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Air Pollution

What is Air Pollution?

Air pollution is the introduction into the atmosphere of chemicals, particulates, or biological materials that cause discomfort, disease, or death to humans, damage other living organisms such as food crops, or damage the natural environment or built environment.

Causes:

Emissions from industries and manufacturing industries.


Manufacturing companies and power plants emit high levels of carbon monoxide, various organic and toxic gases into the air. Petroleum refineries also release lots of hydrocarbons into the air. This happens almost everywhere that people live.

Causes:
Burning fossil fuels : Emissions from automobile engines content both primary and secondary pollutants which is created by burning of fossil fuels and is the major cause of air pollution. Household and farming chemicals: Crop dusting, pest killers, fertilizers, house hold cleaning products or painting supplies emits various harmful chemicals into the air and cause pollution.

Main sources of air pollution

Effects:

Acidification:

Effects:

Eutrophication:

Rain can carry and deposit nitrogen in some pollutants on rivers and soils. This will adversely affects the nutrients in the soil and water bodies.

Ground Level Zone:

Chemical reactions involving air pollutants create a poisonous gas ozone which is very harmful for human beings and vegetation present on earth.

Particulate Matter:

Air pollutants can be in the form of particulate matter which is very harmful for our health. This level is mainly depends on the time of exposure and concentration of chemicals.

Effects on human health:


Short term effects:

It includes irritation to eyes, throat and nose and upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Also like headache and allergic reactions.

Long term effects:

It can include chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart cancer and even damage to the brain, kidney, liver and nerves.

Prevention:

Reduce the use of vehicles either by resorting to public transport for daily transportation or switching over from vehicles to other means - such as cycling or walking. If the use of vehicle is inevitable, make sure that you use it efficiently - drive within the speed limit recommended by the manufacturer, turn the engine off on red light and make sure that you maintain your vehicle.

Buying fuel efficient vehicles is yet another option that you have. Several car manufacturers are using advanced technology to roll out vehicles which minimize emissions.
Implement practices such as 'car pool', wherein you take turns to use your vehicles, in your neighborhood or workplace. Simple, but effective measure when it comes to vehicle pollution.

Prevention:

Though indirectly, saving energy by resorting to energy saving appliances and not wasting electricity will also help in curbing air pollution. Lesser the energy requirement, lesser will be produced and this in turn, will lessen the amount of air pollution caused by power plants. Do not burn the waste generated in your homes, instead resort to other means of garbage disposal. The same rule implies when it comes to disposal of your garden waste. A better way out is to opt for traditional methods such as composting. You can also resort to technologically advanced air pollution control equipment systems such as use of filters to remove dust particles and use of wet scrubbers to remove acid gases in the atmosphere. And lastly, follow all the rules and regulations meant to stop environmental pollution, and do try to spread awareness about such environmental hazards.

Nuclear Hazards

Introduction:

The first controlled fission of an atom was carried out in Germany in 1938, but United States was the first country to develop an atomic bomb. Naturally occurring uranium contains only 0.7% of fissionable U-235, which is not high enough for most types of reactors. So it is necessary to increase the amount of U-235 by enrichment, although it is a difficult and expensive process.

Introduction:

As fission occurs, the concentration of U-235 atoms decreases.These rods are a major source of radioactive waste material produced by a nuclear reactor. At each step in the cycle, there is a danger of exposure to harmful radiation and poses several attendant health and environmental concerns.

Accidents:

To date, there have been five serious accidents in the world since 1970 (one at Three Mile Island in 1979; one at Chernobyl in 1986; and three at Fukushima-Daiichi in 2011), corresponding to the beginning of the operation of generation II reactors. At least 57 accidents have occurred since the Chernobyl disaster, and over 56 nuclear accidents have occurred in the USA.

Even today many people suffer from illnesses they feel are related to their exposure to the fallout from Chernobyl. a spurt in genetic anomalies as doctors began observing clusters of children born displaying monoadactyly (fingers fused together to form a paddle) and polydactyly (more than 5 digits on the hands and feet). A similar phenomena has also been observed in the villages and towns around the Kalpakkam Nuclear Station, south of Chennai.

Accidents:

The world's nuclear fleet creates about 10,000 metric tons of high-level spent nuclear fuel each year. Highlevel radioactive waste management concerns management and disposal of highly radioactive materials created during production of nuclear power.

Prevention:

Initially, it was thought that spent fuel rods could be reprocessed, not only to provide new fuel but also to reduce the amount of nuclear waste.
High-level radioactive waste requires sophisticated treatment and management to successfully isolate it from the biosphere. This usually necessitates treatment, followed by a long-term management strategy involving permanent storage, disposal or transformation of the waste into a nontoxic form.

Set of safety standards:

Operators must plan for events beyond design bases.

More stringent standards for protecting nuclear facilities against terrorist sabotage.
A stronger international emergency response. International reviews of security and safety. Binding international standards on safety and security. International co-operation to ensure regulatory effectiveness.

Thank you.