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Causes of Air Pollution | By Vehicles, Agriculture, Nature etc.

Air pollution is one of the prominent types of pollution affecting life on the earth.

It is the leading cause of certain life-threatening disorders.

It causes complications like lung cancer, skin infections, paralysis, brain dysfunction, memory loss, etc.

And, in many cases, the pollution effects exaggerate the existing disease conditions.

Diseases like COPD, asthma, tuberculosis, eye problems & other infections, require the patient to stay away from air pollution to regain better health.

As per The World Health Organization reports, approximately 2.7 million people die each year from air pollution.

Air is important natural resource supporting life on the Earth. Air has a composition of various gasses with nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%) and the remaining by other gasses like Carbon-dioxide (CO2), hydrogen and noble gasses with a ratio of less than 1% for each.

Causes of air Pollution-the greatest risk to environment and health

The rise in air pollution can drastically change this gaseous ratio leading to health hazards. Contamination of air with dust particles and other substances further adds to the risk due to air pollution.

Air pollution causes:

1. Automobile Pollution (By vehicles) : Automobile with internal combustion engines are the main contributors to air pollution. The air is contaminated on daily basis due to release of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and other harmful gasses from vehicle exhaust. Also there is a enormous growth in sales of these vehicles worldwide. Hence, there is a chance of further rise in air pollution due to this. So, relying on battery driven or other means of fuel is being pursued by many nations. Countries like Netherlands have already passed laws to stop use of vehicles operating based on petroleum.

2. Black carbon soot: This is a pollution arising to burning of wood and other plant material. It is a trend from the past wherein, the farmers burn to remnant waste of previous crop. This burning leads to spread of fine carbon soot in to the air. It is also sometimes release from some industrial exhausts causing irritation to respiratory system to those who breath the contaminated air.  Sometimes, this soot travels from one region to other and causes problems there too. Since, pollution has fine carbon soot particles, it can darken the skies and reduce vision on the roads especially during winters.

Both of these are sources of outdoor pollution. Staying inside the home can minimize the exposure to such pollution.

3. Pollution due to smoking: This may seem weird but smoking causes pollution, and it troubles many around the person smoking cigars, etc. The pollution can be observed mostly in closed environments like in restaurants, buses, etc. Besides the smoker, the others around are also affected. Since the smoke is consumed in heavy concentrations, there is faster damage to body organs like lungs and throat.

4. Dust pollution: This is another particulate pollution arising due to the release of dust particles into the air. It mostly occurs due to construction work, unclean roads and also by severe winds carrying upper layers of soil.

Even, the pollen from plants, during pollination is released into the air for cross-fertilization. In such case, the little pollen acts as pollution causing problems like asthma and respiratory insufficiency.

5. Chemical fume pollution: Chemical pollution results due to release of harmful chemical fumes into the air. This is seen in industries and also in science college during practicals. Many times it is unavoidable, but one can take measures to minimize exposure to the people around.

This chemical fumes can also result in acid rains

6. Pesticide Pollution: This is a form of air pollution by agriculture. Farmers rely on pesticides to control plant and crop diseases. These pesticides are sprayed as fine gas particles which can be easily carried into the air. Also, since the diseases easily spread from one farm to another, there is a large-scale application of these pesticides leading to heavy pesticide pollution, especially during the crop season. Pesticides are some of the most harmful chemicals and reduction in their use exploration of alternatives is the best way to minimize this air pollution.

7. Air pollution by nature: This is rare and also not frequent. Air pollution by nature includes volcanoes from mountains which emit harmful gases into the air for over a prolonged period.

Even release of toxic gases by nature is common. Methane is one of the harmful gases released by nature from wetlands, oceans, etc. Nature accounts for 36% of methane gas released into the atmosphere.

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