Select Page Effects of Air Pollution Air pollution is a worldwide problem, which has raised manifold in the past few decades. Air pollution leads to devastating effects.
Pollutant and Greenhouse gas An air pollutant is a material in the air that can have adverse effects on humans and the ecosystem. The substance can be solid particles, liquid droplets, or gases. A pollutant can be of natural origin or man-made.
Pollutants are classified as primary or secondary. Primary pollutants are usually produced by processes such as ash from a volcanic eruption.
Other examples include carbon Effects of air pollution in children gas from motor vehicle exhausts or sulphur dioxide released from the factories. Secondary pollutants are not emitted directly. Rather, they form in the air when primary pollutants react or interact.
Ground level ozone is a prominent example of secondary pollutants. Some pollutants may be both primary and secondary: Before flue-gas desulphurization was installed, the emissions from this power plant in New Mexico contained excessive amounts of sulphur dioxide.
Schematic drawing, causes and effects of air pollution: Thermal oxidisers are air pollution abatement options for hazardous air pollutants HAPsvolatile organic compounds VOCsand odorous emissions.
Substances emitted into the atmosphere by human activity include: Carbon dioxide CO2 — Because of its role as a greenhouse gas it has been described as "the leading pollutant"  and "the worst climate pollution". Clean Air Act is deemed to regulate CO2 emissions. SO2 is produced by volcanoes and in various industrial processes.
Coal and petroleum often contain sulphur compounds, and their combustion generates sulphur dioxide. Nitrogen oxides NOx — Nitrogen oxides, particularly nitrogen dioxideare expelled from high temperature combustion, and are also produced during thunderstorms by electric discharge.
They can be seen as a brown haze dome above or a plume downwind of cities. Nitrogen dioxide is a chemical compound with the formula NO2. It is one of several nitrogen oxides. One of the most prominent air pollutants, this reddish-brown toxic gas has a characteristic sharp, biting odor.
Carbon monoxide CO — CO is a colorless, odorless, toxic yet non-irritating gas. It is a product of combustion of fuel such as natural gas, coal or wood. Vehicular exhaust contributes to the majority of carbon monoxide let into our atmosphere.
It creates a smog type formation in the air that has been linked to many lung diseases and disruptions to the natural environment and animals. Inmore than half of the carbon monoxide emitted into our atmosphere was from vehicle traffic and burning one gallon of gas will often emit over 20 pounds of carbon monoxide into the air.
Methane is an extremely efficient greenhouse gas which contributes to enhanced global warming. Other hydrocarbon VOCs are also significant greenhouse gases because of their role in creating ozone and prolonging the life of methane in the atmosphere. This effect varies depending on local air quality.
The aromatic NMVOCs benzene, toluene and xylene are suspected carcinogens and may lead to leukemia with prolonged exposure. Particulatesalternatively referred to as particulate matter PMatmospheric particulate matter, or fine particles, are tiny particles of solid or liquid suspended in a gas. In contrast, aerosol refers to combined particles and gas.
Some particulates occur naturally, originating from volcanoes, dust storms, forest and grassland fires, living vegetation, and sea spray. Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants and various industrial processes also generate significant amounts of aerosols.
Averaged worldwide, anthropogenic aerosols—those made by human activities—currently account for approximately 10 percent of our atmosphere. Increased levels of fine particles in the air are linked to health hazards such as heart disease,  altered lung function and lung cancer.
Particulates are related to respiratory infections and can be particularly harmful to those already suffering from conditions like asthma.
Chlorofluorocarbons CFCs — harmful to the ozone layer ; emitted from products are currently banned from use. These are gases which are released from air conditioners, refrigerators, aerosol sprays, etc.
On release into the air, CFCs rise to the stratosphere. Here they come in contact with other gases and damage the ozone layer.
This allows harmful ultraviolet rays to reach the earth's surface.Effects of air pollution on children's pulmonary function in urban and suburban areas of Wuhan, People's Republic of China. Arch Environ Health. Nov-Dec; 48 (6)– Pönkä A. Absenteeism and respiratory disease among children and adults in Helsinki in .
Air pollution hotspots are areas where air pollution emissions expose individuals to increased negative health effects. They are particularly common in highly populated, urban areas, where there may be a combination of stationary sources (e.g.
industrial facilities) and mobile sources (e.g. cars and trucks) of pollution. Overall, evidence for effects of air pollution on children have been growing, and effects are seen at concentrations that are common today.
Although many of these associations seem likely to be causal, others require and warrant additional investigation. Reduced exposure to air pollution seems to improve children’s health.
As of yet, however, relatively few studies have looked at the effects of reduced air pollution. Air pollutants have been documented to be associated with a wide variety of adverse health impacts in children.
These include increases in mortality in very severe episodes; an increased risk of perineonatal mortality in regions of higher pollution, and an increased general rate of mortality in.
“We no longer have full days when children must stay indoors to play,” Mark Gold said. “But lots of areas in the L.A. region have populations exposed to unacceptably high levels of cancer risk due to the air quality, especially in low-income areas, so we have significant environmental equity issues.”.