Article on Pollution – Long and short articles for students
Article on Pollution: Pollution contributes to the harmful environment that results in adverse effect on living beings. It is one of the major concern areas for the whole world. It is a global issue involving the United Nations, governments, voluntary institutions and the media.
Students need to be made fully aware of the adverse effects of rising pollution. Also, being the future generation, they can play a vital role in controlling pollution if they are familiar with this threat to the survival of mankind.
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Here we are providing you some useful article on pollution under various categories according to varying words limits. You can choose any of them according to your need:
- Types, Causes and Effects
- Major Causes of Pollution
- Solutions to prevent Air Pollution
Essay on Vehicle Pollution
- Air Pollution – Brief Explanation
Article on Pollution
Article on pollution 1 (300 words).
Anything added into the environment that results in producing harmful or poisonous effect on living things is called pollution. Pollution is the process that makes nature’s resources such as land, water, air or other parts of the environment unsafe or unsuitable to use. Pollution can be of many types: soil, air, water, thermal, radioactive, noise, and light. The toxins released are inhaled by each one of us while we breathe.
Pollution and its Causes
Inhaling poisonous air is as hazardous as smoking. It is not only the humans who are affected from this polluted environment but also the animals. Air is filled with highly toxic gases. These dangerous gases in environment are released by the power industries that burn fossil fuels, industries that dispose wastes in the water, farmers using pesticides, high usage of artificial lights and loud sounds, etc. Each of these leads to generation of the life threatening cause – pollution.
Any use of natural resources at a rate higher than the nature’s capacity to restore itself can result in pollution of air, water, and land. Other than human activities, there are a few periodic natural cycles that also result in release of dangerous stuff. Natural activities other than the human activities like volcanic eruption, dust wildfires, etc also result in creation of pollution.
Globalizationis another major cause of pollution . Globalization has become an effective facilitator of environmental degradation.
Every individual owns certain responsibility of maintaining few points such as not throwing garbage all around, growing trees, using public transport instead of their own, etc. We must shun excessive consumption and avoid careless and deliberate disposal of post-consumption waste resources which could otherwise be recycled and would led to pollution control.
Pollution cannot be reduced or controlled if a sense of responsibility towards our Mother Earth is not felt by all concerned.
Article on Pollution 2 (500 words)
Pollution is a process of making the environment dirty, unhealthy and unsuitable for humans and animals to live. It is caused due to the release of both tangible and intangible contaminants. These can be released naturally or by humans themselves accidentally or deliberately.
More than 200 million people are affected due to toxic pollutants. Due to pollution, there are few countries that have faced defected child birth and increase in mortality rate. Humans are regularly exposed to pollution when they inhale toxic air inside them.
Pollution can be controlled, if not eliminated. Efforts such as promoting green environment, proper disposal of waste, etc are simple steps that lead to great emphasis on maintaining the order of environment.
- Plant trees/cultivate garden to curb polluted air and release more oxygen.
- Switch off electricity-based equipments when not in use: lights, fans, machines, etc.
- Make high use of natural energy than electric energy: dry the clothes naturally.
- Use recyclable products, wherever possible.
- Avoid plastic bags and use paper bags.
- Avoid wastage of paper and use both the sides.
- Restrict usage of hazardous chemicals.
- Don’t overuse heaters and air conditioners.
- Use public transport to reduce noise, air and light pollution.
- Protect Mother Earth by not spilling oil, garbage, sewage water, etc at undesirable places.
- Stop burning of crackers during marriages, Diwali, etc.
- Don’t dispose off eatables, packaging in oceans, rivers, etc.
Pollution disturbs our ecosystem and the balance in the environment. By following the above simple points, we all can restrict pollution at our own level.
Each year millions of people die due to various diseases caused by pollution. The key to live a healthy life is to protect the environment from pollution.
The increase in the pollution level over the years by human and natural causes has caused severe damage to the earth’s ecosystem. Lifestyle, habitat, etc everything is being adversely affected. Though natural causes cannot be stopped, but human beings’ accidental and deliberate actions can easily be stopped which surely will result in the control of pollution generation.
Types of Pollution:
Major pollutions and their causes:
- Land Pollution – Wastes collated at Earth’s surface, garbage on roads, industrial debris, pesticides, insecticides, etc. Unwanted wastes lying and being decomposed release harmful gases and lead to pollution.
