It is very important to study about air pollution since air pollution is one of the greatest crime ever committed. Although people nowadays have become more concerned about air pollution and trying to stop or deem the causes of such pollution; but, still the air has become much damaged. This is primarily due to addition of various pollutants into the atmosphere which has already done (and continue to inflict) much damage on our environment
Millions of people from every corner of the earth are dying every year just due to pollution. Furthermore, air pollution is one of the major cause for negative climate change . Studying of air pollution is hence very important so that we have a better understanding of its causes, effects, and prevention, and we can teach our future generations as well.
Whatever information we’ll get from these studies can be used by us to make informed decisions on proper and meaningful ways to mitigate and prevent air pollution. Without proper data and databases, we can’t make data-based decisions; thus, the study of air pollution is really very important.
But it’s regrettable that we are still lagging behind in our efforts to have clean and fresh air. In summary, 90% of the Earth’s air is dirty, and we are breathing that air.
Breathing in the polluted air has many severe effects around the world such as birth defects, diseases, deaths, and loss of productivity among abled people.
What are the major air pollutants and their sources?
There are various pollutants that lead to air pollution. Here are some of the major air pollutants responsible for the poor-quality of the air that we breathe:
- Particulate Matter: Particulate matter such as black carbon, organic matter, and poisonous gasses, is emitted by vehicles, power generation, shipping, and households. This matter is also released from natural sources like sand, dust, and sea salt. Not all particle matter may not be harmful only particles that are less than 10 micrometers (µm) in diameter are considered harmful to health.
- Sulphur Dioxide (SO2): Sulphur Dioxide is emitted from power generation factories, several heavy industries, households and the shipping industry. It not only harms human health, but it also leads to acidifications of inland water bodies and soil contamination. This component, when mixed with atmospheric water vapor, causes acid rain.
- Nitrogen Oxides (NO2): Nitrogen Oxides are emitted from vehicles, households, power generation factories, the shipping sector, and heavy industry. Nitrogen Oxide is mainly responsible for a ground level increase of Ozone (O3), which is the second leading cause of air pollution. These gasses are quite harmful to human health. Furthermore, they lead to acid rain when they are mixed with atmospheric vapor. Finally, nitrous oxide pollution leads to eutrophication.
- Ammonia (NH3): This is produced by the use of excess fertilizers in agriculture and livestock farming. It leads to secondary particulate matter and harms human health. Ammonia also leads to both eutrophication and acidification.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC): These are produced due to the use of solvents in the manufacture of many products and in multiple industries, household heating, power generation and road vehicles. VOCs are one of the leading components in the formation of (an increase in) ground-level ozone.