Air Pollution

The moment you step out of the house and are on the road you can actually see the air getting polluted.  A cloud of exhaust from a truck, smoke filling the sky above a factory chimney, fly ash generated by thermal power plants, and even a cloud of dust behind a speeding car can pollute the air.  Air pollution is aggravated because of four developments: increasing traffic, growing cities, rapid economic development, and industrialization.  Natural phenomenon such as an erupting volcano or even someone smoking a cigarette can also cause air pollution.  The major air pollutants are acid rain, smog, fly ash, and indoor air pollutants.

Acid rain is caused by when exhaust from burning fossil fuels combine with water vapor in the atmosphere and falls as rain or snow.  Acid rain causes extensive damage to water, forest, soil, resources, and even human health.  Many lakes and streams have been contaminated by acid rain and this had lead to a diminished population of fish.  Acid rain has lead to the international limitations of sulphur and nitrogen oxide.

Smog is a combination of various gases (a large part of this gas is produced when fuels are burnt) with water vapor and dust.  Smog forms when heat and sunlight react with these gases and fine particles in the air.  Its occurrence is often liked to heavy traffic, high temperatures, and calm winds. Smog is seen as a yellowish fog over cities.  Severe smog has been covering the city of Los Angeles California since the 1940s.

Fly ash is produced at thermal power plants.  Fly ash consists of silica, alumina, oxides of iron, calcium, and magnesium and toxic heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cobalt, and copper.  Disposal of fly ash is very hazardous to the land, creates health hazards, and creates environmental danger.  When fly ash gets out into the natural draining system it results in siltation and clogs the system; it reduces the ph balance and portability of water.  It also interferes with the process of photosynthesis in plants and thus disturbs the food chain.  Today fly ash can be made into bricks and used as building material and was used in the construction of The American Embassy in India.

Indoor air pollutants include tobacco smoke, hair sprays, perfume, glues, pesticides, parasites, fungi, formaldehyde, asbestos, and radon.  All of these can be found in homes whether its under the sink or in the air. Exposure to indoor air pollution has increased due the more tightly constructed buildings, reduced ventilation, and the use of synthetic materials and chemicals.

To reduce air pollution there are many things you can do individually or as a group.  You could start by reducing the number of aerosols in the house or even composting your leaves instead of burning them.  As a group you could car pool to work, begin a tree-watch group to ensure they are well tended for, or even encourage your family to walk to the supermarket.

Air Pollution is a big problem in the world today either from someone smoking a cigarette or during a rush hour traffic jam.  Pollution has made the world find cleaner ways of living from using only public transportation to planting new trees around your neighborhood.  Air Pollution is effecting everyone today and something should be done everywhere to fight it.