Industrialization might have helped us improve our standard of living and quality of life in materialistic terms, but the cost we have paid for it is quite huge. Not only have we become more discontent with life, but we have also put Mother Nature in the worst of conditions. The air quality has deteriorated significantly. The air we breathe, and the water we drink are completely unhealthy for human health. In this article, we have discussed the major reasons behind air pollution, its impacts, and ways of prevention. Let’s begin with the causes of air pollution.
Causes of air pollutions
Air quality is deteriorating due to the presence of toxic substances in the atmosphere. These substances can result from human activities or natural phenomena. While the prior source is the major contributor to pollution, the latter is caused by volcanic eruptions, dust storms, and wildfires. Consequently, air quality is compromised. Here are some of the anthropogenic air pollution sources.
1. Fuel combustion
Fossil fuels and petroleum-based fuels produce toxic pollutants such as nitrogen and sulfur dioxide upon combustion. These include coal and oil which are burnt to run electricity turbines, or as fuel for motors on the road.
2. Industrial release
Industries and factories release huge toxic elements into the air which lead to air pollution. These emissions include carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, toxic chemicals, and other organic compounds in the air.
Artificial fertilizers produce huge amounts of toxic elements. These fertilizers are widely used in agriculture. Mostly these are pesticides, insecticides, and other nutrients for crops that emit harmful elements in the air.
4. Waste landfill
Due to the waste landfills, toxic gases such as methane and nitrous oxide are produced which are then released into the air, compromising the overall quality of air.
Effects of Air Pollution
Imagine breathing toxic substances the whole time. It is similar to living in poison. Although the complete account of impacts of air pollution and poor air quality would take a much longer space and an increased word count, the basic contours of its impacts have been discussed below:
Overall environmental pollution damages the agriculture sector and plants significantly because it prevents the process of photosynthesis which affects the nourishing process of plants. The toxic elements in the air combine with the water vapors and result in acid rain which further contaminates life on earth and water underground. Furthermore, it makes breathing air damaging for health.
1. Global Warming
Air pollutants are a major factor in increasing the menace of global warming and contributing to significant climate change. The presence of carbon dioxide in the air is one of the reasons behind the greenhouse effect. Although greenhouses are created to provide a conducive environment for the plants to flourish, when the phenomenon spreads worldwide, it leads to the trapping of UV rays, without sending equivalent infra-red radiation by the surface of the earth. Due to the excessive concentration of these gases in the atmosphere, climate change has accelerated.
2. Human Health
Continuous exposure to toxic air can result in poor human health. This goes to serious respiratory issues, lungs problems, skin troubles, issues with eyes, and bad effects on other organs as well.
Let’s take a look at how to prevent air pollution
Air Pollution prevention
Poor air quality can be controlled by adopting preventive measures. Let’s take a look at how to improve the quality of air.
1. Renewable fuel
The solution begins with identifying the root causes of air pollution. By cutting out on fossil fuels and moving towards renewable fuels, the level of toxicity can be decreased significantly. These fuels could be friction, the solar, wind, and geothermal energies.
2. Energy conservation and efficiency
While we adopt new ways of producing energy, it is equally important to handle energy cautiously. Instead of throwing it away extravagantly, all sectors must commit themselves to energy conservation and using it with efficiency. Exhibiting responsibility towards using energy and its usage will help in keeping the environment green.
3. Eco-friendly transportation
With innovations, automobiles are shifting towards using more elegant fuel usages. Other than that, transportation can be made more eco-friendly and green by promoting shared mobility such as public transportation, carpooling, and so on. These would reduce the consumption of already existing fossil fuels but also reduce air pollution.
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