The Cause of Air Pollution
Air pollution is the harm or discomfort that is caused by chemicals, particulate substances or biological matter to living organisms. The cause of air pollution leads to diverse effects that pose threats to the health of living organisms and brutally affect the natural environment. Various chemical substances in the air affect the health of human beings. They cause diseases such as bronchitis, heart problems and lung cancer that eventually lead to death. Air pollutants especially ozone, sulfur and nitrogen oxides affect the natural environment. The society can input control measures such as waste reduction through recycling, utilizing less energy, restricting population, employing non-polluting renewable methods and following environmental regulations. Chemical substances that result due to activities of human beings and natural occurrences cause air pollution.
Emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is one of the major causes of air pollution in an environment. Human beings exhale carbon dioxide but its harmful when being emitted from other sources such as human activities. Activities such as mining, road construction and chemical industries release harmful carbon dioxide, which when inhaled by living organisms causes death. This gas is used in different industries such as the chemical and oil industries. Actually, many manufacturing industries use this gas for manufacturing processes of products. Fossil fuel combustion and deforestation contributes to the same. Carbon dioxide emissions remain the same when various gases are emitted during volcanic eruptions (Lad, 2010). This gas contributes to global warming, which is a serious threat to the living organisms.
Nitrogen dioxide is another gas that causes air pollution. This gas is emitted to the atmosphere through various activities practiced by human beings. The industrial activities carried out especially by most of the power plants release this gas to the atmosphere. Fuels burning from different motor vehicles, industrial and commercial activities all increase the nitrogen levels leading to environmental pollution. In addition, nitrification extensively increases sewerage treatment costs because more air is needed. The process of nitrification results to unacceptable sewerage effluents that pollute the natural ecosystems. In places where there is practice of water re-use, the nitrate concentration in water may cause water pollution leading to disease problems such as methaemoglobinaemia (Harrison, 2001).
Toxic substances due to manufacturing of motor vehicles cause air pollution. The fuel combustion from automobiles and airplanes all release many primary pollutants to the atmosphere. In many big industrialized cities, fossil burning from the factories, offices and big homes increases air pollution. Gases are produced during manufacturing of motor vehicles and burning of fossil thus lead to air pollution. Besides, charcoal burns and the release of fumes from the aerosol sprays, activities of military especially using nuclear weapons all cause air pollution. Even though a gas such as carbon dioxide is essential in photosynthesis processes, inhaling the same gas has an effect on the living organisms (Prasad and Amarnath, 2010).
Another gas that causes air pollution is carbon monoxide. This gas is caused by the activities of human beings and it poses a threat to living organisms. There are various reasons behind the release of this gas to the atmosphere. The first reason is the need for charcoal that can be used for domestic purposes such as cooking. Secondly, the need for fuels burning appliances especially gas water heating, gas stoves and driers. All these contribute to release of carbon monoxides, which when combined with the atmosphere affects the ozone layer (Lad, 2010). However, if human beings cannot limit their activities, they can cause great loss of lives to other living organisms.
Sulfur and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) oxides are other chemical gases that are harmful pollutants of air pollution. Sulfur oxides result due to combustion of fuels such as fuel oils and coals. Sulfur can cause air pollution in the process of metallurgical that involves ores containing sulfur and production of sulfuric acids. High sulfuric concentrations irritate the humans’ upper respiratory tract because they make breathing more difficult through constricting the finer air pipes. CFCs cause air pollution by lowering the normal concentration of ozone layer in the atmosphere. Equipment such as canning sprays, leaking refrigerators, air conditions and plastic burning foam discharge the CFCs’ gas into the atmosphere, causing air pollution. The CfCs move to the stratosphere for several decades thus break down due to Ultra Violet radiation discharging chlorine atoms. This speeds up ozone breakdown into oxygen hence global warming (Socha, 2007).
Most air pollution is brought about by the activities of human beings. However, some causes of air pollution result from natural sources. These include natural forest fires, volcanic eruption processes, wind erosion, organic compound evaporations into the atmosphere, pollen dispersal of materials and radioactivity (Hirschmann, 2005). First, volcanic eruptions especially the activities that take place under the earth’s surface cause air pollution. During this process, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide are released and these pose dangerous consequences to living organisms. Other gases such as hydrogen sulfide, chloride and fluoride hydrogen, halocarbons and carbon monoxides are discharged. The materials discharged from volcanic eruption lead to acidic rains and volcanic ash that disrupts air movements.
Secondly, forest fires that occur naturally especially in a highly vegetation areas are the source of air pollution. Various causes lead to bush fires naturally without interferences by human beings. These fires spread faster to wider areas discharging pollutants such as carbon monoxides and smoke into the ozone layer. Lastly, wind erosion, evaporation of organic compounds and pollination all contributes to air pollution. These substances induce the respiratory diseases in the body of human beings. However, these factors are not the major causes of air pollution but they do play lesser roles towards air pollution (Socha, 2007).
Harrison, M.R. (2001). Pollution: causes, effects and control. London, UK: Royal Society of
Hirschmann, K. (2005). Pollution.London, UK: Kidhaven Press.
Lad, K. (2010). Causes of Air Pollution. Buzzle.com. Retrieved on 4 May 2011 from
Prasad, P. N., & Amarnath, T. R. (2010). Environmental air pollution: Causes, effects and
control. New Delhi: Crescent Pub. Corp.
Socha, T. (2007). Air Pollution Causes and Effects. Retrieved on 4 May 2011 from
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