What does air pollution mean?

In this blog post, we will discuss “What does air pollution mean?” First, we will extensively discuss air pollution. Then, we will address the meaning of the Air Quality Index and its importance. In addition, we will emphasize the effects of air pollution on the earth. The article will also throw light on the world leaders doing their bit to lower air pollution.  In the end, the article will provide a detailed solution to improve the air quality. 

What does air pollution mean?

The introduction of harmful agents into the atmosphere is known as air pollution. The toxic agents are known as pollutants. These pollutants are derived from natural and human activities, and they can be chemical or biological.

The significant pollutants present in the air are as follows:

  •  Particulate matter (PM)
  • Ground-level ozone (O3)
  • Nitrous Oxides (NOx)
  • Sulfur Oxides (SOx)
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • Hydrocarbons (-CH4)
  • allergens, pollens, bacteria, and viruses

Besides climate change, air pollution has become a significant environmental risk to human health.

Therefore, striving towards minimizing air pollution can also help to improve climate change mitigation efforts. In addition, reducing emissions will enhance the quality of air.

What are the permissible limits of the World Health Organization?

WHO has suggested some revised guidelines on 22 September 2021 to improve the overall air quality. This organization has decided to implement permissible limits of the earlier significant pollutants.

These permissible limits of ambient air quality are as follows:

PollutantsHourly mean concentration (ug/m-3)Annual mean concentration (ug/m-3)
O38 hour: 100Peak season: 60

What are the AQIs set up in the USA?

WHO has set up the air quality guidelines to regulate the emissions; however, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has calculated its own AQI to safeguard the public health of Americans. 

Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has determined the air quality index (AQI) to know the air quality you inhale. The table given below will show how the air quality index looks like.

Air Quality Index (AQI)Levels of Health Concern
(When the AQI is in this range)(air quality conditions are)
0 to 50Good           
51 to 100Moderate
101 to 150Unhealthy for Sensitive group
151 to 200Unhealthy
201 to 300Very Unhealthy
301 to 500Hazardous

The primary purpose of AQI is to inform residents about the impact of local air quality on their health. The Environment Protection Agency calculates the AQI for five major pollutants: ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.

The meaning of the Air quality index as mentioned earlier categories are as follows:

Air quality is considered satisfactory; air pollution is of little or no risk.
Air quality is acceptable; some pollutants present in the air might be dangerous for a minority of people who are very sensitive to air pollution.
Members of sensitive groups may get ill effects. However, the general public is likely not to get affected.
This air quality level can pose a threat to everyone. However, members of sensitive people may experience more severe effects.
Emergency level of air quality; Entire population might be affected
Health alert: Every person breathing such air quality may get serious health issues.

 Thus, it is clear that excluding the first two levels is relatively good to venture out and to do various outdoor activities. However, the last three levels will give you or other adverse effects by inhaling dirty air. 

What are the causes of air pollution?

There are two leading causes of air pollution- natural pollution and anthropogenic pollution. Let’s know more about them in detail.

Natural Pollution

Natural pollution is defined as air pollution, which occurs due to natural phenomena—the causes of natural air pollution as volcanic eruptions, wildfires due to intense heatwaves, and dust storms.

Anthropogenic Pollution

Air pollution, which happens due to human activities, is called anthropogenic, artificial, or man-made pollution. The causes of man-made pollution are majorly combustion of fossil fuels, transportation sector, cooking activities, energy sector, agriculture, industries and factories, household pollution, and construction and demolition activities. I think the list is never-ending. While human inventions, no doubt, have always helped us to save our lives, it has also given birth to much inevitable stuff. One such thing is air pollution.

Humans have tremendously exploited natural resources such as fossil fuels in the constant chase to become successful. However, in the process of progression, somewhere we left behind the great values of nature, we forgot the support and symbiotic existence of the environment.

What are the sources of air pollution?

Let’s see the origin of air pollution.

 Mobile sources such as cars and buses and other different commutes

Stationary sources such as oil refineries and factories

Area sources such as agricultural areas and cities

Line sources such as roadways and railways

According to the United States United Protection Agency (US EPA), mobile sources (automobiles) are responsible for more than half of the air pollution in the United States of America.

What are the types of air pollution?

There are two types of air pollution – ambient pollution and household pollution. Let’s get to know more about it below.

