Air Pollution Report Air pollution is a major problem facing our environment today. This dilemma is harmful to every single living creature on this planet. How can we limit the causes of air pollution? There are industrial as well as residential causes of air pollution. How can we limit the effects of air pollution? We all know it affects the environment, but do we all know it also can affect us directly? How can we control air pollution? Is the government doing its job to protect us? Air pollution can be defined as impureness of the air. Air pollution is all around us.
It might not be as clearly visible in some areas as others but the fact is that air pollution is still there affecting us in some way, shape, or form. It has been known to cause illness and/or death. Many people are not aware of this. The Causes of Air Pollution There are two main causes of air pollution. One of the main causes is natural pollution.
Natural pollution is windblown dust, pollen, fog, etc. The other main cause is people pollution. People pollution is the chief concern and most serious form. Most of people pollution is caused by industry, cars, trucks, and airplanes. The causes of air pollution go on and on.
There are residential causes and industrial causes. Residential causes are those such as automobile emissions and forest fires. Industrial causes are those such as factory emissions and the burning of fossil fuels. The Residential Causes One residential cause is the emissions of automobiles. This is probably the most harmful cause, at least in the United States of America it is.
People drive automobiles every day to get from point A to point B. If automobiles did not exist, the air would most likely be cleaner but we would not be able to travel long distances in short periods. In any case, the problem remains that automobile emissions are harmful to the environment. This is how they generate automobile emissions into the atmosphere. Motor vehicle emissions are generated in several different ways and locations during engine/vehicle operation.
The most important sources are, of course, those produced in combustion and vented through the exhaust pipe. These exhaust gases consist mainly of unburned HCs, CO, and NOx and account for approximately 90- 92% of all vehicle emissions. Some products of combustion are not vented through the exhaust system, as they slip by the piston rings and the cylinder walls. These blowby gases consist mainly of unburned HCs that accumulate in the crankcase exhaust port. A third source of emissions is the votalization of HCs through the carburetor and fuel tank vents. Carburetor emissions are pronounced during the hot soak period immediately following vehicle operation. Forest fires caused by the carelessness of humans puts harmful smoke into the environment.
These forest fires do not happen often, but when they do, there is mass destruction caused to the atmosphere. In the early 1950’s, forest fires in the Southeastern United States covered huge areas of the country with smoke so thick that flights were canceled in New York City. Chlorofluorocarbons or CFC’s were developed by chemists at General Motors in 1928. When they were developed, they were looked upon as miracle gases that could be safely used for many purposes. They were not toxic. They were not carcinogens.
They did not corrode the materials with which they came in contact. Nor were they flammable. Finally they could be manufactured easily and inexpensively. Over the years these CFC’s have been made to serve many purposes from refrigerator coolants to jet streams in aerosol cans and polystyrene material to air conditioners. When people do not properly dispose of CFC’s, they could escape into the atmosphere, creating a hole in the ozone layer. The Industrial Causes Air pollution was first realized as a major problem during the Industrial Revolution in Europe. Industrial pollution is particles (especially of metal dusts) and waste gases (especially carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides) that are waste products of industry and end up in the air.
Industrial emissions are the second largest pollutants of the atmosphere after automotive exhausts. Industries that are the major pollutants include petroleum refining, metal smelting, iron and steal mills, grain mills, and the flour handling industry. The most common chemical natured factory pollutant is methylene chloride. The burning of fossil fuels is a major cause of air pollution. Fossil fuels are formed from the remains of ancient plant and animal life such as coal and natural gas.
If complete combustion of fossil fuels was possible, it would only produce heat energy, water vapor, and carbon dioxide. However, since this not possible because the level of oxygen is never ideal, carbon monoxide forms. The incombustible material enters the atmosphere as smoke, dust, soot, and particles of tarry (tar-like) hydrocarbon substances. Small amounts of mineral and metal impurities are released into the air as fly ash. Sulfurous impurities produce sulfur oxides, especially sulfur dioxide.
Sulfur dioxide combines with water in the air to form sulfuric acid, the largest component of acid rain. The Effects of Air Pollution Effects on the Environment Air pollution, as like any other pollution, is harmful to the environment. Unlike other pollutions though, air pollution is not always visible in the environment. Air pollution is the cause of acid rain, smog, and the hole in the ozone layer. Acid rain damages living organisms and materials.
Deposition from acids, such as sulfuric acid and nitric acid and mixes with the rain and goes into the soil and bodies of water. This is most common in the Northeastern United States, where fossil fuel burning is highly concentrated. Acid rain is killing more than lakes. It can scar the leaves of hardwood forests, wither ferns and lichens, accelerate the death of coniferous needles, sterilize seeds, and weaken the forests to disease, infestation, and decay. Below the surface, the acid neutralizes chemicals for plant growth, strips others from the soil and carries them to the lakes and literally retards the respiration of the soil. From this you can see that biological damage is most pronounced in forests and lakes.
In bodies of water, acid shock, caused by runoff of highly acidic water into lakes and streams when snow melts can greatly affect fish and other aquatic life. It also affects farmers. Vegetation may show damage through bleaching and spotting on leaves. In urban areas acid rain discolors and speeds up the erosion of marble, cement, historic monuments, and statues. When exposed to acid rain, steel corrodes two to four times faster in urban and industrial areas than in rural areas. Soot and grit deposited by acid rain onto buildings, cars, and clothes results in these materials needing to be cleaned and restored.
In the United States alone, acid rain causes billions of dollars damage to materials. Smog is dirty fog. Smog is a sort of atmospheric soup’ of pollutants cooked up by the action of sunlight. This thick, brown haze is made of air polluted by automobile exhaust fumes, smoke, and aerosols. Smog contains chlorinated and organic phosphates that get unleashed into the air from blowing farm particles, heavy metals, and evaporating acid.
These chemicals make the smog even more toxic than most people think. Smog is developed when weather conditions are in the mid- eighties and there is little wind. Therefore, smog do …