Top 5 Sources of Air Pollution

The contamination of air by pollutants such as dust, smoke, and harmful gases is known as air pollution. sources of air pollution are…

Sources of Air Pollution #1

Automobile Pollution

  • Vehicular emissions form more than 80% of the total air pollution.
  • Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen monoxide and unburnt hydrocarbons are some major air pollutants.
  • Metropolitan cities in India such as Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai suffer from acute air pollution.
  • Air pollution is also caused by gaseous and volatile hydrocarbons such as methane, acetylene and ethylene. A hydrocarbon like ethylene forms petrochemical oxidants when it comes into contact with sunlight and nitrogen oxide. Petrochemical oxidants such as bad ozone are harmful for the environment.

Sources of Air Pollution #2

Industrial Air Pollution

  • Chemical and cement industries, cotton and paper mills, and oil refineries cause air pollution.
  • Smoke emitted by these industries can cause serious health hazards as it includes dust, carbon, metals and radioactive elements.
  • Burning of coal in thermal power plants releases SO2. When SO2 combines with oxygen and water, it produces sulphuric acid. This results in acid rain.
  • Industrialised cities experience high air pollution because of smoke and dust emitted by factories.
  • Smog is a mixture of fog, smoke and dust particles. It is formed in areas which have large concentration of industries.

Sources of Air Pollution #3

Burning of Garbage

  • When garbage and wastes are burnt, gases such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are formed which pollute the environment.
  • The open burning of wastes also pollutes the environment.
  • Burning of forests because of fires produces nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere. It is soluble in water and forms nitric acid resulting in acid rain.

Sources of Air Pollution #4

Brick Kilns

  • When coal is used for burning bricks in brick kilns, huge quantities of carbon dioxide, smoke and dust are released which pollute the atmosphere.
  • The suspended dust particles in the atmosphere are known as suspended particulate matter.
  • Smoke is caused either because of the incomplete burning of coal, wood, tobacco or other harmful chemical processes.

Sources of Air Pollution #5

Burning of Fuels

  • Fossil fuels are mainly burnt for producing electricity. In India, coal is used in large quantities for the generation of electricity.
  • As coal is burnt in the raw form, it produces gases such as carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogenm oxides, smoke and other dangerous particles.
  • Sulphur is one of the main gases which are emitted because of the burning of coal. It causes acid rain when it combines with water. Other fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas also damage our environment by producing various greenhouse gases.

Also, Read Effects of Pollution

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