Tejinder Kaur, Academic Content Creator at Edumarz

Air Pollution

Air pollution is the release of harmful pollutants into the air that is harmful to human health and the environment.

It refers to any undesirable change in the physical, chemical, or biological properties of the air that have the potential to affect humans and the environment. Pollutants such as harmful gases, dust, smoke, etc. contaminate the air.

There is a certain percentage of every gas present in the atmosphere. Any increase or decrease in these gases is harmful. This imbalance of gaseous has increased in the temperature of the earth, which is known as global warming.

Types of Air pollutants:

There are mainly two types of air pollutants:

Primary pollutants- the pollutants which have the potential to directly cause air pollution are known as primary pollutants. For example Sulphur dioxide released from factories

Secondary pollutants- the pollutants which do not have the potential to directly cause air pollution and are formed by intermixing of primary pollutants are known as secondary pollutants. For example Smog formed by the combination of smoke and fog

Causes of Air pollution:

Following are the main causes of air pollution:

Burning of fossil fuels – The combustion of fossil fuels releases a large amount of Sulphur dioxide. Incomplete combustion of fossil fuels releases Carbon monoxide which is a toxic air pollutant.

Automobiles – The smoke released from vehicles contains a lot of gases which cause air pollution.

Agricultural activities – The chemicals such as insecticides and fertilizers emit harmful chemicals into the environment.

Factories – The smoke released from factories consists of Carbon monoxide and many hydrocarbons which are potent air pollutants.

Effects of Air pollution:

Disorders – Air pollutants are a major cause of respiratory disorders.

Global Warming – The increase in the temperature of the earth due to an imbalance of the gases is known as global warming

Acid Rain – The burning of fossil fuels releases a lot of gases such as nitric and sulphur oxides. The water droplets in the atmosphere combine with these gases and fall on the earth as Acid rain which is harmful to humans, plants, animals as well as monuments. 

Depletion of the Ozone layer – The release of chlorofluorocarbons and halons in the atmosphere is causing thinning of the ozone layer. Due to the depletion of the ozone layer the harmful UV rays can enter the earth and cause damage.

Control of Air pollution:

Following are the preventive measures that should be adopted to control air pollution:

Avoid using vehicles for shorter distances. The use of CNG (Compressed natural gas) instead of LPG (liquified natural gas) should be adopted. The CNG gas is green and causes less harm to the environment on burning.

Clean energy resources such as solar energy, wind energy, and geothermal energy should be used.

Tree plantation should be practiced. Trees have the potential to reduce the number of toxic gases in the environment to a large extent.

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