Human beings and mother nature together have a strong relationship. It is more like a relationship between kids and their biological mother.
Mother nature provides many renewable and nonrenewable resources which people benefit from, such as natural gas, oil, water, wind, and solar energy.
Sadly, any problems that affect our planet will directly impact our lives. One of the main problems that has affected our environments ever is pollution.
We have several types of pollution, including water pollution, soil pollution, and air pollution. For example, air pollution leads to several dangerous issues that affect humans and the earth.
Through this article, we will dive into the air pollution crisis to know its causes, harmful effects, and possible solutions.
How Can We Classify Air Pollution?
We have two types of air pollution: Primary pollutants and secondary pollutants.
How Do Primary Pollutants Generate?
They are emitted directly into the air and are caused by primary sources.
How Do Secondary Pollutants Generate?
They exist due to an interaction between primary ones, like water vapor.
What Are The Six Pollutants?
There are six criteria pollutants. Here they are: carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, ground-level ozone, particle pollution and sulfur dioxide.
Where Does Particulate Matter Come From?
Some call it particle pollution. It consists of various chemicals.
Some particles are primary pollutants. They come directly from construction sites, forest fires, and many more.
Still, the majority are secondary pollutants that occur due to chemical reactions in our atmosphere because of emissions, including vehicle emissions.
What Are Other Sources Of Particulate Matters?
We have several sources for particulate matters, such as:
2-Stoves and chimneys
What Are Some Effects Of Particulate Matter?
We have several effects for particulate matter. Here are a few of them:
1-Damage to Lung Tissue
Particulate matter mainly affects people with chronic lung disease, influenza, and asthma.
For example, acidic particulate matter is responsible for visibility reduction in several areas across the United States.
How Much Fine Particulate Matter Is Bad?
Fine particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter can be too bad, as they lead to a high risk to human health.
Where Does Nitrogen Dioxide Come From?
Nitrogen dioxide mainly comes from vehicle exhaust. However, several factories and power plants can produce some of it. Also, nitrogen dioxide is a result of several natural sources such as lightning scars and volcanoes. Plus, the decomposition of organic matter produces this gas.
Where Does Ozone Come From?
It is well known that Ozone, which is also called ground level ozone, evolves in the earth’s atmosphere from gases. These gases come from several sources.
When the gases are in contact with sunlight, a reaction takes place leading to the formation of ozone smog.
The two basic ingredients for Ozone are nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds.
What Are The Effects Of Ozone On Human Health?
Ground level ozone leads to several health problems, such as:
1-Weak body performance
2-Low resistance to any infection
5-Having a headache
6-Feeling extremely tired
Where Does Sulfur Dioxide Come From?
Do you know the smell of burnt matches? Well, this smell comes from sulfur dioxide. Although a specific amount of sulfur dioxide comes from volcanoes, the biggest amount of toxic gas in the earth’s atmosphere exists because of human acts. Also, some natural resources, such as oil and gas contain sulfur.
When humans burn a material containing sulfur, in the case of industrial processing or electricity generation, sulfur dioxide is released. Besides, sulfur trioxide comes out into the atmosphere. And both are called sulfur oxides.
If we mix sulfur dioxide with water droplets suspended in the air, it creates the sulfuric acid. This acid is an ingredient of acid rain.
And now you know where sulfur dioxide comes from.
Where Does Lead Come From?
It is a heavy metal that exists in nature. It gets into the air via ore and metal processing. Also, it might enter the air when burning leaded fuel for airplanes and cars.
Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From?
If you are burning something, you are probably releasing carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide CO is a toxic gas that exists when you burn carbon. The majority of carbon monoxide pollution exists due to burning fossil fuels in motor vehicles, power plants, and many more. Also, burning wood or crop waste is a good source of carbon monoxide.
Plus, volcanoes and fires help release carbon monoxide. Moreover, several secondary pollutants, such as greenhouse gas, exist due to this toxic gas.
What Is Carbon Dioxide?
