Air Pollution

Air pollution refers to addition of substances in our atmosphere that may cause undesirable health, economic, or visual effects. Children are majorly effected by pollution of air. These substances can be various gases, finely divided solids, or finely dispersed liquid aerosols or biological molecules. Pollutants can be of natural origin or man-made. Anthropogenic sources may include industries, vehicles, agricultural practices, paints, burning of biomass and aerosol sprays etc. Natural sources include smoke and carbon monoxide from wildfires, volcanic activities and dust from natural sources.

Pollutants are classified as either primary or secondary. Primary pollutants are generally produced by processes such as ash is formed from a volcanic eruption or sulfur dioxide is released from industrial activities. Such pollutants which are not emitted directly and rather form in the air as a result of interaction/reaction of primary pollutants are called Secondary pollutants. Ground level ozone is an example of Secondary pollutant. Ozone is called smog when at ground level and it is a cause of various health and visibility issues.

Air pollution have many serious effects. First and foremost, it adversely affects human health. It may cause allergies and even death of humans. Other living organisms may also harmed by it. Like people, animals, and plants, entire ecosystems can suffer effects from air pollution. Acid rain damages plants by changing soil composition; degrades water quality in rivers, lakes and streams; damages crops; and can cause buildings and monuments to decay.

Air pollution also disturbs physical structures. Deterioration of limestone building by acid rain is a classic example of air pollution negative effects on buildings.

Global warming is a well-known phenomenon occurring due to accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Major greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide and methane. These gases forms a layer around earth trapping sun’s ultraviolet rays which leads to rising air and ocean temperatures around the world. Global warming is leading to climate change. Many countries around the world have taken steps to reduce or limit greenhouse gas emissions to fight global warming.

It is the need of the hour to stop polluting our air and plant more and more trees or a healthy atmosphere. Regulations should be made to restrict industrial emissions. Excess greenhouse emissions should be stopped. Less gasoline should be burned and public transport should be preferred instead of a personal car. Fossil fuel combustion should be minimized and clean energy production options should be explored. By adopting all necessary measures we can stop air pollution and climate change.

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