Air Pollution

Millions of people are falling ill every year by breathing dirty air.

Developing economies and newly industrialised nations like India are the ones suffering the most.

The air quality in New Delhi dropped to 'emergency' category in Nov 2019, with the officials directing the schools to remain shut.

Well developed economies too suffer the same plight.

With some of the world's cleanest air, the US still contribute to a number of deaths due to unhealthy air.

Beijing was also known for it's dirty air, but the government called a war against it

Before we decide to tackle unhealthy air, we need to understand the causes.

Vehicles release high levels of toxic substances into the air.

These toxic substances are carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides(, NO) and smoke.

Carbon monoxide is so poisonous that it reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of blood, leading to headache, nausea, etc.

Further, industrial development is on the rise.

Refineries and coal power plants release destructive substances such as sulphur dioxide() into the air.

Sulphur dioxide is known to cause respiratory diseases and permanent lung damage.

With a growing economy, people are investing more in luxuries like air conditioners and refrigerators.

These devices release CFCs, known to damage the ozone layer.

Vehicles and increasing construction activities are also releasing some deadly tiny particles in the air.

These tiny particles remain suspended in air for a long time and are called suspended particulate matter.

Presence of these particles makes breathing difficult and reduces visibility.

The air which contains all these unwanted substances is said to be polluted. This condition is called air pollution.

The unwanted substances present in air are also called air pollutants.

The seasonal pollution in Delhi that caught the headlines is a result of a mix of factors.

Starting in October-november, smoke from burning agriculture wastes combines with Delhi's pollution

At the same time, cold winter air traps pollution near the surface, creating a haze that can be seen from the space.

This thick fog like haze in the atomsphere is called smog- which is made up of smoke and fog.

Fireworks from the Diwali celebrations worsens the city's already hazardous air.

The Government is taking several steps to clear the hazy sky.

Construction projects were stopped temporarily.

It restricted the number of cars on the road, with odd and even numbered plates to drive on alternate days.

This is however not enough. Stricter measures need to be put in place.

The country needs to set strict limits on burning coal.

It needs to set emission standards for power and other heavy industries.

Pollutants released by cars and other vehicles needs to be regulated.

Revision

Air pollution is the addition of unwanted substance to air.

The unwanted substances present in air are also called air pollutants.

Strict measures need to put in place to control air pollution.

The country needs to set strict limits on burning coal.

It needs to set emission standards for power and other heavy industries.

Pollutants released by cars and other vehicles needs to be regulated.

The End