Air is the principal source of life for humans, plants and just about every living thing. After all the phrase “living and breathing” comes together doesn’t it?
So when you consider the effect polluted air has, the consequences can be dire as it causes discomfort, diseases and even death at times. Air pollution can be a chemical, biological or physical agent that changes the atmospheric standard. So the question remains…
How does the air become so polluted?
Air pollution is cause through a substance in the air known as air pollutant. These pollutants are found in all three states of solid particles, liquid and gaseous form. In addition they may be natural or man-made particles.
Pollutants are also classified as primary or secondary types. The primary pollutants are directly produced within a process, such as ash from volcanic eruption, carbon monoxide from the motor vehicles exhaust and the sulphur dioxide released from factories.
These substances when mixed with the atmosphere, creates air pollution.
Effect on humans:
The polluted air causes damage health on humans by increasing various diseases like – cardiovascular system, cystic fibrosis, COPD, asthma and lung cancer to name a few.
It also damages our respiratory systems making it more difficult to breathe and affecting our day to day activities. And pregnant women are at a similar risk as the polluted air might cause serious developmental damage to the unborn child.
As per declaration of the World Health Organization, approximately 2.4 million people die each year from various types of diseases as a direct result of air pollution.
Effect on plants:
Plants are directly dependable on air and water. As such, polluted air interrupts the normal growth of plants. The crops which are consumed are not spared either. Their natural production rate takes a hit and release lesser oxygen into the air and disturbing the balance in many areas.
Impact on rivers and streams:
The polluted air increases the normal temperature of the water of rivers and streams causing acid rain-fall. This increase of temperature also damages the lives of the fishes and other living organisms.
Preventive measures to take:
Air-pollution today has become a global problem. Many preventive measures are being adopted throughout the world abiding by the direction of each respective authority figure. Industries and vehicles are commonly responsible for contributing to almost 60% of the world’s pollution.
Some preventive measures you can take on your own includes driving less, adopting eco-friendly driving practices, selection of air-friendly products and making use of fuel reformulators to save energy as much as possible and reduce waste.