. During respiration, a living thing takes in oxygen from the air and gives out carbon dioxide. This process gives animals and plants the energy to eat, grow, and live life. t, grow, and live life.
Clean air is needed for our health and health of the planet.
However, our air is getting increasingly polluted.
Many of us breathe dirty air every day, especially in our towns and cities.
Air pollution is one of the world’s largest health and environmental problems.
Air becomes polluted when harmful gases, dust, smoke enters into the atmosphere and has adverse effect on humans and the ecosystem.
Air Pollutant can be mixture of solid and liquid particles such as dust, dirt and smoke or gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide,sulfur dioxide, methane and ozone.
Plants need Carbon dioxide to make their food. But Carbon dioxide is being released in the atmosphere at record high level. Carbon dioxide contributes to air pollution in its role in the greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide traps radiation at ground level and prevents the earth from cooling at night.
Carbon monoxide is another major pollutant gas that is produced by combustion of fuel such as natural gas, coal or wood. Vehicular exhaust contributes to the majority of carbon monoxide let into our atmosphere . It creates a smog type formation in the air.
Natural and Man-made air pollution
Air pollutant can be of natural origin or man-made. Some sources of air pollution come from nature. These include eruptions of volcanoes, dust storms, and forest fires.
Human activity is a major cause of air pollution, especially in large cities. Human air pollution is caused by things such as factories, power plants, cars, airplanes, chemicals, fumes from spray cans, and methane gas from landfills.
One of the ways that humans cause the most air pollution is by burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas. When we burn fossil fuels this releases all sorts of gasses into the air causing air pollution such as smog.
Indoor air pollution is caused by burning solid fuel sources – such as firewood, crop waste, and dung – for cooking and heating.
Even burning kerosene in simple wick lamps also produces significant emissions of fine particles and other pollutants.
Around 3 billion people still cook using solid fuels (such as wood, crop wastes, charcoal, coal and dung) and kerosene in open fires and inefficient stoves. Most of these people are poor, and live in low- and middle-income countries.
These cooking practices produce high levels of household air pollution with a range of health-damaging pollutants, including small soot particles that penetrate deep into the lungs. In poorly ventilated dwellings, indoor smoke can be 100 times higher than acceptable levels for fine particles.
Outdoor air pollution is a complex mixture of pollutants originating from natural and man-made sources, including transportation, power generation, and industrial activity.
In urban areas, outdoor air pollutants are mainly emitted from on-road and off-road vehicles.
But there are also contributions from factories, aircrafts, ships and so on, depending on the locations and prevailing winds.
Millions of people worldwide are exposed to outdoor air pollution at levels that substantially exceed existing health-based guidelines.
Indoor air quality is affected by outdoor air . Similarly, indoor air quality also affects outdoor environments.