Ambient or Outdoor Pollution

Air pollution in the outside environment is called ambient or outdoor air pollution. The examples of outdoor air pollution comprise all the sources of natural and human-made pollution.

  • Transportation
  • Combustion of fossil fuel
  •  Cooking activities
  • Energy generation and consumption
  • Agriculture
  •  Improper Solid Waste Management
  • Industries and factories
  • Household pollution
  • Celebrations
  •  Construction and demolition

Household Pollution

Air pollution created inside any closed structure is called indoor or household air pollution. Household air pollution consists of all household activities such as:

  • Household activities
  • Perfumes and fresheners
  • Cooking fuel/activities
  • Cigarette
  • Radon detected in the basement
  • Poor ventilation
  • Uncleaned furniture
  • Pets
  • Asbestos in the sheets or tiles

The above-explained factors can cause other pollutions such as water, soil, light, and noise pollution. All these pollutions are intertwined with each other. The ever-growing menace of air pollution has also created other challenges such as global warming, greenhouse effect, and climate change.

What are the impacts of air pollution on the Earth?

Air pollution can be so disastrous that its effect can raise a question on the world’s existence. The impact of air pollution are as follows:

Depletion of Water Bodies and Land Surface 

Air pollution causes harm to the water cycle. As a result, this results in the depletion of various natural resources. The two primary resources which get deteriorate are water bodies and land surfaces.

Air pollution can considerably affect the soil and water health of the Earth when the toxic pollutants develop into clouds and condense to form acid rain. Acid rains are also called acid precipitations. Acid precipitation is completely acidic. Acidic precipitation changes the soil’s pH level when it comes in contact with land surfaces and water bodies.

Even the warmer air alters the temperature of the soil, which changes the composition of the bacteria. The acidic deposition is of two types, namely, wet and dry. Acid rain is a wet type of acidic deposition that causes soil erosion and affects the ecosystem. In contrast, dry deposition occurs when small acid particles and gases such as sulfur dioxides and nitrogen dioxides fall on the Earth’s surface.

Now, acidic precipitation results in soil degradation. The soil acidic in nature decreases the ability to retain many nutrients such as calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and potassium (K). The agricultural run-off or water on the soil gets absorbed and seeps through the soil. As a result, the aquifers or groundwaters are also gets affected.

On the other hand, the acidic rain falling on the water bodies pose a significant threat to aquatic life. The constant fluctuations of water temperatures and the nutrient composition imbalances fish population and other wildlife depending on it.

The aquatic life in the oceans has been at significant risk due to air pollution. Corals, mangroves, and seaweeds are degrading due to air pollution. In addition, fishes are dependent on these habitats for survival, posing a threat to their population.

Additionally, fishes are finding it difficult to breathe because of depleting oxygen supplies. World Meteorological Organisation says that around 90% of the greenhouse gases get trapped in the oceans.

Loss of biodiversity and Food Insecurity

Flora and fauna are all dependent on natural resources such as water and soil to thrive on the Earth. However, as explained earlier, the unnecessary involvement of airborne pollutants in the water cycle and their accumulation in the ground and other natural resources leads to the depletion of their nutrients.

The animals and plants relying on these resources then come under a significant threat. The indirect and direct impact of air pollution affects plant growth and reduces the production of fruits and flowers. This will decline the population of herbivorous animals. Their declining rate will eventually affect the primary, secondary and tertiary predators and the apex predators. As a result, air pollution affects the food web of an ecosystem. Besides, the lowering rate of insects is alarming as the insect-plant relationship is the backbone of nature as insects help to balance the ecosystem. Pollinating insects help for the security of food and balance in the food chain, whereas, insects like ants act s scavengers by helping in the decomposition process.   

However, particulate matter (PM2.5) affects the antennae, wings, and hind legs of pollinating helpers like honeybees. Its inhalation also messes up with their brains which makes them confused and delays the pollination process. Such issues will burden the food security of the world.

As we are also a vital part of the ecosystem, these pollutants also cause harm to our health and well-being. Much scientific evidence has proved that exposure to elevated pollutant concentrations causes respiratory and heart diseases such as lung cancer, heart attack, and stroke. It also damages our nervous system and develops mental disorders such as dementia, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and schizophrenia. Besides, it also causes issues in reproduction and defects in birth.