- Water Pollution – Wastes disposed of in rivers, oceans act as pollutant in water bodies. Raw sewage, oil spills, chemical refuse, etc create poisonous water and hence lead to water pollution.
- Air pollution – Burning of fossil fuels, release of gases from vehicles release mono-oxide, carbon-di-oxide, industrial pollution, nuclear radiations etc lead to air pollution.
- Noise Pollution – Vehicle horns, loud music, construction machinery sounds, and other human activities create noise. This affects humans and animals, their natural vegetation and create Noise Pollution.
- Thermal Pollution – Manufacturing activities lead to rise in the temperature of water and land. This affects marine and plant life. Such activities lead to thermal pollution.
Article on Pollution 3 (600 words)
Pollution today poses a major threat to the survival of the world we live in. Smoke or dust released in the air is the major type of pollution as it is extremely bad for the humans as it directly affects the lungs. Sewage, harmful content in drinking water is another major type of pollution that makes people unhealthy and ill because it contains disease-causing germs and viruses.
The environmental consequences of sudden rapid industrialization have resulted in various incidents of land, air and water resources sites being contaminated with toxic materials and other pollutants, threatening humans and ecosystems with serious health risks.
During manufacturing and construction activities every bit of natural resources is exploited to covert these into goods that fulfil the needs of the countries. A major cause for all the causes listed above is the manufacturing that leads to major types of pollution.
People living next to a building site where there is too much noise and construction activities rigorously going on tend to fall sick.
Pollution can be considered as direct or indirect change in any component of the biosphere that is harmful to the living components and in particular undesirable for humans, affecting adversely the industrial progress, cultural and natural assets or general environment of living society.
The biggest irony of all this is that even if we know that the earth is getting polluted, ultimately it is the human beings themselves who dig their own grave by doing deliberate activities because of which pollution is caused. It does not only spoil human beings’ health but also worsen their quality of life.
Role of the Government:
The Government has launched various pollution prevention policies and Acts that focus on preventing and controlling pollution by random means such as the following:
Adoption of clean and low waste technology, reusing and recycling, environment audit and pollution monitoring activities, reducing hazardous materials at source wherever feasible, promoting recycling of waste, etc.
There has also been a concept called “Pollution prevention approach” that seeks to increase the efficiency of a process reducing the amount of pollution generated at its source.
To give effect to the government policies, various steps have been initiated which include statutory stringent regulations, development of environmental standards, control of pollution generated through vehicles, spatial environmental planning including industrial estates and preparation of zoning atlas.
The policy statement for reduction of pollution lays emphasis on preventive aspects of pollution decline and promotion of technologies that help to reduce pollution.
Pollution control is a recent environmental concern. The Government in order to evade pollution has encouraged industries to regard ‘pollution’ as an economic problem and take reasonable actions to control the release of polluted/toxic/harmful gases at their end.
Few major pollution control measures undertaken by the government are:
- Implementation of waste minimization techniques and adoption of appropriate pollution control measures.
- Spreading awareness messages through programs on usage of cleaner technologies and pollution control.
- Assistance for sustainable development.
- Ban on usage of plastic bags, creation of paper bags.
- Creation of no-honking zones.
- Policy of creating industrial sites away from the city.
- Creation of garbage stacks so as to avoid littering on land.
In order to fight this life threatening effects of pollution, vigorous efforts should be made. Anti-pollution laws should be strictly implemented. In order to check water pollution, sewage and the factory wastes should be properly disposed off and vehicles should be made eco-friendly.
Environmental pollution is a global problem today. Public awareness is a must to prevent pollution. Population control will also help to save the world from environmental pollution. Scientific exploitation of natural resources is yet another step to prevent environmental pollution.
Article on Pollution 4 (800 words)
Pollution is an act of contaminating the environment by introducing certain hazardous contaminants that lead to disturbance of ecosystem and directly or indirectly affect the human beings, animals, plants of the ecosystem. Pollution causes the disturbance of the natural system and balance of environment.
Pollution is an undesirable change in the physical, chemical or biological characteristics of air, water and soil that may harmfully affect life or create potential health hazard of any living organism. Technological advancements done by humans are also one of the main reasons of pollution on the Earth.
Various types of pollution are caused, but mainly the following lead to life threatening and adverse effects on the humans:
The most dangerous and common type of pollution, caused by release of harmful gases in the air. It is majorly caused due to the direct release of chemicals into the environment by industries. The polluted air we breathe goes into our whole body and affects all the body systems mainly the respiratory functions.
