Air pollution is not a problem confined to any political boundary. It is a global problem and a threat to mankind. Read and be informed about amazing and interesting facts about air pollution.

Facts About Air Pollution

The smoke which blows out from the chimneys of industrial units is the obvious contributor of air pollution but, that is not the only sponsor of this global problem! There are many visible and invisible pollutants which add on to this issue. A single fact that 40% of the total deaths on the planet are due to pollution is more than enough to acknowledge the gravity of this situation. Though there are natural sources of pollution also, like volcanic eruptions and gas leakages. Ultimately, it is the common people, including you, who are affected by the air pollution but surprisingly, we leave it to the governing body just like any other administrative issue. It is time to wake up from the stupor and do your bit to reduce this threat to mankind. The following section will help you with some facts about air pollution. Hope this article inspires you to take the first step towards curbing this menace.

Interesting facts About Air Pollution

  • Carbon dioxide is a major pollutant which contributes to global warming. This gas is known to everyone as the major component of human exhalation. However, it is not the exhalation, but the automobile exhaust that contributes to the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the air.
  • There are natural carbon dioxide emissions too. The carbon dioxide emissions from Mammoth Mountain are an example.
  • The amount of carbon dioxide has been alarmingly increasing for the past 150 years.
  • Sulfur dioxide is another major air pollutant and it forms smog after getting mixed with other components like the particulate matter. It belongs to the group of chemicals which cause acid rain.
  • Acid rain acidifies lakes and streams causing immense damage to the aquatic ecosystems. Its effects on terrestrial ecosystems are no less; it damages plants, animals and soil. It harms buildings too.
  • Volcanic eruptions are a major source of sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide has an ability to reflect sunlight and keep the earth cool. Massive volcanic eruptions pump up the sulfur dioxide level in that part of earth’s atmosphere and this may have unusual cooling effects that can last for some years. This unusual cooling is hazardous to the resident flora, fauna and agricultural produce.
  • Mining is a major source of pollution. Mercury amalgamation, a byproduct of artisanal gold mining, affects about 15 million people worldwide of which, 1.5 million are women and 6 million are children.
  • Do you know that fumes from hair sprays, paints, varnish etc. also contribute to air pollution?
  • Weapons, such as toxic gases, nuclear weapons, rocketry, germ warfare etc., are major contributors of air pollution.
  • One of the worst examples of pollution-induced tragedy is the 1984 Bhopal tragedy in India. The leakage of Methane Isocyanine (MIC) killed more than 25,000 people.
  • As a part of pollution control, many industrialized countries have worked out effective methods to bring down the level of sulfur dioxide in atmosphere but another side of this coin is that extreme lack of sulfur dioxide, the ‘cooling agent’, worsens the problem of global warming.
  • You can do your bit to reduce global warming. All you have to do is to drive less and recycle more, thus reducing your carbon footprint (the amount of carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by each person). 
  • Atmosphere cannot be confined to political boundaries. Pollutants from China have been traced in the Central Valley of California!
  • According to a European environmental agency report, over 50,000 British people die due to bad air.
  • The Great smog of London was responsible for loss of about 4000 human lives! About 10,000 fell ill. It stayed for 5 days from 5th December to 9th December in 1952.
  • Electric engines are healthy alternatives for fuel engines. They do stir up dust like other vehicles but emit much less amount of gases.
  • Estimates show that in California, risk of death due to air pollution is much greater than death by accidents!
  • About 300,000 yearly deaths in China are due to lung cancer and heart diseases which are directly related to the increasing air pollution.
  • The 3000-year-old Giant Sequoia trees in California are being affected by the Southern California smog. Hikers have been warned against lung diseases. Humans can at least be warned, what about the animals there?
  • Short-term effects of pollution on human health are irritation to eyes and throat, nausea, headache, breathing difficulties etc. while long-term effects include respiratory diseases, cancer, brain damage, heart diseases, nervous system problems etc.
  • Do you know that humans breathe about 2 gallons of air each minute? Imagine how many pollutants we are intaking with every passing minute! Living in a polluted environment can cut your lifespan by several years.

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