By Olivia Kendle
Air pollution is caused by pollutants that have been released into the air, harming the environment. Most pollutants are from energy sources like factories or power plants. This article will explain how different types of air pollution is affecting not only our environment, but also ourselves.
First up, are wastes disposal plants. Most trash is burned, which releases pollutants such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide. These types of pollutants can cause difficulty breathing, asphyxia (choking), headaches, etc. Sometimes it can result in death. Burning waste also takes a lot more energy and money. Incinerator workers often are exposed to these risks when working in waste plants.
Second, are greenhouse gases. Heat is being trapped in our atmosphere. Greenhouse gases play a huge role in air pollution because the toxins from it are heating and killing the environment. Although more carbon dioxide is being released, methane (the second greenhouse gas) is far more harmful and destructive to the environment. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, hydrofluorocarbons cause way more harm to the environment than carbon dioxide.
Our last pollutant, for now, is actually very surprising: mold and pollen. The air pollution and climate change have made allergens and mold hazardous. The wind, trees, grass, etc., carry the allergens and mold around. Carbon dioxide is affecting plants with pollen, like the common goldenrod, and they are growing bigger and spreading, exposing more people who are allergic to pollen. This means more people will suffer from fever, itchy eyes, runny nose, etc. Mold can also have a dangerous effect. Some molds, for example, if consumed, can result in asthma attacks. If inhaled, they can also be just as dangerous.
Some ways to reduce these pollutants are to stop burning waste, recycle, and use different ways of transportation that involve less to no gas release (like biking, or walking, or riding a public transit). Also, you could try using partial solar power, or trying to save power by turning off the lights in one room before re-entering another (if you don’t already). You can also work or volunteer to help against air pollution companies.
For more information, please visit: