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Index

1. Introduction..............................................................................................................................1

2. Air Pollution - causes, effects and control measures................................................................1

2.1. Definition..........................................................................................................................1

2.2. Causes of Air pollution.....................................................................................................1

2.3. Sources of Air pollution....................................................................................................2

2.3.1. Classification of Air Pollutants..................................................................................4

2.4. Control measures...............................................................................................................4

2.4.1. Source control............................................................................................................5

2.4.2. Control measures in industrial centers.......................................................................5

2.5. Equipment used to control air pollution............................................................................5

3. Conclusion................................................................................................................................6

4. Bibliography.............................................................................................................................6
1. Introduction
At this present assignment with the theme air pollution, it will be presented the definition, the
effects that this type of pollution cause on the environment and on the human health, also I will
present the controlling measures. The assignment is organized it titles and subtitles.

2. Air Pollution - causes, effects and control measures


2.1. Definition
Air pollution may be defined as the presence of one or more contaminants like dust, mist, smoke
and color in the atmosphere that are injurious human beings, plants and animals.

2.2. Causes of Air pollution


a) Burning of Fossil Fuels:
Sulfur dioxide emitted from the combustion of fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and other factory
combustibles is one the major cause of air pollution. Pollution emitting from vehicles including
trucks, jeeps, cars, trains, airplanes cause immense amount of pollution. We rely on them to
fulfill our daily basic needs of transportation. But, there overuse is killing our environment as
dangerous gases are polluting the environment. Carbon Monoxide caused by improper or
incomplete combustion and generally emitted from vehicles is another major pollutant along
with Nitrogen Oxides, that is produced from both natural and man-made processes.

b) Agricultural activities:
Ammonia is a very common by product from agriculture related activities and is one of the most
hazardous gases in the atmosphere. Use of insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers in agricultural
activities has grown quite a lot. They emit harmful chemicals into the air and can also cause
water pollution.

c) Exhaust from factories and industries:


Manufacturing industries release large amount of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, organic
compounds, and chemicals into the air thereby depleting the quality of air. Manufacturing
industries can be found at every corner of the earth and there is no area that has not been affected

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by it. Petroleum refineries also release hydrocarbons and various other chemicals that pollute the
air and also cause land pollution.

d) Mining operations:
Mining is a process wherein minerals below the earth are extracted using large equipments.
During the process dust and chemicals are released in the air causing massive air pollution. This
is one of the reason which is responsible for the deteriorating health conditions of workers and
nearby residents.

e) Indoor air pollution:


Household cleaning products, painting supplies emit toxic chemicals in the air and cause air
pollution. Have you ever noticed that once you paint walls of your house, it creates some sort of
smell which makes it literally impossible for you to breathe. Suspended particulate matter
popular by its acronym SPM, is another cause of pollution. Referring to the particles afloat in the
air, SPM is usually caused by dust, combustion etc.

2.3. Sources of Air pollution


The sources of air pollution are of two types:
a) Natural sources and Artificial sources
Natural sources of pollution are those that are caused due to natural phenomena. Ex:
Volcanic eruptions, Forest fires, Biological decay, Pollen grains, Marshes, Radioactive
materials.
Artificial sources are those which are created by man. Ex: Thermal power plants,
Vehicular emissions, Fossil fuel burning, agricultural activities etc.

Sources and common effects of common air pollutants


a) Carbon monoxide:
It is a colorless, odorless gas that is poisonous animals. It is formed by incomplete combustion of
carbon containing fuels.
Source of carbon monoxide is cigarette smoking and incomplete combustion of fossil fuels
(more than 77% comes from motor vehicle exhaust)

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Health effects: include reduced ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen to body cells
and tissues. This leads to headache and anemia. At high levels, it causes coma,
irreversible brain damage and death.

b) Nitrogen Dioxide:
It is a reddish-brown irritating gas that causes photochemical smog. In the atmosphere, it gets
converted into nitric acid (HNO3). It is caused by burning fossil fuels in industries and power
plants.
Health effects include lung irritation and damage. Environmental effects involve acid
deposition leading to damage of trees, lakes, soil and ancient monuments. NO2 can
damage fabrics.

c) Sulphur Dioxide:
It is a colorless and irritating gas that is formed by combustion of Sulphur containing fossil
fuels such as coal and oil. In the atmosphere, it is converted into Sulphur acid which is a
major component of acid deposition.
Health effects involve breathing problems for healthy people.
Environmental effects involve reduced visibility and acid deposition on trees, lakes,
soils and monuments leading to their deterioration and adverse effect on aquatic life.

d) Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM):


Includes a variety of particles and droplets (aerosols) that can be suspended in atmosphere for
short to long periods.
Human sources for SPM include burning coal in power and industrial units, burning diesel
and other fuels in vehicles, agriculture, unpaved roads, construction, etc.
Health effects include nose and throat irritation, ling damage, bronchitis, asthma,
reproductive problems and cancer.
Environmental Effects include reduced visibility and acid deposition. Acid deposition
may lead to damaged trees, soils and aquatic life in lakes.
Ozone is a highly reactive gas with an unpleasant odor occurring in the stratosphere
where it protects mankind for the harmful ultra-violet rays from the Sun. However, on
earth, it is a pollutant.

