Our ears are habituated to hearing the phrase “pollution” now. Every day, we read and hear about the numerous types of pollution in the media. One of these is air pollution, which can occur indoors or outside and refers to the contamination of the air. So, what does air pollution do to humans?
Pollution can be defined as any physical, biological, or chemical change to the atmosphere’s air. When any dangerous gases, dust, or smoke enters the atmosphere, it causes the air to become contaminated, which makes it harder for humans, animals, and plants to exist.
Any material that has the potential to harm the atmosphere or the health of the creatures who live there could also be considered an example of air pollution.
All living organisms depend on a combination of gases that together make up the atmosphere; an imbalance brought on by an increase or reduction in the proportion of these gases can be detrimental to survival.
Due to growing pollution, the Ozone layer, which is essential for the survival of the planet’s ecosystems, is thinning. Global warming, which is a direct outcome of the imbalanced concentration of gases in the atmosphere, is today recognized as the greatest hazard and challenge facing the modern world in its fight for life.
What does Air Pollution do to Humans?
Heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory conditions like emphysema are some of the long-term health effects of air pollution. Additionally, long-term exposure to air pollution can harm a person’s nerves, brain, kidneys, liver, and other organs.
Major Sources of Air Pollution
There are two sources of air pollution:
- Man made Sources
- Natural Sources
When attempting to understand the causes of air pollution, we frequently identify the many processes and interactions that result in these pollutants.
Man Made Sources
At the time when we are looking for humans contributions towards air pollution, it can be again divided into:
- Outdoor Pollution Sources
- Indoor Pollution Sources
Outdoor Pollution Sources
The major outdoor pollution sources include:
- Industrial heating system
- Power generation
- Smoke of vehicles
- Agricultural waste
Indoor Pollution Sources
Many harmful pollutants are produced in low- and middle-income nations when fuels like dung, coal, and wood are burned in inefficient stoves or open hearths.
These include methane, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide, and volatile organic chemicals (VOC).
Significant emissions of fine particles and other pollutants are produced even while burning kerosene in straightforward wick lamps. Every year, 3.8 million people die prematurely due to exposure to cooking fire smoke.
Main Causes of Air Pollution
- Natural Events
- Indoor Air Pollution
- Exhaust From Factories and Industries
- Agricultural Activities
- The Burning of Fossil Fuels
- Waste in Landfills
- Mining Operations
Volcanoes, forest fires, and dust storms are a few examples of natural occurrences that pollute the air.
Indoor Air Pollution
Air pollution is brought on by the use of household cleaning agents and painting supplies.
Have you ever observed that after painting your home’s walls, a scent develops that makes breathing practically impossible?
Exhaust From Factories and Industries
The amount of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, organic compounds, and chemicals released into the air by manufacturing companies lowers the quality of the air.
There are manufacturing industries everywhere on the planet, and they have had an impact on every region. Hydrocarbons and other pollutants that damage the air and the soil are also released by petroleum refineries.
Ammonia is one of the most dangerous gases in the environment and is a highly frequent result of agricultural activity.
Insecticide, pesticide, and fertilizer usage in agricultural processes has increased significantly. They can pollute water and release dangerous chemicals into the air.
In order to prepare the land for the following round of sowing, farmers also set old crops and fields on fire.
According to some reports, burning to clean up fields pollutes the atmosphere by generating dangerous pollutants.
The Burning of Fossil Fuels
One of the main causes of air pollution is Sulphur dioxide, which is released by the burning of fossil fuels including coal, petroleum, and other industrial combustibles.
The gasoline and diesel engines that power the billions of automobiles that travel the world’s highways release energy by burning petroleum. Hydrocarbons, which make up petroleum, don’t burn cleanly in engines.
Waste in Landfills
Landfills are places on the surface where garbage is dumped or buried. Methane is produced by these dumped or buried wastes. Methane is a significant greenhouse gas that is extremely dangerous and highly combustible.
Another serious issue is e-waste, which involves several unscientific dismantling’s including chemical leaching, burning wires, and others.
Minerals beneath the earth are retrieved utilising heavy machinery during mining. During the process, chemicals and dust are released into the air, greatly polluting it.
This is one of the factors contributing to the declining health of employees and adjacent neighbors.
Impact of Air Pollution on Human Health
- Child Health Problems
- Acid rain
- Global Warming
- Respiratory and Heart Problems
- Depletion Of Ozone Layer Effects
- Effect on Wildlife
Child Health Problems
Even before you take a breath, air pollution is bad for your health. Premature delivery, autism, asthma, and spectrum disorders in early children are all brought on by high amounts of air pollution exposure during pregnancy.
Additionally, it has the potential to harm a child’s early brain development and induce pneumonia, which kills almost a million children under the age of five every year.
In locations where air pollution are present, children are more likely to develop short-term respiratory infections and pulmonary illnesses.
