WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF AIR POLLUTION ?
Among the countless causes of it, I just tried to describe the most effective 7 causes of air pollution. You know, the increased causes of air pollution have a brought us to a path where we will never find our destination without settling this out. The causes of air pollution are increasing and leading us to a toxic future. Still not Clear about what is air pollution ?
Let me explain it simply..
Air pollution is known as the harmful substances in the air which have adverse health effects on every living organism and cause severe damage to the earth’s climate.
WHO(World Health Organization) estimates that, about 92% of people in world wide are forced to breathe polluted air from the atmosphere. Air pollution is weigh more concerning as about 7 million deaths per year are directly linked to it.
This counts about 1 in 8 deaths world wide. Have not concerned about air pollution this much. Were You ?
It is said that there is no smoke without fire. Air pollution is not a thing that evolved naturally. There are many mistakes that we did and still doing which is creating this global concern. So, before taking steps to reduce or eradicate it we need to know where is the real Fire.
This is why you need to know about what are the causes of air pollution.
No one can survive a single minute of their life without breathing. It is so essential and common too !! It is so common that sometimes even forget that we are breathing ! As you also forgot that you are inhaling and exhaling that air around you while reading this article.
We just neglect this amazing relation between us and the environment As we neglect the air pollution.
Well, back to the point what causes of air pollution ?
Both natural and artificial factors are responsible for air pollution. These are the top 7 causes of air pollution .
- Natural Causes
- Industrial Exhaust
- Fossil Fuel Based Power Plants
- Agriculture and Construction Activities
- Indoor Air Pollution
#1.NATURAL CAUSES :
Natural causes cause a significant amount of air pollution in all over the world. These causes are only created by nature without any interruptions of humans. Natural phenomenon like Wild Fires, Volcanic Activity are the major sources of air pollution caused by nature.
The increased dust particles in air and the repeated wild fires have shown their true colors in these decade. The impact can be seen for the increased mount of air pollution due to wild fires. You won’t believe that there were 58,950 Wild fires occurs in the year of 2020 and about 5,47,000 acres of forest were burned completely. But how does the wild fires exactly caused air pollution.
As you know plants are the store house of many harmful toxic gases they release oxygen by absorbing gases like carbon dioxide and many of the green house gasses and protect us from air pollution and global warming.
The respected scientist have shown that, a typical hard wood tree can absorb as much as 48 Pounds of carbon dioxide per year. Apart from that 25% of carbon dioxide is alone preserved by the trees. This is why wild fires are more concerning than you might think before . I will tell you why.
When wild fires occurs and trees are burned the deadly gases such as carbon dioxide, black carbon, brown carbon and ozone, precursors which were preserved by trees eventually releases into the air. Other gases such as carbon monoxide, Nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde and acetaldeyde are also releases by the wild fires. Smoke and ash are also released.
So, this is how wild fires cause temporary large increases in outdoor airborne particles and cause air pollution.
Volcanic Activity :
Hazardous gases released from volcanos, largely contribute to air pollution. You must have seen a volcanic eruption in your TV or mobile phone. Though it looks so beautiful but it is also one of the vital contributor to the air pollution.
Volcanic activity are responsible for releasing toxic gases like carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and hydrogen fluoride to the atmosphere in a delicate amount.
You know, according to the US geological survey (USGS), it is considered that only volcanos located on earth produce 200 million tones of carbon dioxide per year. Can you believe it ?
The gases produced by volcanos have many damaging impacts on environment. Sulfur dioxides produced by it may cause adverse environmental threats as it furtherly lead to Acid Rain. Exposure of both animals and humans to the carbon dioxide produced by volcanos can be life threatening as it has posing a lethal risk to them.
So, this is how volcanic activities become one of the causes of air pollution.
This how nature cause air pollution.
How could the article end without discussing about human activity and air pollution. These are the causes of air pollution caused by only human activity.
#2. Industrial Exhaust :
Though industries are important in today’s world but the way they are causing air pollution is not acceptable at all. According to Environmental Protection Agency or EPA about 50% of air pollution due to human activities is only caused by industrial exhausts.
The industrial exhausts can be purified if they use the particulate purification techniques. These method really works to purify the smoke but the companies releases the bad exhaust into the atmosphere and air pollution.
Industrial emission mostly in developing countries the exposure the organic compounds such as carbon monoxide, hydro carbons and toxic chemical in the air are released by the industries. You must have seen the artificial clouds coming from the chimneys of industries and chemical companies.
At certain time periods, they become invisible in the air. But do you know what really happens!! You are forced to inhale the tiny particles of these deadly gases. These chemical enters the human body though the respiratory system to lungs or through skin and cause many severe health issues.