More than humans, birds are most exposed to these toxic contaminants. Such exposure impacts their respiratory functions. Pollutants such as black carbon and soot can transform a beautiful bird into an ugly stained one. Also, amphibians such as frogs are vulnerable to herbicides and insecticides because of their skin permeability. Their skin absorbs such poison, and it transfers their vital organs such as the heart, lungs, gills, and brain. Moreover, indoor air pollution causes danger to furry pets; they can get respiratory ailments and tumors.

Depletion of the Ozone layer

The ozone layer is exceptionally beneficial for the proper functioning of the Earth. The main job of the ozone is to protect the Earth from harmful ultraviolet (UVB rays) from the Sun. Without the ozone layer, humans will acquire many dangerous skin diseases such as skin cancer, cataracts, and compromised immune systems. Unfortunately, this ozone layer is vulnerable to hazardous air pollutants such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). This chemical may be present you very nearby you, wonder how? This chemical is used as the refrigerant in your refrigerators, and it is made up of chlorine atoms. When the chlorine atoms are released into the atmosphere, they can destroy ozone. A single chlorine atom has the power to kill thousands of ozone molecules.

Meteorological Changes, Global warming and Climate change

The high levels of particulate matter and ozone can cause the sky to be hazy and smoggy, creating less visibility. Sometimes, the high concentration of particulates can cause darkness and reduce the expected amount of sunlight to the Earth. Such less sunlight can affect the photosynthesis processes in the plants, leading to fewer crops productivity. Besides, hazy skies are also responsible for the alterations in the weather and climate.

The greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, and fluorinated gases are mainly produced from various human activities such as the combustion of fossil fuels, industries, and the agricultural sector. These gases get trapped inside the Earth’s atmosphere and cause warm temperatures. In addition, these gases also fluctuate with the seasons and weather. Finally, global warming is boosted by the tremendous presence of gases.

Global warming and the greenhouse effect has led to another huge challenge known as Climate Change. Climate change is a worldwide challenge to the Earth’s climate because of the natural causes and human activity. Climate change has globally negatively impacted the climatic patterns. It also causes the north and south poles to melt rapidly, which increases the sea level. Such a rise in the sea level can pose a threat to coasts and island nations. Besides, climate change has caused more extreme meteorological changes such as intense heat waves, prolonged droughts, flash floods, wildfires, and harsh winters. Intense fluctuations in the weather and climate give rise to multiple diseases such as cholera, typhoid, etc.

How are world leaders tackling air pollution?

World organizations and countries have been trying to mitigate air pollution challenges and associated with it for a long time. In 2012, United Nations developed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations Conference in Rio de Janeiro. These goals are set up to meet the universal goals to reduce the environmental issues faced by our world. The World Health Organization (WHO) also helps track the progress of the SDGs goals of 3,7 and 11. The SDG targets related to air pollution are as follows:

  • SDG target 3.9.1: aims to reduce the illnesses and deaths related to air pollution.
  • SDG target 7.1.2: aims to use clean energy in homes
  • SDG target 11.6.2: aims to reduce the environmental impact of cities by improving air quality.

The WHO has also created a global household energy database to track the energy use for cooking, heating, and lighting. This database is used to measure the progress of SDG 7.

Also, as per the WHO, the world leaders and governments of all the countries must reduce air pollution. WHO further said that these governments should strive to cut down the emissions and transform their urban cities into green ones. Such measures will also help to reduce the effects of climate change.

Back in 2014, the United Nations (UN) Environment Assembly has also asked UN Environment to publish actions taken by the world governments to improve the air quality. The report stated that while many governments still need to act on air pollution, they also highlighted some positive sides worldwide. For example, to share some news, Seychelles has improved household air quality by transforming the use of solid fuels and inefficient cookstoves to liquefied petroleum gas. In addition, countries like Kenya and Rwanda have decided to use low-sulfur powers from 1st January 2015 to reduce vehicle emissions by over 90 percent.  

In 2015, at the Paris Climate Summit, the public health professionals and experts urged the countries to reduce air pollutions by reducing the use of fossil fuels. The countries participating in this summit had then agreed on adopting cleaner transportation methods. The recent COP26 in Glasgow has also conducted the world carbon emissions.

Moreover, our responsibility is to create awareness about air pollution and its effects amongst your friends and loved ones. After all, nobody wants to experience like those scientific fiction movies showing apocalypse. 

We still have time to save our world. However, even little effort can significantly contribute to the betterment of the environment. In the next section, I will provide you with detailed solutions to mitigate air pollution.

