“Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or damages the natural environment into the atmosphere.”
The atmosphere is a complex dynamic natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on planet Earth. Stratospheric ozone depletion due to pollution has long been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to the Earth’s ecosystems.
Sources of Air Pollution
Sources of pollution refer to the various locations, activities or factors which are responsible for the releasing of pollutants in the atmosphere. These sources can be classified into two major categories which are:
1) Anthropogenic sources
2) Natural sources
1) Anthropogenic Sources of Air pollution
(Human activity) mostly related to burning different kinds of fuel
- “Stationary Sources” include smoke stacks of power plants, manufacturing facilities (factories) and waste incinerators, as well as furnaces and other types of fuel-burning heating devices
- “Mobile Sources” include motor vehicles, marine vessels, aircraft and the effect of sound etc.
- Chemicals, dust and controlled burn practices in agriculture and forestry management. Controlled or prescribed burning is a technique sometimes used in forest management, farming, prairie restoration or greenhouse gas abatement..
- Fumes from paint, hair spray, varnish, aerosol sprays and other solvents
- Waste deposition in landfills, which generate methane. Methane is not toxic; however, it is highly flammable and may form explosive mixtures with air.
- Military, such as nuclear weapons toxic gases, germ warfare and rocketry
2) Natural Sources of Air pollution
- Dust from natural sources, usually large areas of land with little or no vegetation.
- Methane, emitted by the digestion of food by animals, for example cattle.
- Radon gas from radioactive decay within the Earth’s crust. It is considered to be a healthhazard. it is the most frequent cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking.
- Smoke and carbon monoxide from wild fires.
- Volcanic activity, which produce sulfur, chlorine, and ash particulates.