Air pollution refers to the contamination of atmospheric air due to the presence of some substances and gases (from anthropogenic or natural sources) which have harmful and poisonous effects.
Essay on Air Pollution
Day by day the fresh air of the environment is getting polluted because of the mixing of particulates, biological molecules, and other harmful materials. Such polluted air is causing health problems, diseases and death. Air pollution is one of the most important environmental issues which requires to be noticed and solved by the efforts of all of us. In order to increase awareness among students about this issue, Air Pollution Essay has become an important topic for the essay writing competition. So, students you are at right place, just go ahead. Such Essay on Air Pollution will help you to win essay writing competition because all are written in very simple English language using easy words.
Air Pollution Essay 1 (100 words)
Air pollution is a most serious problem of the current time all over the world especially in the large cities because of the huge level of industrialization. The release of such air pollutants in heavy concentrations such as smog, particulates, solid materials, etc are getting settled over the city, causing air pollution and health hazards to the people. Lots of dirty wastes produced by people on daily basis especially in the big cities polluting the whole atmospheric air to a great extent.
The release of gaseous pollutants from burning fuel of motor vehicles, industrial processes, burning of garbage, etc are contributing to the air pollution. Some natural pollutants like pollen, dust, soil particles, natural gases, etc are also the source of air pollution.
Air Pollution Essay 2 (150 words)
Air pollution is the mixing of any harmful substances to the atmosphere fresh air causing huge level of damages, human health disorders, reducing the quality of life, etc. Air pollution is increasing day by day because of the increasing number of industries. Such polluted air never remains at one place however spread to whole environment and affecting the lives of the people all through the world. Death rates of the human beings have been increased because of increased variety of diseases. The polluted air we breathe every moment causing lungs disorders and even lung cancer thus affecting the health of other body organs.
Air pollution is continuously damaging the whole ecological system and affecting the lives of plants and animals as well. It has reached to the critical stage and affecting the whole atmosphere by allowing more harmful radiations from the sun to the earth. Again polluted air acts as a better insulator which prevents heat to get escaped back into the space.
Air Pollution Essay 3 (200 words)
Air pollution is one of the main environmental issues nowadays. There are many reasons behind regularly increasing this air pollution. Most of the air pollution is caused by the automobiles, transport means, industrialization, growing cities, etc. The release of several harmful gases or dangerous elements from such sources is causing the whole atmospheric air pollution. Ozone layer is also getting affected too much by the air pollution which causes serious disturbances to the environment. Increasing need of the ever growing human population is main cause of pollution. Daily human being activities causing dangerous chemicals to release, making atmosphere dirtier than ever and forcing the climate change negatively.
Industrialization process releases many harmful gases, particles, paint and batteries contains lead, cigarettes releases carbon monoxide, transport means releases CO2 and other toxic substances to the atmosphere. All the pollutants are being in contact with the atmosphere, destroying the ozone layer and calling harmful rays of sun to the earth. In order to reduce the level of air pollution we should bring some huge changes to our habits on daily basis. We should not cut trees, use public transportation, avoid spray cans, and so many activities in the favor to reduce the effects of air pollution.
Air Pollution Essay 4 (250 words)
Air pollution is the mixing of foreign substances to the whole atmospheric air. Harmful and toxic gases emitted by the industries and motor vehicles causing huge damage to the living organisms whether plants, animals or human beings. Some of the natural and various human resources are causing air pollution. However, most of the air pollution sources are stem out of the human activities like burning fossil fuels, coal and oil, release of harmful gases and substances from factories and motor vehicles. Such harmful chemical compounds like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, solid particles, etc are getting mixed to the fresh air. The level of air pollution has become increased by great extent because of 690% increase in damaging pollutants because of the expanded need of motor vehicles from last century.
Other source of the air pollution is decomposition of garbage in landfills and disposal of solid wastes which are emitting methane gas (dangerous to the health). Rapid growth of population, industrialization, increased use of automobiles, aeroplanes, etc has made this issue a serious environmental problem. The air we breathe every moment is full of pollutants going to our lungs and whole body through blood causing uncountable health problems. Polluted air is causing damage to the plants, animals and human beings in many direct and indirect ways. If the environmental protection policies are not followed seriously and strictly, the increasing level of air pollution may increase up to one million tons annually in the recent decades.
