Air pollutants are one of the most dangerous killers in the world. They are alone responsible for more than 6.4 million deaths per year. Air pollutants also cause significant diseases like asthma, cardiovascular diseases, other respiratory diseases, and even cancer. Air pollution is also the cause of the high risk of diabetes, autism, and lowered IQ.
Many different pollutants constitute air pollution and have different effects on the health of life-forms.
Air Pollutants Black Carbon (BC)
Black carbon formed due to the burning of fossil fuels. The most common types of ammunition which produce black carbon is wood, coal, diesel, and other petroleum products. It is a by-product of burning these fuels. A severe health threat is posed to your body when exposed to the toxic black carbon.
Exposure to black carbon over a long period, there is a higher risk of cancer, heart attacks, and also strokes to populations.
Some diseases like asthma, hypertension, bronchitis, COPD (Chronic Obstructive pulmonary disease), and lung cancer are also caused by sustained exposure to black carbon.
Soot, dust, and liquid drops constitute the particulate matter. It is emitted due to automobiles, burning of fossil fuels, industrial and manufacturing facilities. Dust, Diesel emissions and secondary particle formation also form a significant part of particulate matter.
Particulate matter is the primary cause of respiratory tract diseases. The coarse particulate matter, which is larger than 10 microns in diameter, causes nasal problems while the finer particles penetrate deeper. This delicate particulate matter causes strokes, bronchitis, heart attacks, asthma, and even cancer.
The ultra-fine particles can also impair brain development and an adverse effect on our lungs.
Air Pollutants Nitrogen Oxides
The emissions from the transportation sector produce Nitrogen oxide and also Nitrogen dioxide. Conversion of Nitrogen Oxide (NO) into Nitrogen dioxide takes place in the presence of sunlight.
The combination of NO and NO2 in highly polluted areas produces NOx.
NOx is formed around roadways and also in concentrated areas with high traffics. It also leads to the development of diseases like bronchitis, asthma, and heart diseases in people.
Air Pollutant Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
When fossil fuels that contain sulfur burned, it produces sulfur dioxide and emits into the air. The conventional fuels which at least contain sulfur are ship engines, metal extraction, and smelting, coal, and even heavy equipment diesel equipment.
When combined with water, sulfur dioxide turns into sulphuric acid. It is the most toxic acid and also causes acid rain. It is also the major contributor to water pollution and deforestation.
Eye irritation and worsened asthma is the worst health impact of sulfur dioxide. It adversely affects our cardiovascular system and also increases the body’s susceptibility to respiratory infections.
Ozone is an essential part of our atmosphere and acts as a shield to our earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation. But ozone becomes lethal at the ground level for human beings.
Ozone is also one of the most common respiratory irritants. It also causes continuous cough, chest pain, decreased lung function, COPD, irritation, and bronchitis. Reactions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds from the ozone in the air.