Air Pollution Summary 7

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  • Topic: Air pollution, National Ambient Air Quality Standards, Smog
  • Pages : 7 (2250 words )
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  • Published : March 4, 2009
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The major pollution caused by factories or industrials’ activities is air pollution. According to the Engineers’ Joint Council “Air Pollution and Its Control”, air pollution means the presence in the outdoor atmosphere of one or more contaminants, such as dust, fumes, gas, mist, odour, smoke or vapour in quantities of characteristics and of duration, such as to be injurious to human, plant or animal life or to property or which unreasonably interfaces with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property. On the other way, air pollution also can be defined as the chemicals, particulate matters or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or damages the natural environment, into the atmosphere.

The rapid growth of industries has now spread to a number of developing counties of the Third World including Malaysia. Although the sizes of industrial plants in these countries are comparatively small by Western standards, it is important that the planner be aware of the cumulative effect of these many small industrial sources of pollution. In Malaysia, 39 percent of the total pollution is contributed by industries. Of this industrial pollution, more than 27 percent comes from wood-based industries. It has been estimated that only 20 percent of this wood waste was usefully recovered as fuel for boilers and kilns.

There are many different chemical substances emit by industrial activities that contribute to air pollution. These chemicals come from a variety of sources. Among the many types of air pollutants are nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxides, and organic compounds that can evaporate and enter the atmosphere. Air pollutants have sources that are both natural and human. Now, humans contribute substantially more to the air pollution problem.

The effects of air pollution are diverse and numerous. Air pollution can have serious consequences for the health of human beings, and also severely affects natural ecosystems. Because it is located in the atmosphere, air pollution is able to travel easily. As a result, air pollution is a global problem and has been the subject of global cooperation and conflict. Some areas now suffer more than others from air pollution. Cities with large numbers of factories or those that use great quantities of coal often suffer most severely from problems of air pollution.


Different industries activities emit different pollutants. For example, the chemical industry releases emissions that contain many nitrogen and sulphur compounds while refineries discharge sulphur dioxide and hydrocarbons. The metal working industry is partially responsible for the emissions of sulphur dioxide and large amounts of toxic dust. (Text: 'Clean Air For Our Cities, 2006, by DOE Malaysia & German Technical Co-operation)

In addition, power plants represent the next large source of air pollutant emissions. In many countries power supply is obtained very largely from fuel oil and in some instances coal. All our large power plants in Malaysia are using fossil fuels. Because sulphur is one of the major ingredients of these fuels, power plants are the greatest contributors of sulphur dioxide pollution. Of the total sulphur dioxide emission in Peninsular Malaysia, over 50 percent is produced by power plants.

Air Pollutants

An air pollutant is known as a substance in the air that can cause harm to humans and the environment. Pollutants can be in many forms which may be natural or man-made. It can in the form of solid particles, liquid droplets, or gases.

Carbon dioxide is one of the major industrial pollutants in the atmosphere. Major sources of CO2 are fossil fuels burning and deforestation which implicated by the development of the industry sector. The concentrations of CO2 in the air around 1860 before the effects of industrialization were felt, is assumed to have been about 290 parts per million...
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