Definition Of Air Pollution

Definition Of Air Pollution

Definition of Air Pollution

Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulates, biological materials, or other harmful materials into the Earth's atmosphere, possibly causing disease, death to humans, damage to other living organisms such as food crops, or the natural or built environment

More About Air Pollution

  • The atmosphere is a complex natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on planet Earth
  • Stratospheric ozone depletion due to air pollution has been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to the Earth's ecosystems
  • Air consists of a mixture of gases. 78% is nitrogen, 21% is oxygen. Carbon dioxide, argon, methane, ozone form the rest
  • Any contamination of air by unwanted substances which have a harmful effect on the environment leads to air pollution
  • Sometimes, substances that contaminate air may be from volcanic eruptions or smoke and dust arising from forest fires
  • Pollutants are also added by human activities such as factories, automobile exhausts, power plants and burning of firewood and dung cakes
  • An air pollutant is a substance in the air that can have adverse effects on humans and the ecosystem
  • The substance can be solid particles, liquid droplets, or gases
  • Pollutants are classified as primary or secondary
  • Primary pollutants are usually produced from a process, such as ash from a volcanic eruption
  • Others include carbon monoxide gas from motor vehicle exhaust, or the sulfur dioxide released from factories
  • Secondary pollutants are not emitted directly. Rather, they form in the air when primary pollutants react or interact
  • Ground level ozone is a prominent example of a secondary pollutant
  • Major primary pollutants produced by human activity include Sulfur oxides, Nitrogen oxides(NOx), Carbon monoxide(CO), volatile organic compounds, particulates , free radicals, toxic substances, ammonia, odors, radioactive pollutants, chlofluorocarbons, photochemical smog, ozone, Peroxy acetyl nitrates
  • Minor pollutants include hazardous pollutants and persistent organic pollutants

Hazardous Effects:

  • Vehicles produce high levels of pollutants like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and smoke
  • Carbon monoxide is produced from incomplete burning of fuels such as petrol and diesel. It reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of blood
  • The industries produce pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. They dissolve in rainwater and form acid rains
  • These acid rains corrode monuments and make water bodies acidic
  • Petroleum refineries are the major source of pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide
  • It can cause respiratory problems and permanent lung damage
  • It leads to damage of pine forests in parts of Europe and north America and damage to vegetation