Air Pollution

By: Eimile Hamilton

What is air pollution?

Air pollution is the presence or introduction into the air of a substance which has harmful or poisonous affects. Air pollution can have a dramatic affect on everyone, but it will most likely have a more drastic affect on people who already have respiratory diseases such as emphysema and asthma.

Prevention tips

How does air pollution affect the environment?

According to the EPA, " acid deposition can damage tree foliage directly, it more commonly stresses trees by changing the chemical and physical characteristics of the soil. In lakes, acid deposition can kill fish and other aquatic life".

What are the 6 main air pollutants?

The six main air pollutants are the ground ozone layer, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and lead. The affects of each pollutant are listed below:
  • ground ozone layer-Ground level or "bad" ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight. Ground level ozone can also have harmful effects on sensitive vegetation and ecosystems
  • particulate matter-"Particulate matter," also known as particle pollution or PM, is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. Particle pollution is made up of a number of components, including acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles.
  • carbon monoxide-Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas emitted from combustion processes. CO can cause harmful health effects by reducing oxygen delivery to the body's organs (like the heart and brain) and tissues. At extremely high levels, CO can cause death.
  • nitrogen dioxide-Nitrogen dioxide is one of a group of highly reactive gasses known as "oxides of nitrogen," or "nitrogen oxides (NOx)". NO2 forms quickly from emissions from cars, trucks and buses, power plants, and off-road equipment.
  • sulfer dioxide-Sulfur dioxide is one of a group of highly reactive gasses known as “oxides of sulfur.” The largest sources of SO2 emissions are from fossil fuel combustion at power plants (73%) and other industrial facilities (20%).
  • lead-lead (Pb) is a metal found naturally in the environment as well as in manufactured products. The major sources of lead emissions have historically been from fuels in on-road motor vehicles (such as cars and trucks) and industrial sources.

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