Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the environment. It is cause mostly by human actions, but can also be a result of natural disasters. Pollution has harmful effect on living and non-living things in an environment, making it difficult to maintain life. There are different types of pollution. The main ones are:
Air pollution is the accumulation of pollutants into the atmosphere that have harmful effect on human life and other organism. Air pollution is mostly due to human activities but sometimes may be because of natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions. Causes of air pollution:
The industrialization of society, urbanization and the introduction of motorized vehicles, are factors contributing toward the growing air pollution problem. Indeed, nowadays with the growth of the population, number of vehicles on the road has also increased. Thus, the two main sources of air pollution are transportation (automobiles) and fuel combustion in stationary sources, including residential, commercial, and industrial heating and cooling and coal-burning power plants. High levels of harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxides and many more are released by vehicles, industries or volcanoes. Effect of air pollution:
Formation of smog in highly industrialized countries such as China. Smog leads to harmful health problems to senior citizens and children. It can inflame breathing passages, decrease the lungs' working capacity, cause shortness of breath, pain when inhaling deeply, wheezing, and coughing. It can cause eye and nose irritation and it dries out the protective membranes of the nose and throat and interferes with the body's ability to fight infection, increasing susceptibility to illness. Asthma and bronchitis. 2.
Formation of acid rains. Sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxides released, combined with oxygen and water -vapour in the atmosphere forming sulphuric acid or nitric acid. These acids dissolve in rain water resulting in acid rain which falls to Earth causing a disastrous effect to the environment and to people. Vegetation are destroyed as the soil is too acidic, all the nutrients in the soil are washed away, the land for agriculture become barren. Aquatic life is destroyed as the water is acidic. In addition, acid rain accelerates the decay of building materials, paints, statues, and sculptures. Acid rains have little impact on human but the pollutants responsible for its formation leads to respiratory disease and other illnesses. Acid rain's effects are destructive and long lasting. 3.
Depletion of the ozone layer. The excessive use of CFCs in the past as aerosol propellants or as coolants in refrigerators and air conditioners, have destroyed the ozone layer by reacting with it in the higher atmosphere. The ozone layer protects Earth from harmful radiation from the sun. However, when the ozone layer is depleted, it results in an increased exposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sun. In humans, this can cause diseases like skin cancer, eye damage. Plants are damages, decreasing crop productivity. It contributes also to global warming. 4.
Greenhouse effect. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased over the past years due to large amount of carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels (e.g. coal or oil) in factories and motor cars. The increased concentration of carbon dioxide together with other gas pollutants in the atmosphere form a layer over the Earth’s surface retaining the heat radiated from Earth and prevents much of it from escaping into space. Heat is therefore trapped causing the Earth temperature to rise that is greenhouse effect. The result may be global warming. The consequences of global warming: •
The world temperature may rise.
Polar ice caps will melt if temperature keeps rising, thus, causing sea levels to rise...
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