Causes of Air Pollution: Burning of fuels, smoke from vehicles, fireworks, burning of woods, and release of hazardous chemicals or chemical gases from industries or factories.
Effects of Air Pollution: Air pollution causes life threatening diseases like asthma, cancer, bronchitis, lung disorder, and many more. Depletion of ozone layer is also a cause of air pollution.
Solutions to prevent Air Pollution: Conserve energy, stop fireworks, reduce-reuse-recycle, usage of energy efficient equipments, usage of public transport, etc.
Release of harmful substances in soil is the major cause of contamination of soil. Soil pollution causes an indirect damage to humans and other animals. The nutrients taken by the plants are then transferred to the consumers that depend on these plants. Hence a soil consisting of contaminants will not only affect the plants growing on the soil but it will also indirectly harm the entire food chain.
Causes of Soil Pollution: Release of industrial wastes from large factories or industries, release of chemical wastes, agricultural chemicals, deforestation, use of pesticides, mining activities, burning of trees or plants, etc.
Effects of Soil Pollution: Soil pollution causes direct effect on plants growth, soil fertility, change in soil structure, toxic dusts, and chronic health problems to humans.
Solutions to prevent Soil Pollution: Reduce the use of plastics, reduce wastes, crop organic foods without using fertilizers and pesticides, use of biodegradable products, place liquid chemicals in the spill-proof containers, solid waste treatment, reuse and recycle things, etc.
Major part of the Earth’s surface is covered with water and more than half of the total population of the species reside in water. Water is one of the most important natural resources for humans and natural vegetation to survive. Water used from a polluted lake directly contaminates its user.
Causes of Water Pollution: Direct incorporation of hazardous pollutants, Disposal of wastes in water from factories and industries, garbage disposal by humans in rivers, etc.
Effect of Water Pollution: Water creatures are on the verge of extinction, drinking contaminated water causes serious health disorders, etc.
Solutions to prevent Water Pollution: Don’t throw waste or rubbish in the rivers, oceans, use water wisely, don’t throw oil, medicines, harmful liquids in the water, buy environmentally safe liquids for cleaning purpose, etc.
Increase in noise level leads to Noise Pollution. It is not caused due to release of chemicals or toxins or hazardous gases but is just the loud noise generated in the environment. Noise is defined as the unpleasant sound that has an adverse effect on the human ear. Though the causes of this pollution are unlike others, but the effect of this pollution is as hazardous as other types of pollutions. It directly penetrates into human minds and leads to mental disorders as a major result.
Causes of Noise Pollution: Major cause is the honking of moving vehicles, loud music, running of machines at sites, radio, TV, etc.
Effect of Noise Pollution: Psychological illness, bad behaviour, irritation, hypertension, depression, forgetfulness, annoyance, stress, aggression and many more. It not only affects humans but also animals and many times lead to their cause of death due to unbearable level.
Solutions to prevent Noise Pollution: Obey the rule of no-honking until and unless necessary, construction of soundproof rooms for the heavy machines, no misuse of loudspeakers, growing trees along with roads are some of the ways to absorb sound.
With the rising rate of pollution over the years, there is a worrisome increase in the rate of human diseases, and death rate of humans, various animals and plants on earth. Though pollution is released both by natural and human activities, but majorly it is created due to human activities, which can easily be minimized to reduce the pollution rate.
P aragraph/Article on Air Pollution
Paragraph on Pollution
Slogans on Air Pollution
Speech on Pollution
Essay/Article on Air Pollution
National Pollution Control Day
Essay on Pollution due to Urbanization
Essay on Pollution and its Effects
Essay on Pollution due to Festivals
Essay on Pollution Due to Firecrackers
Speech on Air Pollution
- Article Writing
- Article On Pollution
Article on Pollution
Pollution is one of the most dangerous environmental problems the world is facing today. To stop the impending perils that pollution could cause, it is necessary that we start taking some actions to keep our environment safe and healthy. This article will give you a gist of all that you need to know if you want to write an article on pollution.
Table of Contents
Pollution – types, causes and effects.
- Detailed Article on the Dangers of Pollution
200 Words Article on Why We Should Stop Pollution and the Initiatives Taken to Curb Pollution
Faqs on pollution.