Carbon dioxide is a colorless gas that does not ignite at normal temperature and pressure. Carbon dioxide – referred to as co2 – is one of the most important elements in the air around us, along with oxygen and nitrogen.
Where Does CO2 Come From?
Although we have natural sources for carbon dioxide, such as animal breathes and volcanoes, human activities are still the main source of this gas, including the burning of fossil fuels and natural gas.
These factors, mainly human activities, lead to an increase in carbon levels.
How Does CO2 Affect Earth?
Carbon dioxide absorbs little heat per molecule compared to the greenhouse gases. However, it is very abundant, as it stays in the atmosphere for a longer period.
The increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to approximately two-thirds of the total energy imbalance. Thus, this imbalance leads eventually to global warming and then to high temperatures.
What Are Some Other Pollutants?
Here are some additional types of air pollutants:
6-Fuel oils or Koresne
7-Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
8-Synthetic Vitreous Fibers
Does Air Pollution Cause Cardiovascular Disease?
When a human benign breathes bad quality air, a pollutant might go deep into their bloodstream via the lungs and heart. Thus, they will have a higher risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases.
For example, air pollutants damage blood vessels, as they make them narrower and harder.
In other words, YES air pollution can lead to cardiovascular disease.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
Here are a few sources of indoor air pollution:
3-Vinyl ceiling and floor tiles
What Are Some Solutions To Fight Air Pollution?
We can take steps to help enhance air quality and reduce air pollution.
1-Consuming a small amount of energy by using more eco-friendly home appliances.
2-Checking the car from time to time to ensure fuel’s proper consumption.
3-Using natural gas instead of fossil fuels.
4-Using renewable energy. For example, governments can replace power plants with solar energy and wind energy.
5-Encouraging people to use public transportation and bicycles instead of their vehicles, as this leads to decreasing motor vehicle exhaust emissions.
6-Consuming recyclable products as they use less energy when converted into other ones.
7-Using rechargeable batteries.
8-Increasing the percentage of green spaces in cities.
9-Buying electric cars as they help to improve air quality.
10-Using LED lamps, as they are more efficient than the other kinds of lamps.
These were a few of many solutions that we could implement to improve air quality.
What Are The Volatile Organic Compounds?
They are organic compounds found in several substances such as fuels, household products, chemical solvents, paints, printers, and many more. These compounds evaporate at room temperature, then enter our atmosphere.
Volatile organic compounds help generate a secondary pollutant called ozone.
What Are The Effects Of Acid Rain On Our Earth?
Acid rain has several dangerous impacts on our earth.
It directly affects sea life, threatening the lives of fish and other creatures underwater and even terrestrial animals. Also, it pollutes water and kills trees gradually because it affects the soil.
Moreover, it causes problems to buildings as it leads to paint peeling and erosion.
Not to mention its great impact on public health, as it mainly causes breathing problems.
Does Nitric Oxide Affect Our Health?
Yes, it does. Nitric oxide might damage our lungs. Patients may experience tiredness, throat and chest pain, coughing, and breathing problems.
Why Are Oil Refineries Bad?
An oil refinery is an essential source of air pollutants. For example, oil refineries produce benzene, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide, which are one of the direct causes of cancer.
What Is The Major Component Of Smog?
It is called tropospheric ozone, and it causes approximately one million deaths per year.
How is UV affected by Air Pollution?
The effects of such pollution on ultraviolent are very high compared to those on solar radiation. Also, the reduction in the value of UV is twice larger compared to solar radiation.
What Are Some Bad Effects Of Harmful Ultraviolet Radiation?
3-Damage to the eyes.
4-Alteration of the immune system of the skin.
What Are Bad Conciseness of Greenhouse Gases?
Due to the quick increase in greenhouse gas emissions, more heat is being trapped close to the earth’s surface, leading to climate change. And this is due to air pollution, which leads to greenhouse gases. This phenomenon is called the greenhouse effect.
How Can We Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
We have many solutions that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as:
1-Relying on renewable resources.
