The pollution of the air is one of the major problems facing the human being for decades. The concept refers to a negative alternation experienced by atmospheric conditions, generating a risk to life.
It should be remembered that polluting refers to the harmful transformation of the natural or normal characteristics of something. The air, in turn, is the gas that forms the atmosphere of the Earth, consisting of oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and other elements.
Air pollution is produced by the presence of certain forms of energy or matter. These agents can cause from small annoyances to great dangers that threaten the subsistence of living beings. The pollution may even attack the integrity of various materials.
There is air pollution that can be classified as global or general, which refers to the high concentrations of substances throughout the earth’s atmosphere. There is another class of air pollution that is local and whose consequences are registered in the vicinity of the pollutant source.
Vehicles that use fossil fuels (such as cars with engines that require gasoline or naphtha), for example, increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air. This air pollution affects everyone. On the other hand, a factory dedicated to the production of asphalt that spews particles through its chimneys can alter the environment for a few kilometers around.
It is important to note that air pollution can be due to primary pollutants (which are emitted directly into the atmosphere) or secondary pollutants (formed through chemical processes that take place in the atmosphere).
Let’s look at some of the causes of air pollution:
* use of fossil fuels : among the most important sources of pollution worldwide is the sulfuric dioxide emitted by certain fossil fuels during their use, and in this list we find oil, coal and oil, in addition to those used by the factories for their daily activities. We must not overlook the negative impact that traditional vehicles have on the environment;
* agriculture : although at first glance it may seem absurd that an activity focused on the production of food is harmful to the environment, the problem with modern agriculture focuses on the use of certain substances, such as ammonia, one of the most harmful gases in the world, as well as certain pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers, whose consequences go beyond air pollution to also reach water pollution;
* Industry : the volume of carbon monoxide, organic components and hydrocarbons released by certain industries, such as manufacturing, is really considerable and, needless to say, harmful to the air. At present, it is practically impossible to travel to a city in which there is no such activity, which has left its black mark in the sky;
* mining : throughout the process that consists of extracting minerals from the lower layers of the earth, for which the use of large machines is necessary, chemicals and a large amount of dust are released into the air, with the consequent pollution.
Mining is often associated with a great risk to the health of workers, and this is precisely what generates air pollution: since we cannot live without breathing, if we allow toxic products to enter our body through the respiratory tract we contribute to the appearance of different disorders in the lungs and the heart. Other consequences of this destructive action are global warming, acid rain and eutrophication (the appearance of a layer of polluting waste on the surface of the sea that negatively affects the life of its species).