Deadliest Effects of Air Pollution on the Environment and Vegetation

Air Pollution- Acting as a Giant Killer

What is Air Pollution?

Air pollution is harmful and poisonous for human health. There are various deadliest effects of air pollution. It may cause allergies, diseases and sometimes death to humans. Air pollution happens due to the addition of substances like toxic gases, biological molecules and dust particles into the earth’s atmosphere.

Air pollution not only harms human beings but can also harm other living organisms such as food crops, plants, birds and other animals. Several historical monuments as well as buildings and structures also get damaged due to the harmful effect of air pollution. This may also hinder vegetation growth. Air gets polluted due to various human as well as natural activities. Air pollution is many regions have made the life of the people unbearable. Air pollution is a giant killer in such places, due to its adverse affect on the environment and the people around in many aspects.

Let us discuss some of the harmful effects of air pollution:

1.Threat to Human Health :

Air pollution badly affects human health as they may cause lung diseases, pneumonia, bronchitis or other respiratory diseases. Air pollution in some cases has resulted in premature death in most of the developing countries. Premature deaths basically occur due to inhaling of harmful particulate matter, which settle down in the lungs causing severe damage.

Diseases like pneumonia, bronchitis, irritation to the eyes and nasal cavities are some of the short term effects of air pollution. The long term effects may include lung cancer, heart diseases, chronic respiratory disorders,and even serious damage to the nerves, brain, liver, and the kidney.

The damage is even harmful as this may affect lungs of growing children which may result in worsen medical condition s they grow old. This is the probable reason as why air pollution is a giant killer in a relentless manner.

2. Acid Rain :

When pollutant like Sulfur dioxides and Nitrogen Oxides and toxic particles present in the atmosphere chemically react with the oxygen or the water molecules, they form acidic compounds like mild Sulfuric acid or Nitric acid. These acidic compounds then combine and fall with several forms of precipitations like rain, snow, sleet, or fog causing acid rain. The acid rain causes severe damage to the environment by damaging the buildings, vegetation and monuments.

Leaves of plants which are required for photosynthesis get damaged resulting in killing of plants or crops. Acid rain also affects water bodies and soil, by altering their chemistry. Hence, acid rain may also cause serious harm to the aquatic plants and animals, sometimes even killing them. Similarly, due to alteration in soil chemistry, soil microbial activity gets hindered, by means of penetration.

Other Effects:

So far, we have come to know the deadliest effect of air pollution on human health, animal health, and damage to vegetation and environment in general. Air pollution also affects our surroundings in several other ways. Just have a look at the buildings of some of big cities and metros. How blackened they are. This occurs even at places where factories or power plants do not lie. This is just the result of air pollution.

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Ashesh is a social worker, author and member of Nature Talkies.

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