Pollution

Air Pollution

Air pollution is the release of contaminants into the air that is detrimental to human and animal health. Human activities cause most of the air pollution. Natural disasters can pollute the air too.

Natural disasters such as volcanoes can pollute the air. The volcanic ash can discolour the sky for months affecting the crops to be harvested. The residents of towns close to volcanoes can die by asphyxia as well.
Air pollution could be seen in Shaghai, China. In China people seldom see the sun because of the smog. Smog interferes with outdoor activities. Many people find it difficult to breathe in most smog. Smog or thick fog or haze is usually brown or grayish-blue.
Most air pollution comes from burning of fossil fuel (coal, oil, and natural gas).
Car also release high concentration of carbon monoxide from its exhaust pipes.
Power plants release nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide, into the air. This causes acid rain. Acid rain pollutes lakes and waterways, kills trees in the forest and kills fish.
Pesticides are released into the air. It can cause eyes to burn. In 1984, a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, released a deadly gas into the air. It killed many and injured others.
Destroyed forest have increased the Green House gases (carbon dioxide and methane) in the air.
Styrofoam products, aerosol cans and (old) refrigerators contain a chemical called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which damage the ozone layer and expose the earth to more harmful ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet radiation can cause the development of skin cancer, eye disease, etc.

Discussion:

  1. What is air pollution?
  2. Why should you be concerned about air pollution?
  3. What are the main causes of air pollution?
  4. What is smog?
  5. What can we do to improve the air we breathe?