Air Pollution Essay 5 (300 words)
When the fresh air gets polluted by means of dust, toxic gases, smoke, motor vehicles, mills and factories, etc called air pollution. As we all know that fresh air is the most important element of the healthy life, we need to think that what happens if whole atmospheric air gets dirty. First of all air pollution is the matter of great regret for the whole human fraternity. Some of the big reasons of the air pollution are use of poisonous fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides in the agricultural sectors by the innocent farmers in order to increase the crop production. Released chemicals and hazardous gases (ammonia) from such fertilizers are getting mixed into the fresh air and causing air pollution.
Burning of fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum including other factory combustibles are the major causes of air pollution. Variety of smoke emissions from the automobiles such as cars, buses, motorcycles, trucks, jeeps, trains, aeroplanes, etc are also causing air pollution. Increasing number of industries is causing release of toxic industrial smokes and harmful gases (like carbon monoxide, organic compounds, hydrocarbons, chemicals, etc) from the factories and mills to the environment. Some indoor activities of the people like innocent use of cleaning products, washing powders, paints etc emits various toxic chemicals to the air.
The ever increasing level of air pollution also enhances its negative and harmful effects to the health of living beings. Air pollution is causing global warming to increase because of increasing atmospheric temperature due to the increasing level of green house gases. Such green house gases again causing green house effect and forcing sea levels to increase, glaciers to melt, weather to change, climate to change, etc. Increasing air pollution is causing many lethal diseases (cancer, heart attack, asthma, bronchitis, kidney diseases, etc) and death to occur. Various important animals and plants species have been destroyed completely from this planet. Increasing level of harmful gases in the environment are causing the occurrence of acid rain and depleting the ozone layer.
Air Pollution Essay 6 (400 words)
Increasing concentration of the harmful and toxic materials in the fresh air of the atmosphere is causing air pollution. Variety of foreign particles, toxic gases and other pollutants released from various human activities are affecting the fresh air which has adverse effect to the living beings like human beings, animals and plants. The level of air pollution depends on the type and amount of pollutants released from various sources. Topographical and meteorological conditions are increasing the spread and concentration of the pollutants. Variety of raw materials used in the manufacturing process in industries is increasing the type and quantum of emissions of harmful gases. Increasing population density is demanding the need of more industrialization which ultimately causes air pollution.
Air Pollutants like harmful liquid droplets, solids particulates, and toxic gases (oxides of carbon, halogenated and non-halogenated hydrocarbons, nitrogen and sulphur gases, suspended inorganic particulate matters, inorganic and organic acids, bacteria, viruses, insecticides etc) which are generally not the constituents of fresh air are very hazardous to the plant and animal life. There are two types of air pollution sources which are natural sources and man-made sources. Some natural sources of the air pollution are like volcanic eruptions, volcanoes (ashes, carbon dioxide, smokes, dust and other gases), deflation of sands, dusts, salts spray from seas and ocean, soil particles, storms, forest fires, cosmic particles, rays, bombardment of asteroid materials, comets, pollen grains, fungal spores, viruses, bacteria, etc.
Man-made sources of the air pollution are industries, agriculture, power plants, automobiles, domestic sources, etc. Some of the air pollutants from the man-made sources are like smokes, dust, fumes, particulate matters, gases from kitchen, domestic heating, emissions from different vehicles, use of insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, heat created from power plants, smokes, fly ash, etc. Because of the increasing number of air pollutants, it has been divided into two types such as primary pollutants and secondary pollutants. Primary pollutants are those affecting the fresh air directly and emitted from smoke, ash, dust, fumes, mist, spray, inorganic gases, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, ammonia, nitric oxide and radioactive compounds. Secondary pollutants are those affecting the air indirectly by chemical interactions to the primary pollutants and other atmospheric constituents such as sulphur-trioxide, ozone, hydrocarbons, nitrogen dioxide, etc.
The get together effort of the human beings all over the world may help in controlling the level of air pollution. The establishment of industrial estates should be away from residential areas, motivate use of tall chimneys (with filters and electrostatic precipitators) instead of small, promote use of high temperature incinerators, use of non-combustive sources of energy, promote use of non-lead antiknock agents in the gasoline, promote re-plantation and so many positive efforts.
