Air Pollution affecting our lives
Pollution is the presence of contaminants in natural composition of air, water, soil or our habitat which affects our quality of life.
Air Pollution: Causes, Effects
Fire was created with the help of friction more than one million years ago by humans. And since then, human race has invented a lot of techniques in which fire is used to create something new or to run different kinds of machines and industries. During this transformation from one form to another a lot of air pollution is generated which was not monitored for centuries. However, during last century a lot of work has been done on creating awareness among people of all over the world on the harmful effects of air pollution.
It is now widely known that the chemicals such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter such as fine dust are the main air pollutants. These chemicals deplete the ozone layer responsible for safeguarding us from harmful effects of solar radiation. Understandably, the thin ozone layer results in various health risks to the humans and other living organisms. The researches have specified the healthy range of pollutants and the danger zone where the health of the people is comprised in disguise of the development of civilization.
The air pollution causes clogs the stomata of the leaves of plants thereby preventing photosynthesis in some cases. It also lowers the visibility in the air. More pollutants may lead to acid rain which is harmful for soil as well. The high concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps the radiation and aids global warming.
What is PM (Particulate Matter)
Particulate Matter, commonly known as PM, remain suspended in the atmosphere at different heights. These particles are very thin measuring between 2.5 (denoted by PM2.5 ) to 10 micro metres denoted by PM10) which are easily inhaled by human beings and affect the functioning of lungs. These PMs cause respiratory diseases, affect DNAs, cause heart attacks, cause cancer etc. Being in very small size, these particles stick to the surface of fruits and vegetables and get ingested with their consumption in raw form if not thoroughly washed.
Quantity of PMs is increased in the atmosphere due to fires, dust storms, road dust, stubble burning, burning of coal, petroleum products etc.
Within the PMs, nanoparticles are more dangerous as these particles can penetrate through the cell membranes and affect other organs of the body as well including the brain. Such particles are normally released by diesel engines which may also carry carcinogenic substances also. Inhalation of these PMs may increase the risk of birth defects, premature delivery, low birth weight, low oxygen supply to placenta during pregnancy. Arteries blockage due to plaque deposit and reduced elasticity of arteries may lead to heart attacks.
10 Simple ways to reduce air pollution
- Walk, whenever possible
- Keep all engines tuned to maximum efficiency
- Conserve electricity, keep air conditioner setting@25°©
- Avoid burning of leaves, rubbish or other material
- Plant more and more trees
- Use renewable sources of fuel like solar or wind energy
- Make green buildings and reduce carbon footprints
- Avoid using plastic and items made of plastic
- Use reusable and recycled stuff in your day to day life
- Tackle the source of air pollution