What is Air Pollution
According to WHO air pollution refers to the presence of materials in the air in such concentration which are harmful to man and his environment. In simple words air pollution refers to the addition of harmful pollutants in the air like foreign particles etc.
Causes of Air Pollution
The various causes of air pollution are
1.Various chemical industries like pesticide industry are the major sources of air pollution.
2.Metallurgical processing give pollutants like lead, chromium, arsenic, zinc, mercury in the air.
3.Various other industries like cotton textiles also cause air pollution.
4.Combustion of natural gas, petroleum, coal and wood .
5.Automobiles are the major source of air pollution these days.
Effects of Air Pollution
The substances that cause air pollution are referred as air pollutants. Different air pollutants and their effect are as follows-
1.Particulate matter –
It includes solid and liquid particles like dust. Particulate matter is of two types -settable and suspended. They have following effects-
a.Irritation of the respiratory tract occurs due to dust and smoke particles leading to lung diseases like asthma and bronchitis.
b.Smog is a dark or opaque fog formed by the dust and smoke particles
c.Particulate matter scatters in air and absorbs light .Due to this light is reduced which is hazardous to vehicles.
d.Smoke and dust particles form a thin layer over the stomata and leaves and reduce light absorption and photo synthesis.
Carbon monoxide constitutes 50 % of the total atmospheric pollutants.It is released due to incomplete combustion of carbon fuels in various industries , motor vehicles, kitchens etc .Plants also release a huge amount of carbon dioxide.Effects of cabon dioxide are headache and giddiness, laziness, cardio-vascular disordes and decreased vision.
It occurs mostly in the form of sulphur dioxide. It is mainly released during smelting of metallic ores and burning of petroleum. effects of sulphur oxide are-
a.It can result in chlorosis and necrosis of vegetation like in Lichen.
b.In the concentration above 1 ppm it also effects human beings . It can cause irritation to eyes and diseases of respiratory tract.
c.It also has mutagenic properties.
d.It causes discolouration of buildings as well.
They are released mainly during biological and non biological activies from nitrates , nitrites etc.
Effects of nitrogen oxide
a.They can result in the formation of fog
b.It can cause necrosis, defoliation in plants .
c.In human beings it can cause lesions , necrosis, defoliation etc.
Prevention and control of Air Pollution
1.Industrial area should be far away from the residential area. This type of system is present in Chandigarh in India.
2.The industries should use tall chimneys.
3.Poisonous gases can be removed by passing the fumes through spray collector.
4.The use of filters and precipitators in the chimneys should be increased.
5.The removal of sulphur should be done from the gas after combustion. This can prove to be a really effective way to reduce air pollution.
6.High temperature incinerators should be used to reduce particulate ash production.
7.We should develop non combustive sources of energy like nuclear power, geothermal power, solar power and wind power. This will certainly check air pollution.
8.Complete electrification of railway track should be done.
9.Non lead antiknock agents should be used in gasoline.
10.Pollution free fuels for automobiles like battery power should be developed and used.
11.Industries and refineries should use techniques and machines that cause less air pollution.
12.Afforestration in the mining areas can also decrease air pollution.
13.Awareness should be spread among people to help in preventing air pollution.
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