Air Pollution: Fatal threat

By: Aurangzeb Nadir and Meherullah Jameel

Date: 06/08/2022

Air pollution: fatal threat

Air pollution is one of the fatal threats that is being faced globally. It occurs when any deleterious gases, dust, or smoke enter the atmosphere and makes it arduous for plants, animals, and humans to survive as the air becomes dirty. There are three types of pollution water, land, and air pollution. Air pollution is further relegated into sectors, visible and invisible air pollution. Visible air pollution can be visually perceived. The smog you visually perceive over a city is an example of visible pollution whereas invisible pollutants are less conspicuous, and can be more pernicious. Sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides are good examples of invisible air pollution.

There are innumerable causes of air pollution such as the burning of fossil fuels, agricultural activities, waste in landfills, exhaust from factories and industries, mining operations, indoor air pollution, and natural events. 

Two types of sources will take an optical discernment, namely natural sources and man-made sources. Natural sources of pollution consist of dust carried by the wind, gases relinquished from the body processes of living beings (carbon dioxide) from humans during respiration, methane from cattle during digestion, and oxygen from plants during photosynthesis. Man-made sources are divided into outdoor pollution sources and indoor pollution sources. Outdoor pollution sources include power generation, transport, agriculture, waste incineration, industry, and building heating systems. Indoor pollution sources, in low incomes countries, mostly burning fuels such as dung, coal, and wood in inefficient stoves or open hearths engenders a variety of health-damaging pollutants. 

Oxides of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur are the most hazardous gases which are playing a vital role in the formation of air pollution. Firstly, let’s discuss these gases. Oxide of carbon: carbon monoxide is one of the main pollutant gases which is astronomically perilous for the environment. It is a primary pollutant and additionally greenhouse gas which is the main reason responsible for ascending temperature and global warming. This gas caused many diseases such as lungs, breath quandary and additionally affect the birth children to their growth.

Oxide of Nitrogen: Nitrogen dioxide (No2) is two gases whose molecules are made of nitrogen and oxygen atoms. These nitrogen oxides contribute to the quandary of air pollution, playing role in the formation of both smog and acid rain. They are relinquished into the earth’s atmosphere by both natural and human-engendered sources. It is highly toxic and can cause earnest lung damage.

Oxide of sulfur: Sulfur dioxide or Sulphur dioxide is the chemical compound with the formula SO2. It breaks down from factories or industries. It is more perilous than the oxide of carbon and is relinquished from transport, fuel combustion, and industries. Additionally, it causes diseases for the respiratory system, damages bone, and affects the plant.

There are several drastic effects of air pollution such as the reason of global warming, acid rain, respiratory and heart quandary, child health quandary, eutrophication, effect on wildlife, and depletion of the ozone layer. These occur through human activities. Burning fossil fuels and organic gases relinquished such as carbon monoxide, methane, and dihydrogen monoxide vapor become the reason for global warming. Currently, global warming is being faced drastically. Acid rain occurs by utilizing chlorofluorocarbons and is a very inimical gas it was proscribed in 1996 by international arrangements. Acid rain transpired from 1970 to the 80s. Acid rain can affect humans, animals, and crops. The ozone layer is situated between the stratosphere and troposphere and is responsible for forfend the earth from UV rays. Ozone was considered a layer in 1886 and in 1913 ozone was denominated as the ozone layer. The ozone layer is depleting due to the presence of chlorofluorocarbons and hydro chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere. In 1992, the ozone aperture was recorded in Antarctica for the first time.

Air pollution is very perilous for the health. According to the World health organization annually 7 million deaths are reported, due to exposure to both outdoor and household air pollution. Over 2 million in Southeast Asia, western pacific, approximately 1 million in the African region, about 500,000 in the eastern Mediterranean, 500,000 in the European region, and 300,000 in the region of America deaths reported annually. It is a profoundly and immensely colossal number may it becomes double very anon and further if we can’t minimize the utilization of toxic gases. 

There are several impressive solutions to minimize or stop air pollution such as minimizing air pollution from vehicles by walking, biking, or using public transport. Moreover, preserving energy by maintaining your wood stove or fireplace, recycling and buying recycled products, consuming less and sustainable products, orally consuming local organic engender and less meat, growing your pabulum, planting trees, and raising vigilance. There are some indoor solutions like keeping air-purifying indoor plants, opening windows, utilizing natural products, utilizing essential oils, testing your habitation for radon, not smoking indoors, keeping indoor sultriness low, vacuum clean with a HEPA filter, cleaning dust, and using air purifiers.

We can abbreviate air pollution by spreading cognizance amongst family members and friends about the consequences of burning fossil fuels and urge them to truncate its utilization as much as possible. Even a minuscule step can play a vital role to truncate air pollution such as switching off the alter and switching to an electric vehicle is one the solutions because most vehicles are consuming fuel by which toxic gases are relinquished so endeavor to utilize eco-friendly vehicles, public transport, instead of private and walk as ambulating is a benefit for environment as well for health. One main solution is afforestation, by cultivating trees they avail to stop or truncate climate change by extracting carbon dioxide from the air. We require planting trees as much as possible for your circumventions. The industries and factories needed to utilize the solar system and alternatives alongside fuels efficient equipment. These are very impressive solutions by implementing these we can truncate and minimize air pollution. The pertinent authorities are needed to play their role in truncating and countries and world leaders are to be concerned to remove this fatal threat.

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