Air pollution is creating a significant threat to today’s growing world. And the air pollution rate is increasing every day. The current generation must learn about the threat and what stands responsible for the situation. Plus, we also need to know how to control the atmosphere before it gets destroyed completely. So today, we will discuss how to prevent air pollution, its causes, and its effects on our society. Let’s quickly take a took and take the necessary steps before it gets too late!
What is air pollution?
Before we get to know how to prevent air pollution, let us check out all about it.
When the air gets polluted by dust, smoke, automobiles, mills, and factories, it is called air pollution. Air gets polluted due to the pollutants released into the air. We know that air is an integral part of our environment. But it is a pity that it is being contaminated every day for various reasons.
That is why we need to know how to prevent air pollution and control it for a better life. Air pollution has a significant effect on people’s health who suffer from many respiratory diseases due to air pollution.
How air gets polluted :
Before knowing how to prevent air pollution, we must know how air gets polluted. Human activities are the first and the only cause of environmental pollution of any form. There are several reasons for air pollution, which are described below:
- Use of poison in agriculture. Farmers often use insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers, etc., during agriculture. These get mixed with the air and cause pollution.
- One of the main causes of air pollution is the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and other industrial fuels. The smoke from vehicles such as buses, trucks, cars, trains, etc., causes air pollution.
- The motor vehicles like cars, buses, motorcycles, trucks, airplanes, and jeeps trains use many fuels that emit a lot of carbon dioxide. And that is the biggest reason for the air getting dirty.
- There are mills and factories in every corner of the world that produce a large number of harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, etc., which are the leading causes of air pollution.
More ways that the air gets polluted from:
- Anything that we do by burning any material, be it household items or industrial chemicals, release harmful gases causing air pollution.
- Also, the use of refrigerators that release chlorofluorocarbons cause pollution.
- Photochemical smog covers the sky of any urban population of a city which is one of the reasons for air pollution.
- Carbon monoxide is one of the main causes of air pollution, which is mainly released into the atmosphere from automobile exhaust.
- The use of a large amount of coal in thermal power plants gives out a variety of pollutants that pollute the atmosphere.
- Garbage is being burnt instead of proper disposal in many cities and towns, which is another cause of air pollution.
- Radiation from atomic power plants and atomic weapons tests can cause incalculable harm to the atmosphere by making the air polluted.
- Continuous processing in industries such as chemical fertilizer plants, refineries, chemical plants, aluminum, etc., causes air pollution.
The poisonous and harmful substances which contaminate air are called air pollutants. The poisonous gases that are produced during dead organic matter decaying and particulate matter such as dust particles, soot, metallic pollen compounds, etc., also contribute to polluting the air. Let us check out some air pollutants:
1. Carbon Monoxide
Carbon Monoxide is produced by the incomplete combustion of other fuels like petrol, natural gas, etch, and coal. The smoke released from motor vehicles and industries is the primary source of carbon monoxide. It may lead to blood diseases, dizziness, confusion, and humans can also lose consciousness in its effect.
2. Sulphur Dioxide:
When oil and coal from factories are burned, sulfur dioxide is produced. The smoke you see releasing from thermal power stations generally has sulfur dioxide in them. This is also a significant cause of air pollution. And it can lead to respiratory problems, mostly in children, and heart and lung problems in humans. It can create thick smog, which can lead to visibility issues also.
3. Nitrogen Oxides
When oil and coal are burnt at high temperatures in vehicle engines and industries, nitrogen oxides are released. This also causes respiratory diseases, and it also majorly affects vegetation. Nitrogen dioxide can reduce vegetation by destroying the leaves.
4. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCS):
They are compounds that contain carbon atoms, chlorine, and fluorine. CFC is used in air conditioning systems, refrigerators, and aerosol sprays. Any leakage from the above appliances can allow CFC to enter into the air. And it increases the rate of skin cancer. Plus, it also affects the digestive system and destroys the crops too.
It is one of the venomous gases with a suffocating smell that causes irritation to the eyes and causes respiratory system problems. Once ammonia is poured out into the air, it quickly reacts with air pollutants. By reaction with the air, it forms ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate. These venomous gases contribute to polluting the air.
Ozone is being formed by the reaction of different chemicals into the air. Breathing this air can cause several problems heart disease, lung disease, breathing problems, etc. This can also destroy vegetation, especially those that are sensitive.
‘The Air (prevention and control of pollution) act 1981’:-
The increasing population and the changes made in the society due to that is increasing pollutants in the air. The World Health Organization has assessed that many people die before time in India due to air pollution. This act passed to make Indian people aware of how to prevent air pollution in India.
The act was passed in 1981 to reduce the increasing air pollution in India. Indian took the decision at ‘The United Nations Conference’ to conserve the natural expedients and make the air clean and healthy to breathe by preventing air pollution.