Air pollution essay given above are useful to a range of students studying in classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, etc. You can select any of them according to your need and requirement either to use in exam or essay writing competition at any event. Apart from essay on air pollution, you can get other related essays and related information such as:
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Lesson Background and Concepts for Teachers
Most of the time, we hardly notice the air around us. We cannot usually see it or taste it. Air does not usually smell (but it does carry substances that we do smell). However, you can feel air when it moves and you can see the effects of air on your surroundings. When air moves, it has great power (to push sailboats, drive windmills and move clouds), and when it is compressed (squashed into a small space), it has great strength (air in a tire supports a vehicle and helps a helicopter to rise into the air).
We must have air to survive. Because of this, engineers work to solve our air pollution problems. There are many things that complicate these solutions, so engineers who work on air pollution problems must have a firm understanding of the composition, properties and behavior of air.
Air Pollution History
About 800 years ago, King Edward I of England (1272 – 1307) imposed a death penalty on anyone found burning coal (the high sulfur type), because it created noxious fumes and an "intolerable smell." During Queen Elizabeth I's (1558 – 1603) reign, she created laws to stop people from burning coal in London, but coal was so cheap that no one paid much attention. In the 17th century, John Evelyn wrote two books about pollution (about smoke pollution in London and about plans to save woodlands).
Serious problems started in the 1800s with the coal-burning factories of the Industrial Revolution era. During this time, much home-based hand manufacturing shifted to large-scale factory production. One consequence was a great increase in pollution emitted into our skies (see Figure 3). The introduction of motor vehicles in the 1900s increased atmospheric pollution greatly.
In the 1970s, the U.S. passed legislation to curb sources of air pollution and set standards for air quality. In 1987, more than 20 nations signed an agreement to limit CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) production and work towards eliminating them altogether. In 1989, major car manufacturers and oil companies funded a $40 million research study to help find ways to reduce emissions. In 1990, Congress passed the Clean Air Act, which requires industry and individuals to take additional steps to clean the air in our cities.
What Are Air Pollutants?
Clean air contains only the gases and water vapor needed to keep the Earth's environment healthy. Pollutants are substances, or even energy, that contaminate our air and harm living things (and some non-living ones, too). A high concentration of pollutants in the air is called air pollution.
There are literally hundreds of pollutants that float around in the air that we breathe. Some come from natural sources, but most come from human activity. Air pollutants consist of numerous particulates, fibers, mists, molds, bacteria and gases. They are found outdoors and indoors. Climatic conditions and emission sources dictate the magnitude and variety of air pollutants found outdoors. Most major air pollutants are invisible, but large amounts of them can be seen as smog when they are concentrated in areas such as cities. (See Air Pollution Unit, Lessons 2 and 3, for details about visible and invisible air pollutants.)
Indoor air pollution is becoming a large concern for environmental engineers because the majority of the public's time is spent indoors. Indoor air pollutants include: pesticides, dust, fibers, furnishings, radon, fungi, chemicals, cleaning supplies and animal dander. (Refer to Air Pollution Unit, Lesson 9, for more information.)
Some people also consider sound pollution a type of air pollution because sound waves travel through the air. Outdoor sources include loud jet engines, construction equipment, huge trucks and other forms of transportation, etc. Indoor sources include music, TVs, mixers, dishwashers, washing machines, etc. Bright outdoor lights are also considered a source of air pollution, especially to astronomers.
Air Pollution Sources
Outdoor Sources — The burning of fossil fuels is one of the main causes of air pollution. Smoke and fumes containing carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide from power stations and factories are the worst offenders. Car exhaust is another primary source of air pollution. It contains both invisible gases (carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides) and particles. Many consumer products (hair spray, paint, cleaners) release high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere. Other substantial sources of outdoor air pollution include gas stations, industry, agriculture and forestry.
Volcanic eruptions, a natural outdoor source of air pollution, often spew gases and ash into the atmosphere. Forest fires also release dust and smoke into the air.
Indoor Sources — Indoor air pollutants can be created within a building or drawn inside from outdoor sources. Indoor sources include: foundations, equipment (malfunctioning HVAC systems, emissions from office equipment/labs), furnishings (new carpet that releases formaldehyde and burnt Teflon pans), dust-producing or water-damaged materials, unsanitary trash emissions, insects and pests, food preparation areas, cleaning materials, pets and people (smoking). Some of the most common outdoor air pollutants that are brought inside are: smog, bacteria and mold spores, vehicle exhaust, exhaust fumes, pollen and dust, algae (from standing water) and smoke.
