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“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why we call it ‘The Present’.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Air Pollution


 

We need to breathe clean air to stay alive. If we breathe dirty air, we are more likely to develop health problems and become ill. Plants and animals need clean air too.

 

What is meant by air Pollution?

When industrial fumes (poisonous gases let out from industries), smoke and tiny particles of soot and dust are discharged (released) to air, the air can be polluted. This is called air pollution.

 

What does polluted air contain?

 

  • Toxic gases  (e.g. – Carbon monoxide)
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Nitrogen oxide
  • Sulphur dioxide
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Chloroflorocarbons (CFC)
  • Tiny particles of soot and dust
  • Lead

 

Gases and other pollutants

Discharged by

Carbon monoxide (CO) Vehicles
Hydrocarbons Vehicles (This gas is produced when petrol is not fully burnt)
Nitrogen oxide Vehicles, Power stations and factories
Sulphur dioxide (SO2) Power stations and factories
Carbon dioxide (CO2) Humans and other animals, Burning of fossil fuels
Chloroflorocarbons (CFC) Air-conditioners, refrigerators, perfumes and some sprays
Tiny particles of soot and dust Factories
Lead Vehicles (in diesel, petrol), lead batteries, hair dye products

 

Causes of Air Pollution

 

1)    Industrialization (The development of industries and factories) – Industries and factories discharge toxic (poisonous) fumes, smoke, soot and dust to air.

2)   Urbanization and rapid (quick) growth of population

3)   Burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, gas, diesel, petrol, kerosene etc.

4)   Increasing of traffic and vehicles – Exhaust gases are released to air from vehicles.

5)   Use of air-conditioners and refrigerators

6)   Use of some perfumes, sprays (e.g. – air fresheners, Mortien, Bagon etc.) insecticides and pesticides

7)   Use of engines and machines

8)   Smoking

 

What are exhaust gases?

Vehicles eject (throw out) a lot of poisonous gases. These gases are called ‘exhaust gases’.

E.g. –

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Nitrogen oxides
  • Hydrocarbons

 

What are the gases which can cause acid rains when mixing with water in the air?

 

  • Nitrogen Oxide
  • Sulphur dioxide

 

Why is the gas called CFC very dangerous?  

CFC can destroy the ozone layer.

 

What is the ozone layer?

 

1) Ozone layer is the upper layer of the atmosphere which protects the Earth from the Sun’s dangerous rays such as ultraviolet rays (UV rays).

2) Ozone layer reflects UV rays, so they couldn’t enter the Earth.

3) But gases like CFC can destroy the ozone layer, so UV rays can easily enter the Earth.

8) Therefore people and animals on Earth can get several diseases such as skin cancers as well as it damages buildings and statues on Earth.

E.g. –  The Statue of Liberty in U.S.A

           Taj – mahal in India

          Eiffel Tower in France

 

What is indoor air pollution?

Air pollution inside homes is called indoor air pollution.

 

Causes of indoor air pollution

 

  • Fresh paint
  • Burning of fuels such as coal and gas, in heaters, stoves and ovens
  • Smoking
  • Lack of ventilation inside the house

 

What are the health problems created by air pollution?

 

  • Breathing and Lung problems
  • Nervous system damages
  • Digestive problems
  • Cancer

 

How to reduce air pollution?

 

  • Encourage your family to walk to the neighbourhood market.
  • Whenever possible take your bicycle.
  • Whenever possible use public forms of transport. (Buses or trains)
  • Reduce the use of spray cans in the household.
  • Look after the trees in your neighbourhood.
  • Switch-off all the lights and fans when not required.
  • If possible share your room with others when the air-conditioner, cooler or fan is on.
  • Use CFC free refrigerators.
  • Do not burn leaves in your garden, put them in a compost pit.
  • Make sure that the pollution check for your family car is done at regular intervals
  • Use only unleaded petrol.