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How it works
Air pollution is particle matter in the earth’s atmosphere, and it gradually harms humans, animals, plants, and the earth itself. Air pollution arose side to side with the industrial revolution; the rise to modern manufacturing processes. Air pollution is a problem because eventually at this rate the air is being polluted, the sky will be filled with smog and completely black in only a matter of decades. This problem ties in with the needs and wants of society because we constantly purchase and use everyday items such as vehicles, plastic, burn fuel, and to buy those vehicles in the first place, they must be assembled at an industrial factory, which emit massive amounts of pollution.
Air pollution in cities is caused by a variety of reasons, both natural and caused by humans. Contributors to air pollution include fossil fuels (coal, oil, gasoline) being burned in industrial factories, cars, airplanes, helicopters, etc., crop-dusting and farming chemicals, household sprays like insect repellant, hair spray, and other chemical sprays, forest fires, volcanic eruption, and high quantity of decaying plant/animal matter are all examples of natural and unnatural air pollution causes.
How it works
There are various effects of air pollution. Air pollution effects humans, the biosphere, atmosphere, lithosphere, animals, and plants. In humans and animals, the particle matter and other harmful chemicals in the air can make it hard to breathe, and even damage the respiratory and circulatory system. Skies can be covered in thick smog, reducing sunlight in the area, reducing the vitamin D we absorb and the energy that plants absorb. Air pollution affects the lithosphere by causing plants to die, thus not being able to start photosynthesis.
Air pollution is a major problem in today’s society, contributed to by humans and nature itself.
The graph above represents carbon dioxide levels in Mauna Loa from 1960 to 2010. The rise in carbon dioxide in this area is likely due to a mixture of mostly volcanic activity and humans inhabiting it with modern manufacturing, vehicles, etc..
Since burning fossil fuels are the main contributor to air pollution through carbon dioxide, switching cars to hybrid or electric would be the most obvious step. If more vehicles were hybrid or electric, significantly less exhaust fumes would enter the atmosphere, thus reducing the rate of air pollution.
Most industrial factories manufacture products while burning fossil fuels. Factories could be converted to electric, or reduce the amount of fumes they let out into the air entirely with a new bill.
Although forest fires are generally natural, they emit massive amounts of carbon dioxide. Working harder to prevent forest fires without use of chemicals which ALSO pollute the atmosphere would be detrimental to fight air pollution.
Chemical sprays are an overlooked but significant portion of air pollution. These include sprays for crop-dusting, any beauty product such as hair sprays, perfume, cologne, etc.. Humans should try and use these less, and instead use a natural replacement for such purposes, or using them less in general.
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