Air pollution, though arguably, is among the most devastating types of pollution. With individuals and industries pumping volumes of pollutants into the air, both animal and plant life is threatened in many ways. Air pollution is also a significant contributor to recent climate shifts and natural catastrophes experienced in various parts of the world. Reducing and managing the volume of air pollutants plays a crucial role in improving the quality of life.
Common Pollutants in the Atmosphere
The first step in managing air pollution lies in identifying some common air pollutants. Knowledge of the main pollutants is essential in helping you identify key ways of managing these types of pollution. Here are some common air pollutants.
Carbon monoxide is probably the most common air pollutant. It is a highly toxic gas due to its indefinable color or smell. The presence of this gas in very high concentrations can lead to suffocation. While in the atmosphere, it is believed to cause global warming. The most common sources of this gas are combustion engines, incinerators, automotive engines, and anything that uses carbon-based fuels.
This heavy metal has been, for a long time, classified as a dangerous substance. Once common in almost all fuels, manufacturers have made serious progress in reducing the amount of lead present in these fuels. While efforts have been made to eliminate this element in fuels, it continues to exist in some, although in minimal amounts. Contamination of food and drinking water can poison human beings. Lead poisoning also affects other aspects of the natural ecosystem.
Ozone is not inherently a dangerous gas. After all, the ozone layer plays a key role in shielding harmful UV rays from the sun. The ozone gas at the surface is a product of chemical reactions between various oxides, both natural and pollutants, and the sun’s rays often catalyze these reactions. When ozone gases are found at ground level, however, they can cause all manner of problems. Ozone poses a real danger to human health as well as the health of diverse ecosystems on land.
Nitrogen dioxide is one of those oxides that are involved in the formation of ozone. Besides this, Nitrogen dioxide is known for its distinct choking and obstructive effects. Being a soluble gas, its reaction with water also leads to acidic rain, which poses a real danger to the ecosystem. Acid rain is corrosive. As a result, it affects the structural integrity of various structures, particularly metallic roofs.
What You Need to Do
Air pollution is a global concern. If you are passionate about reducing air pollution, you need to be ready to raise awareness, conserve energy where possible, embrace renewable energy, consider going green, and plant trees. The efforts you put in, though small, are needed to bring down the global levels of air pollution.