Harmful substances in the air, caused by human activity and natural events.
Natural Causes of Air pollution
Some natural causes of air pollution, include:
Man-Made causes of air pollution
Man made causes include:
Types of Pollutants
Primary pollutants are pollutants released directly into the air.
Secondary pollutants are pollutants that form in the air, not released directly into it.
Smog: originally meant the combination of smoke and fog.
Smog that we experience today is called photochemical smog, when nitrogen compounds and organic compounds are released into the air from cars, plants, and power plants.
Other substances call VOCs or volatile organic compounds are release from these emissions and from natural sources such as trees.
They combine to produce NOx or nitrogen dioxide.
NOx ,when exposed to sunlight creates ozone, the main part of smog.
The haze in Our area
The haze that obstructs the view of the mountains here where we live is caused by ground level ozone, and particulate pollutants such as dust, smoke, etc.
This is sometimes caused by temperature inversions, that is where warm air holds down colder air keeping the pollutants close to the ground.
Precipitation that has a Ph of 5.6 or below.
Created mainly from burning coal to produce electricity
Coal when burned creates sulfur dioxide or SOx.
Nitrogen oxides are also produce from these power plant emissions
The sulfur from SOx combines with water to create sulfuric acid. The nitrogen oxides combine with water to produce nitric acids.
When this falls as precipitation it can corrode metal and concrete structures and things like statues.
Acid rain damage Acid rain damage to trees and buildings. A. Trees atop Mt. Mitchell in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina . B. & C. Marble statue in Hertzen, Germany, B taken in 1908 and C taken in 1969 .
More acid rain damage
Smoke, dust, soot
Solids that are put into the air, can be either course or fine particles
Come from fires, vehicle exhaust, factories, power plants.
Can damage lungs, plants and buildings.
Or CFCs, used in aerosols as a propellant
In air conditioners, refrigerators
They move high into the atmosphere and damage the Ozone layer.
Industrialize nations have halted the production of these compounds.
Scientists don’t expect the ozone layer to fully recover until the middle of this century.
Heath Effects of Air pollution
Exposure to air pollutions can have several types of effects on your health, they are divided into 2 categories, long term and short term effects.