 What can I do to protect myself from air pollution?

I will elaborate on some of the measures to protect yourself from air pollution.

Personal Hygiene

You can also fight the effects of air pollution by maintaining personal hygiene:

  • You can cut your nails short to avoid the accumulation of dirt. 
  • You can also practice mouth gargling after coming home to free your mouth from unwanted guests.
  • You can also brush twice a day to keep airborne infections at bay.
  • You can also take steam therapy at home to cleanse your lungs.

Quit Smoking

Smoking cigarettes, hookahs (shisha), electric vape or any other types of cigars are not at all suitable for your health. It’s best to stop smoking. Active and passive smoking provides the direct entry of harmful pollutants into your body. This causes the risk to your respiration and other organs dependent on it. 

Physical Exercise 

Physical activities have many benefits to your body. It not only improves your stamina and immunity levels but also helps to increase your lung capacity. Yoga, sanas, swimming, running, cycling, brisk walking and dancing are some of the best forms of exercise to improve your health.

Breathing Exercise 

The majority of people in the world don’t breathe properly. However, correct breathing techniques can keep illnesses due to air pollution at bay. A pranayama is a form of yoga asana which helps to improve breathing methods and lung functionality.

Some of the pranayama types that help you fight air pollution are Kapalbhati, Anulom Vilom, Chandra Nadi, Surya Nadi and Bhastrika. It is strongly recommended to learn this art of breath from a well-certified yoga trainer. 

You can also increase your lung muscles by simply taking a deep breath and holding it for a count of 10. Then, slowly breathe out the air. If you can keep your breath for a longer time, then you have good lungs health.

Good diet 

Always go for a well-balanced diet to remain fit and strong. Consistent eating of junk and fast food will increase the risk of obesity and other diseases. In addition, such people are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of air pollution. Instead, add more fresh veggies and fruits to your diet. Also, you can consume less meat to minimise carbon footprints.

You can also add anti-inflammatory foods as these types of food help to cleanse your lungs effectively. Anti-inflammatory foods which I recommend are: 

Immunity booster drinks

You can do your immunity booster drinks by using readily available items in your kitchen. Immunity booster drinks help to cleanse your lungs. Some of the DIY immunity booster drinks are as follows:

  • Take a glass of warm white milk. Add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder to it. Also, add two strands of saffron to it. Drink it at night before sleeping. You will get good sleep, and you will be relieved from chest congestion. 
  • Boil water by adding half cinnamon stick. Drink the spice-infused water once a day. Your sinuses would be cleared up. 
  • Buy an excellent green tea. Prepare a green tea by following the packet instructions. Have it whenever you feel irritation in your throat. 
  • Take some crushed 1 or 2 peppercorns, a half-inch of a blade of lemongrass and 1 inch of grated ginger and half a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Add everything in one glass of boiling water and reduce it to half a glass. Drink two tablespoons of this spice-infused warm water every after three hours. Adding honey is optional. 
  • You can also drink warm water and add honey if you want. Honey helps to relieve throat irritation.

Use Mask

Mask can prevent you from inhaling the polluted air. You would be able to work in contaminated areas without any fear of allergy infections and stress. 

Masks I recommend

Name Why I recommend it
BASE CAMP CROSSDUST MASKEAPI Filter Technology & Advanced NanotechnologyUser FriendlyMore Durable Six layers face maskFilter materials of the dust mask: Double-Layer Melt-blown with Electrostatic Adsorption Performance, Activated carbon, Non-woven Polypropylene
NIOSH approved N95 maskFour layers mask Flexible nose pad, dual strapsDisposable maskEasy to breathe
BASE CAMP Reusable Cloth Face MaskThree layers mask; 100% cotton Skin-friendly and breathablePocket to add additional filterReusable Mask

How can I individually reduce air pollution?

You can always try your level best to minimise air pollution. The following are the methods to reduce air pollution at an individual level.

Plant Trees

Encourage tree plantation drives amongst the communities. You can be a green saviour of your region. Trees are the natural air purifiers of the environment, and it supplies us with clean air.

Municipal councils or the local authorities can develop urban forests to increase the green cover of the locality. They can also plan to create vertical green walls to improve oxygen levels of the region naturally. But don’t forget to plant only indigenous trees. 

Human/ religious celebrations in eco-friendly ways 

Nowadays, many couples celebrate gender (of their baby) revealing parties by bursting firecrackers. But, unfortunately, these firecrackers can transform into massive wildfires if they are burst near trees.

