Air pollution is a type of environmental pollution that affects the air and is usually caused by smoke or other harmful gases, mainly oxides of carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen. In other words, air pollution is the contamination of air due to the presence or introduction of a substance that has a poisonous effect. It occurs when any harmful gases, dust, smoke enter into the atmosphere and make it difficult for plants, animals, and humans to survive as the air becomes dirty and can be classified into visible and invisible pollution.
The Ozone Layer, considered crucial for the existence of the ecosystems on the planet, is depleting due to increased pollution. Global warming, a direct result of the increased imbalance of gases in the atmosphere, has come to be known as the biggest threat and challenge that the contemporary world has to overcome in a bid for survival.
VARIOUS CAUSES OF AIR POLLUTION
- The burning of fossil fuels – Sulfur dioxide emitted from the combustion of fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and other factory combustibles, is one of the major causes of air pollution. Pollution emitting from vehicles including trucks, jeeps, cars, trains, airplanes causes an immense amount of pollution. We rely on them to fulfill our daily basic needs of transportation but their overuse is killing our environment as dangerous gases are polluting the environment. Carbon monoxide caused by improper or incomplete combustion and generally emitted from vehicles is another major pollutant along with Nitrogen oxides, that is produced from both natural and man-made processes.
- Agricultural activities – Ammonia is a very common byproduct of agriculture-related activities and is one of the most hazardous gases in the atmosphere. The use of insecticides, pesticides, and fertilizers in agricultural activities has grown quite a lot. They emit harmful chemicals into the air and can also cause water pollution.
- Exhaust from factories and industries – Manufacturing industries release a large amount of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, organic compounds, and chemicals into the air, thereby depleting the quality of air.
- Mining operations – Mining is a process wherein minerals below the earth are extracted using large equipment. During the process dust and chemicals are released in the air causing massive air pollution. This is one of the reasons which is responsible for the deteriorating health condition of workers and nearby residents.
- Indoor air pollution – Household cleaning products, painting supplies emit toxic chemicals in the air and cause air pollution.
The following are some of the dangers/ diseases caused by Air Pollution
- Lung diseases and respiratory problems
- Lung cancer
- Cardiovascular problems
- Negative effect on pregnant women and new-born babies
- Short life span
- Global Warming
- Acid rains
- Depletion of the Ozone layer
- Effect on wildlife, etc.
SOLUTIONS FOR AIR POLLUTION
- Use the public mode of transportation – Encourage people to use more and more public modes of transportation to reduce pollution. Also, try to make use of carpooling. If you and your colleagues come from the same locality and have the same timings you can explore this option to save energy and money.
- Conserve energy – Switch off fans and lights when you are going out. A large number of fossil fuels are burnt to produce electricity. You can save the environment from degradation by reducing the number of fossil fuels to be burned.
- Understand the concept of Reduce, Re-use and Recycle – Do not throw away items that are of no use to you. In fact, re-use them for some other purpose. For example, you can use old jars to store cereals or pulses.
- Emphasis on clean energy resources – Clean energy technologies like solar, wind and geothermal are on high these days. Governments of various countries have been providing grants to consumers who are interested in installing solar panels for their homes. This will go a long way to curb air pollution.
- Use energy-efficient devices – CFL lights consume less electricity as against their counterparts. They live longer, consume less electricity, lower electricity bills and also help you to reduce pollution by consuming less energy.
Several attempts are being made worldwide on personal, industrial and governmental levels to curb the intensity at which air pollution is rising and regain a balance as far as the proportions of the foundation gases are concerned. This is a direct attempt at slacking Global Warming.
We, the TC Achievers company, a socio-technological group from Taidob College, are saying Air Pollution is one of the larger mirrors of man’s follies, thus the need to help reduce this to the barest minimum. This and so many other reasons have inspired us to invent our Gas leakage indicator, which senses any form of liquefied petroleum gases and raises an alarm. However, it is a collaborative effort and we are calling on everyone to help make the world worth living for ourselves. We hope to innovate more devices and products to keep our environment safe at all times and ensure a sustainable world.
Stay safe always.
Opebiyi Abdul Azeem
TC Achievers (A JA Company, Taidob College, Abeokuta)