We, humans, are always struggling to make our lives more and more luxurious. Human has created factories to make products easily and also make cars for traveling faster. These things have made luxurious lives but the cost we paid by losing air quality is massive.
Air is the natural resource which is available in vast quantity. So, we are unable to estimate its worthiness to living beings. But the consequences of this misunderstanding are noticeable in some giant cities. That is the reason Air Pollution is the major topic on the list of Environment Issues. Schools and colleges often arrange the speech or essay competition on these issues for producing awareness about this topic among students and youth. National Science Day, birth anniversaries of scientists are some of the common occasions for these competitions. Here we are providing you core information on this topic with the basic structure. So, you can easily make vital changes according to your requirement. Global Warming is also one of the leading topics, you can check it, it will help for Air Pollution topic also.
So, let’s get started.
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Essay on Air Pollution, Causes, Effects, Health Issues, Problems, Solutions, Speech & Article
Pollution is a situation in which an element of nature loses its natural form and healthy state due to its contamination by certain particle or substances. One of the most common elements of nature being polluted or contaminated is the Air. The air that we breathe, the air that is enveloping the entire human and plant race every second. If one is to ask what air pollution is, then a simple answer would be the change in the physical and chemical composition of air when toxic elements like dust, chemicals, and gases enter its molecular structure. Air pollution is not only detrimental to the humans but also to the flora and fauna, threatening their very existence.
The air around us is constantly under a microscope now to assess its quality, and a simple measuring unit called PM 2.5, defines pollution to most accurate levels. PM2.5 is a microscopic particle, the presence of which in the atmosphere leads to air pollution. Measuring the concentration of PM 2.5 in the air gives one an insight into the level of pollution at any given time.
Causes of Air pollution or the main pollutants of air
A pollutant is a chemical compound in the form of a gas or a solid, present in the air, which lowers the quality of air. Primary pollutants are the ones that impact the atmosphere directly, like the gases being released by industries. Secondary pollutants like the smog get created with a combination of one or two pollutants. Some of the pollutants that cause air pollution are:
Causes of Air Pollution at the Macro Level
- Power plants running on fossil fuel– Burning of fossil fuels are the energy source on which several power plants run and it is also used for thermal power generation. Some of the common fossil fuels used are coal and petroleum. The burning of these fuels adds carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide which are collectively called the greenhouse gases GHGs, to the environment.
- A substantial increase in the number of vehicles on roads- Every single vehicle on road, adds emissions like nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide to the air. Most of the vehicles today use hydrocarbon-based fuels.
- Agriculture– Ammonia, which is a by-product of agriculture and its ancillary activities, is a major air pollutant. The heavy usage of insecticides, pesticides, and fertilizers further adds to the problem. These chemicals get carried away by breeze thus spreading the pollution far and wide.
- Manufacturing industries– Industries like the petroleum refineries release hydrocarbons into the air which adds negatively to the air quality.
- Mining- The process of mining involves extraction of metals and causes a lot of fine metal particles or dust to merge with the air.
- Deforestation– The very basic principle of life is the plants releasing oxygen in lieu of the carbon dioxide being released by other living beings. Deforestation or clearing of the forest areas for urbanization, commercialization, or Industrialisation has lessened one major source for adding oxygen to the air and removing carbon dioxide from it.
- Forest fires and volcanic eruptions– On a macro level, this event adds a lot of poisonous gases to the atmosphere.
- Crop waste burning and garbage burning– There have been several episodes in India of farmers burning their crop waste and adding a lot of harmful gases to the environment of the neighboring areas. Similar is the case with the illegal burning of garbage.
Causes of Air Pollution At the Micro level
- Non-industrial and domestic pollutants– Cleaning or dusting the house every day or a simple act of even painting your house can add a lot of pollutants to the air. Another cause under this category is the dust being released by the large-scale construction being carried on in almost all major cities.
- Plastic– The plastic bags, bottles, toys, and plastic in a similar form adds to air pollution because of its non-bio degradable nature.
- Smoking– A smoker adds almost 40 carcinogens to the environment with one smoke. Though it is a pollutant at the micro level, yet the harmful effects of it easily match those of macro pollutants.
Effects of Air Pollution on Human life
The effects of air pollution on human race are dependent on the level of exposure and the kind of pollutant exposed to. The effects may be short term as well long term depending on the level and kind of pollutant. Some of the major environmental, physical and financial effects are listed below.
- Pandora’s Box of diseases– Air pollution is one of the biggest factors contributing towards the decreasing health demographics of the world. Starting from respiratory problems like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) to lung cancer, bronchitis, asthma, allergies, heart problems and skin diseases, pollution creates havoc for the human population. Cold, cough and pneumonia are diseases that are very common in heavily polluted areas. Pollution is gradually destroying the immune system of people making them prone to several health problems frequently.
