Introduction: ‘The presence in the outdoor atmosphere of one or more contaminants as dust fumes, gas, mist, odor smoke or vapor in quantities of characteristics and of duration such as to be injurious to humans, plant or animal life or property or which unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life and property’ could be defined as Air pollution.
What makes air quality vulnerable is that air, unlike air or other waters cannot be replenished practically for some central location and subsequently distributed for use. When the emissions and unfavorable conditions react to undesirable air quality, the atmospheric environment may begin to exert adverse effect on man and his environment. Air may be replenished through in the photosynthesis and cleaned through precipitation but limited in their effectiveness.
Causes: Since pollution has caused by rapid industrialization in some western countries, some critics comment on air pollution. It has been found that a significantly increasing amount of particulate matter entering the atmosphere. This tends to reduce the amount the heat that is entering the atmosphere and reduces it. A counter acting phenomena commonly referred to a green house effect is caused by the increasing effect of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. If climate tends to increase at the same rate the mean global temperature could rice by 4oc in the next five decades.
Impacts. Air pollution can cause death, impare health, reduce visibility, bring about huge economic losses and contribute to the general, detoriation to our cities and countryside. Air pollutants include oxides of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur, halogenated and non-halogenated hydrocarbons, suspended inorganic particulate matters, inorganic and organic acids, insecticides, bacteria, viruses etc.
Acid rain is a rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that it possesses elevated levels of hydrogen ions (low pH). It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals and infrastructure. Acid rain is caused by emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, which react with the water molecules in the atmosphere to produce acids. Governments have made efforts since the 1970s to reduce the release of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere with positive results. Nitrogen oxides can also be produced naturally by lightning strikes and sulfur dioxide is produced by volcanic eruptions. The chemicals in acid rain can cause paint to peel, corrosion of steel structures such as bridges, and erosion of stone statues.
- Use public mode of transportation: Encourage people to use more and more public modes of transportation to reduce pollution. Also, try to make use of car pooling. If you and your colleagues come from the same locality and have same timings you can explore this option to save energy and money.
- Conserve energy: Switch off fans and lights when you are going out. Large amount of fossil fuels are burnt to produce electricity. You can save the environment from degradation by reducing the amount of fossil fuels to be burned.
- Understand the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: Do not throw away items that are of no use to you. In-fact reuse them for some other purpose. For e.g. you can use old jars to store cereals or pulses.
- Emphasis on clean energy resources: Clean energy technologies like solar, wind and geothermal are on high these days. Governments of various countries have been providing grants to consumers who are interested in installing solar panels for their home. This will go a long way to curb air pollution.
- Use energy efficient devices: CFL lights consume less electricity as against their counterparts. They live longer, consume less electricity, lower electricity bills and also help you to reduce pollution by consuming less energy.
Several attempts are being made worldwide on a personal, industrial and governmental levels to curb the intensity at which Air Pollution is rising and regain a balance as far as the proportions of the foundation gases are concerned. This is a direct attempt at slacking Global warming. We are seeing a series of innovations and experiments aimed at alternate and unconventional options to reduce pollutants. Air Pollution is one of the larger mirrors of man’s follies, and a challenge we need to overcome to see a tomorrow.
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