Pollution is the process by which harmful substances (called pollutants) are released into the natural environment. The list of pollutants includes volcanic ash, trash, chemicals released by industries, smoke, plastics, etc. With the advancement of technology and with new inventions, the lives of people have been made easier, but the irony is that these eventually end up polluting the atmosphere, thereby becoming a major threat to all living things which are a part of planet Earth.
Types of Pollution
The major types of pollution include air pollution, water pollution and land pollution. Air pollution is the contamination of the atmosphere mainly due to smoke from vehicles, factories and forest fires. Water gets polluted when toxic substances like chemicals and plastic waste are discharged into the water bodies, and the process by which accumulated solid and liquid waste contaminate the soil and groundwater are referred to as land pollution.
All of them affect the Earth’s lifespan to a great extent because they tamper with the normal and healthy conditions of the Earth’s environment, which in turn questions the scope of survival of all its inhabitants.
Environmental pollution is caused as a result of man’s activities in his attempt to construct a developed and technologically advanced world for himself. Some of the causes are:
- Discharge of chemical waste
- Plastic waste
- Burning of fossil fuels
- Forest fires
- Use of machinery that emits large amounts of carbon compounds
- Burning of Garbage
- Smoke released from factories and industries
- Marine dumping
- Sewage disposal
- Fertilisers and pesticides
- Radioactive waste
Environmental pollution affects the Earth to an extent that we cannot imagine. Human beings have the habit of taking things for granted. They do not realise the seriousness of their actions until they witness the worst-case scenarios. It is only then that they start thinking about doing something to stop the effects of pollution but little do they know that most of it are irreversible. Pollution of air, water and land pose a serious threat to the well-being of every little thing that inhabit the Earth.
Effects of pollution include:
- Global warming
- Depletion of the ozone layer
- Degradation of the environment
- Infertility of land
- Increased risk on human health, which includes allergies, respiratory diseases, heart attack, cancer, etc.
- Animal health
- Climate change
It is high time human beings realised that if they do not act immediately, there would not be anything left for their future generations, not even what little they had. Measures to control pollution should be put into effect as soon as possible if they need a planet to call their own.
There might be some people wondering about the need to stop pollution when the environment is not so much in ruins as people portray it to be. Well, the fact is that the environment is much more affected than any of us know. Controlling pollution will reduce health hazards, liability risk, economic losses; and provide us with clean air, better lifestyle, clear visibility, safe environment for all inhabitants of the Earth and so on.
Multiple efforts have been taken by the governments of various countries and organizations around the world to reduce the effects of pollution on our environment. One of the initiatives taken by the United Nations is the United Nations Environment Programme with the mission to inspire people all around the world, to work together, to care for the environment, and take steps to improve the quality of life, not just for ourselves, but for the future generations as well. The United Nations has also designated June 5 of every year to be World Environment Day in order to bring representatives of all member nations together to address the environmental problems, to create awareness and to instigate action.
The answer to all the environmental problems the world is facing today is immediate action and consistency in reduced usage of private transportation, machinery with possible carbon emission and proper disposal of waste to start with.
What causes pollution?
Pollution is caused by harmful solid and liquid substances that contaminate the environment. These substances are called pollutants which include chemicals, carbon emissions, smoke, garbage, plastic, etc.
How do you stop pollution?
Pollution can be stopped if we try to
- start using public transportation more than private vehicles so that it reduces the amount of smoke released into the atmosphere
- avoid burning of plastic or garbage
- avoid using machinery that has a lot of chemical emissions
- dispose waste properly instead of dumping it into the water bodies
What are the natural causes of pollution?
Wildfires, volcanic eruptions and forest fires are some of the natural causes of pollution.
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Article on Pollution
Mother nature observed the transformation of verdant fields into contemporary cities and metropolises as the world embraced urbanisation. A series of natural calamities followed, indicating that something is wrong with the world. Pollution is increasingly being asked about in school and college assessments and competitive exams under the essay component. This is expected to the fact that it is a current environmental concern. This site intends to provide you with the relevant information and tips and tactics for writing an effective pollution essay.
Essay on Pollution in English
When toxic pollutants are added to our environment , this process is known as pollution. It makes the surroundings harmful for both living beings and plants. Pollution is the result of human activities, whether done unintentionally or deliberately. It has become a significant issue worldwide. Pollution leads to defective childbirths and high mortality rates in many parts of the world. It contaminates natural things like water, air, soil, and so on, harmful to humans and animals.