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It occurs on earth due to reaction between Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and
Nitrogen Oxides. It moderates the climate
e) Photochemical smog is a brownish smoke that frequently forms on clear, sunny days
over large cities with significant amounts of automobile traffic. It is mainly due to
chemical reactions among nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons in the presence of sunlight.
Health effects include breathing problems, cough, eye, nose and throat irritation, heart
diseases, reduced resistance to colds and pneumonia.
Environmental effects involve damage to plants and trees. Additionally, Smog reduces visibility.

2.3.1. Classification of Air Pollutants


Depending on the form of pollutants present in the environment, they are classified as:
Primary pollutants and
Secondary pollutants
a) Primary pollutants are those that are directly emitted in the atmosphere in the harmful
form. Ex: CO, NO, CO2, SO2 etc.
b) Secondary pollutants are those that are formed by reacting with other components or
some basic component of the atmosphere to form new pollutants.
Ex: Oxides of Nitrogen (NO2 or NO3) react with moisture in the atmosphere to give
Nitric acid
c) Indoor air pollutants are primary air pollutants. The most important indoor air
pollutant is Radon gas.

2.4. Control measures


The atmosphere has several built-in self-cleaning processes such as dispersion, gravitational
settling, flocculation, absorption, rain-washout, etc. to cleanse the atmosphere. However, control
of contaminants at their source level is a desirable and effective method through preventive or
control technologies.

2.4.1. Source control


Some measures that can be adopted in this direction are:
a) Using unleaded petrol
b) Using fuels with low Sulphur and ash content

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c) Encouraging people to use public transport, walk or use a cycle as opposed to private
vehicles
d) Ensure that houses, schools, restaurants and playgrounds are not located on busy streets
e) Plant trees along busy streets as they remove particulates, carbon dioxide and absorb
noise
f) Industries and waste disposal sites should be situated outside the city preferably on the
downwind of the city.
g) Catalytic converters should be used to help control emissions of carbon monoxide and
hydrocarbons

2.4.2. Control measures in industrial centers


a) Emission rates should be restricted to permissible levels by each and every industry
b) Incorporation of air pollution control equipment in design of plant layout must be made
mandatory
c) Continuous monitoring of the atmosphere for pollutants should be carried out to know the
emission levels.

2.5. Equipment used to control air pollution


Air pollution can be reduced by adopting the following approaches.
a) Ensuring sufficient supply of oxygen to the combustion chamber and adequate
temperature so that the combustion is complete thereby eliminating much of the smoke
consisting of partly burnt ashes and dust.
b) To use mechanical devices such as scrubbers, cyclones, bag houses and electro-static
precipitators in manufacturing processes. The equipment used to remove particulates
from the exhaust gases of electric power and industrial plants are shown below. All
methods retain hazardous materials that must be disposed safely. Wet scrubber can
additionally reduce Sulphur dioxide emissions.
c) The air pollutants collected must be carefully disposed. The factory fumes are dealt with
chemical treatment.

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3. Conclusion
After finishing this assignment, I concluded that air pollution is a serious problem that our
modern world is facing due to the modernization that we have been through from all these
centuries. Before the industrialization the impact of produced gases was insignificant to our
atmosphere, so this issue came through when with the development of the industries, and the
effects were noticed centuries late. So recently we are concerned of creating new technologies
that can help us reduce as much as we can the air pollution, to maintain the health of our
societies and the global temperature that is facing changes due to the high levels of pollution
from past centuries.

4. Bibliography
CAHA 2013), Inquiry into the impacts on health of air quality in Australia [online]
http://caha.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/CAHA-Submission-Air-Quality-March-
2013_final.pdf accessed on 25th October 2016

CEF (2016), Causes effects solutions of air pollution, [online] http://www.conserve-energy-


future.com/causes-effects-solutions-of-air-pollution.php accessed on 25th October 2016

ELAW (2016), Mining guidebook, [online] https://www.elaw.org/files/mining-eia-


guidebook/Chapter1.pdf accessed on 28th October 2016

MDPI (2012), Air Pollution Monitoring and Mining Based on Sensor Grid in
London [online] http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/8/6/3601/pdf accessed on 28th October 2016