Living dangerously with polluted air

The Industrial Revolution ushered humanity into an age of economic progress, and a new kind of lifestyle.  A lifestyle that retrogressed from healthy to dirty.  Since then, we have been living dangerously with soot and polluted air. In fact, it is now very rare to find a place where we can breathe clean air.

Alongside the so-called economic development came urbanization.  Population continuously grew around centers of industry and commerce. As people crowd into these places, they also begun generating more wastes, polluting the environment and the air. Hence, we become acquainted with the words smog, industrial air pollution, accidental air pollution, transport-related pollution, green house effect, and the like.

Smog, which is a combination of smoke and fog, is generated from industry emissions, motor vehicle combustion, incinerators, open burning, and other sources.  It results when high concentration of moisture transfuses with smoke at high temperature. The smoke in this combination usually contains oxides of sulphur and nitrogen.

Industrial establishments utilize various kinds of chemicals in their production processes, the excess of which are emitted into the air through the chimneys of their factories.  Once out, the smoke forms a bond with fog and pose health threats to humans and harm to other living things.

Industrial air pollution is identified as one of the major causes of air pollution because it covers several areas. The major industrial air polluters include thermal plants, manufacturing units for fertilizers and pesticides, leather and plastic factories, atomic reactors, and other types of industries.  All of these are considered air polluters because of the chemically harmful smoke they emit into the atmosphere during production processes.

Accidental air pollution.  As the term implies, this type of pollution occurs by accident, like burning in forest fires, accidents to petroleum mass transport vehicles, and by leakage or blasts in industries.

Transport-related air pollution. This type of air pollution comes from the exhaust of petrol- or diesel-powered motor vehicles.

Green house effect.  It is an occurrence when the earth’s atmosphere traps solar radiation caused by the presence of certain gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapour in the atmosphere that allow incoming sunlight to penetrate but also absorbs the heat that is radiated back from the earth’s surface.  With such an effect, the atmosphere gets contaminated when a number of green house gases, such as methane, sulphur, nitrogen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and ozone blend with air.

Economic progress is not bad at all.  But, we also need to consider our own health and the only planet we live in.  Everyone has the right to breathe clean air and to live a healthy lifestyle.

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