The pollutants that mix in the air directly affect living beings while breathing it gets into their bodies. Water pollutants are hazardous for living beings as well. Manufacturing and construction units are the prime sources of water pollution. People living near manufacturing factories often bear the consequences of water pollution, noise pollution, and air pollution.
The sad reality is that humans are the ones who are intentionally polluting the environment. It isn’t easy in today’s world to get an utterly pollution-free world. But there is a way to decrease the level of pollution around us by controlling our activities, causing pollution.
Short Article on Pollution
Pollution is the toxins that mix in the natural environment and harm both human beings and animals. Plants also get affected by pollution. There are many forms of pollution, like air, water, soil, and noise pollution. However, there are other forms of pollution, light pollution, radioactive pollution, and so on. Natural and human activities both contribute to pollution. Volcanic eruptions or oil and gas leakage can cause pollution.
Human activities cause most of the pollution. It is because of the commercialization of natural things. Humans turn many natural things into human-made things to satisfy their needs. We use more than our needs, which adversely affects nature. The gases from vehicles and factories pollute the air. The land and water are polluted by solid garbage from factories, households, and so on. In rural areas, agricultural wastes, pesticides cause pollution. The noise pollution is caused by the massive sound of music, vehicles, and machinery. The pollution also leads to global warming.
We cannot completely remove pollution, but we can surely reduce it by implementing a few preventive measures.
To increase oxygen in the air and make the air pure, we must plant trees on a large level. We should use natural things judiciously. We have to understand the difference between need and want. To decrease the level of land and water pollution, we must avoid using plastic bags. We should use vehicles less to decrease air pollution and noise pollution. We should maintain a proper drainage system to protect the water from getting polluted. We cannot stop natural activities, but we can control our actions. If we do so, we can minimize the impacts of pollution in nature.
Also read : Article Writing Format
Article on Pollution in 120 Words
The addition of unwanted substances into the environment that can damage our Earth is called pollution. There are four main types of Pollution; air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, and noise pollution. The careless activities carried out by humans leads to pollution. Air pollution is caused by vehicles that release smoke in the air and contaminate it, making it difficult for organisms to breathe. Water pollution is caused by dumping waste directly into water bodies. This affects the organisms living in the water as well. We dump waste directly into water bodies, which results in water pollution. When we dump waste into landfills, it results in soil pollution. Noise pollution is invisible, but it is hazardous to our ears.
Article on Pollution in 150 Words
Pollution is a threat to our environment and the living organisms in it. It is quite sad that pollution is caused by the irresponsible actions of man towards nature. Our Earth provides us with food and shelter, whereas we exploit its resources for fulfilling our selfish needs. We become greedy and start using natural resources impulsively without considering its consequences. We contaminate the water bodies by throwing waste into it, which harms the water bodies’ organisms. We have disrupted the natural balance of various gases in the atmosphere by contaminating it with the vehicles plying on the roads. Even manufacturing factories that release harmful gases into the atmosphere contribute to air pollution. When we use pesticides and fertilizers and do excessive farming on a piece of land, the soil on the land loses its natural minerals. Noise pollution can result in loss of hearing due to loud noises produced by factories, jets, airplanes, and other vehicles. It damages our ears.
Article on Pollution Control
Pollution makes the environment dirty, unhealthy, and unsuitable for humans and animals to live. It is caused due to the release of both tangible and intangible contaminants. These can be released naturally or by humans themselves intentionally or unintentionally. Due to toxic pollutants, more than 200 million people are affected. Few countries have defected childbirth and an increase in the death rates. Humans are regularly exposed to pollution when they inhale toxic air inside them.
Pollution cannot be eliminated but can be controlled. Promoting the green environment, proper disposal of waste, and encouraging people to plant more trees are simple steps that emphasize maintaining the order of the environment.
We can take a few preventive measures to control pollution. We should plant trees to curb polluted air and release more oxygen to make it pure. We should always switch off electrical equipment when we aren’t using it. We should use natural energy rather than electric energy. We should use recyclable products whenever possible. We should avoid the use of plastic bags and use paper bags. We should also not waste paper and use both sides of the paper.
We should restrict the usage of hazardous chemicals. We should avoid overusing heaters and air conditioners. Use public transport to reduce noise, air, and light pollution. To control air pollution, we must stop burning crackers during marriages, Diwali, and other festivals.
