What is Air Pollution and Where is it Found?
Air pollution is all of the toxins, gases, fumes, even noises that fill the air around us. Another name for air pollution is smog. Most is caused by factories, power plants, transportation engines (cars, trucks, planes, etc.), power and heat generation, the burning of solid waste, and even things like windblown dust and wild fires. Many factories and power plants pollute by producing bad toxins and fumes, and then they dump them into the atmosphere. The major sources of air pollution are transportation (engines), power and heat generation, industrial processes, and the burning of solid waste. Air pollution threatens the biodiversity of both plants and animals.
Air pollution is found everywhere from Alaska (U.S.A.) to Petropavlovsk (Russia) or from the North Pole to the South Pole. Also, there is air pollution indoors. Indoor pollution is mostly caused by tobacco smoke, cooking appliances, heating appliances, and vapors from building materials, furniture, and paint.
Why Air Pollution is a Threat
Air Pollution is a big threat to humans and all living things. The reason air pollution is a threat is because many different species breathe air. If we breathe polluted air, the chemicals and fumes get into our bodies and make us extremely sick. Of course, humans aren’t the only ones who are affected in this way. All living things are affected by air pollution for the same reason as humans.
Air pollution also causes acid rain. Acid rain is precipitation that falls to earth. It has been polluted by chemicals (sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides) high up in the atmosphere, creating a mild sulfuric acid and nitric acid. When acid rain gets into bodies of water, it makes the water more acidic over time. Animals and plants that don't like more acidic water die off, and plants and animals that like the acidic environment thrive. This affects the biodiversity of the entire ecosystem.
How You Can Help
And… the moment of truth: You can help, too. Even the little things you do could help save our species. Here are a few things anyone can do.
- Don’t smoke. It is bad for you and the environment.
- Join a local “environmental clean-up team.”
- Don’t drive everywhere. It will pollute the air.
- Become a scientist and find out ways to stop pollution.
I hope you can do one of these things or figure out some other ways to help stop air pollution.