Essays about Air Pollution

Atmospheric pollution is one of the global problems of mankind. It is about the threat of depletion of oxygen reserves, necessary to maintain all life on Earth, and climatic changes that are destroying the planet.

Environmental problems of the atmosphere are related to the penetration of substances that change the concentration in its composition. Poisonous elements dissolve, mix with constituents and penetrate through the respiratory organs.

Among the sources of pollution are the following phenomena of human civilization: the development of transport, automobile exhausts; waste from industrial production and daily human activities; agricultural work, the use of fertilizers and chemicals; the activities of radiation hazardous facilities. Among factories, non-ferrous and ferrous metals, construction materials, and petrochemicals are considered record-breakers in air pollution. Combustion of fuel contributes to the emission of smoke and toxic elements into the atmosphere. The operation of the power plant, which daily consumes two thousand tons of coal, costs the world 400 cubic meters of ash and 120 cubic meters of sulfur gas. As a result of the work of industrial plants with the composition of the air mixed up to 26 billion compounds of carbon, about 190 million sulfur oxides and 65 oxides of nitrogen, a certain proportion of carcinogens. With the production of products particulate matter of soot, dust, and soot enters the atmosphere.

Waste discharges bring hazardous heavy metals into the air: mercury, chromium, lead, copper. Dirt enters the environment through cars. In addition to exhaust fumes, tire friction on asphalt also has a negative impact on the atmosphere, contributing to the production of rubber dust.

Every year the world’s cars add 50 million tons of toxic waste to the air, and the emission of heavy metals exceeds 300,000. Agriculture, long known to man, destroys the health of the environment by emitting ammonia gas. Nitrogen-laden fertilizers and animal waste materials affect the air’s composition. In contact with elements of the Earth’s air shell, the residues burn up and turn into poisonous fine particles.

Principal Pollutants

The main air pollutants are carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, ozone and particulate matter. They are all greenhouse gases.

Air pollution with nitrogen compounds is caused by emissions from industrial and transport facilities. They steadily increased until the 1990s, when an agreement was adopted in Europe to control and introduce measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

But in Asia, emissions continued to rise. According to forecasts, this situation will persist for the next two decades, and only in the future can we expect reductions in emissions.

A similar trend is predicted for ammonium emissions. They are showing robust global growth, but emissions will decline in Europe.

There are many concerns about ozone depletion and ozone pollution in general. Ozone is a gas with the strongest oxidizing properties, and therefore there is very little of it in the surface layers of the atmosphere. But at altitudes of 10-40 km ozone forms a layer with a concentration of 1 molecule 03 per 100,000. The presence of this layer is very important for living organisms, since it has a shielding effect: it protects living organisms on the Earth’s surface from harmful solar radiation. At the same time, it absorbs infrared radiation and is thus a greenhouse gas.

Since the late 1970s. and especially since the mid-1980s. it was experimentally established that “holes” appear in the planetary ozone layer, in which the concentration of 03 was reduced by 40%. Subsequently, it was discovered that such holes arise seasonally over Europe, North America and Siberia. This phenomenon has caused great concern among scientists and the public due to the threat to the well-being of the population. Scientists are divided on the causes of ozone holes. Initially, their appearance was associated exclusively with an anthropogenic factor — with the impact on ozone of emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) — freons used in many industries, but especially used as refrigerants. Several international meetings were held and in 1987 the Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed in Montreal. It was signed by 92 states. In 2002, the production of CFCs was proposed to be completely banned. However, not all countries have made such commitments.

But there is also another opinion. It is assumed that the Antarctic ozone hole arises as a result of processes of changes in atmospheric circulation, periodic growth of solar activity and cosmic radiation. A connection has been established between geophysical processes (volcanic eruptions) and the release of fluorine into the atmosphere, which destroys 03.

It is necessary to distinguish between two types of increased ozone concentration: 1) in the surface layers of the atmosphere (up to 10 km above the surface) — this is the actual ozone pollution caused, for example, by photochemical smog or lightning discharges, and 2) tropospheric (at altitudes from 10 to 40 km ). According to experimental studies of recent years [1] [2], ozone, as well as particulate matter, is picked up by the western transfer of the circulation of air masses and from North America reaches Europe, and from the European region — Siberia. Through transoceanic transport, additional volumes of pollutants are sent to Europe. Therefore, despite the measures taken to reduce, for example, the production of freons, ozone holes over Europe continue to be systematically registered. The same applies to the concentration of solid particles. Despite significant advances in reducing their emissions into the atmosphere in the European region, the total volumes of their concentration, even in Europe, are growing, not to mention the global atmosphere.

Consequences of Environmental Pollution

Air pollution from industrial plants as a result of toxic particle emissions as of 2016 in 58% leads to premature death from heart disease (stroke, IBS). In 18% of cases people die from chronic illnesses, acute lung infections acquired while living in a polluted urban environment. High-population countries are strongly affected by the environment: the mortality rate in South-East Asia due to polluted air reaches up to ninety percent. Radiation hazardous facilities “enrich” oxygen with radionuclides. Their impact on the composition of the atmosphere leads to the death of vegetation, animals and people. The tragedy at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, accompanied by the release of harmful substances and radionuclides, resulted in the loss of 2.1 hectares of forest area. Mankind owes the disappearance of about one hectare of trees from the planet to the construction and use of nuclear power plants.