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Air is a mixture of gases, 78 per cent nitrogen and 21 per cent oxygen with traces of water vapor, carbon dioxide, argon, and various other components.

Air Pollution

Here are some types of polluted air --

  • Smog is a combination of various gases with water vapour and dust. A large part of the gases that form smog is produced when fuels are burnt. Smog forms when heat and sunlight react with these gases and fine particles in the air. The term Smog was first used in 1905 by Dr H A Des Voeux to describe the conditions of fog that had soot or smoke in it.
  • Another effect of air pollution is acid rain. The phenomenon occurs when sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from the burning of fossil fuels such as, petrol, diesel, and coal combine with water vapour in the atmosphere and fall as rain, snow or fog. These gases can also be emitted from natural sources like volcanoes. Acid rain causes extensive damage to water, forest, soil resources and even human health.
  • Fly Ash consist of silica, alumina, oxides of iron, calcium, and magnesium and toxic heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cobalt, and copper. Thermal power generation through coal combustion produces minute particles of ash that causes serious environmental problems.

What We Can Do To Reduce Air Pollution

  • Encourage your family to walk to the neighbourhood market.
  • Whenever possible take your bicycle.
  • As far as possible use public forms of transport.
  • Encourage your family to form a car pool to office and back.
  • Reduce the use of aerosols in the household.
  • Switch-off all the lights and fans when not required.
  • If possible share your room with others when the airconditioner, cooler or fan is on.
  • Do not burn leaves in your garden, put them in a compost pit.
  • Get your car pollution checked at regular intervals.
  • Cars should, as far as possible, be fitted with catalytic converters.
  • Use only unleaded petrol.