What Are the Pollutants? and How Do They Affect Our Bodies?

Topics: Oxygen, Air pollution, Carbon dioxide Pages: 2 (460 words) Published: April 21, 2002
With the great concern surrounding the destruction of the earth's atmosphere due to air pollution, the immediate and direct harm caused to the human body is often over shadowed. While many are aware that our careless use of hazardous chemicals and fossil fuels may leave the planet uninhabitable in the future, most over look the fact that they also cause real damage to our bodies at this moment. Such pollutants cause damage to our respiratory system, leading to the fluctuation of the life span of an individual depending on a number of conditions. Amongst these conditions are the individuals specific geographic location, age, and life style. In this essay I will try to explain what pollutants are and how they affect our bodies.

What are the pollutants? And how do they affect our bodies? In order to understand how air pollution affects our body, you must understand exactly what this pollution is. The pollutants that harm our respiratory system are known as particulates. Particulates are the small solid particles that you can see through a ray of sunlight. They are products of incomplete combustion in engines (example: automobile engines), road dust, and wood smoke. Billions of tons of coal and oil are consumed around the world every year.

When these fuels burn they produce smoke and other by-products into the atmosphere. Although wind and rain occasionally wash away the smoke given off by power plants and automobiles, much still remains. Particulate matter (soot, ash, and other solids), usually consist of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, various nitrogen oxides, ozone, and lead.

The process by which these pollutants harm our bodies begins by simply taking a breath. Particulates are present everywhere, in some areas they are as dense as 100,000 per millilitre of air.

There are also other pollutants that you cannot see such as Carbon Monoxide (CO). Carbon Monoxide comes from cars, trucks, gas furnaces and stoves,...
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