AIR POLLUTION

Definition

”’Release of chemicals into the atmosphere that are hazardous to both the environment and human health is referred to as “air pollution.”

The fossil fuels like coal and petroleum contain small amounts of nitrogen and sulphur. When these fuels are burnt, nitrogen and sulphur too are burnt and this produces different oxides of nitrogen and sulphur. Not only is the inhalation of these gases dangerous, they also dissolve in rain to give rise to acid rain. The combustion of fossil fuels also increases the amount of suspended particles in air. These suspended particles could be unburnt carbon particles or substances called hydrocarbons. Presence of high levels of all these pollutants cause visibility to be lowered, especially in cold weather when water also condenses out of air. This is known as smog and is a visible indication of air pollution. Studies have
shown that regularly breathing air that contains any of these substances increases the incidence of allergies, cancer and heart diseases. An increase in the content of these harmful substances in air is called air pollution.

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