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Air Pollution Control – Definition, Types, Causes and Effects

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  • Last Updated : 12 Jul, 2022
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Any physical, chemical or biological alteration in the air is referred to as air pollution. Pollution of the air by toxic gases, dust, and smoke has a significant impact on plants, animals, and humans.
In the atmosphere, there is a specific percentage of gases. Gases composition would be changed which results in positive or negative, is detrimental to survival. Due to the change in the gas composition, this results in the earth’s temperature has risen, causing global warming.

Types of Air Pollutants

Primary type 

Pollutants in the Primary Stage Primary pollutants are those that directly contribute to air pollution. Sulphur dioxide, which is emitted by manufacturers, is a major pollutant.

Secondary type 

Pollutants that aren’t primary pollutants-Secondary pollutants are those that result from the mingling and interaction of main pollutants. Smog pollutant which is of secondary type that results from the mixing of smoke and fog.

Causes of air pollutants 

Fossil fuel combustion

Sulphur dioxide is produced in significant quantities when fossil fuels are burned. The incomplete burning of fossil fuels releases carbon monoxide, which pollutes the air.


Vehicles would generate gases that contaminate the environment. These are the primary sources of greenhouse gases, as well as the causes of sickness in individuals.

Activities in Agriculture

One of the most dangerous chemicals released during agricultural activity is ammonia. Insecticides, pesticides, and fertilisers pollute the atmosphere by emitting toxic substances.

Industries and Factories

Carbon monoxide, organic molecules, hydrocarbons, and chemicals are mostly produced in factories and industries. These would cause it to deteriorate in quality.

Activities in the Mining Industry

The minerals beneath the earth’s surface are retrieved utilising enormous pieces of equipment during the mining operation. Chemicals and the dust particles which would be emitted during the operation not only contaminate the air but also harm the employees’ and local residents’ health.

Sources at Home

Toxic chemicals would be emitted by the paints and household cleaning products. The paint odour pollutes the air, but it also makes it difficult to breathe.

Effect of the Air pollution 


Humans have developed a variety of respiratory and cardiovascular ailments as a result of air pollution. Lung cancer would become very common due to air pollution nowadays. Pneumonia and asthma are more common in children who live in polluted environments. Every year, a large number of individuals die as a result of the direct or indirect impacts of air pollution.

Warming of the Planet 

The composition of the gases got unbalanced as a result of greenhouse gas emissions. The earth’s temperature has risen as a result of this. Global warming is the term for the increase in the earth’s temperature. Glaciers have melted and sea levels have risen as a result of this. Many parts of the island are submerged underwater.

Rainfall with Acidity

The combustion of fossil fuels emits hazardous gases into the atmosphere, such as an oxide of sulphur and others. When water droplets come into contact with these contaminants, they would result in acid rain, causing harm to people, animals, and plants.

Depletion of the Ozone Layer

The main source of ozone layer depletion is the release of,  hydrochlorofluorocarbons and also other hazardous compounds into the atmosphere. Due to ozone layer’s depletion the sun’s harmful UV rays directly come to the earth’s surface which is harmful to human, which cause skin ailments and eye difficulties.

Control of the air pollution 

Avoid Using Automobiles

Vehicles should not be used for shorter distances. Instead, people should use public transportation to get from one location to another. Not only does this reduce pollutants, but it also saves energy.

Conservation of energy

To generate energy, substantial fuels of fossil would be used. As a result, remember to turn off all electrical equipment when don’t use it. As a result, you may conserve the environment on a personal level. The use of energy-efficient gadgets like CFLs reduces pollution to a larger extent.

Utilization of Renewable Energy Resources

Solar, wind, and geothermal energy minimise air pollution to a greater extent. Several countries, notably India, would be using these resources.