- The act enables anticipation, control, and reduction of the pollution in the air.
- For this purpose, they made two governing bodies, one at the central board and one at the state.
- The state boards can discuss their problems with the central board before implicating the act, so they work together to reduce pollution.
Air pollution effects:-
Our future is at risk, with the air quality deteriorating. Increasing air pollution can cause grave health issues like cardiovascular problems and cancer. Kids suffer from pneumonia, bronchitis, irritation of the throat and nose, pulmonary diseases, and asthma attacks because of air pollution.
Another major cause of air pollution is extreme disrupting food chains, climate change, extinction of species, depleting ozone layer. These are some more issues the world is facing today.
The different types of harmful effects of air pollution are:
Air pollution is one of the major causes of global warming. It results in rising sea levels, melting icebergs, loss of habitats, etc.
The effects of air pollution are very harmful to health. It causes different types of respiratory diseases. This includes asthma, bronchitis, other lung and heart problems. Every year, many people around the world die from the direct and indirect effects of air pollution.
This is another effect of air pollution. When fossil fuels are burnt, harmful gases get released into the air. When it rains, the water droplets get mixed with these gases and become acidic and fall to the ground as acid rain. Acid rain can damage humans and animals by giving birth to many skin diseases. And also, it can destroy plants and vegetation.
Depletion of the ozone layer
Air pollution gradually depletes the ozone layer. The ozone layer protects human beings and animals from harmful ultraviolet rays (UV). But this layer is depleting by the presence of chlorofluorocarbons in the air.
Air pollution control methods
After learning about these harmful effects of air pollution, we must know how to prevent air pollution and prevent it as soon as possible. Let us discuss some of the air pollution control methods we should try.
- To reduce the level of air pollution, people should take public transportation or carpool, which will reduce vehicle smoke.
- We can also avoid burning firecrackers at festivals and celebrations, which will also reduce sound pollution and air pollution.
- We should also avoid the use of plastic and polythene bags to rescue our environment.
- If we are not able to avoid plastics totally, at least we must adopt various habits like recycling.
- All the plastics end up in the land and ocean and pollute them. So, remember not to dispose of them after using them. Use them as long as you can by recycling them.
- We can plant more trees and also encourage people to plant more trees which will absorb the harmful gases and make the air clean.
- If we cannot plant trees, we can at least try to prevent the trees from being cut. That can also be helpful to our environment.
- We must limit the use of fertilizers to maintain the fertility of the soil.
- Industries must be banned from dumping their wastages in the ocean and river and any clean water. For this, many innocent lives destroy.
Ways to reduce air pollution in cities
Living in cities is like staying in gas chambers. That is because the level of pollutants in the air has increased so much. So, here we will discuss how to prevent air pollution by discussing some of the ways to reduce air pollution in cities:
- We must introduce bicycles in our lifestyle if we want to reduce pollution. Also, adults should reduce the use of motorbikes and scooters.
- Try to avoid busy roads, take a side street where possible to reduce the traffic. That will result in burning the fuel less, which will result in lesser air pollution.
- The government is doing its best to promote public transportation, whether it’s metro, AC bus, e-rickshaw start using them for the sake of your health and the environment.
- Nowadays, everyone in the city is taking their vehicle for comfort and time saving, which is leading to traffic. So, use public transport as much as you can.
- For urbanization, people cut many trees in the urban areas. Government must limit the cutting of trees in cities to reduce air pollution.
- In cities, we can take a step forward to plant a tree to save our environment and reduce air pollution.
- Try to avoid wood burning. Also, avoid using wood-burning stoves or bonfires.
Five ways to reduce air pollution
Now we will discuss five easy ways to reduce air pollution, which are:
- Do not keep the lights or any other electronic devices on unnecessarily. The most traditional power that you are using. The more energy you are using, the more you are polluting the air. For producing this energy, a tremendous amount of fossil fuels burn.
- Try to avoid plastic bags because they are not biodegradable, and they pollute the air, soil, water as a chain. Use paper or jute bags, and don’t forget to reuse them.
- Eat things that are locally available, like vegetables and fruits. It means you should avoid things that come from afar. You can also grow fruits and vegetables in your garden if you have space.
- You can prevent air pollution by stopping the use of your car for short trips. If the weather is nice and you don’t have too far to go, consider walking or riding a bicycle. It will help to reduce air pollution, and you will also get to do some exercise.
- You can ride on public transportation like bus, metro, and train to avoid personal vehicle use. It will help reduce carbon emissions in the air.
After knowing how to prevent air pollution now, it’s time that all of us must take a stand. Put effort into reducing pollution to make our environment a better place to live.