In more detail, air pollution is pollution of the air by toxic gases and microscopic particles of solid and liquid matter that endanger health. There are four main sources of air pollution and those include, the burning of waste, power and heat generation, transportation engines, and industrial processes. Air pollution is a world wide issue that many people are trying to solve. This research will be covering the sources of air pollution and the effects it has on our health and the environment.
According to The School of Studies in Pharmaceutical Sciences, high temperature combustion of hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline in automobiles and airplanes put out several of the primary pollutants such as gaseous hydrocarbons, monoxide, carbon, and nitrogen oxides. In the presence of sunlight, hydrocarbons mixed with nitrogen oxides form a “secondary class” of pollutants, the photochemical oxidants, among them is the eye-stinging peroxyacetylnitrate (Sharma, 2013). In urban areas such as west coast, transportation causes the greatest issue of air pollution.
Nitrogen oxides can be seen as the brown haze, it then is blended together with atmospheric vapor and produces brown smog. Although catalytic converters has reduced the smog-producing compounds, studies have shown that these converters aren’t so helpful, when they actually produce nitrous oxide, which provides substantially to global warming. In other cities the air is not only polluted by transportation but also by the burning of fossil fuels in homes, office buildings, and factories. This combustion is responsible for gray smog in cities like Chicago and New york.
These oxides damage building stone, tarnish silver, decompose nylon and kills plants.
Sulfur oxides in the air cause the occurrence of respiratory diseases. The dramatic effects of severe air pollution is shown through cities around the world. American Journal of Nursing, Barbara Polivka refers back to December of 1952 where the event of what is know as The Great London Smog occurred. This was a result of extensive burning of high-sulfur coal. Which lasted up to five days, killing up to 12,000 people. (Polivka, 2018) In developed areas indoor pollution is a problem, where successfully closing off exits pollutants are trapped inside structure. Air pollution is one of the greatest public health threats worldwide. In a scholar article titled ‘Impact of air pollution on depression and suicide’ Anna Gladka states, “Depending on their size and nature, these compounds (nitrogen oxides or sulphur oxides) may cause greater risk of suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular diseases for exposed people as well as exacerbation and increased mortality due to these illnesses. Smaller particles may penetrate the brain's blood barrier and thus affect the central nervous system.” (Gladka, 2018). Basically, what Gladka is saying here is that these particles are known to have a great negative effects on the brains structure, like diminishing white matter. Which leads to the early phases of Alzheimers or Parkinson disease.
Air pollution can’t be escaped. Everyone needs to breathe, and when the air is infected human health is affected. Due to the tremendous affects air pollution has on the environment, efforts are in place to help this issue. Air pollution is primarily exhausted from combustion of gases, liquids, and solids during manufacturing of energy and use. These problems can only be addressed in large changes in the energy sector. Scientist are experimenting with electric power sources in order to help resolve this issue. In a scholarly article by Mark Z. Jacobson reviews nine alternative electric power sources. These included solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, wave, tidal, nuclear, and coal. Out of all these wind performed the best in seven out of 11 categories, including climate-relevant emissions, footprint, mortality, consumption, thermal pollution, effects on wildlife, and water chemical pollution. (Jacobson, 2008) Producing clean energy is crucial. But equally as important is reducing our consumption of energy by using more efficient devices such as wind power. In order to protect the environment and help improve air quality the World Alliance For Efficient Solutions and others are innovating solutions to help control and eventually reduce air pollution.