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Name: Siti Sarah Binti Ab Kadir IC: 830509-02-5140

Class: LISN2


Causes and effect of Air Pollution

Major classes of air pollutants are as follow:-

Pollutant Sources Effects
Carbon oxides Incomplete combustion of • Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important
(CO2 and CO2) fossil fuels, transportation, greenhouse gas
industry and burning • (CO) the most abundant pollutant know to
affect human health, combines with
haemoglobin and may create problem for
infants, the elderly and those with heart or
respiratory diseases

Sulphur oxides Most of the SO2 released in • Sulphur oxides can react with gases in
(mainly SO2 or the air comes from utilities, atmosphere to form sulphuric acid (H2SO4)
sulphur dioxide) industrial manufacturing which can turn to be acid rain
processes, industrial • Exposure to SO2 can cause impairment or
combustion of coal and oil, respiratory function, aggravation of existing
transportation and other respiratory disease (especially bronchitis), and
source a decrease in the ability of the lungs to clear
foreign particles. It can also lead to increase
mortality, especially if elevated levels of
particulate matter (PM) are also present. Group
that appear most sensitive to the effect of SO2
include asthmatics and other individuals with
chronic hyperactive airways, and individuals
with chronic obstructive lung or cardiovascular
disease. Elderly people and children are also
likely most sensitive to SO2

Nitrogen oxides-NO Motor vehicles and industry • Nitrogen oxides can react with other gases in
(nitric oxide) and (burning fossil fuels) atmosphere to from nitric acid (HNO3) which
NO2 (Nitrogen can turn to be acid rain
Volatile organic Motor vehicles (evaporation • Eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches,
compounds from tanks), industry and dizziness, visual disorders, memory impairment
(hydrocarbons)- various household products are among the immediate symptoms that some
methane, benzene, people have experienced soon after exposure to
propane, and some organics. At present, not much is known
chlorofluorocarbons about what health effects occur from the levels
(CFC’s) of organics usually found in homes. Many
organic compound are known to cause cancer
in animals, some are suspected of causing or
are known to cause cancer in human
Suspended particulate Power plant, iron/ steel • Act as respiratory irritants, some are known
matter-solid particles mills, land clearing, carcinogens (e.g. asbestos) can aggravate heart/
(e.g. dust, soot, and highway construction, respiratory diseases
asbestos) liquid mining and other activities
droplets that disturb or disrupt the
(e.g. pesticides) earth’s surface

Toxic compounds- Example:- mercury is an • Most people and wildlife can generally tolerate
trace amount of at example of toxic elements the extremely low levels of this naturally
least 600 toxic that occurs naturally in the occurring substance. When mercury enters the
substances (such as earth’s crust other sources of body it becomes concentrated in tissue, an
lead and mercury mercury is from burning effect known as bioaccumulation. Because this
produced by human coal and waste (such as element is toxic at very low concentrations,
activities medical wastes) even slight increases in the minute
concentrations naturally present in the
environment can have serious effects on
humans had wildlife. Once mercury enters the
water it can be converted to its most toxic form,
methyl mercury, by bacteria or chemical
reactions. Methyl mercury is absorbed by tiny
aquatic organisms, which are then eaten by
small fish. People and wildlife at the top of the
food chain are consequently exposed to
elevated amounts of methyl mercury through
the contaminated fish consume.

Photochemical The two compounds • The greatest concern about ozone pollution is
oxidants- mainly (hydrocarbons and nitrogen the potential damage it may inflict on human
ozone. Ozone oxide) are produced by cars, health. High concentrations of ozone are
pollution is truck, factories and power especially hazardous to children, the elderly
principally a daytime generating plants or and people with respiratory problem. Each year
problem. The whatever gasoline, diesel many food crops are damaged by ozone. Ozone
presence of fuel, kerosene, oil or natural also damage rubber, nylon , plastic, dyes an
hydrocarbons and gas are combusted. These paint.
nitrogen oxide in gases combine together with
sunlight with little air sunlight, producing ozone.
movement leads to the Urban area with heavy
generation of ozone traffic and large
industrialized communities
are primary areas for ozone

Other Effect of air pollution

o Acid rain
o Global warming
o Ozone Depletion
o Smog

Ways to prevent Air Pollution

1. Sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides emission can be reduced by using coal containing less sulphur,
washing the coal, and using devices call scrubbers to chemically remove the SO2 form the gases leaving
the smokestack

2. Power plants can also switch the type of fuels used; for example burning natural creates much less SO2
than burning coal. Certain approaches will also have additional benefit of reducing other pollutants such
as mercury and carbon dioxides

3. Using catalytic converters can also reduce NOx emissions form cars. These devices have been a
requirement for all car users in the US for over 20 years.

4. Use alternatives energy sources-There are other source of electricity besides fossil fuels. They include:
hydropower, wind energy, geothermal energy, and solar energy. There are also alternative energies
available to power automobiles, including natural gas powered vehicles, battery-powered cars, fuel cells,
and combinations of alternative and gasoline powered vehicles.

5. Take action as individuals-Individuals can contribute directly by conserving energy, since energy
production causes the largest portion of the acid deposition problem. For example, you can: turn off
light, computers and other appliances when you’re not using them. Use energy efficient appliances:
lighting, air conditioners, heaters, refrigerators, washing machines, etc

6. Develop mass transit and reduce automobile use, carpool, use public transportation, or better yet, walk or
cycle whenever possible.

7. Reduce deforestations and plant trees cause plants can absorb CO2

8. Slow human population growth