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Blowin' in the Wind, Issue #065 Facts about air pollution - April 1, 2009
March 31, 2009
A few different facts about air pollution
The harmful effects of air pollution are now becoming very alarming. Air pollution is not just putting our Mother Earth in danger, but is also jeopardizing the health of us people, worldwide.
Now, how serious a problem does airborne pollution bring about? Can we still say that the air that I breathe is still safe? Air pollution has become a major cause of various health problems affecting respiratory and cardiovascular systems of humankind for example. We find this problem linked to air pollutants that also cause hazardous effects to our planet.
Air pollutants, substances found in the invisible air, includes carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and even volatile organic compounds (many of which are carcinogenic). Sources of these things include some elements of nature, like volcanic eruptions, wind erosion and forest fires. But many other air pollutants come from man's misdoings, such as those gases emitted by motor vehicles, factories, burnt plastics and fuels.
As a result, smog air pollution develops, along with other types of air quality conditions, thereby bringing perilous effects to men. Often, serious illnesses such as asthma, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases result from air pollution.
Enough about menOur animals and vegetation are greatly affected too. The water and soil that they depend on receive contamination from air pollution. Here's one example. When sulfuric acid is mixed into clouds, acid rain air pollution results. The effect that it brings is truly detrimental to our plants and animals since the water that falls to the ground turns acidic. The problem is, living creatures greatly depend on the nutrients of our land. And when acid rain pours, our flora and fauna both suffer and die in extreme cases.
Another observed effect of air pollution is the thinning of our ozone layer. Chlorofluorocarbons, another group of air pollutants, damage O3 molecules in our stratosphere. This thin ozone layer plays a very significant role in our planet by protecting us from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Without this shield, ultraviolet radiation directly goes to our skin and can result to skin cancer in sufficient doses.
Greenhouse gases found in our invisible air theoretically trap heat and make the earth's atmosphere and surface warmer. When you burn fuels, gases like carbon dioxide are enter the atmosphere. And with an imbalanced large amount of carbon dioxide present in the air, our environment tends to become warmer and warmer each decade.
Many believe that global warming is a serious matter that all of us must be deeply concerned about. Climate is changing in all parts of the world and the weather is expected to keep changing. Some countries experience less rainfall and this reduces the water available to their plants and animals. Colder continents see changes induced by the melting of polar ice. As a result, climate change influences animal habitats in undesirable ways.
How to stop thisIn our own little ways, we can help prevent our planet from being destroyed. Conventional wisdom says we can eliminate air pollution by saving energy, recycling used products and even by simply riding on bicycles when practical instead of using our cars. Through this, the we can reduce the detrimental effects of air pollution and as a result, our world may remain a healthier place to live in than it would have otherwise.
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