Article on Water Pollution
Water pollution has many definitions. Generally, it means one or more harmful substances have built up in water to such an extent that they cause problems for animals or people. Oceans, lakes, rivers, and other inland waters can naturally clean up a certain amount of pollution. A small amount of contamination is easily dealt with by the water bodies. However, large amounts of chemical and harmful substances cannot be cleaned by the water bodies independently. This, in turn, could affect the health of all the plants, animals, and humans whose living depends on the river. Thus, water pollution is all about quantities.
Water pollution almost always means that some damage has been done to an ocean, river, lake, or another water source. Damage from water pollution is often reversible.
The most obvious type of water pollution affects surface waters. For example, a spill from an oil tanker creates an oil slick that can affect a vast ocean area.
Underground rock holds a great deal of water known as aquifers, which cannot be seen. Water stored underground in aquifers is known as groundwater. Aquifers feed our rivers and supply much of our drinking water. They can become polluted, for example, when we use pesticides in agriculture activities and drain into the ground. Groundwater pollution is much less obvious than surface-water pollution but is no less of a problem.
Pollution affects surface waters and groundwater both.
Recommended read : Article on Child Labour
Article on Noise Pollution
Noise pollution is a form of pollution that affects the hearing ability of organisms. This pollution is increasing only and creates an unsafe environment. When the level of noise increases more than the normal level, it leads to noise pollution. When the amount of noise exceeds, it becomes dangerous for living beings. Moreover, these unpleasant sounds cause several disturbances and create an imbalance in the environment.
In other words, high volume noises are abnormal. Along with the advancement of the world, noise pollution is increasing. Technology has made things easier for people by creating appliances and devices for almost everything. However, people don’t realize this comfort comes with negative consequences. All technological appliances contribute to noise pollution. They disturb the natural rhythm of life and fall into the category of a pollutant.
Similarly, the increasing use of automobiles is a major cause of this noise pollution. Not only automobiles but also other transport vehicles like airplanes, buses, bikes, trucks, and more are also part of it. Unnecessary honking in the traffic and listening to loud music on the way produce high levels of noise.
Furthermore, social events like marriages, parties, and religious functions in places like clubs, pubs, temples, and halls also produce high noise levels. Also, construction activities like mining, the building of flyovers, bridges, and more create great noise.
Article on Plastic Pollution
Plastic is everywhere nowadays. It has become the most used substance. People are using it endlessly just for their comfort. However, no one realizes how it is harming our planet. Everyone needs to be aware of the consequences of using plastics. Also, the government must take strict measures to stop plastic pollution before it gets too late.
The main reason for the increase in the use of plastic is that it is very cheap. It costs less than other alternatives like paper and cloth. This is why it is so common. Secondly, it is very easy to use. Plastic can be used for almost anything, either liquid or solid. Also, it comes in different forms, which we can easily mold into anything.
Furthermore, we see that plastic is a non-biodegradable material. We cannot dissolve plastic in land or water. Thus, more and more use of plastic means more plastic, which won’t get dissolved. Thus, the increase in plastic pollution is happening at a very rapid rate.
Answer: Pollution is the contamination of pollutants and toxins in the natural environment and makes it hazardous for both people and creatures. Plants likewise get affected by contamination.
Answer: Pollutants can contaminate air, water, and soil. Likewise, noise pollution is another type of pollution created by excessive noise and can harm human and animal ears. However, there are other forms of pollution, light pollution, radioactive pollution, etc.
Answer: Yes. We can prevent pollution by taking measures of prevention. The activity performed by nature and humans causes pollution. We can’t control natural activities, but we can control our actions that cause pollution.
Answer: Pollution affects all living beings, from animals to human beings. Plants are also affected by pollution. Young children and older people are more vulnerable to the effects of pollution.
Answer: The consequences of pollution could make muddy landscapes, poisons soils and waterways, or kill plants and animals. Humans are also affected by pollution and become a victim of many diseases. Long-term exposure to air pollution, for example, can lead to chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, and other diseases.
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Articles About Pollution: 6 Examples and 7 Prompts
Pollution is a global problem that affects humans, animals, and the environment. Read our guide with the top examples and prompts for articles about pollution.
There are many interesting things I’ve learned from my biology class. One of the most fascinating is bio-indicators , which reveal the quality of an environment. My teacher taught me that the presence of fireflies and frogs in a nearby pond indicates a good quality of air and freshwater. However, I’ve noticed how the number of these organisms has decreased over the years due to pollution.
Due to human activities, the air we breathe is no longer the same as it once was, and many habitats are already contaminated. Writing an article about pollution is critical to raise awareness about its impacts. If you want to tackle a connected subject, see our articles about biodiversity .
