The air, in which we breathe, is becoming poisonous day by day. Air pollution leads to disastrous effects on health and environment. It is slowly becoming the cause of so many deaths across the world. Humans, animals, birds and plants have to face serious problems due to mixture of harmful substances in the atmosphere.

What is Air Pollution

Air pollution takes place due to the presence of harmful gases, dust, smoke, chemicals, odour and other microscopic particles in the atmosphere. Generally, air pollution is caused by pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and nitrogen oxide emitted from industries and motor vehicles. Smoke and particles of dust can cause many diseases by reaching the lungs through respiration.

As per World Bank estimates, 5.5 million lost their life in 2013 to diseases associated with outdoor and indoor air pollution. The present situation is even more frightening and worrisome. Here we present some important facts about air pollution, which will help students learn about the gravity of this problem in all its dimensions:

Air Pollution Facts

-> Air pollution has emerged as one of gravest threats in the world in terms of premature deaths worldwide.

-> According to medical journal The Lancet, 18,000 people die every day due to air pollution across the world.

-> Air pollution is responsible for 65% of deaths in Asia and 25% in India.

-> In the US, 50,000 of people die every year due to air pollution.

-> In China, 300,000 die every year due to heart disease and lung cancer born of air pollution.

-> It cannot be ruled out that in the coming years, death rate will increase due to pollution.

-> The World Bank estimates that air pollution causes a loss of $ 225 billion a year to the global economy.

-> According to the figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO), there is an untimely death of 14 laky people in India every year due to pollution. That is, on an average, two Indians die every minute due to polluted air.

-> Some of the world’s most polluted cities are in India. Patna and New Delhi are the most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM2.5 exposure.

-> PM are very subtle particles (particulate matter), which are the ors of air pollution. They are so small that through paths of respiration they reach the lungs and lead to respiratory diseases such as asthma. Apart from this, they also give birth to heart-related diseases.

-> Air pollution and climate change are broadly interconnected and they need to be dealt with simultaneously.

-> Due to air pollution, the temperature of Earth is increasing, with gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide playing havoc in combination with the heat emanating from the sun.

-> Air pollution has increased the risk of acid rain, which damages crops, trees, buildings and historic buildings.

-> If we continue to inhale in polluted air, it takes at least many years away from our life.

-> Coal-fired power plants contribute to 50 percent of air pollution in India.

-> The fuels we use today release a huge amount of emissions of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide etc in the environment, which pollute the air badly.

-> Air pollution has both natural and human causes. Natural sources include the dust blowing during the storm, ash from fossils, fog, smoke generated from the fire in the forests, hydrogen compounds from plants in the forest, pollen and swamp and the methane gas emitted from decomposition of substances.

-> On the other hand, human ors of pollution include industrialization, combustion process (such as combustion in domestic operations, vehicles and thermal power energy), industrial construction, molecular energy, use of pesticides in agricultural operations and use of solvents, smoking etc.

-> Due to industrialization, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, hydrocarbon, lead, chlorine, ammonia, dust, radioactive substances, arsenic, beryllium etc, etc pollute the atmosphere.

-> Some common causes of air pollution include smoke from vehicles, gases and dust particles from industrial units, fumes from the burning of tree plantations in the jungles, and burning of coal and oil in industrial processes, etc.

-> In combustion for domestic purposes, gases like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide oxide etc. are released due to the heat generated from coal, wood, dung cakes, kerosene etc. during cooking and heating of water. At the same time, petrol and diesel are used in vehicles such as motorcycles, scooters, trucks, buses, diesel train engines etc, which release hydrocarbons and nitrogen in the atmosphere.

-> In winters, smoke and mud particles form smog which reduces natural visibility and leads to irritation in the eyes and difficulty in breathing.

-> Pollution gives rise to many respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Pollution affects the lungs, due to which the entire respiratory system is affected.

-> Pollution from cars, buses, trucks and other vehicles causes 80% of lung diseases.

-> It can even lead to blindness, and hearing impairment. After a long time, genetic deformities can also arise due to pollution.

-> Small particles of pollution and ashes also lead to skin related diseases.

-> Some gases reach the atmosphere and reduce ozone layer. The ozone layer absorbs harmful radiations from space. Ozone conducts as the shield for us, but when there is a deficiency of ozone, it may lead to fierce disease like skin cancer.

-> Air pollution causes decay of buildings, metals and monuments etc. The Taj Mahal is prone to hazards posed by the Mathura Oil Refinery.

-> Lower oxygen levels in the atmosphere are also fatal for organisms because the lack of oxygen will cause respiratory problems in living beings.

-> Waiting for hours in traffic increases the chances of death due to a heart attack as during heavy traffic jams, pollutants from outside surround your car.

-> People living near high traffic roads have more concentrated levels of air pollution and run more risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma and bronchitis.

-> Due to their small physical size and lung capacity, children are vulnerable to threat of toxic air pollution.

-> Air pollution also affects dolphins and causes them to suffer from black lung diseases.

-> Absorption of chemical substances and gases emanating from factories has a bad effect on animals, crops, and trees.

-> The factories should be installed away from the urban area, and such technology should be used that most part of the smoke is absorbed and the residual material and the gas cannot be found in excessive amounts.

-> Proper arrangement of population education should be made so that population growth is prevented from escalating further.

-> To prevent unbridled urbanization, employment and cottage industries and other facilities should be provided in villages and towns only.

-> The smoke coming out of fuel in the vehicles should be minimised.

-> The technique of smokeless stove and solar energy should be encouraged.

-> Uncontrolled deforestation should be stopped. Every human being, along with the government, and NGOs should contribute in preventing the destruction of forests and participating in the massive tree plantation programmes.

-> Efficient sewerage system should be in place for disposal of residual substances in cities and cities.

-> Consciousness should be awakened in children about the urgency to stop air pollution.

-> Awareness about prevention of air pollution should be propagated through publicity medium such as TV, radio, and print publications etc.

-> Nothing wrong in buying a big car, but it’s a big mistake to not run your car according to cleaner emission standards.

-> One effective way to save India from pollution is to adopt natural gas. Pledge to uproot pollution and make India pollution free.

-> Start using natural gas and gift a cleaner, greener and happier India to the next generation. We should switch to CNG /electricity-driven vehicles, carpooling and relying on public transport.

-> Cycling is also one of the best ways to reduce air pollution.

-> People should often wear masks to protect themselves from air pollution.

-> Electric vehicles do not emit any harmful gases.

-> By 2030 the air will become so poisonous by pollutants that life without the oxygen kit will be difficult. People will appear more than their age by many years.

-> What we understand as our comfort now will soon become a collective remorse in the near future. And, a day will come when there will be no clean air to breathe.

-> Just think what if we have to buy an oxygen kit and have to spend the night. What will happen if we have to be cautious about our every breath? Will our life be limited to some kilograms of oxygen?

-> We cannot stop the use of fuels, because a large part of the industry is running on them, but we can definitely opt for cleaner energy sources.

-> Clean fuel such as natural gas is a good option to reduce pollution. Natural gas emits very less quantity of harmful particulate matter to the environment.

-> Natural gas is definitely the most clean flammable fossil fuel. It is readily available and emits fewer pollutants, keeping air pollution levels low. Gases such as CNG, PNG are cheap and not harmful for the lungs.


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