- Global Warming– Air pollution has done its part in adding to the global warming through the rise in temperatures, leading to the melting of polar ice caps and displacements of entire habitats. This results in heat waves, sporadic rainfall, floods, and droughts.
- Acid Rain– Burning of fossil fuels by industries releases the GHGs in the atmosphere which when mixed with the rainwater, turn acidic resulting in an acid rain. It is harmful not only for humans, wildlife, and aquatic life but also to the flora and fauna, as the acid depletes the soil quality making it poisonous for any plants and crops.
- Ozone layer thinning – Ozone layer is the shield protecting the earth from the harmful effects of Ultraviolet rays. Depletion of this layer has been caused by chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere. A thinning of this layer will increase the exposure of earth to the UV rays causing a rise in skin and eye problems, along with the destruction of crops.
- Eutrophication– When high levels of nitrogen in a pollutant present in the atmosphere accumulates on the sea surface it converts into green color algae. This alga is harmful to the marine life.
- The danger to Wildlife – Increasing pollution levels cause the animals to change their habitats and migrate. Just like humans they also face the risk of lung diseases and the risk of their water sources being polluted.
- Effect on agricultural yield– Crop yields and quality across the world is going down due to the presence of pollutants like chlorine, ammonia, ethylene, and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere affecting the economy financially. Also, the respiratory system of plants gets hampered by the poisonous gases.
- The Smog Monster– It is one of the relatively new entrants in the list of the harmful effects of air pollution. Smog is the combined form of fog and atmospheric pollutants. Smog affects the humans, wild and plant life equally. Causing respiratory issues in humans and plants, smog causes disturbances in the migration cycle of birds and animals due to low visibility. Delhi and NCR are few of the cities that are enveloped in a shroud of smog for most parts of the year now.
Air Pollution levels in India as per statistics
According to the 2017 State of Global Air report, published by the Health Effects Institute, air pollution-related deaths in India rose by almost 150% between 1990 and 2015. A report on air pollution by Greenpeace India states that ‘The top 20 most polluted cities have PM 10 levels between 268 g/m3 and 168 g/m3 for the year 2015. While Delhi tops the list with 268 g/m3, it is followed closely by Ghaziabad, Allahabad, and Bareli in Uttar Pradesh; Faridabad in Haryana; Jharia in Jharkhand; Alwar in Rajasthan; Ranchi, Kusunda and Bastacola in Jharkhand; Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh; and Patna in Bihar with PM10 levels ranging from 258 g/m3to 200 g/m3’.
An online portal called the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) provides air quality data from government-operated air quality monitoring stations across the country. According to a report by CPCB in 2017, three National Capital Region cities namely, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, and Delhi were among India’s five most polluted cities. At the top of the list was Ghaziabad, with an average air quality index (AQI) of 258, followed by Gurugram with an AQI of 247, and Delhi with AQI of 228 at number four. Other NCR and surrounding cities which are heavily polluted like Noida, Faridabad and Alwar were at rank 8, 11 and 12 respectively. Thiruvananthapuram was the city rated as the cleanest by CPCB, with an AQI of 64.
This list was prepared based on the annual average Air Quality Index values from 51 cities across India in 2017. As per the CPCB report and the list, an AQI of 0-50 is deemed as ‘good’, between 51-100 as ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 being ‘moderate, and 201-300 considered a ‘poor’ AQI. AQI is calculated on the basis of the number of pollutants such as particulate matter and gases, including SO2, NO2, and ammonia, in the atmosphere.
Air pollution and its effect on children
Children are at the high-risk end of pollution-related diseases, as exposures to even small amounts of certain chemicals during early infancy can cause life-long disability and death. A study by the Indian Journal of Paediatrics shows that children who grow up in polluted environments like Delhi have a lung size that is 10 percent smaller compared to that of children in the U.S.
The government’s action plan to curb air pollution
The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act enacted in 1981 and amended in 1987, works towards the prevention, control, and abatement of air pollution. Apart from that, the government of India is taking some big leaps and some small in their measures to curb pollution. Delhi had an AQI above 400 in November 2017 and that was when the city was enveloped in toxic smog. The government had to take drastic measures such as closing the schools, hiking parking charges and declaring a public health emergency to combat the problem. It was the poor AQI rating of Delhi that made the government implement the system of odd and even cars wherein vehicles having a number plate ending with an odd number could run on the road one day and the ones with an even number the following day. Other measures included a five-day ban on construction and demolition and a 10-day ban on operations for a coal-power station just south of Delhi.