How Do Air Pollutants Affect Us?
The cumulative effect of air pollution destroys our environment and poses health threats to humans and other living organisms. Air pollution can make people sick, make things dirty, damage buildings and our ecosystem, change the weather, trap heat and make the air warmer than it should be, chew holes in the atmosphere and mix with clouds to form poisonous acid rain.
Air pollutants may cause a variety of adverse human health effects ranging from minor (rashes, eye/nose irritation, headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing, sneezing and dizziness) to major effects (cancer, breathing complications/asthma, kidney failure, liver damage and birth defects). The degree of the health effects depends on the magnitude and frequency of exposure to the pollutants.
Environmental effects are also numerous. For example, sulfur dioxide emissions combine with water particles and fall to the Earth in the form of acid rain or snow. This destroys the food and nutrients for fish and other aquatic life in oceans, lakes and streams. It damages trees, other plants and even some buildings. CFCs transform and destroy the ozone layer, which increases the Earth's exposure to ultraviolet radiation and can cause crop failures, skin cancer and other environmental/health disasters.
The water cycle usually cleans the air of pollutants naturally. Currently, however, there are two problems with this: the water cycle is unable to clean contaminants as quickly as they are added, and high concentrations of pollutants contribute to acid rain (see Figure 4).
What Are Air Pollutant Solutions?
How do we get people to keep the air clean? The government passes strict legislation to control the amount of by-products released by industrial companies and modes of transportation. These air quality standards are designed to protect the health and welfare of people, plants and animals, and protect structures, monuments, water resources, etc. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set national standards for six specific air pollutants that tend to reach unsafe levels. These six pollutants are: carbon monoxide (from vehicles), nitrogen oxides (from power plants), lead (from metal refineries), sulfur dioxide (from coal-burning power plants), particulate matter and tropospheric (low-level) ozone (not to be confused with upper-level ozone — also called stratospheric ozone — which helps filter out harmful rays from the sun).
On a more personal level, adjustments can be made to help improve the air. For example, one can reduce fuel use by joining a car pool, taking the bus/train, riding a bike or walking. In general, reducing energy use (especially in our homes) can be an important contribution to improving air quality. Also, some people choose to buy and use more environmentally-friendly products such as non-aerosol hair spray and non-toxic cleansers.
Who Cares? Why Do We Need Pollution Solutions?
Oxygen is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that forms about 21% of the Earth's atmosphere (by volume). All living things need the oxygen in the air to survive. Without the oxygen gas available in non-polluted air, the Earth would not have any living organisms.
Humans cannot live without oxygen for more than a few minutes. Because air is essential to our survival, our bodies are constantly interacting with it. Air enters our bodies through our mouths and noses. Inhalation is the process of breathing air through the mouth and nose into our lungs. Once air enters the lungs, cells take the oxygen from the air and distribute it throughout the body. Once the cells have finished with the oxygen, our body exhales and pushes out the remaining air (and the carbon dioxide by-product) from our lungs.
Air supports other biological activities as well. Air allows us to hear (objects move the air around them and these air waves cause our eardrum to vibrate). Air allows us to see (light travels through air very quickly). Air allows us to smell (carries tiny particles that make up odors).
Air is also necessary in many non-biological activities. Air helps distribute heat and water around the world. We can tell that air is at work when objects (leaves, branches, flags, clouds) are moving, and when thunder is crashing. There are many other objects that rely on air to move, too. An airplane uses air to help it take off from the runway, a bird needs it to fly, a sailboat needs it to move in the water, and a hot air balloon uses it to rise off the ground. Other uses for air include heating and cooling, recreation, energy and pollination.
What will the world be like if we do not develop some solutions to our air pollution problems? Even today, if people travel to places where there is not as much oxygen/air (tops of mountains, underwater) or no air at all (space) they must take air with them. This could become an everyday experience if we continue to neglect and mistreat this essential natural resource.
Read more about air pollution in the attached Air Pollution Reading and Health Effects Reading.
Air Pollution Facts
- Mexico City is one of the world's most polluted cities. When pollution is really bad, birds have been known to drop dead out of the sky.