Thus, you can celebrate such celebrations by planting trees in your nearby barren land. Bursting firecrackers on any religious, festive or personal occasion are only going to harm your loved ones. 

You can also celebrate Christmas by not cutting Christmas Trees. Instead, you can buy artificial ones and use them in the coming years too.

Discourage Plastic

Single-use plastic has been one of the major concerns in the environment. Plastic pollution indirectly contributes to the degradation of air quality. Plastic, when burned, releases various toxic gases such as dioxins into the air.

Encourage alternative use of the plastic product. For example, you can wear a cloth bag for shopping. You can also carry your travel cutlery set to a restaurant. Additionally, you can take your water bottle instead of purchasing a packaged drinking water bottle every time.

Use of public transportation 

Increase the use of public transport to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion. You can also try carpooling or the cab sharing option. Then, you can also use bicycles instead of scooters. Lastly, you can always opt for walking a shorter distance. 

Alternative use of fossil fuel

It would be best to try switching to other fuel alternatives. For example, don’t use wood for the fireplace. Instead, you can wear multiple layers of clothes for warmth. In this way, you can conserve energy. Additionally, you can also install solar panels on house roofs to convert solar energy into electricity. 

You can also buy electric and hybrid vehicles to minimise tailpipe emissions. Finally, propose or discuss a plan with your mayor or any relevant local authority to promote your region’s renewable energy sector.

Reduction of personal carbon footprints

You can also keep a check on your carbon footprints. For example, you can delete unwanted photos, videos or emails from clouds and email boxes as and when possible. Unfortunately, this unwanted stuff takes a lot of energy, which indirectly contributes to air pollution.

You can also switch off the lights and electrical appliances of the vacant rooms. Try buying local products instead of imported ones. Be vocal about them. You can also discover your own country rather than travelling to different ones.

Create Awareness

Air pollution is unpredictable; air pollution in your vicinity can affect people living in Asia and vice-a-versa. However, you can create public awareness about air pollution amongst your community by teaching and interacting with your kids about the importance of good air. 

Educate youth by telling them the ill effects of poor air quality. Then, let your country’s future know that they deserve a better place to live!

How can the local authorities improve the air quality of your region?

You can always observe the changes happening in your surrounding nature. If you experience bad air quality or any activities producing air pollution, you can always concern relevant local authorities or the mayor.

Here are some methods which local authorities can do.

Proper disposal of waste 

Improper solid waste management of an area is an invitation to many diseases and infections. In addition, burning solid waste in public can cause air pollution, although such practices are rare in the US. 

The wastes are mainly disposed of in the engineered landfills and recycled before final disposal to landfills and waste incinerators. 

In addition, waste incinerators help to convert waste into energy.

However, many researchers have claimed that gasification technology or waste-to-energy technology may release harmful gaseous contaminants. Thus, it is necessary that waste collectors rigorously segregate the waste before sending it to waste incinerators. 

The best solution is to minimise waste at a personal level. Statistically, 70% of the waste generated can be recycled effectively. Thus, strive to recycle your waste at a personal level as much as possible.

Reducing air pollution from agriculture

Stubble burning is still practised in some parts of the US. This event contributes to the degradation of air. Local authorities can help farmers convert this waste into cattle fodder or be transformed into pellets as fuel. In addition, farmers should stop the usage of harmful pesticides or fertilisers to decrease air pollution.

How can I reduce indoor air pollution?

Maintaining household or indoor hygiene

You can decrease poor air quality by adequately maintaining indoor hygiene. For example, you can frequently clean your cupboards and open decks to avoid an accumulation of dust particles. You can then vacuum your carpets and sofas at least twice a week. 

Make sure your doggies and cats are well-groomed. Use chimneys and exhaust fans in kitchens. You can also install an exhaust fan in washrooms. Always make sure you are keeping your house well ventilated. 

Keep doors and windows open when possible. Maintain the health of electric appliances such as heaters, humidifiers, AC, fans, air ducts and so on at regular intervals of the year. Avoid overuse of strong perfumes or strong scented candles indoors. You can additionally use indoor plants to make your indoors more lively and fresh.

Indoor plants

Indoor plants do the same work as outdoor ones- they help to purify indoor air naturally. These indoor plants are also easy to maintain.