Several cities in India are currently working towards a ban on plastic bags which not only pollute the environment but pose a threat to the marine life and animals like cows. The government should take other initiatives like developing better public transportation facilities which will encourage more people to use them. Governments must also come up with policies in helping disposal of crop wastes which are otherwise burnt by the farmers. Policies like converting paddy straw into livestock feed, compost, the raw material for power generation, biofuel production will eventually take India towards its goal of green energy. Also, an effective measure would be to implement the carbon tax which is a fee imposed on the burning of carbon-based fuels (coal, oil, gas).
Solutions to curb the air pollution
- Increased usage of Public Transports– people should be sensitized towards using the public transports more often along with carpooling.
- Conservation of energy– Initiatives like the Earth hour being introduced are a step towards conservation of energy. Earth Hour requires the lights to be switched off during a designated hour during the day. Electricity is generated by burning the fossil fuels and conservation of this electricity reduces these fossil fuel emissions.
- Recycling – Introduction to the concept of recycling right from the grass root level will make a large difference towards environment preservation.
- Use of renewable and solar energy– Renewable energy sources like sunlight, wind, water, air, etc., when used to produce energy, do so without causing air pollution. Using solar devices and gadgets like the solar panels, solar cooker, solar lamps, lights, solar cars, batteries, inverters etc help in preventing air pollution at a significant level.
- Reforestation– It will create a green line which will be a factor in reducing the pollution levels with an increase in clean air.
- Creating awareness– Measures at the grass root level can be effective when there is an awareness among the population regarding the harmful effects of pollution. Media campaigns are an effective way of doing so through short films and documentaries on the perils of it. Charities and NGOs can also help in educating the poverty-driven population about the ill effects of using inefficient sources of energy like burning agricultural waste, firewood, and waste plastics. People should be persuaded to move away from using fossil fuels and incorporate greener forms of energy. Also, an efficient garbage disposal system should be put in place.
The government will need to work hand in hand with the population to fast-track the shift towards cleaner and greener sources of energy. With understanding the gravity of the problems, comes the initiative from people to take measures for reducing and curbing the pollution levels in our atmosphere to achieve the goal of sustainable development and a good quality of life.
Essay 2 on Air Pollution
Air pollution is the presence of the particles and biomolecules in the earth’s atmosphere, which are harmful to living beings. These pollutants in the air cause respiratory problems for the animals and have an adverse effect on the crops. Emissions from factories, vehicles, aeroplanes, household fire are some of the main origins of air pollution in India. Carbon dioxide (CO2), Sulphur oxides (SOx), Nitrogen oxides (NOx), Carbon monoxide (CO) and dust particles in air produce Pollution are responsible for the diseases like respiratory infections, heart disease, COPD(Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), stroke and lung cancer. Greenhouse gases also mostly contribute to the air pollution.
Causes of Air Pollution
Many factors are responsible for the emission of the gases, which cause pollution. Some of the particles and gases emitted from sources created by humans. While some sources came into existence naturally.
After the industrial revolution, the number of factories and power plants has rapidly increased, which emits tonnes of Pollutants in Air. Other mobile sources such as vehicles, ships, aeroplanes also have the major share in Air Pollution. Household fire and farm fire are also large sources of carbon dioxide in Air.
Dust decreases the visibility to a large extent. Some rare and natural occurrences such as the volcano, dust storm, wildfire are the major natural cause of Air Pollution.
Effects of Air Pollution
As the amount of Air Pollution is accelerating, the set of problems is also increasing so far.
- There is an increase in the number of health conflicts like respiratory infection, stroke, lung cancer and much more.
- Risk towards the health of children below age 5 years.
- Air pollution is the main reason for the Global Warming and thus increase the overall temperature of the earth.
- Acid rain, one of the resultant of Air Pollution, causes the destruction of forest and water resources like lakes, ponds and rivers.
- Animals in forests have to change their habitual and places due to change in the air.
Solutions to Prevent Air Pollution
Making the path for more safe Environment is the responsibility of human. Below are some of the ways to make safe Environment.
- Making the use of public transport than the public mode of transport.
- Use renewable energy sources such as solar energy, biogas etc.
- Conserving energy we can limit a lot of air pollution like switching off light or fan while not in use.
- Using more energy efficient products like CFL bulbs.
- Making reuse of things like using used things to some other purposes.
We, humans, are the creators of Air Pollution. So, we must take steps toward saving our mother earth. Using energy efficient and renewable sources of energy, we can achieve our destination.
Tips for Speech on Air Pollution
- Check the stats are up to date, before delivering the speech.
- Practice your speech in front of your friends and family member, it will help you to build your confidence.
Tips for Essay and paragraph on Air Pollution
- Essays do not have headlines so don’t add them in the essay.
- You can add the headlines while writing paragraphs.
Reference: Wiki page Air Pollution