Health consequences of air pollution on populations


Air pollution consists of chemicals or particles in the air that can harm the health of humans, animals, & plants. It also damages buildings.

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Air pollution consists of chemicals or particles in the air that can harm the health of humans, animals, & plants. It also damages buildings. Pollutants in the air take many forms. They can be gases, solid particles, or liquid droplets.Sources of Air PollutionPollution enters the Earth's atmosphere in many different ways. Most air pollution is created by people, taking the khung of emissions from factories, cars, planes, or aerosol cans. Second-hand cigarette smoke is also considered air pollution. These man-made sources of pollution are called anthropogenic sources.Some types of air pollution, such as smoke from wildfires or ash from volcanoes, occur naturally. These are called natural sources.Air pollution is most common in large cities where emissions from many different sources are concentrated. Sometimes, mountains or tall buildings prevent air pollution from spreading out. This air pollution often appears as a cloud making the air murky. It is called smog. The word "smog" comes from combining the words "smoke" and "fog."Large cities in poor and developing nations tend to lớn have more air pollution than cities in developed nations. According khổng lồ the World Health Organization (WHO), some of the worlds most polluted cities are Karachi, Pakistan; New Delhi, India; Beijing, China; Lima, Peru; và Cairo, Egypt. However, many developed nations also have air pollution problems. Los Angeles, California, is nicknamed Smog City.Indoor Air PollutionAir pollution is usually thought of as smoke from large factories or exhaust from vehicles. But there are many types of indoor air pollution as well.Heating a house by burning substances such as kerosene, wood, và coal can contaminate the air inside the house. Ash and smoke make breathing difficult, & they can stick to lớn walls, food, & clothing.Naturally-occurring radon gas, a cancer-causing material, can also build up in homes. Radon is released through the surface of the Earth. Inexpensive systems installed by professionals can reduce radon levels.Some construction materials, including insulation, are also dangerous khổng lồ people's health. In addition, ventilation, or air movement, in homes & rooms can lead to the spread of toxic mold. A single colony of mold may exist in a damp, cool place in a house, such as between walls. The mold's spores enter the air & spread throughout the house. People can become sick from breathing in the spores.Effects On HumansPeople experience a wide range of health effects from being exposed lớn air pollution. Effects can be broken down into short-term effects & long-term effects.Short-term effects, which are temporary, include illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis. They also include discomfort such as irritation khổng lồ the nose, throat, eyes, or skin. Air pollution can also cause headaches, dizziness, và nausea. Bad smells made by factories, garbage, or sewer systems are considered air pollution, too. These odors are less serious but still unpleasant.Long-term effects of air pollution can last for years or for an entire lifetime. They can even lead khổng lồ a person's death. Long-term health effects from air pollution include heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases such as emphysema. Air pollution can also cause long-term damage to people's nerves, brain, kidneys, liver, & other organs. Some scientists suspect air pollutants cause birth defects. Nearly 2.5 million people die worldwide each year from the effects of outdoor or indoor air pollution.People react differently khổng lồ different types of air pollution. Young children & older adults, whose immune systems tend khổng lồ be weaker, are often more sensitive khổng lồ pollution. Conditions such as asthma, heart disease, & lung disease can be made worse by exposure to air pollution. The length of exposure & amount và type of pollutants are also factors.

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Effects On The EnvironmentLike people, animals, and plants, entire ecosystems can suffer effects from air pollution. Haze, lượt thích smog, is a visible type of air pollution that obscures shapes & colors. Hazy air pollution can even muffle sounds.Air pollution particles eventually fall back to Earth. Air pollution can directly contaminate the surface of bodies of water và soil. This can kill crops or reduce their yield. It can kill young trees và other plants.Sulfur dioxide và nitrogen oxide particles in the air, can create acid rain when they set with water and oxygen in the atmosphere. These air pollutants come mostly from coal-fired nguồn plants and motor vehicles. When acid rain falls to Earth, it damages plants by changing soil composition; degrades water quality in rivers, lakes & streams; damages crops; and can cause buildings và monuments khổng lồ decay.Like humans, animals can suffer health effects from exposure to air pollution. Birth defects, diseases, và lower reproductive rates have all been attributed lớn air pollution.Global WarmingGlobal warming is an environmental phenomenon caused by natural & anthropogenic air pollution. It refers lớn rising air & ocean temperatures around the world. This temperature rise is at least partially caused by an increase in the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases trap heat energy in the Earths atmosphere. (Usually, more of Earths heat escapes into space.)Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that has had the biggest effect on global warming. Carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels (coal, gasoline, & natural gas). Humans have come to rely on fossil fuels khổng lồ power cars và planes, heat homes, and run factories. Doing these things pollutes the air with carbon dioxide.Other greenhouse gases emitted by natural & artificial sources also include methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. Methane is a major emission from coal plants & agricultural processes. Nitrous oxide is a common emission from industrial factories, agriculture, and the burning of fossil fuels in cars. Fluorinated gases, such as hydrofluorocarbons, are emitted by industry. Fluorinated gases are often used instead of gases such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CFCs have been outlawed in many places because they deplete the ozone layer.Worldwide, many countries have taken steps khổng lồ reduce or limit greenhouse gas emissions lớn combat global warming. The Kyoto Protocol, first adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997, is an agreement between 183 countries that they will work to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. The United States has not signed that treaty.RegulationIn addition khổng lồ the international Kyoto Protocol, most developed nations have adopted laws lớn regulate emissions và reduce air pollution. In the United States, debate is under way about a system called cap và trade to lớn limit emissions. This system would cap, or place a limit, on the amount of pollution a company is allowed. Companies that exceeded their cap would have lớn pay. Companies that polluted less than their cap could trade or sell their remaining pollution allowance khổng lồ other companies. Cap và trade would essentially pay companies to limit pollution.In 2006 the World Health Organization issued new Air chất lượng Guidelines. The WHOs guidelines are tougher than most individual countries existing guidelines. The WHO guidelines aim khổng lồ reduce air pollution-related deaths by 15 percent a year.

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ReductionAnybody can take steps to reduce air pollution. Millions of people every day make simple changes in their lives to vày this. Taking public transportation instead of driving a car, or riding a bike instead of traveling in carbon dioxide-emitting vehicles are a couple of ways khổng lồ reduce air pollution. Avoiding aerosol cans, recycling yard trimmings instead of burning them, and not smoking cigarettes are others.