Major Air Pollutants in India & China | Steps to Reduce Air Pollution | Chemistry Articles

Is the air you breathe, safe?

Major Pollutants or Chemicals in Air of India & China

Try this, hold your breath for 10 seconds. How does it feel? Difficult isn’t it? Though we all agree, breathing is an important biological function, but the fact that breathing clean air is equally important cannot be ignored. With the growing urbanisation, do you really feel the quality of air still remains the same as a few decades ago? The concrete jungles, replacing the greenery and the increasing human activities have led to a higher level of air pollution across the globe, the scenario which is expected to worsen in the coming years.

Poor air quality – A global threat

The rate at which we are polluting the air has reached an alarming level, becoming a global concern. According to a research data compiled by “Global Burden of Disease project,” about 5.5 million deaths occur worldwide due to air pollution with China and India on the top of the list. Also, in a recent report by the WHO, the Indian city – Delhi, is among one of the most polluted cities in the world with heavy smog hampering the city’s daily activities. If a serious measure is not taken towards controlling the pollution level, probably the day is not very far when we’ll all have to plug in oxygen masks for quality air supply.

Major air pollutants

Carbon monoxide: Carbon monoxide (CO), one of the major air pollutant released by cars, trucks and other vehicles and machinery involves the burning of fossil fuel.  CO is a colourless, odourless gas, which when inhaled in large quantity can be fatal.

Hydrocarbons: Hydrocarbons are the main cause of modern-day smog. They are formed by incomplete combustion of petrol.

Nitrogen oxides: Again, nitrogen oxides are emitted to the environment from vehicles, like cars and trucks and power stations too. This is a major culprit in causing acid rain.

Particulates: Particulates are very small particles that consist of soot, dust and fumes that are released in the air. These small particles are released by vehicles, factories and smoke from homes burning coal for heating.

Gases from factories: Some of the factories gases that contribute to air pollution are nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide. Sulphur dioxide is a colourless gas released by power stations. This gases cause acid rain when mixed with water in the air.

Steps to reduce air pollution

Though air pollution is posing a serious threat, it can be reduced drastically with efforts by the government and individual contribution. Some of the steps that you can take towards reducing the air pollution are:

  • Use renewable energy
  • Plant trees
  • Create awareness
  • Regular serving of your vehicle
  • Reduce the number of vehicles on roads with car pools and share rides
  • Stick to recycle and reuse

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