Source of Air Pollution

 

  • Burning of Fossil Fuels: Most of the pollutants are produced by burning fossil fuels or wood, for driving, heating, power plants and industry.
    • Several man-made factors, vehicular emissions, construction dust, garbage burning causes severe pollution.
    • The particles can be made of black carbon, nitrates, sulphates, ammonia or mineral dust.
  • Agriculture & Allied Sources: Farming is one such source of pollution, with ammonia from livestock manure and fertilisers blowing into cities and forming particles, particularly in spring time when crops are sown and muck is spread.
    • Further, stubble burning is also one of the major sources of air pollution in northern India, especially in winters.
  • Natural Sources: Apart from it, there are some natural sources of outdoor air pollution such as dust storms.
  • There are thermal power plants around Delhi and the polluted air moves towards the neighbouring cities. Many industries are using high sulphur oil which is highly polluted. There are large mounds of solid waste Seasonally farmers of Punjab and Haryana burn their crop residues for preparing their fields for next crop and during the winter the air becomes heavy, there is temperature inversion and the dispersal of the pollutants is very low. During winter we also see people burning fire during night to bear the cold. All this put together has a cumulative effect on the air quality.
  • Fumes from paint, hair spray, varnish, aerosol sprays and other solvents. These can be substantial; emissions from these sources was estimated to account for almost half of pollution from volatile organic compounds in the Los Angeles basin in the 2010s
  • Waste deposition in landfills, which generate methane. Methane is highly flammable and may form explosive mixtures with air. Methane is also an asphyxiant and may displace oxygen in an enclosed space. Asphyxia or suffocation may result if the oxygen concentration is reduced to below 19.5% by displacement.

  

Indoor Air Pollution

Air pollution is usually thought of as smoke from large factories or exhaust from vehicles. But there are many types of indoor air pollution as well.

Heating a house by burning substances such as kerosene, wood, and coal can contaminate the air inside the house. Ash and smoke make breathing difficult, and they can stick to walls, food, and clothing.

Naturally-occurring radon gas, a cancer-causing material, can also build up in homes. Radon is released through the surface of the Earth. Inexpensive systems installed by professionals can reduce radon levels.

Some construction materials, including insulation, are also dangerous to people’s health. In addition, ventilation, or air movement, in homes and rooms can lead to the spread of toxic mold. A single colony of mold may exist in a damp, cool place in a house, such as between walls. The mold’s spores enter the air and spread throughout the house. People can become sick from breathing in the spores.