- Every day, each of the world's 11 billion cattle gives off one pound of methane (produced in their gut as they digest food). How much methane is produced every year? (Answer: 274 billion pounds or 137 million tons.) Methane is also produced in large quantities by rotting vegetation in landfills. Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas; it contributes readily to the increasing temperature of our earth's atmosphere.
- The average person takes about 20,000 breaths a day.
- Even though plants make oxygen, which is essential to live, people have destroyed almost two-thirds of the original forests on Earth.
air: The mixture of invisible, odorless, tasteless gases (mainly nitrogen and oxygen) that surrounds the Earth.
air pollution : The gases and particles that negatively affect the quality of the air around us, are harmful to the environment and/or enter the atmosphere at highly concentrated levels (for example, oxygen and pollen are often present in the air, but are not considered pollution). Generally consists of: visible gases, invisible gases and particulate matter (such as soot).
allergy: A physical reaction (sneezing, coughing, etc.) to something in the air (such as pollen, dust, dander, pollution, etc.).
asthma: A condition, often caused by allergies, that causes a tightness in the chest (breathing tubes become swollen), difficulty breathing (cannot get enough air) and wheezing.
atmosphere: The layer of air that surrounds the Earth like a blanket. It keeps the Earth warm and protects it from harmful radiation.
carbon dioxide: A colorless, highly poisonous odorless gas made of one carbon and two oxygen atoms formed during breathing, combustion and biomass decaying, which adds to the greenhouse effect by retaining infrared radiation within the atmosphere. Abbreviated as CO2.
carbon monoxide: A colorless, odorless gas made of one carbon atom and one oxygen atom. Very harmful at elevated levels. Abbreviated as CO.
chlorofluorocarbon: Any of various compounds consisting of carbon, hydrogen, chlorine and fluorine, once used widely as aerosol propellants and refrigerants. Chlorofluorocarbons are believed to cause depletion of the atmospheric ozone layer. Abbreviated as CFC.
dioxin: A highly toxic family of chemicals used to make poisonous substances such as weed killers and bleaching products (for example, to make paper white). Also released from burning plastics. Poisonous at 1 part per billion (ppb).
emission: Gases or particles that are given off from man-made sources (for example, when fossil fuels are burned) and natural sources (for example, from plant photosynthesis).
fossil fuel: A material that forms naturally, underground from the remains of ancient organisms (plants and animals) from millions of years ago. For example, petroleum, coal, natural gas.
greenhouse effect: The phenomenon whereby the Earth's atmosphere traps solar radiation, caused by the presence in the atmosphere of gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor and methane that allow incoming sunlight to pass through but absorb heat radiated back from the Earth's surface.
hydrocarbon: An organic compound containing atoms of hydrogen and carbon.
nitrogen oxide: A gas that form when nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere are burned with fossil fuels at high temperatures. Abbreviated as NOx.
oxygen: A colorless, tasteless, odorless gaseous element that constitutes 21% of the atmosphere. Abbreviated as O.
ozone: Ground-level ozone is the principal component of smog, created from chemical reactions of pollutants; VOCs, and NOX. A strong oxidant. Abbreviated as O3.
particulate matter: Very small material suspended in the air in the form of minute solid particles or liquid droplets, especially when considered as an atmospheric pollutant. Includes anything that floats in the air, such as materials that have been burned (ash, smoke, soot), dust, pollen, soil, chemicals, etc. Abbreviated as PM.
pollen: The powdery grains of flowering plants (they fertilize seeds). Usually appears as a fine yellow dust.
pollutant: A harmful chemical or waste material discharged into the water or atmosphere. Some are visible and some are invisible.
reformulated gasoline: A cleaner-burning form of gasoline that reduces the amount of pollutants emitted into the air through tailpipes and via evaporation from the gas tank. Oxygenates are a principal component. Abbreviated as RFG.
stratosphere: The layer of air that extends from about 10 to 30 miles above the Earth's surface.
volatile organic compound: An organic chemical containing carbon that escapes into the air easily. Abbreviated as VOC. Many VOCs are also hazardous air pollutants that can cause serious illnesses. Carbon is the basic chemical element found in living beings; carbon-containing chemicals are called organic. Example VOCs include some hairspray, cleaners, air fresheners and paints.