Air pollution refers to the release of harmful substances like gas and solid particles into the atmosphere. When these pollutants are released into the atmosphere, it makes the air harmful for plants, animals and human beings.
Causes of air pollution
One of the major causes of air pollution is vehicle emissions. These cars use fuel that combusts to release harmful gases to the atmosphere.
Air pollution is also caused by deforestation. Trees are important as they help clean the air since they intake carbon dioxide and release oxygen. When they are cut down, more carbon dioxide is present in the atmosphere.
Volcanic activities also cause air pollution. When this natural process occurs, harmful gases like Sulfur and Chlorine are released and hence polluting the air in that area.
When wild fires occur, they also cause air pollution. This is because when the vegetation burns down, carbon dioxide and other contaminants are released into the air.
The major cause of air pollution is industry and plant emissions. Industries partake in processes that result in emission of harmful gases into the air.
Air pollution is also caused by wind and air currents. Wind causes the harmful pollutants to be spread all over a wide area.
Agricultural activities are also harmful to the atmosphere. When farmers use pesticides and chemicals when farming, the fumes from these products are released into the air causing pollution.
Air pollution is also caused by smoking habits. When people smoke tobacco and other products, the smoke fumes released act as pollutants to the atmosphere.
Another cause of air pollution is smelting of metals. When metals are smelted they release some particles that remain suspended in the air making the air harmful.
Radioactivity also causes air pollution. This is a natural process where rocks decay and hence release harmful gases and particles into the atmosphere.
Effects of air pollution
The major effect of air pollution is respiratory problems. Some of the respiratory diseases that occur as a result of breathing polluted air include asthma and other breathing complications.
Air pollution also causes heart problems. Some cardiac conditions can be as a result of breathing in harmful particles and gases from the air.
Air pollution leads to the formation of acid rain. When gases like Sulfur combine with water vapor in the atmosphere, acid rain is formed.
Air pollution also causes the destruction of buildings. Buildings mostly darken as a result of harmful gases in the air which forces many people to repaint their buildings after some time.
Another effect of air pollution is ground level ozone. When air pollutants are released into the atmosphere, they cause the formation of a poisonous gas called ozone (O3) that is harmful to human, animal and plant life.
Eutrophication also occurs as result of air pollution. This is where rain causes the deposit of nitrogen in the atmosphere into water bodies. Algae then grow as result and this causes the plants and animals in the water bodies to die.
Air pollutions leads to the death of marine life. When acid rain is formed, it leads to acidification of water bodies which is harmful to aquatic life.
The soil structure is also affected by pollution. When acid rain penetrates through the soil, some nutrients in the soil die and this may affect soil fertility.
Air pollution also is attributed to the rising cases of lung cancer. When someone is constantly exposed to harmful particles present in the atmosphere, they are at a high risk of getting lung cancer.
Air pollution also causes negative economic effects. This is because productivity is reduced and the quality of life decreases.
The effects of air pollution are very dire especially when it comes to human, animals and plant life. It is therefore important for individuals to reduce the amount of pollutants that they release into the atmosphere to make sure that life is maintained and that the environment is protected.