Because of the increasing amount of air contaminants, inhaling fresh, clean air has become nearly impossible. Everyone is concerned about their health because of the causes of air pollution. Air pollution is the leading environmental killer, killing nearly 17 billion people globally. While calculating, that amounts to an average loss of 2.2 years.
Because toxins in the air cannot be seen with the naked eye, we are unaware of the sources of rising pollution levels. To comprehend the sources of air pollution, we must first grasp the basic causes of air pollution.
The Use of Fossil Fuels
The majority of air pollution is caused by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. These include coal, oil, and gasoline, which are used to generate energy for power or transportation. The amount of CO released at a high level shows the amount of fossil fuel used. This also releases other hazardous chemicals into the atmosphere, such as nitrogen oxides. Inhaling polluted air caused by the combustion of natural gas and fossil fuel impairs the heart’s ability to pump enough oxygen. As a result, different respiratory and cardiovascular problems can occur. Furthermore, nitrogen oxides are to blame for acid rain and smog development.
- When fossil fuels are burned, they produce more than CO2.
- Coal-fired power plants alone are responsible for 35% of hazardous mercury emissions in the United States.
- Acid rain is caused by two-thirds of SO2 emissions.
The vast bulk of dust (particle pollution) in our air is caused by the combustion of fossil fuels.
Emissions from Industry
Industrial activities produce a variety of pollutants into the atmosphere, which has far-reaching consequences for air quality.
Particulate matter 2.5 and 10, NO2, SO2, and CO are major pollutants released by enterprises that use coal and wood as their principal energy source for manufacturing goods. The health effects of industrial pollution can range from
- Itching in your eyes and throat
- Breathing problems
- It can even lead to chronic sickness at times.
- VOCs and other industrial pollution can exacerbate respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.
- O3 is also released by industries, which might lead to an increase in asthma episodes.
Industries emit massive volumes of organic compounds such as CO2, hydrocarbons, and other toxicants. They also have an impact on the climate since CO2 has a greenhouse effect. Thus, Earth’s atmosphere traps heat. Temperature and humidity rise. New industries are emerging to meet demand. Emissions rise regularly. We are already seeing the consequences of this, with the earth’s temperature rising by 1 degree Celsius per decade.
Pollution of Indoor Air
Toxic products, also known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), poor ventilation, uneven temperature, and humidity levels can all contribute to indoor air pollution, whether you are at work, school, or at home. House air pollution can occur as a result of careless actions such as smoking in a room or leaving mold-infected walls untreated. The usage of wood stoves or space heaters can quickly raise the humidity level, which can harm a person’s health. Carcinogens and pollutants from indoor air pollution are responsible for 17% of lung cancer fatalities.
Climate warming is affecting not only wildfires but also air pollution. Burning stubble and farm debris also contribute significantly to wildfires. It increases the amount of PM2.5 in the air, which combines with other dangerous chemicals such as chemical gas and pollen to form smog. Smog makes the air cloudy, making it difficult to breathe. As a result of the haze, visibility is also reduced. Inhaling smog causes symptoms such as difficulty breathing, irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat, itch in the respiratory tract, and so on.
Microbial Decaying Process
The manufacturing, chemical, and textile industries emit a huge amount of CO, hydrocarbons, chemicals, and organic compounds into the atmosphere. Bacteria and fungi play critical roles in nature’s biogeochemical cycles. They are the most important markers of aberrant environmental conditions. The decay of these microbes in the environment produces methane gas, which is highly poisonous. Breathing poisonous gases such as methane can be fatal.
The decaying process emits carbon, methane, and nitrogen, which can have an impact on air quality. Because these bacteria remain floating in the air, they can cause disease.
- Asthma clustering
- Many other annoyances
- Eye, nose, and throat irritation.
- The likelihood of developing skin allergies rises as well.
Control the effects of air pollution
With the rate at which air pollution in the country is increasing, immediate action has become an imperative need. It not only has an impact on human lives, but it also harms the environment.
Nelson Mandela once stated his concern about air pollution and its impact on human life, saying, “Everyone has the right to an environment that is not damaging to their health or well-being; and to have that environment safeguarded, for the benefit of present and future generations.”
- Energy conservation is the first step toward a brighter future with clean air to breathe.
- It is critical to understand the notion and develop the habit of reducing, reusing, and recycling.
- To save gasoline and prevent automobile pollution, take public transportation wherever possible.