Other strategies to reduce air pollution include:

  • By decreasing and minimising the usage of fire and fire-related items. Because industrial emissions are a major source of the causing pollution, so this would be limited by controlling or treating them at the source. If the reactions of a given raw material produce a pollutant, for example, the raw materials can be replaced with less harmful ones.
  • Another method of reducing pollution is to use alternative fuels. CNG – would be used for the  – powered vehicles are replacing petrol and diesel in many parts of India. These are commonly used by automobiles that do not have completely functional emissions.
  • Modification done for already present equipment to reduce pollutant emissions is another technique to control air pollution generated by industries.
    Controlling pollution at the source isn’t always possible. In that instance, process control equipment can be used to reduce pollution.
  • Diluting air pollutants is a very effective means of mitigating air pollution.
    The final and most effective method of minimising the negative impacts of air pollution is tree planting. A vast amount of contaminants in the air are reduced by plants and trees. Planting trees in places with high pollution levels will, in theory, be quite effective.

Effects on animals

Respiratory issues are the most lethal impact of polluted air on animals. Both animals and humans can develop lung conditions like asthma and bronchitis as a result of air pollution.

Also impacted by pollution is the immune system. Your natural defences are strained as a result, making you more susceptible to illnesses. People who already have allergies become more likely to develop them, and those who have never had allergies become much more susceptible in polluted environments. Because plants take harmful chemicals from polluted soil into their roots and shoots, which then enter our systems when we consume vegetables or fruits grown there, air pollution impacts wildlife via their sources of food as well.

The impact of air pollution on wildlife is very bad. Numerous sorts of animals’ lungs are harmed by pollution since it can lead to cancer, respiratory issues, and severe side effects like asthma. Animals can also suffer neurological illnesses, cardiac conditions, and even brain damage. Because wild animals do not have as quick access to medical care, air pollution typically affects them considerably more severely. Because we don’t know the long-term impacts of air pollution, it is difficult to quantify how it affects animals. lung injury Asthma and bronchitis are two lung conditions caused by air pollution that affect both humans and other species, such as birds. They may be exposed to pollutants, which can irritate their respiratory tract and make it harder to breathe through their nose. Both humans and animals are equally vulnerable to the consequences of air pollution. They might encounter some or all of the following effects: Nosebleeds, eye problems and infections, and lung inflammation-related coughing fits 

Allergic reactions that can trigger an asthma attack. 

Liver injury, Our livers need sufficient liquid from a new source to detoxify themselves, but when we are surrounded by polluted surfaces like concrete and asphalt, this isn’t always achievable.
birds’ reduced ability to go about their everyday routines over terrain coated in pollution, particularly nitrogen dioxide (NO2) gas molecules produced into the environment by cars, where there is a lot of confusion about which direction to take.

Animals are particularly at risk since their respiratory systems are far more delicate than those of humans. Birds and amphibians all require clean air to survive. While the effects of exposure to various types of toxins can differ between species, they are always detrimental to the health of all animals. A few impacts include malignancies and other chronic illnesses brought on by exposure over time, as well as death from asphyxia or gas poisoning, decreased rate of growth in so many populations, as well as a reduced ability to breed

Conceptual Questions 

Question 1: Role of deforestation in causing air pollution? 


Deforestation is defined as the cutting down of forests as trees would play an important major role in decreasing carbon dioxide so when this tree would cut down causes an increase in co2 and this results in pollution.

Question 2: Which oxides play an important role in air pollution?


Oxides of sulphur and also nitrogen would cause the pollution of the air.

Question 3: What is meant by CNG?


CNG is compressed natural gas and using this would result in limiting the pollution of air.

Question 4: What exactly is acid rain? 


The deposition of acid.  Acid rain would result due to precipitation of the Hazardous compounds.

Question 5: Main source of the pollution of air?


The fuel of fossil burning results in the pollution of the air and this is the major cause of pollution.

Question 6: What role does air pollution play in global warming?


The production of greenhouse gases would result in the alteration of the gases and this would result in the earth’s temperature as a result of air pollution. Global warming is the term for the increase in the earth’s temperature.

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