Air pollution means the presence of contaminants or pollutants in the atmosphere beyond tolerance limit that can cause health problems to all human beings on earth. The causes of air pollution can be both natural or man-made. Air pollutants are mostly gases or small particles which remain suspended in the air for very long time period. Sources of Air Pollution:
The most characteristic sources of air pollution have always been combustion processes where the pollutant is smoke. Out of all combustion processes, the most dominant player responsible for pollution is automobiles. The burning of fossil fuels in automobiles releases enormous amount of sulfur and nitrogen oxides which are heavy air pollutants. Apart from the automobiles, power sector is another major play in causing pollution. Humans are still dependent on fossil fuels for all their energy demands. Coal is the major source of energy in thermal power plants to produce electricity and is the dirtiest of fuel among all. Burning coal produces smoke which contains contaminants and when this smoke is released into atmosphere, these contaminants remain suspended in atmosphere for a long duration. Air Pollution Scenarios:
Smoke has been the reason of urban air pollution since centuries because of the same reason. The use of coal throughout the centuries has caused cities to be very smoky places. The present scenario is not very different. Coal is still burnt in large quantities to produce electricity worldwide and is therefore one of the main source of pollution. The world has now shifted to liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons like oil and natural gas to meet its energy demands. Though these fuels are considerably cleaner than coal but excessive use of these fuels have resulted in increased concentration of greenhouse gases like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides etc. in the atmosphere. Effects of Air Pollution:
Pollutants have a wide range of effects with health problems being of...