This can cause allergic reactions, respiratory illnesses, acute and chronic disease including asthma, chronic obstructive, pulmonary diseases, Lungs dysfunctions, skin and eye diseases, acute bronchitis, cancer to the people who living near the cities or near the factories who release these type of chemical into the air.
So, if you are one of them then you need to get serious about air pollution and about your health.
This is how industrial exhaust plays a massive role in the causes of air pollution.
#3. Transportation :
How to not include transportation in a post like air pollution. It’s impossible. No ? Well, everybody knows transportation is a huge source to the causes of air pollution.
You must have noticed, when you get stocked in a traffic or in a city you experience exhausting and face troubles in respiration. Do you know why this happen. Let me Explain..
Transportation is a major user of energy and depends upon petroleum. This is why burns most of the world’s petroleum. In the United States about 71% of petroleum products are used only in transportation.
This massive use of petroleum for transportation is causing a significant air pollution in all around the world.. Burning any petroleum fuel releases energy in the form of heat. These fuels are mostly Carbon, so when carbon is burnt it releases energy and makes the engine run and allows to do work.
But the worst part is when carbon is burned it creates carbon dioxide which cause air pollution. Collected evidence shows that, about 30 Percent of national GHGs directly emitted from the transportation. In some regions on earth the percentage even higher.
In 2021 There are 1.42 Billion cars in all over the worlds were still on road. There are also 363 billon commercial vehicles and trucks you here. Through this information you can estimate the production of carbon dioxide on our planet. Is it getting hard to calculate the amount ? Well, you don’t have to, cause EPA has already done that.
According to EPA, in 2019 about 6558 million metric tones of carbon dioxide was produced by transportation sector emissions.
Transportation emission also damage the ozone layer which protects us from harmful ultra violet radiation coming from the sun light.
The emission through transportation affect the human health in so many ways. Study shows health effects including respiratory symptoms such as asthma attacks, reduction in lung functions, lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases can be associated with the exposure of transportations.
This is how development in transportation KICKs us in our back and this is how transportation includes it self in the causes of air pollution.
#4. Fossil Fuel Based Power Plant :
Fossil fuel based power plant is another major source to the air pollution. Many people are still not clear about what this power plants really do. If you are one of them then here you go..
The electricity which we use in our homes mainly comes from the fossil fuel based power plants. They burn a massive amount of fossil fuel such as coal or natural gas to produce heat energy. These power station use these heat energy to convert it into mechanical energy which then produce electricity.
The fossil fuel based power station are so important that in 2017, only fossil fuel generated 64.5 percent of electricity of the world. But the thing is how are they linked to air pollution.
Data shows that about 15 billion tones of fossil fuels are consumed every year and most of the credit goes to these power stations.
You know a single uncontrolled coal plant releases many of the toxins into the air. These harmful pollutants may include 114 pound of lead, traces of Uranium and about 720 tones of carbon monoxide. This can also be responsible for releasing 220 tones of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere which may trigger reactions that can form ozone at low altitudes.
This huge amount of toxins are released from a single fissile fuel power plant. There are total 62500 power plants and as in 2019, there were about 2425 coal based power plants in the world. Now, you can predict the amount of air pollution caused by the fossil fuel based power plants. Can’t estimate it. Okay let me the do the math for you.
Fossil fuel power plants emit nearly 10 billion tones of carbon dioxide per year. In addition to that , they release many pollutants including mercury, non-mercury metallic toxics, acid gases and organic air toxics which include dioxide.
It is even accounted that power plants have become the dominant emitters of mercury (50%), acid gases (over 75%), many toxin metals in the united states.
Guess what power plant stations also emit other harmful gases including carbon monoxide, the oxides of sulfur, the oxides of nitrogen and very tiny particulates. These tiny particulate matter include very fine soot , ash and waste particles into the air.
These emission from fossil fuel based power plants adversely affect the environments by air pollution and contribute to climate change. On top that these emissions affect the health of both humans and animals.
At first the symptoms of health hazards may include eye and skin irritation, infections, difficulty in breathing and short of breathe. After then the inhalation of this emissions coming from the fossil fuel based power plant reflect in health effects such as heart attacks, respiratory disorders, stroke, exacerbation of asthma and lead to early death to the people living near a power plant industry.
This is how fossil fuel based power plants makes a place a place in the causes of air pollution.
#5. Agriculture and Construction Activity :
How agriculture contribute to air pollution ? Is this even possible ? You may have questioned yourself and this is why this article is here. And yes agriculture and construction activity also are responsible for air pollution. Here is how they that .
First lets have a quick look have on how agriculture do contribute to air pollution.
In United States about 10.5% of greenhouse gases are emitted due to agriculture. According to the food and agriculture organization (FAO), only livestock accounts for 40 percent of the total global emissions, mineral fertilizers for 16% and bio mass burning and crops residues for about 18 percent. There are even several types of agricultural air pollution.
