Air pollution is a real danger to not just the environment, but also to human health. People who breathe in bad air are developing chronic health problems and even dying prematurely due to air pollution exposure. The effects of air pollution on the environment and on people are real and need to be addressed.
Major Air Pollution Effects
Some major air pollution effects are described in short below.
- Acid Rain
There are chemical reactions that involve air pollutants and create acidic compounds that cause harm to vegetation and buildings. Sulfuric acid combines with water droplets and causes the water droplets to become acidic. This forms acid rain. Acid rain that falls over an area will kill trees and harm animals, fish and wildlife. If humans happen to be caught out in an acid rain storm, they will become harmed as well. The damage will vary depending on the amount of acid that falls.
Acid rain will destroy the leaves of plants. When acid rain is infiltrated into soil, it will change the chemistry of the soil and making it unfit for most living things. Acid rain will also alter the make up of lakes and streams as the rainwater flows into it all aquatic life will be harmed in some way.
This is the excessive of richness of nutrients found in a body of water that is mostly due to the runoff from the land. It causes a dense growth of plants and the death of animals because of a lack of oxygen. Rain will carry and then deposit nitrogen found in pollutants in soils and rivers. This will be harmful as it affects the nutrients in the soil. All living organisms within the body of water will be harmed by the upset of the natural environment.
- Ground Level Ozone
Gas ozone is a poisonous gas that is created by chemical reactions involving air pollutants. These gases have been known to severely affect people’s health, even causing death. They will also damage vegetation and certain animals.
- Particle Matter
Particle matter within the air is also a very dangerous and harmful air pollutant. The actual level of effect from particle matter will usually depend on the length of time a person is exposed. It also depends on the type of particle matter and the concentration of chemicals that are within the matter.
- Short term effects of particle matter air pollution include eye irritation, nose and throat irritation, respiratory infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia. A person could also experience allergic reactions, nausea and headaches. Asthma sufferers will be aggravated more so when exposed as will emphysema.
- Long term effects of particle matter air pollution includes chronic respiratory disease, heart disease and lung cancer. It can also cause damage to the brain, liver, kidneys and nervous system. Being exposed continually to air pollution affects the lungs of children at a faster rate and also is very damaging to the elderly.
- Governments no matter local, state or federal have begun to take action against air pollution. They have introduced a concept known as green energy. This can encompass wind energy, solar energy and other renewable energy. It minimizes the burning of fossil fuels since they are one of the leading contributors of air pollution.
- Large companies are also being pressured into being more responsible with their activities that would create large amounts of air pollution. Energy efficient cars are being designed so that they will pollute less than traditional cars.
- People have begun learning how to commute more efficiently by carpooling or using public transportation. They are also combining errands and using their cars less. This results in less air pollution.
- Energy efficient appliances are becoming the norm and people have started to burn less fossil fuels. Recycling and up-cycling is an excellent way to reduce pollutants both in the landfills and in the air.
Air pollution is a serious matter that many people are starting to understand. It is not just about the plants and animals; our own health is being compromised by our selfish use of pollutant inducing products. Severe health issues that are not reversible or result in death are being connected to air pollution. It is time to work with each other an clean our air quality.