Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Source of pollution: Fuel combustion from vehicles and engines.
consequences : Reduces the amount of oxygen reaching the body’s organs and tissues; aggravates heart disease, resulting in chest pain and other symptoms.
Ground-level Ozone (O3)
Source of pollution: Secondary pollutant formed by chemical reaction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and NOx in the presence of sunlight.
consequences: Decreases lung function and causes respiratory symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath, and also makes asthma and other lung diseases get worse.
Source of pollution: Smelters (metal refineries) and other metal industries; combustion of leaded gasoline in piston engine aircraft; waste incinerators (waste burners), and battery manufacturing.
Consequences: Damages the developing nervous system, resulting in IQ loss and impacts on learning, memory, and behavior in children. Cardiovascular and renal effects in adults and early effects related to anaemia.
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Source of pollution: Fuel combustion (electric utilities, big industrial boilers, vehicles) and wood burning.
Consequences: Worsens lung diseases leading to respiratory symptoms, increased susceptibility to respiratory infection.
Particulate Matter (PM)
Source of pollution: This is formed through chemical reactions, fuel combustion (e.g., burning coal, wood, diesel), industrial processes, farming (plowing, field burning), and unpaved roads or during road constructions.
Consequences: Short-term exposures can worsen heart or lung diseases and cause respiratory problems. Long-term exposures can cause heart or lung disease and sometimes premature deaths.
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Source of polution: SO2 comes from fuel combustion (especially high-sulfur coal); electric utilities and industrial processes as well as natural occurances like volcanoes.
Consequences: Aggravates asthma and makes breathing difficult. It also contributes to particle formation with associated health effects.
Solutions for Air Pollution
1. Use public mode of transportation: Encourage people to use more and more public modes of transportation to reduce pollution. Also, try to make use of carpooling. If you and your colleagues come from the same locality and have same timings you can explore this option to save energy and money.
2. Conserve energy: Switch off fans and lights when you are going out. Large amount of fossil fuels are burnt to produce electricity. You can save the environment from degradation by reducing the amount of fossil fuels to be burned.
3. Understand the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: Do not throw away items that are of no use to you. In-fact reuse them for some other purpose. For e.g. you can use old jars to store cereals or pulses.
4. Emphasis on clean energy resources: Clean energy technologies like solar, wind and geothermal are on high these days. Governments of various countries have been providing grants to consumers who are interested in installing solar panels for their home. This will go a long way to curb air pollution.
5. Use energy efficient devices: CFL lights consume less electricity as against their counterparts. They live longer, consume less electricity, lower electricity bills and also help you to reduce pollution by consuming less energy.
Several attempts are being made worldwide on a personal, industrial and governmental levels to curb the intensity at which Air Pollution is rising and regain a balance as far as the proportions of the foundation gases are concerned. This is a direct attempt at slacking global warming. We are seeing a series of innovations and experiments aimed at alternate and unconventional options to reduce pollutants. Air Pollution is one of the larger mirrors of man’s follies, and a challenge we need to overcome to see a tomorrow.