Ammonia is the most common gas that comes from agricultural pollution. Heavily fertilize fields and livestock waste products are the main source of this gas. Due to the wind systems, the produced ammonia blows in over cities and reacts with emissions of oxides of nitrogen and sulfur coming from the traffic. It then forms secondary particles which brings way more difficulties in the atmosphere
.According to EPA, agricultural sectors contribute up to 9percent of total US global warming emissions.
People exposed to the secondary pollutants caused by agriculture may suffer from irritation of eyes, nose and throats. This may also caused wheezing coughing, chest tightness, and breathing problems. Regular exposure to the secondary air pollutants may increase the level of lung and heart problems such as increased risks of asthma and increased risk of heart attacks.
So this is how agriculture becomes a part of causes of air pollution.
But, wait. What about construction ?
Well, to assure you construction is also responsible for air pollution. Have a quick look on how construction cause air pollution.
Did you know that construction sectors are contribute to 23 percent of air pollution. It is even responsible for 50 percent of the climate change, 40 percent of drinking or ground water contamination and 50 percent of land fall wastes.
Construction processes (Construction of road, buildings or building, fossil fuel extraction ETC.)require harmful chemicals and fossil fuels. Heating of fossil fuel at the construction sites produce a vast amount of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases. This is how damage occurs to the environment by construction as it rises the temperature of the climate.
In certain developing countries public suffer from many health hazards due to construction air pollution. They suffer from adverse health outcomes due to the emissions of constructions.
Increased risks of respiratory infections, heart disease and lung cancer are attributed to this type of pollution. It increases the mortality rate of the people living near construction site. So, this is how agriculture and construction activities are the other causes of air pollution.
Yes, deforestation also cause air pollution. There was a time when people were surely ignoring it but now we just can’t. The deforestation also cause air pollution and i will show you how .
In some nations and regions in the world like Brazil, The deforestation is now on fire. Literally we are loosing 200000 acers of forest in each day and 139 acers in each minutes !
This clearly damage the eco system and contribute itself to the causes of air pollution.
As I discussed earlier trees are the ultimate store house of the outdoor air pollutants such as carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. So, when we clear the wood or forest we are doing nothing but axing ourselves in the foot. I wrote it because we are cleaning the trees who clean the atmosphere instead of seeking actual solutions to stop air pollution. I think this the most stupid thing that we are doing now !
Emotions apart , in 2011 the deforestation in United States had resulted in 14 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in to the atmosphere. Deforestation adversely affects the atmospheric conditions by increasing the earth’s temperatures.
So, in my opinion plant tree. Do not wait for the Govt. To take any actions. Emerge others to do it, to have a secure future..
This is how deforestation leads the climate change by becoming a part of the causes of air pollution.
#7.Indoor Air pollution :
Indoor air pollution is still a unknown term for some people even though it is one one of the effective causes of AIR pollution. The term indoor air pollution refers to the contamination of indoor air quality. This pollution occurs when certain harmful air pollutants from particles and gases reduces the quality of the air of the indoor areas.
People in urban and local regions face indoor air pollution due to the decreased level of out door air quality.
Through out the decades , the indoor air pollution has raised in a tremendous amount. Pollutants emitted from the house hold working such as Combustion of solid fuel or liquid such as kerosene for cooking, and smoke can be related to indoor air pollution.
Other indoor air pollutants include mold, building materials, home products, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and naturally occurring gases like radon can make is more difficult. Methane a dangerous greenhouse gas is highly produce due to indoor air pollution.
According EPA , sometimes the indoor air pollution can be more harmful than the outdoor air pollution. This pollution is concerning that it causes death of 1.6million people annually. Through this information one can surely understand that how murders the indoor air pollution is.
If a person spends time with household pollutants with low ventilation he may suffer from non communicable diseases including stroke, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer.
All of the age category in a family including elderly, women and children who are exposed to indoor air pollution may suffer from increased rates of respiratory illness, eye problems to cancer.
They are even at a higher risk of burns, food poisonings, musculoskeletal injuries and accidents. So Fuel materials such and dung, wood or coals should be avoided as they cause indoor air pollution. This is how indoor air pollution also a major source to the causes of air pollution.
So, here we are at the end of this worthy educational article. This article describes about “what are the causes of air pollution” and it’s major health effects on human. See, though we are developing in technologies it doesn’t mean to forget that we are still living on the blue planet which is called EARTH.
The causes of air pollution are ,making the earth warmer and causing the vulnerable climate change. We have to limit our inhumanity and watch our guidelines for the welfare of the future generations by stooping the causes of air pollution.
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