Effects of Major Air Pollutants on Environment and Human Health (Notes)

Other Effects of Air Pollution:

1. Ozone causes reduced pollination and yellow spot formation on leaves, thus affecting the rate of photosynthesis and decreases in plant productivity.

2. Air pollution causes global warming (green house effect), acid rain and helps in the formation of photo-chemical smog.

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3. Air pollution causes chlorsis, nacrosis and epinesty in plants.

NacrosisKilling or collapse of tissues
ChlorosisReduction in the chlorophyll
AbcissionDropping of leaves
EpinastyDownward curvature of the leaf due to higher rate of growth on the upper surface

4. Sulphur dioxide is converted to sulphuric acid in the presence of moisture and iron, which are present in dust, nails, etc. This results in yellowing, decolonization, weakening and corrosion of materials and other physical distortion of building materials, monuments, status etc.

5. Air pollution causes depletion of Ozone in stratosphere.

6. Air pollution causes temperature inversion.

Major Air Pollutants, Their Origin and Effects are given below:

PollutantOrigin of PollutantEffects
Sulphur dioxideindustries, especially where coal or oil are used as fuelirritation of eyes, and respiratory system, increased mucus production, cough and shortness of breath
Carbon monoxideautomobile exhaust and industriesreduction in oxygen-carrying capacity of blood
Oxides of nitrogenautomobile exhaustirritation of pulmonary tract affecting functioning of lungs
Hydrocarbonsautomobile exhaustlung cancer
Chlorinechloralkali industryirritation of mucous membrane
Ammoniafertiliser, industry, agriculture and in poultry farmingirritation of mucous membrane
Hydrogen sulphidemanufacture of coke, viscose rayon distillation of tar and petroleumexcessive inhalation leads to death
Acids and Aldehydeschemical industrieseyes, nose and throat irritation
Suspended particulate matter (SPM)industries, automobile exhaustrespiratory diseases
Dustindustries and automobile exhaustsilicosis
Asbestosroofings, brake liningsasbestosis
Leadautomobile exhaustcumulative poison, impairment of central nervous system
Manganesemining operationsdamages nerves and reproductive system
Benzeneautomobile exhaust and manufacture of chemicalsleukemia, chromosomal damage
Pesticidesmanufacture and application of pesticidesdepression; leads to death if inhaled in excess

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