When fossil fuels are burned, harmful chemicals like nitrogen oxides and Sulphur oxides are discharged into the environment. When it rains, the water droplets react with these contaminants in the air to generate acidic rain, which then falls to the earth. Humans, animals, and crops can all suffer significant harm from acid rain.
The immediate changes that the globe is seeing as a result of global warming are another direct effect.
An imminent catastrophe has already been foreshadowed by rising sea levels, melting ice from colder places and icebergs, habitat destruction, and displacement as a result of global warming if preservation and normalization measures are not done quickly.
Respiratory and Heart Problems
Alarming impacts of air pollution. Among other dangers to the body, they are known to cause cancer and a number of heart and respiratory disorders include asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, heart attacks, and strokes.
The direct or indirect consequences of air pollution are known to have caused the deaths of several million people.
The situation known as eutrophication occurs when a significant amount of nitrogen, which is present in some pollutants, develops on the sea surface, transforms into algae, and negatively impacts fish, plants, and animal species.
Only this chemical’s existence may explain the green algae that grows on lakes and ponds.
Depletion of the Ozone Layer Effects
The stratosphere of the planet contains ozone, which shields people from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Due to the existence of hydrochlorofluorocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere, the ozone layer on Earth is thinning.
As the ozone layer deteriorates, it will emit dangerous rays that will be reflected back to earth and may result in issues with the skin and eyes. Crops can be impacted by UV radiation as well.
Effect on Wildlife
Animals, like us, are subject to some terrible consequences of air pollution. The presence of toxic substances in the air can drive certain wildlife species to relocate and alter their habitat.
The sea animals may potentially be harmed by the poisonous chemicals that accumulate on the water’s surface.
Solutions to Reduce Air Pollution
- Conserve energy
- Emphasis on clean energy
- Better household practices
- Understand the concept of 3R
- Use the public mode of transportation
- Use energy efficient devices
When you leave the house, turn off the lights and fans. To create power, a lot of fossil fuels are used. Reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned can stop the ecosystem from deteriorating.
Emphasis on Clean Energy Resources
These days, more people are using clean energy technologies like solar, wind, and geothermal. Consumers who are interested in installing solar panels on their homes have been receiving grants from the governments of various nations. Without a doubt, this can significantly reduce air pollution.
Better household practices
Throw away any fireplaces or wood stoves that were used to heat dwellings. Instead of using wood, use gas logs. Additionally, stop using gas-powered lawn and gardening tools.
Do not start open bonfires or set fire to trash, dried leaves, or other items in your yard. Consider composting or mulching your yard waste. Use environmentally friendly paints and cleaning supplies.
Understand the concept of 3R
3R- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Don’t discard anything that you can still use. Use them again for another project. Old jars, for instance, can be used to store grains or pulses.
Use the public mode of transportation
To reduce pollution, encourage people to use more and more public transportation. Additionally, make an effort to carpool. You can look into this option to conserve energy and money if you and your coworkers are from the same area and work the same hours.
Use energy efficient devices
Electricity usage is lower with CFL lights than with conventional lighting. They help you minimise pollution by using less energy, live longer, use less electricity, and result in cheaper electricity bills.
Worldwide, several initiatives are being taken at the individual, business, and governmental levels to slow the rate of increase in air pollution and restore balance to the proportions of the foundation gases.
This is a clear effort to delay global warming. A number of developments and research projects are being conducted to develop novel and innovative ways to reduce pollution.
One of the more obvious reflections of human folly is air pollution, which we must conquer if we are to see a better future.
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Any physical, biological, or chemical alteration to the air in the atmosphere is referred to as pollution. The air becomes contaminated when any harmful gases, dust, or smoke enters the atmosphere. The uneven concentration of gases in the atmosphere directly causes global warming.
These processes generate enormous amounts of methane, a highly flammable and hazardous greenhouse gas. Even before you take a breath, air pollution is detrimental for your health.
According to UN Environment Secretary Ban Ki-moon, if preservation and normalization measures are not done immediately, a disaster is already foretold by rising sea levels, melting ice from colder locations and icebergs, habitat devastation, and displacement.
People May Ask
Q- What are five effects of air pollution on humans?
- Child Health Problems
- Acid rain
- Global Warming
- Respiratory and Heart Problems
Q- What does pollution do to humans?
A- High amounts of air pollution can have a number of negative health effects. Lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory infections are all at increased risk because of it. Air pollution exposure, both short-term and long-term, has been linked to negative health effects. People who are already unwell are subject to more severe effects.
Q- Is air pollution increasing?
A- Due to a huge number of industries and autos, it is rising daily. Environmental pollution is becoming more widespread as a result of several human activities. This study reveals the detrimental effects that environmental pollution has on people, plants, and animals.
Q- How much has air pollution increased?
A- According to the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2022 report, more than 137 million Americans live in areas with poor air quality. Additionally, nearly 9 million more people than in the previous year’s report were exposed to daily surges in dangerous particle air pollution.