Pollution facts


Air pollution consists of chemicals or particles in the air that can harm the health of humans, animals, & plants. It also damages buildings.

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Air pollution consists of chemicals or particles in the air that can harm the health of humans, animals, & plants. It also damages buildings. Pollutants in the air take many forms. They can be gases, solid particles, or liquid droplets.Sources of Air PollutionPollution enters the Earth's atmosphere in many different ways. Most air pollution is created by people, taking the khung of emissions from factories, cars, planes, or aerosol cans. Second-hand cigarette smoke is also considered air pollution. These man-made sources of pollution are called anthropogenic sources.Some types of air pollution, such as smoke from wildfires or ash from volcanoes, occur naturally. These are called natural sources.Air pollution is most common in large cities where emissions from many different sources are concentrated. Sometimes, mountains or tall buildings prevent air pollution from spreading out. This air pollution often appears as a cloud making the air murky. It is called smog. The word "smog" comes from combining the words "smoke" & "fog."Large cities in poor và developing nations tend to have more air pollution than cities in developed nations. According khổng lồ the World Health Organization (WHO), some of the worlds most polluted cities are Karachi, Pakistan; New Delhi, India; Beijing, China; Lima, Peru; and Cairo, Egypt. However, many developed nations also have air pollution problems. Los Angeles, California, is nicknamed Smog City.Indoor Air PollutionAir pollution is usually thought of as smoke from large factories or exhaust from vehicles. But there are many types of indoor air pollution as well.Heating a house by burning substances such as kerosene, wood, and coal can contaminate the air inside the house. Ash và smoke make breathing difficult, và they can stick khổng lồ walls, food, và clothing.Naturally-occurring radon gas, a cancer-causing material, can also build up in homes. Radon is released through the surface of the Earth. Inexpensive systems installed by professionals can reduce radon levels.Some construction materials, including insulation, are also dangerous to people's health. In addition, ventilation, or air movement, in homes and rooms can lead lớn the spread of toxic mold. A single colony of mold may exist in a damp, cool place in a house, such as between walls. The mold's spores enter the air and spread throughout the house. People can become sick from breathing in the spores.Effects On HumansPeople experience a wide range of health effects from being exposed lớn air pollution. Effects can be broken down into short-term effects và long-term effects.Short-term effects, which are temporary, include illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis. They also include discomfort such as irritation to lớn the nose, throat, eyes, or skin. Air pollution can also cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Bad smells made by factories, garbage, or sewer systems are considered air pollution, too. These odors are less serious but still unpleasant.Long-term effects of air pollution can last for years or for an entire lifetime. They can even lead to lớn a person's death. Long-term health effects from air pollution include heart disease, lung cancer, và respiratory diseases such as emphysema. Air pollution can also cause long-term damage to lớn people's nerves, brain, kidneys, liver, & other organs. Some scientists suspect air pollutants cause birth defects. Nearly 2.5 million people die worldwide each year from the effects of outdoor or indoor air pollution.People react differently to lớn different types of air pollution. Young children và older adults, whose immune systems tend to lớn be weaker, are often more sensitive lớn pollution. Conditions such as asthma, heart disease, and lung disease can be made worse by exposure khổng lồ air pollution. The length of exposure and amount and type of pollutants are also factors.

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Effects On The EnvironmentLike people, animals, & plants, entire ecosystems can suffer effects from air pollution. Haze, lượt thích smog, is a visible type of air pollution that obscures shapes & colors. Hazy air pollution can even muffle sounds.Air pollution particles eventually fall back khổng lồ Earth. Air pollution can directly contaminate the surface of bodies of water & soil. This can kill crops or reduce their yield. It can kill young trees và other plants.Sulfur dioxide và nitrogen oxide particles in the air, can create acid rain when they phối with water & oxygen in the atmosphere. These air pollutants come mostly from coal-fired power plants & motor vehicles. When acid rain falls to lớn Earth, it damages plants by changing soil composition; degrades water chất lượng in rivers, lakes & streams; damages crops; và can cause buildings and monuments to lớn decay.Like humans, animals can suffer health effects from exposure to air pollution. Birth defects, diseases, and lower reproductive rates have all been attributed to lớn air pollution.Global WarmingGlobal warming is an environmental phenomenon caused by natural và anthropogenic air pollution. It refers lớn rising air & ocean temperatures around the world. This temperature rise is at least partially caused by an increase in the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases trap heat energy in the Earths atmosphere. (Usually, more of Earths heat escapes into space.)Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that has had the biggest effect on global warming. Carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels (coal, gasoline, and natural gas). Humans have come to rely on fossil fuels to lớn power cars and planes, heat homes, & run factories. Doing these things pollutes the air with carbon dioxide.Other greenhouse gases emitted by natural & artificial sources also include methane, nitrous oxide, & fluorinated gases. Methane is a major emission from coal plants and agricultural processes. Nitrous oxide is a common emission from industrial factories, agriculture, and the burning of fossil fuels in cars. Fluorinated gases, such as hydrofluorocarbons, are emitted by industry. Fluorinated gases are often used instead of gases such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CFCs have been outlawed in many places because they deplete the ozone layer.Worldwide, many countries have taken steps khổng lồ reduce or limit greenhouse gas emissions to lớn combat global warming. The Kyoto Protocol, first adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997, is an agreement between 183 countries that they will work khổng lồ reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. The United States has not signed that treaty.RegulationIn addition to lớn the international Kyoto Protocol, most developed nations have adopted laws lớn regulate emissions and reduce air pollution. In the United States, debate is under way about a system called cap và trade to limit emissions. This system would cap, or place a limit, on the amount of pollution a company is allowed. Companies that exceeded their cap would have to pay. Companies that polluted less than their cap could trade or sell their remaining pollution allowance khổng lồ other companies. Cap và trade would essentially pay companies to limit pollution.In 2006 the World Health Organization issued new Air unique Guidelines. The WHOs guidelines are tougher than most individual countries existing guidelines. The WHO guidelines aim khổng lồ reduce air pollution-related deaths by 15 percent a year.

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ReductionAnybody can take steps to lớn reduce air pollution. Millions of people every day make simple changes in their lives to bởi vì this. Taking public transportation instead of driving a car, or riding a bike instead of traveling in carbon dioxide-emitting vehicles are a couple of ways to lớn reduce air pollution. Avoiding aerosol cans, recycling yard trimmings instead of burning them, và not smoking cigarettes are others.