Air Pollution

Topics: Air pollution, Water, Drinking water Pages: 8 (2262 words) Published: November 18, 2013

Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change. Pollution can take the form of chemial substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. A. AIR POLLUTION

Air pollution is the introduction into the atmosphere of chemicals, particulates, or biological materials that cause discomfort, disease, or death to humans, damage other living organisms such as food crops, or damage the natural environment or built environment. The atmosphere is a complex dynamic natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on planet Earth. Stratospheric ozone depletion due to air pollution has long been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to the Earth's ecosystems. Indoor air pollution (see Airlog) and urban air quality are listed as two of the World’s Worst Toxic Pollution Problems in the 2008 Blacksmith Institute World's Worst Polluted Places report. Things that pollute the air are called pollutants. Examples of pollutants include nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxides, hydrocarbons, sulphur oxides (usually from factories), sand or dust particles, and organic compounds that can evaporate and enter the atmosphere. There are two types of pollutants:

Primary pollutants are those gases or particles that are pumped into the air to make it unclean. They include carbon monoxide from automobile (cars) exhausts and sulfur dioxide from the combustion of coal.

Secondary pollutants: When pollutants in the air mix up in a chemical reaction, they form an even more dangerous chemical. Photochemical smog is an example of this, and is a secondary pollutant. What causes air pollution?

Air pollution can result from both human and natural actions. Natural events that pollute the air include forest fires, volcanic eruptions, wind erosion, pollen dispersal, evaporation of organic compounds and natural radioactivity. Pollution from natural occurrences are not very often.

Human activities that result in air pollution include:

1. Emissions from industries and manufacturing activities
Have you seen a manufacturing company before? You will notice that there are long tubes (called chimneys) erected high into the air, with lots of smoke and fumes coming out of it. Waste incinerators, manufacturing industries and power plants emit high levels of carbon monoxide, organic compounds, and chemicals into the air. This happens almost everywhere that people live. Petroleum refineries also release lots of hydrocarbons into the air. 2. Burning Fossil Fuels

After the industrial age, transportation has become a key part of our lives. Cars and heavy duty trucks, trains, shipping vessels and airplanes all burn lots of fossil fuels to work. Emissions from automobile engines contain both primary and secondary pollutants. This is a major cause of pollution, and one that is very difficult to manage. This is because humans rely heavily on vehicles and engines for transporting people, good and services.

Fumes from car exhauts contain dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons and particulates. On their own, they cause great harm to people who breath them. Additionally, they react with environmental gases to create further toxic gases. 3. Household and Farming Chemicals

Crop dusting, fumigating homes, household cleaning products or painting supplies, over the counter insect/pest killers, fertilizer dust emit harmful chemicals into the air and cause pollution. In many case, when we use these chemicals at home or offices with no or little ventilation, we may fall ill if we breathe them. 1. Effects on the Environment

Acidification:
Chemical reactions involving air pollutants can create acidic compounds which can cause harm to vegetation and buildings. Sometimes, when an air pollutant, such as sulfuric acid combines with the water droplets that make up clouds, the water droplets become acidic, forming acid rain. When acid rain falls over an area, it can kill trees and harm...
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