Sources and Causes of Air Pollution

When we try to steady the sources/causes of air pollution, we usually enlist a series of activities and interactions that create these pollutants. There are two types of sources that causes Air Pollution.

  1. Natural Resources: Natural Sources of pollution includes dust carried by the wind from a location with very little or no green cover, gases released from the body processes of living beings (Carbon Dioxide from a human during respiration methane from cattle during digestion, Oxygen from plants during Photosynthesis). Smoke from the combustion of various inflammable objects, Volcanic eruption etc., along with the emission of polluted gases also makes it to the list of natural sources of pollution.
  2. Man-Made Sources: While looking at Man – Made contribution to air pollution, it can be further divided into two parts. a) Outdoor Pollution Sources- The major outdoor pollution sources include power generation, vehicles agriculture/waste incineration, industry and building heating systems. Smoke feature as a prominent component. The Smoke emitted forms of combustion like in biomass, factories, vehicle furnaces etc., Waste dumped in landfill generates methane, which is harmful in several ways. The reactions of certain gases and chemicals also from harmful fumes that can be dangerous to the well-being of a living creature. b) Indoor Pollution Sources- In low and middle- income countries, mostly burning fuels such as dung, coal and wood in inefficient stoves or open hearths produces a variety of health-damaging pollutants. These include carbon monoxide, methane, PM, PAH, VOC etc., Expresses to smoke from cooking fire causes 3.8 million premature death each year.

Some more various causes of Air Pollution

  1. The Burning of fossil fuels: SO2 emitted from the combustion of fossils fuels like coal, petroleum for energy in power plants, and other factory combustibles is one of the major causes of air pollution. Billions of vehicles run on roads are powered by gasoline and diesel engines that burn petroleum is made up of hydrocarbons and engines don’t burn them.
  2. Agricultural Activities: Ammonia is a very common by-product of agricultural- related activities and is one of the most hazardous gases in the atmosphere. The use of insecticides, pesticides, and fertilizers in agricultural activities has grown quite a lot. They emit harmful air into air pollution. Famers also set the fields and old crops on fire to keep them clean for the next round of swing. The burning to clean fields causes pollution by releasing harmful gases in the air.
  3. Waste in Landfills: Landfills are land areas in which waste is deposited or buried. These deposited is a major greenhouse gas that is highly flammable and very hazardous. E-waste is another grave concern involving a lot of unscientific dismantling such as chemical leaching burning wires & others.
  4. Exhaust from Factories & Industries: Manufacturing industries release a large amount of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, organic compounds and chemical into the air, thereby depleting the quality of air. Manufacturing Industries can be found at every corner of the Earth, and area has not been affected by it. Petroleum refineries also release hydrocarbons & other chemicals that pollute the air and cause air pollution.
  5. Mining Operation: It is a process wherein minerals below earth are extracted using large equipment. During the process dust and chemical release in the air and cause air pollution. This is the reason, responsible for a worker’s health condition.
  6. Domestic Activity: Household cleaning products painting supplies emit toxic chemical in the air and cause air pollution, Suspended particular matter(SPM) is another cause of air pollution. Referring to the particles afloat in the air. SPM is usually caused by dust, combustion etc., According to WHO, around 7 million premature death cause every year due to the combined effects of ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution.
  7. Natural Events: There are certain natural events such as volcano eruptions, forest fires, and dust- storms which are nature- born and cause air pollution.