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Discussion: Air Pollution Effects - Essay Example

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Air Pollution – effects Air pollution is caused when harmful substances are discharged into the air by human activities and cause damage to human beings, animals, plants and also the natural environment. Natural events like volcanic eruptions and forest fires also contribute towards air pollution…
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Download file to see previous pages One is sulphur dioxide which is produced when fuels like coal and oil are burned during smelting or from industrial activities. The second one is nitrogen oxide which is discharged into the air from vehicles and power plants. There are other types of air pollutants released from vehicles that are carbon monoxide and lead. Ozone is another type of pollutant created mainly on sunny days by nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds like hydrocarbons, alcohols and ethers. Ozone creates a photochemical fog of poisonous nature in the troposphere where maximum plants and animals are living (Kallman, 2008). The paper essentially focuses on the effects of air pollution. Effects on Human Health and Environment Air pollutants can have serious damaging effects on human health. They may bring about death. Chronic diseases in the hearts and lungs of human beings are also increased by air pollution. Daily exposure to air pollution can cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. People having a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cardio-pulmonary problems are more easily affected by air pollution and mortality rate among them can be high. Ill health is a major effect of air pollution and death is a common occurrence. Air pollutants that cause health problems in human beings are mainly discharged by fuel combustions. They might bring about long-lasting health problems. Effects on health can range from minor eye irritations to lingering respiratory ailment, lung cancer, heart disease and even death. Children are more likely to get chronic respiratory problems from air pollution while chronic bronchitis is common in adults. Air pollution upsurges the occurrence rate and harshness of respiratory attacks among asthma patients. Effects of air pollution depend upon the living conditions of the people. Poor and undernourished people living in unhealthy environment, small children and old people are more vulnerable to air pollution. In some countries, air quality control measures are not very rigid in industrial areas and poor people living in such areas stay in squalid conditions which make them more vulnerable to air pollution. Air pollution can also indirectly cause health hazards through acid rain and pollution of drinking water. Global warming can cause extreme climate change which can again affect the health of humans. (Mishra, 2003) Carbon monoxide (CO) which is mainly formed by gasoline consumption by motor vehicles can reduce the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen to different parts of human body and this reduces the efficiency of different body organs. Lead, which is also an air pollutant, can cause poisoning of blood (Wijetilleke & Karunaratne, 1995, pp.11-12). The most familiar form of air pollution is smog which covers cities and contributes towards global warming. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are among air pollutants that cause warming of the Earth. Carbon dioxide is a pollutant when produced from cars, planes, power plants and burning of fuels. Methane is produced from swamps and gases produced by livestock (Air Pollution, n.d.) Acid rain is composed of nitric and sulphuric acids in amounts that are harmful for the environment. These are produced from burning of fuel. These acids fall on the surface of the earth as rain, smoke, fog or gas. Acid rain can be carried hundreds of miles by wind. It ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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