June 5, 2009

Air pollution and its effect on health

Air is 99.9% nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor and inert gases. Air supplies us with oxygen which is essential for our bodies to live.
There are several main types of air pollution
1. Smog
2. Acid rain
3. The greenhouse effect
4."holes" in the ozone layer
Each of these problems has serious implications for our health and well-being as well as for the whole environment.
Another type of air pollution is the presence of particles into the air .Generally this is for the burning of fuel for energy. Diesel smoke is a example of this particulate matter . The particles are very small pieces of matter measuring about 2.5 microns or about .0001 inches.The exhaust from burning fuels in automobiles, homes, and industries is a major source of pollution in the air.

Air pollution can be characterized in to outdoor and Indoor.

Outdoor pollution: Smog is a main type of outdoor pollution.People suffer from this specially in the city center and in worm season.Another type of pollution is Acid rain.When sulfuric acid mix with rain then it becomes Acid rain.The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Environment Canada are among the organizations that are actively studying the acid rain problem.

The Greenhouse effect cause due to water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane, are almost transparent to solar radiation but strongly absorb and emit infrared radiation. Thus, greenhouse gases trap heat within the surface-troposphere system.Changes of even a few degrees will affect us all through changes in the climate and even the possibility that the polar ice caps may melt. (One of the consequences of polar ice cap melting would be a rise in global sea level, resulting in widespread coastal flooding.
The ozone layer is a layer in Earth's atmosphere which contains relatively high concentrations of ozone (O3). This layer absorbs 93-99% of the sun's high frequency ultraviolet light, which is potentially damaging to life on earth.The ozone layer protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) from aerosol cans, cooling systems and refrigerator equipment removes some of the ozone, causing "holes"; to open up in this layer and allowing the radiation to reach the earth. Ultraviolet radiation is known to cause skin cancer and has damaging effects on plants and wildlife. Additional resources and information about the ozone depletion problem are available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) , Ozone ACTION and Ozone layer.

Indoor pollution:
Tobacco smoke, cooking and heating appliances, and vapors from building materials, paints, furniture, etc. cause indoor pollution.

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