Public Service Announcement

By Josh Patterson

Air Pollution

Air pollution is the presence of or introduction a substance into the Earth's atmosphere that has harmful or poisonous effects. Air pollution is mostly caused by human activity, which includes the emission of combusted substances such as coal and oil. Air pollution occurs and is not being stopped because most of what causes air pollution is essential in everyday life.

Air Pollution's Consequences

According to WHO, air pollution has caused 7 million premature deaths. Air pollution has caused one in eight or 12.5% of global deaths. Air pollution is a very harmful environmental issue to the the environment and humans. Air pollution causes or worsens many diseases and other health issues. Air pollution is caused by the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. Coal-powered electricity plants produce carbon monoxide from the combustion of oil. Air pollution can cause the deterioration and even destruction of the environment. Acid rain is precipitation containing harmful levels of nitric and sulfuric acids. Acid rain is created when fossil fuels emissions such as nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide mix with the air and clouds. Acid rain damages plant life, destroys topsoil, and contaminates water. Eutrophication is substantial blooms in algae that kill some plants and fish. Eutrophication occurs when air emissions such as nitrogen oxide enter aquatic ecosystems and cause algae to grow too much. The algae can cover the surface of a body of water and block the sunlight for plants below causing them to die. Air pollution can cause wildlife to have negative effects. Polluted air affects wildlife overtime when wildlife breathes it in. When consumers consume a contaminated meal, it can contaminate them too. Smog is the buildup of ground-level ozone. Smog is formed when sunlight chemically reacts with pollutants in the air. Smog can harm plants by blocking out the Sun. Smog can also cause plants to have reduced growth, premature death, and increased susceptibility to diseases and pests.

Ways to Solve Air Pollution

There are many ways to solve air pollution. Efforts are already being made to reduce air pollution. Laws and policies are being made that reduce air pollution. New technologies made such as scrubbers and baghouses that prevent pollutants from getting into the air. Preparations are also being made that reduce the negative impact of air pollution. New methods of energy that do not produce air pollution are also being used. Air pollution may one day be gone if these measures and technology become more mainstream.