Air pollution

Essay by Dvs_17High School, 11th gradeC, August 2004

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Air Pollution is major problem that is yet to be solved. We as humans depend on the air around us to live, without it we would die. Although we rely on this as an essential source for living, it is still littered and polluted with chemicals. Pollution of the atmosphere and the air around us is becoming more "popular" everyday. "If there are other particles or gases in the air that are not part of its normal composition, we call this "air pollution" and the particles or gases are called "air pollutants." Very small amounts of certain air pollutants can cause serious health and environmental problems. We can see some air pollutants such as the reddish-brown haze in smog; however, other air pollutants, including some of the most dangerous, are invisible" (what is air pollution?). "Some main sources of air pollution are automobile engines, industrial practices, heat and energy production, and the burning of solid waste.

The primary air pollutants found in most urban areas are carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter (both solid and liquid)" (Socha). In order to truly understand air pollution and how it affects the earth one must first look at the influence it has on the atmosphere, how it dramatically damages plants, and the affect it has on humans.

One reason why it is important to understand air pollution and how it affects the earth is because of the influence it has on the atmosphere. "Carbon dioxide produced mostly by burning coal, gasoline and other fossil fuels, traps heat that otherwise would radiate into space" (greenhouse gases). CO2 is a good transmitter of sunlight, but partially restricts infrared radiation going back from the earth into space. This produces the so-called greenhouse effect that prevents a drastic cooling of the Earth during...