Homework Help: Air Pollution

Pollution is an undesirable (unwanted) change in the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the environment. It is a change which is harmful to human and other related species. Pollution is caused by some harmful material, energy, and factors called pollutant. A pollutant is an undesirable factor that damages or tarnishes the environment. Pollutant effects air, water, soil, and may dangers the health and lives of all living beings.

Air has a constant percent of oxygen and other important gasses. If the concentration of harmful gasses, dust, smoke increase to a great extent then the air is called polluted. This dirty air becomes harmful for human health. The effects of Air pollution are very drastic. Few of these effects are mentioned below.

Respiratory and heart problems:

The air we breathe must be clean for a healthy life. Polluted air is very alarming for our health as it pollutes the air we breathe in. It can cause respiratory and heart problems. In severe cases, it often causes lung and heart cancer. Asthma is one of such diseases that are caused by polluted air.

Acid Rain:

Fossil fuel burning and many industrial activities produce harmful gasses like SO2, CO2, and NO2 in the air. These gasses react with moisture in the air or in rainwater, which showers the earth with harmful rain and causes the increase in the acidity of land and water. Acid rain, with increased acidity, can harm human health and the health of other living creatures (land or water creatures). Not only the living creatures are affected by the acid rain the man-made statues, buildings, and facades are also being destroyed by the acid rain.

Depletion of Ozone Layer:

Ozone is an isotope of oxygen. It forms a layer around the earth in space. It protects earth from ultraviolet (UV) rays coming from the sun which can cause harm to every living being on earth. The chloride ions are continuously destroying this protective shield. A major source of chlorine is a group of gasses produced from industries. This group is called CFC (chart-for-carbon) which is widely used as an industrial foaming agent and in refrigerators. Normally, these are inert gasses but when accumulated at the stratosphere (altitude), they cause chlorine atoms to release which react with ozone atoms in the presence of UV radiation. These excreted chlorine atoms destroy ozone layers and change it into oxygen.

 

 UV light

2O3 ______________ 3O2

 

Due to this damage to the ozone layer, UV rays reach to earth surface and pollute the air.

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