Urbanization and rapid economic development have contributed to an increase in urban air pollution; however, these facts are not new phenomenon. Findings of some studies have shown that in each of their lifetimes beginning from childhood till an adult, children begin to experience air pollution. This can lead to various diseases and health problems as well as premature death. These air pollutants include particulates, dust, smoke, and gas emissions that are trapped inside the house and cause respiratory problems and allergies.
The sources of this urban air pollution are numerous and a short-term perspective is needed to assess and control them. Particles that cause breathing difficulties are dust and particulate matter. Dust and dirt are very common and are actually the main components of urban air pollution. Most of the particles are made up of microscopic dust particles that are of extremely small size. The accumulation of such micro particles results in the triggering of airborne particles into chemical reaction leading to short-term respiratory infections and irritations.
The above mentioned fact about the occurrence of dust and dirt is also true about the existence of ground-level ozone. Ozone is a highly reactive gaseous substance that is present in all cities and towns. The reactive nature of ozone means that it forms a chemical reaction with any oxygen present in the surrounding area. Thus, the more the amount of oxygen present the faster the gaseous reaction occurs. As a result of this reaction, the quantity of toxic gasses emitted from cities also increases.
Reducing Air Pollution In Urban Areas
Ground-level ozone is the prime cause of many respiratory problems like cough, asthma, and allergies. These respiratory issues are aggravated by the presence of other contaminants that worsen the problem further. Thus, the only way to curb this air pollution problem is by controlling the emission of particulate matter in cities. This can be done by proper maintenance of ventilation systems at home and at work place. There are several ways to control the emission of particulate matter in urban cities.
Prevention is better than cure. Many people think that using natural sources of energy to run their homes and business would solve the air pollution problem in cities. However, natural sources are not abundant in many parts of the world. It is thus better to use clean energy sources that are easily available.
Natural ventilation of cities is better than using artificial sources of heat. Humidity is increased in urban areas because of heaters and other devices used for heating. Proper ventilation of homes is also important because fine particulate matter can be released into indoor air. Use of air conditioners and dehumidifiers in residential areas can help reduce the rate of urban air pollution.
Urban areas also have to deal with severe traffic jams on a daily basis. This jamming can increase the rate of release of pollutants into the air. Air pollution caused by traffic jams is a big health concern for most people. People suffering from respiratory issues and allergies are prone to such infections and disorders. Effective and proper air quality monitoring and enforcement are the only way to curb air pollution in cities.
In The End
Although there is no perfect remedy for the problem of particulate matter in urban areas, controlling the emission of harmful gases is possible through controlling the use of artificial sources of heat, ventilation and air conditioning. Strict regulations regarding the emission of toxic substances should be enforced in order to control the worsening of respiratory issues and allergies among the people living in cities. Studies are being conducted all over the world to find solutions to the problems of air pollution in cities.