The indoor plants which I recommend are as follows: 

Air purifiers

Air purifiers help to improve indoor air quality. The risk of getting air pollution-related diseases decreases due to the use of air purifiers. Air purifiers having good HEPA filters do an adequate job of filtering pollutants.

Air Purifiers I recommend are as follows:

NameWhy I recommend it
Blueair Pro XL Air Purifier99.7% of airborne pollutants such as mould, allergens, smoke particles and pollens are captured. 
AIRMEGA 400SReduction of 99.97% of particulates of 0.3 microns. Also responsible for reducing more than 99% of VOCs, NH3 and CH3CHO.Washable and permanent pre-filters are available 
Blueair Pure 121Includes 3-part filtration system. Captures 99% of common airborne PM 2.5 pollutants such as allergens, odours, smoke, mould spores, dust mites and pet dander.An activated carbon filter removes common odours caused by smoke, pets, and gases (VOCs) and smoke caused by wildfires.


The humidity levels in the office should be maintained between 30 and 50% in the office. This range helps to keep dust mites, mould and other allergens under control. In addition, when AC or heater makes the air in the room dry, humidifiers can maintain correct humidity levels.

Humidifiers I recommend

Name Why I recommend it
Amazon Basics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier 4 litre of tank capacityAuto shut-off feature and 12 or 24-hour timer settingsIt can be used in both seasons
MOVTIP HumidifierPortable Mini-humidifier500 ml capacity, still produces longer mistsEasy to operate
LEVOIT HumidifierIt can be used for both seasons6 litres of capacity Easy to clean and has a remote control


Dehumidifiers also work similarly to humidifiers. It controls the high levels of humidity in the office.

Dehumidifiers I recommend

Name Why I recommend it
Pro Breeze DehumidifierCan extract 50 pints of moisture a dayEnergy-saving auto-off systemBuilt-in Humidity sensor
HOmeLabs DehumidifierEliminates moistness, odour controllerEasy to cleanRemovable water tank
TCL Portable Dehumidifier20 pints of moisture removed per dayIt can be operated at low temperatures tooEasy to maintain

Other FAQs about Air Quality that you may be interested in.

What are 10 types of pollution?

What air pollutants scare the lungs?

Was the Clean Air Act successful?


In this blog post, we discussed “What does air pollution mean?” First, we extensively discussed air pollution. Then, we addressed the meaning of the Air Quality Index and its importance. In addition, we emphasized the effects of air pollution on humans. The article also threw light on the world leaders doing their bit to lower the air pollution.   In the end, the article provided a detailed solution to improve the air quality. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What does air pollution mean?

Which pollutants cause chlorosis in plants?

Ozone causes chlorosis in plants. This is because ozone enters into leaves through stomata during typical gas exchange. As ozone is a strong oxidant, it causes several types of symptoms, including chlorosis and necrosis.

What are the five disastrous effects of air pollution?

The five disastrous effects of air pollution are:

  • Respiratory and heart ailments in human beings
  • Global Warming
  • Acid Rain
  • Depletion of the ozone layer
  • Food insecurity

What is the primary cause of air pollution and its effect on the environment?

The burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause of air pollution. Combustion of fossil fuel is needed in the transportation sector, energy generation, and cooking activities. Such activities release a tremendous amount of carbon monoxide and other toxic pollutants into the atmosphere. These contaminants cause harm to human health, hampers flora and fauna growth, and create food insecurity.

How does air pollution affect global warming?

Air pollution also releases greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This contributes to the greenhouse effect. In addition, the carbon dioxide emitted traps a tremendous amount of heat into the atmosphere. This process results in global warming.

What effect does air pollution have on food crops and biodiversity?

Pollutants such as sulfur can result in excess acidification of the water bodies such as lakes and streams. This pollutant can also damage trees and fertile land. The atmospheric nitrogen can create an imbalance in biodiversity and can harm overall plant communities and aquatic life. Moreover, ozone can damage the tree leaves.

Why air pollution is a problem?

Air pollution is a problem because it harms crops, animals and plants simultaneously. Air pollution also contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer and can aggravate climate change. Some of the environmental effects of air pollution are smog, hazy skies and eutrophication.



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Mackenzie, J. and Turrentine, J., 2021. Air Pollution: Everything You Need to Know. [online] NRDC. Available at https://www.nrdc.org/stories/air-pollution-everything-you-need-know

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