Examples of Articles About Pollution
1. the world’s plastic pollution crisis explained by laura parker.
“Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues, as rapidly increasing production of disposable plastic products overwhelms the world’s ability to deal with them.“
The use of plastics in various industries has radically changed the development of many functional materials used in transportation and medical devices. However, its excessive production has led to a major problem that resulted in worldwide pollution.
Parker presents global facts about plastic production and how it has adversely affected different ecosystems and wildlife. The severity of this issue has even prompted the National Geographic Society to reach out to scientists and conservationists in search of comprehensive solutions, including improved waste management systems and recycling .
2. How Air Pollution is Destroying Our Health by World Health Organization
“As the world gets hotter and more crowded, our engines continue to pump dirty emissions, and half of the world has no access to clean fuels or technologies. The very air we breathe is growing dangerously polluted: nine out of ten people now breathe polluted air, which kills 7 million people every year.”
Fossil fuel combustion contributes to a large percentage of air pollution and climate change. The article presents statistics linked to air pollution to establish the gravity of the situation and support the need for immediate intervention. The piece mentions the World Health Organization’s efforts to partner with several organizations to fight this crisis.
3. Land Pollution: Causes, Effects, and Solutions for the Future by Daniel Krainlew
“Land pollution is a serious problem that impacts humans, animals, and the earth. Without taking measures now to reduce pollution levels, permanent changes to the land can occur.”
Direct and indirect human activities result in the long-term destruction of land. To demonstrate these impacts, Krainlew lists the leading causes of land pollution, such as deforestation , industrialization, and human sewage. The author then talks about the effects of groundwater poisoning, water nutrient enrichment, etc., and how these can adversely influence human life. Krainlew also presents expert-suggested solutions for sustainable practices to prevent further land damage.
4. A Consumer’s Guide to Reducing Pollution by Terry Turner and Kim Borwick
“A surprising amount of pollution starts at home. The car you drive, the household and personal care products you buy, the chemicals and equipment you use to keep your lawn and garden in shape all contribute to water and air pollution.”
While the world tries to solve the crisis through collective actions, individuals are urged to help improve environmental health, starting from their households. Turner and Borwick showcase what consumers can contribute to decreasing pollution through the article. They discuss 25 clever ways everyone can follow involving household products, energy use, and many others. Then, the piece illustrates how polluted runoff and stormwater can taint clean water and how landfill wastes can significantly add to greenhouse gas that may result in air pollution.
5. 10 Scientific Solutions to Plastic Pollution by Jangira Lewis
“Plastic pollution is leaving behind impacts for generations to come. It is clear that we need solutions to rectify this pressing issue. Thanks to innovation and research, scientists have been able to pioneer ground-breaking technology to help collect and prevent plastic pollution.”
To get her readers’ attention, Lewis starts her article with a troubling forecast: By 2050, the number of plastics in the sea may be greater than the number of fish. So, science and technology are working continuously to avoid this future. The article contains ten solutions formulated by world scientists to achieve a cleaner society for humans and a healthy ecosystem for marine life. Lewis gives a comprehensive discussion for each solution, including updates on their current state and successes.
6. 5 Brilliant Solutions to Air Pollution by Earth Eclipse
“A variety of measures has been undertaken or proposed and instituted to curb the effects of air pollution. Solving the air pollution problem requires joint effort and takes different ways from one region to another.”
The above article focuses on the need for pollution awareness through education campaigns and advocacies. The author presents five effective solutions to minimize the causes and effects of air pollution. These include targeting the leading sources of air pollution, such as vehicles and factories, enacting laws and regulations, campaigns for green energy sources, level prevention methods, and educating the public.
Prompts for Articles About Pollution
1. humans: the main cause of pollution.
For this prompt, describe human activities that lead to pollution. Focus on identifying the causes of air, water, and land pollution. You can also narrate how an average person’s day-to-day activity can contribute to pollution.
To elaborate, show how an individual’s choice of house products can add up to their environmental footprint. On a broader scale, indicate how power plants, vehicles, and factories emit gasses and their impact on the atmosphere.
2. The Effects of Pollution
Your goal for this prompt is to persuade your readers to take action about pollution. Cite reliable studies, research, and other relevant data that reveal the effects of pollution, including its harmful results.