2-Using transportation means they require less energy.
3-Shrinking the footprint of food.
4-Creating more urban green spaces.
Can We Fight Global Warming?
Yes, we can! Fighting global warming starts in our garage, kitchen, and dining room. Any eco-friendly human activity will help the earth surpass its problem.
What Do We Mean By Temperature Inversion?
Atmospheric pollutants accumulate on the earth’s surface through temperature inversions. It is when the warm air overlies cooler air. And this leads to the prevention of vertical rising of warm air so that little or no air blows.
Inversions limit air circulation and thus may work as atmospheric lids that trap pollutants in urban spaces.
What Are The Kinds of Temperature Inversions?
We have three main types of temperature inversions:
What Is The Clean Air Act?
The clean air act or also known as CAA is a comprehensive federal law issued in the U.S in 1963 to help regulate the emissions coming out from stationary and mobile sources to reduce air pollution and ensure. The law has witnessed several amendments since then.
The law stated the following:
1-All 1994 cars must cut emissions of hydrocarbons by 40% and nitrogen
oxides by 60%.
2-Carbon Monoxide Co emissions should be strongly decreased.
3-Power plants should decrease the sulfur dioxide emissions by half by the year 2000
Please note that these are a few of many recommendations.
What Are Other Types Of Pollution?
1-Water Pollution: It occurs when humans throw trash and chemicals into lakes, oceans, and seas. However, it can be caused by some natural factors. Water pollution not only affects marine life, but also leaves a long-term impact on the water cycle.
2-Land Pollution: It is also called soil pollution. It happens when humans bump chemicals or fertilizers into the earth. This kind of pollution directly increases plants, and the water that infiltrates the earth’s surface becomes groundwater.
3-Radioactive Pollution: It is caused by the leakage of toxic chemicals and radiation from power plants that use radioactive materials, uranium, and plutonium. A good example of such a kind of pollution is what happened in Chernobyl.
4-Noise Pollution: A good example of noise pollution is the loud noises coming out of your earphones and hurting your ears. Concerts, airplanes, car horns, and TV are all sources of such kinds of pollution. Noise pollution might lead to hearing loss.
5-Light Pollution: Approximately most cities worldwide have a lot of light that makes it hard for human beings to see clearly at night while walking or driving a car. Besides humans, it can harm animals, such as birds.
6-Thermal Pollution: This kind of pollution is a result of using water to cool things in nuclear power plants and factories. Hence, when we release the warmed water into our environment, it affects marine life, as it has fewer amounts of oxygen. However, thermal pollution can be a result of natural forces too.
What Are The Names Of Some Other Gases?
Ammonia, Arsine, Boron Trichloride, Boron Trifluoride, Chlorine, Diborane, Dichlorosilane, Dimethylamine, Fluorine, Hydrogen Bromide, Hydrogen Chloride, Hydrogen Cyanide, Hydrogen Fluoride, Hydrogen Sulfide, Methyl Chloride, Monomethylamine, Phosgene, Phosphine, Sulfur Tetrafluoride, Trimethylamine, and Vinyl Chloride.
What Is The Role Of The Environmental Protection Agency?
It is an American agency that aims to protect people and the environment from any health hazard. Also, it conducts several reach and imposes environmental regulations.
How Does Air Pollution Affect Our Economy?
As countries seek to achieve food security and energy security, air pollution can be a major concern for the economy. The recent transformation of countries to industrialization has led to an increase in emissions of air pollutants. And this is a real threat to governments worldwide, as they try to decrease health problems and enhance their infrastructure, such as water supply. In other words, the more air pollution problems develop, the less the governments save money for a better future.
Our earth is our everything. It is like our house. And as we like to have a clean house, we should work together to have a better environment.
Nowadays, air pollution represents a real threat to our lives, economy, and of course our future. Therefore, we must find quick solutions to this crisis to reach a time when we can breathe clean air, as we sadly have a bad air quality.
And keep in mind that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.