Causes of Air Pollution
Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulates, biological materials, or other harmful materials into the Earth's atmosphere, possibly causing disease, death to humans, damage to other living organisms such as food crops, or the natural or built environment. The atmosphere is a complex natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on planet Earth. Stratospheric ozone depletion due to air pollution has long been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to the Earth's ecosystems ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_pollution)
Combustion of fuel is one of the major causes of air pollution in urban areas. Burning of fossil fuels such as natural gas and gasoline leads to the emission of carbon dioxide and other gas, which deteriorates the quality of air, making the air polluted. Increased level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is one of the prime causes of air pollution. Power plants exhaust fumes of automobiles, airplanes and other human activities involving the burning of gasoline and natural gas are related to the emission of this greenhouse gas. The chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), a class of synthetic chemicals used in refrigerants and aerosol propellants, have caused holes in the Earth's ozone layer. The use of these banned chemicals is related with the increasing levels of air pollution. Sulfur dioxide is one of the components of smog, which is related to the contamination of the Earth's atmosphere. This synthetic chemical is the prime cause of acid rain. Air pollution is partially caused by the particulates formed by a variety of substances, such as dust, pollen and other organic materials. Increased road and air traffic is another reason related to the high level of air pollution. Smoke and fumes posseting out of the chimneys of manufacturing companies, contains high levels of carbon monoxide, organic compounds, and chemicals. These pollutants, when emitted, look like black clouds spreading across the sky. Smoke released from industries is one of the major factors of air pollution. Pesticides used on crops or even in households cause release of harmful chemicals into the air. Crop dusting, delousing homes and even painting supplies are known to have pollutants responsible for air pollution. Several natural causes such as forest fires, volcanic eruptions, wind erosion, pollen dispersion, evaporation of organic compounds, and natural radioactivity also contaminate the air. (http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/causes-and-effects-of-air-pollution)
Effects Of Air Pollution
Asthma is a chronic disease, common among children and adults. The shortness of breath, a prime symptom of this disease, can be triggered by pollutants present in the air, such as smog. Lung infections can occur when polluted air is inhaled. This can also lead to shortness of breath. Air pollution may influence the development of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Air pollution can also lead to lung cancer.
Air pollution can result in blockage in the coronary artery or blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. This condition is diagnosed as Coronary Artery Disease. High level of pollution in the air can also lead to heart failure. Irregular or abnormal rhythms of heartbeat are often cited as health problems related to air pollution. The long-term health effects of air pollution are deadly. They can cause damage to the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys. Carbon monoxide emitted from vehicles or from the burning of fossil fuels, can cause headaches, reduce the mental alertness and impair the fetal development or cause death. Sulfur dioxide released from coal-fired power plants, petroleum refineries, etc. can cause irritation in eyes, breathlessness, chest tightness and lung damage. Exposure to ozone (from vehicle exhaust and certain fumes), may cause eye and throat irritation, cough and respiratory problems. It also reduces a human being’s resistance to colds and pneumonia. Lead is a metallic element, which comes primarily from metal refineries, lead smelters, battery manufacturers and iron and steel industries. Constant exposure to this element can lead to anemia, high blood pressure, brain and kidney damage, cancer and neurological disorders. Particulate matter refers to the tiny particles of soot, dust or other substance such as tiny droplets of liquids. They are emitted by diesel engines, power plants, wood stoves and also found in windblown dust. They are also responsible for several air-borne diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, cancer, heavy metal poisoning, cardiovascular effects and asthma. Radon, a radioactive gas arises from rocks and soil under the house and can accumulate inside the house. Its level is ruled by the outside air and to some extent the gases releases indoors. Being exposed to this gas can increase the risk of lung cancer. (http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/causes-and-effects-of-air-pollution)
Causes Of Water Pollution Water pollution has been seriously affecting the life of humans, plants as well as animals. The eco-system of rivers, streams, lakes, seas and oceans is also getting deteriorated due to the contamination of water, through various sources. This condition also leads to the outbreak of numerous diseases, majority of them being lethal and contagious. However, before going about finding a solution to the problem, we need to look into its underlying causes. In the following lines, we have provided information on the causes and harmful effects of water pollution. Go through them and then decide on your course of action.