These harmful substances that are emitted into the air
are called pollutants. Pollutants can be in the form of solid particles, liquid
droplets, or gases. In addition, they may be natural or man-made The main
(primary) air pollutants are; carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur
Carbon monoxide - is a colourless, odorless,
non-irritating but very poisonous gas. It is a product by incomplete combustion
of fuel such as natural gas, coal or wood. Vehicular exhaust is a major source
of carbon monoxide.
Nitrogen oxides - especially nitrogen dioxide are
emitted from high temperature combustion. Nitrogen oxides help form acid rain.
In addition, this pollutant can cause a wide range of environmental damage,
including visibility impairment.
Sulfur oxides (SOx) - especially sulphur dioxide, is
produced by volcanoes and in various industrial processes. Since coal and
petroleum often contain sulphur compounds, their combustion generates sulfur
dioxide. This is one of the causes for concern over the environmental impact of
the use of these fuels as power sources.
In many countries in the world, steps are being taken
to stop the damage to our environment from air pollution. Scientific groups
study the damaging effects on plant, animal and human life. Legislative bodies
write laws to control emissions. Educators in schools and universities teach
students, beginning at very young ages, about the effects of air pollution.
Air pollution, including that of ozone, is mainly the
result of human activities. The small things you do every day can help reduce
air pollution and hence improve the protection of the environment as well as
human health. Here are some tips on what you can do, on a day-to-day basis, to
help prevent air pollution:
Take public transport or carpool. Buy local produce.
Save electricity. Educate
others on how to reduce air pollution.