Air pollution- Causes and Effects of Air Pollution

Air pollution- Causes and Effects of Air Pollution

Air pollution defined as “the number of pollutants in the air which affects the health of humans and the planet is called air pollution”. It is the mixture of solid particles and gases in the air. Air can go everywhere that’s why not only the outside air is harmful but the air which is inside our houses is also harmful to health. Heart disease, respiratory problems, lung cancer are some types of diseases occurring due to air pollution. The outer polluted air is causing 2.1 to 4.21 million deaths every year worldwide. Also, overall air pollution takes the lives of more than 7 million people each year. We will be discussing the causes of Air Pollution, Effects of air pollution, and the preventions of air pollution.

Air pollution

In WHO reports, 9 out of 10 persons are consuming high-level pollutants through the air. Many countries are working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to reduce air pollution. WHO has given the limits and guidelines for air pollution but sadly, around more than 90% of people of the world are living in the places where the quality of air is exceeded from given limits.

Clean Air

Clean air consists the 78 per cent of nitrogen, 21 per cent of oxygen, and 1 per cent is the mixture of all other gases where the organ is mostly (0.9%) with very small amounts of other gases such as hydrogen, helium, carbon dioxide and many more gasses. Water vapour is also a normal compound found in the air in low quantities.

Causes of Air Pollution

Causes of Air Pollution- Air pollution is a mixture of pollutants in the air. These pollutants can be of two types. Let’s discuss these types:

Man-Made sources

It is also known as “anthropogenic sources”. These sources are related to the burning of fuels.

  • Stationary sources- it includes the bunch of smoke created by the burning of fossil fuels. The factories using fuels for the production of things which cause the smoke due to the burning of this oil and this smoke gets mixed in the air.
  • Mobiles sources- it includes vehicles, aircraft, and marine vessels.
  • Controlled burning practices- it is used for the agriculture and forests for the removal of unwanted trees of grass or any other thing which is not good for agriculture. The burning of wastage of crops in Punjab to clean the field is an example of controlled burning practices.
  • Fertilized farmland- it is the major source of nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
  • Fumes- fumes from paints, a spray of pesticides, hair spray.
  • Waste deposition in landfills- it generates methane gas and it has a highly flame rate which can cause an explosion.
  • Military sources- nuclear weapons, grenades, toxic gases.

Causes of Air Pollution

Natural sources

There are various natural sources of Air Pollution such as:

  • Dust from natural sources.
  • Emission of methane gas by the digestion of food by animals.
  • Radon gas from the earth’s crust.
  • Volcanic activity.
  • Wildfires

Effects of air pollution

There are various effects of air pollution which the people are facing. It can be for the short term and long term. A variety of pollutants are present in the air which causes the different types of diseases to humans.

Effects on humans

Short term effects- It includes short term diseases like pneumonia or bronchitis, irritation to the nose, eyes, throat, or skin. It can also cause nausea and headaches. A bad smell from factories and garbage is also a type of air pollution.

Long term effects- These effects can be last for a lifetime or more than years. These can also be the cause of a person’s death. Heart disease, lung cancer, or any respiratory diseases are examples of a disease caused by this. Some of the research also shows that it causes birth defects also.

Pollutant Health effects
Nitrogen Dioxide, Ozone, and Sulphur Dioxide Irritates the airways of the lungs and increasing the rate of lung diseases.
Particles Can be carried deep into the lungs and cause inflammation and a worsening of heart and lung diseases
Carbon Monoxide This prevents the uptake of oxygen by the blood and reduces the average oxygen supply to the heart.

Effects on the environment

There are lots of effects that occur in the environment due to air pollution. Let’s discuss some of them:

Global warming

Global warming is a phenomenon caused by natural and man-made sources of air pollution. It is the reason for the rise in the temperature of air and ocean around the planet. It is the consequence of the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect produces carbon dioxide and methane gases in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the gas which has the biggest effect on global warming. Usually, most of the heat is escaped from the atmosphere but these gases trap the heat energy in the atmosphere of the earth. The sunlight is the direct source of hearing energy on earth but now the heat is trapping in our atmosphere which is causing the rise in the temperature of the earth every day. CFCs are the main reason to deplete the ozone layer in our atmosphere. Many of the countries are taking steps to reduce global warming by making treaties and agreements.

Causes of Air Pollution and Effects of Air Pollution

The Kyoto Protocol was first adopted in Japan, in 1997 by the 183 countries. With this protocol, many countries have made laws in the countries to reduce air pollution in their levels. In many countries, there is a limitation on the production or the pollution created by a factory. If any factory found exceeded their limits, the fine will be imposter by the government of that nation. This idea will help to control the pollution created by the factories. There are also another many laws signed in that protocol.

The WHO has issued air quality guidelines in 2006. The aim of the guidelines is to reduce the death rate by up to 15 per cent a year.

Climate change

It is another consequence of global warming. The temperature of the earth’s atmosphere is increasing day by day due to global warming which also affects the climate. There is a lot of change that has been occurring in our climate due to pollution. As the temperature is increasing the mass of the pole is also melting which is our permanent source of water in the whole year. This melting process is as high as this is leading to flooding in the rivers and causing soil erosion and many other bad things.

Acid Rain

The gases which are being emitted by the factories and power plants are very toxic in nature. With the burning of fossil fuels, the SO2 and NOgases are also emitting in the atmosphere. These two gases are the main reason for acid rain when they react with the water present in the atmosphere and come on earth in the form of rain which is very bad for the surface of the earth and for agriculture.

Deterioration of fields

Acid rain and climate change cause the effect on the earth’s surface which affects agriculture and changes the composition of the food which we are eating in our daily life.

Smog effects

This effect happens when there is a kind of dark fog is present over the atmosphere of a city. This smog contains harmful pollutants in it which are dangerous to human beings. This fog is of two types sulfurous and photochemical smog and both the types are harmful. The pollution in Delhi is one of the best examples of it. The smog has covered the Delhi city many times.

Deterioration of Animal species

Many of the species which are depending on the climate are decreasing day by day. The species which are depending on the sea and ocean feel threatening due to the rise of sea levels by the melting of poles.

Indoor Air Pollution

The pollution which is created inside our houses comes under indoor air pollution. This is caused by burning fuel sources like crop waste, firewood, use of tobacco smoke, and dung, and these all result in air pollution. Usually, the problems created by indoor air pollution cause discomfort to human beings. Many of the people feel good as soon as they remove these sources but sometimes it leads to long time disease.

Preventions of Air pollution 

Any person can take the steps to control this pollution. Millions of people should take little steps to reduce air pollution by changing their habits which are not good for the environment. Let’s discuss the Preventions of Air pollution.

Renewable fuel or clean energy production

Our resources which we are using like fossil fuels are putting our lives in danger. We should stop the use of these fuels and must go with new technology where we can replace these fuels with alternative energy like solar power and wind power and many more.

Energy conservation

The production of clean energy is a very tough job. But we can reduce our consumption of energy we are using by adopting some habits as our responsibilities.


We should use electric vehicles or any other alternatives for transportation and by taking public transportation for daily use. The pollution will decrease if the use of personal vehicles is reduced by people.

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