Air Pollution Essay

1114 words - 4 pages

Air pollution can be described as any contaminate of the atmosphere that disturbs the natural composition and chemistry of the air. This can be in the form of particulate matter such as dust, or excessive gases like carbon dioxide or other vapors. These pollutants can occur naturally, or are the product of human activities. The air that we breathe is filled with substances that are hazardous to our health. Some contaminates can be noticed because of an odor, where some cannot because they are odorless.
There are several types of pollution. Suspended particulate matter also known as PM, is a mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. This type of pollution is made up of a number of components, including acids such as nitrates and sulfates, organic chemicals, carbon from combustion, metals, and soil, soot, or dust particles. These particles can be directly emitted from sources such as forest fires, or they can form when gases are emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles. Particle pollution contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing, or difficulty breathing, decreased lung function; aggravated asthma, development of chronic bronchitis; irregular heartbeat. People with heart or lung diseases, children and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure. (Boorse, D. F., Wright, R.T.) (2011).
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas emitted from combustion processes. The majority of carbon monoxide emissions to the air come from mobile sources. It can cause harmful health effects by reducing oxygen delivery to the body's organs, especially the heart and brain and tissues.  At extremely high levels, can even cause death. Exposure to this odorless, colorless gas can reduce the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.  For people with several types of heart disease already have a reduced capacity for pumping oxygenated blood to the heart, and short-term CO exposure further affects their body’s already compromised ability to respond to the increased oxygen demands of exercise or exertion.
Nitrogen dioxide is one of a group of highly reactive gasses known as nitrogen oxides (NOx).  Other nitrogen oxides include nitrous acid and nitric acid. The EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standard covers this entire group of NOx, but NO2 is the component of greatest interest and the indicator for the larger group of nitrogen oxides. NO2 forms quickly from emissions from cars, trucks and buses, power plants, and off-road equipment. In addition, this gas contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone, and fine particle pollution. These small particles penetrate deeply into sensitive parts of the lungs and can cause or worsen...

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