Introduction : The Causes of Air Pollution And Its Effect on Human Health
Among the various types of pollution that are harming the quality of human life, air pollution is without a doubt the largest perpetrator. The atmosphere which makes up a large portion of our environment and is also essential for providing oxygen, the element which is crucial for the survival of living organisms is under threat of environmental pollution.
But before we can go any further into a pollution essay, let us first address one of the most fundamental questions, what is pollution?
Any sort of chemical or physical imbalance to the ecosystem that causes harm to the organisms that reside in that biome can be referred to as pollution. There are many different types of pollution, but today, we talk about the one that is most prevalent- air pollution.
What are the Causes of Air Pollution?
The main causes of air pollution can be roughly divided into two broad categories, first up there are primary air pollutants like fossil fuels that pollute the air through the presence of particulate matter. Then there are secondary pollutants which are often the result of chemical reactions between the primary pollutants.
The secondary pollutants like smog are much more dangerous to human health than a single primary pollutant and are often present in places with a high degree of air pollution like London and Beijing.
(1) Exhaust from Fossil Fuels in Automobiles
Carbon monoxide, a deadly poisonous gas is one of the primary air pollutants. It is spewed from the exhausts of cars that do not have filters that are in working condition or are just too old to maintain decent emission rates. However, even cars pass emission tests still contribute to the growing problems of air pollution.
(2) Agricultural Activities and Pesticides
Agriculture in the modern day and age has started to use the help of a lot of automation and technology. And while that is great for larger yields, they are taking away livelihoods as well as spewing chemicals into the air that is putting the lives of a lot of other humans in danger as well. In fact, spraying of pesticides and chemical fertilizers not only results in air pollution but causes other types of pollution as well.
(3) Exhaust from Factories and Industries
The economic boom from the implementation of technology has helped make our lives a lot easier but all of that has a dark side to it as well. The exhaust from large factories and production lines causes some very harmful gases like Carbon dioxide and Sulphur Dioxide to be released into the atmosphere which irreparably harms the air that we breathe in.
(4) Mining Activities and Indoor Pollution
The reason we have clumped both of these together is because they both deal with similar ways of polluting the air-through the introduction of particulate matter into the air that we breathe in. While mining causes harmful dust and chemical debris to be launched into the air causing a massive degradation in air quality, a number of products used inside the house like paints and cleaning products release toxic fumes into the air.
Related : The Harmful Effects of Food Adulteration
What are the Effects of Air Pollution ?
While the diseases that air pollution can cause are too many to list and beyond the scope of this pollution essay, we have made a short list of some of the most important diseases that air pollution causes:
- Respiratory and Heart problems
- Irritation of Throat and Lung
- Eyesight Problems
But these are just the effects that are immediately visible. There are also a lot of adverse effects on the environment like global warming, eutrophication, depletion of ozone layer and acid rain to name a few.
So what can we do to prevent wide spread air pollution? Every little bit helps and till we make the move to a fully sustainable energy model, reducing our carbon footprint is one of the first steps that we can take.
Along with that we must take the concept of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to heart if we wish to breathe in fresh air for the foreseeable future.
Wrapping it up in the words of the Texas representative of the US House of Representatives, Eddie Bernice Johnson,
The health effects of air pollution imperil human lives. This fact is well-documented.