Organize your article by providing a list of the impact on humans, animals, and the environment. Provide a detailed explanation of its short and long-term effects. For instance, bad air quality can lead to lung cancer. Visit our page to learn more about persuasive writing .
3. Anti-Pollution Laws and Regulations
First, conduct research on the different organizations and states that are already implementing laws to counter the effects of pollution. Then, in your article, mention their effectiveness. For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has advocated for the Clean Air Act and other environmental programs to reduce pollution. Use these organizational strategies in your article to convince your readers to act and ask their governments to enact laws and regulations.
4. Pollution and the Future of Earth
In your article, provide expert opinions on how pollution has drastically influenced climate-related events that pose dangers and add its implications for the future. Ensure to use several statistics and forecasts.
Choose a few points to focus your article on, and describe how pollution negatively impacts the Earth. For example, deteriorated water caused by pollution will lead to reduced crop yield, affecting economic growth and poverty.
5. Pollution and Natural Resources
A country’s economy heavily depends on its natural resources. For this prompt, highlight the unwanted effects of pollution on natural resources and its disadvantages on economic growth and development. Point out that environmental pollution and degradation are mainly caused by the excessive exploitation of oil and gas and agricultural and forest resources.
6. Solutions to Pollution
Explore all feasible solutions to lessen the harmful effects of pollution. In your article, offer solutions for every sector of society: individuals, a group of students, organizations, private sectors, and ultimately the government and agencies.
For instance, encourage individuals to use eco-friendly containers like reusable and paper bags when doing groceries. Target the idea of clean-up drives in canals and oceans as initiatives for students and organizations. You can also recommend the private sector and the governing body to promote more sustainable energy sources.
7. Documentaries About Pollution
Watching documentaries is an effective way of staying informed about the causes and effects of pollution. In your article, recommend powerful documentaries that appeal to your readers’ love for the environment. Share a brief summary of each documentary and discuss why it made the list. For help editing your articles, we recommend using the best grammar checker . Our round-up profiles these tools and offers discounts.
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Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.
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Article on Pollution 500, 200 Words for Kids, Children and Students in English
July 20, 2020 by Prasanna
Article on Pollution: The process in which some toxic pollutants are added to our environment is called pollution. It makes the climate harmful for both all the living beings. Pollution mainly happens because of men made activities, whether done unknowingly or deliberately. Nowadays, it has become an important issue worldwide. Many countries are facing defective childbirths and high mortality rates due to pollution. It makes natural things like water, air, soil, etc. harmful for both the humans and the animals.
The pollutants that mix in the air directly affect living beings as they get into the body directly while breathing. Water pollutants are in the same way hazardous for living beings. In today’s time, manufacturing and construction units are significant sources of pollution. People living next to a manufacturing group often fall ill either by noise or air pollution. But the irony is that humans are the ones who are deliberately polluting the environment. They’re just opening their own. We can’t get an utterly pollution-free world. Still, we can decrease the level of pollution around us by becoming more sensible and controlling our activities, causing pollution.
You can read more Article Writing about people, sports, technology many more.
Long and Short Articles on Pollution for Students and Children in English
Pollution is increasing every day around us. Children are the future of the world. They need to know about the harmful effects of pollution and how it can be controlled. There are two articles here on pollution. One is a 200 words short article, and another is a 500 words long article on pollution. The short article on pollution is helpful for students of classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. The long article on pollution is useful for students of classes 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 12 and those preparing for competitive exams.
Long Article on Pollution 500 Words in English
Pollution is the process in which undesirable toxic contaminants contaminate our environment like air, water, soil, etc. It is creating sudden changes in the ecosystem, which is directly on indirectly leaving adverse effects on the lives of human beings, animals, and plants. It creates an imbalance in the natural system. Many things which are making our lives easy are harmful to the environment. For example, vehicles leave gases that pollute the air. Industries and household garbage pollute both water and air.
Every living being on Earth depends on air and water. When these two things get polluted, all the lives on Earth come at a risk. It is seen that urban areas get more polluted than in rural areas. Though rural areas also get polluted by harmful pesticides used in farming lands. Because of pollution, many new diseases appear daily, which are extremely dangerous for the health of living beings. It has now become a serious problem globally. Global Warming is now the cause of headaches for all human beings worldwide. It is the pollution that is indirectly affecting the change in the weather. This global issue needs immediate action. Otherwise, it will be challenging to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Types of Pollution
There are various kinds of pollution around us. Here, we will discuss more on the types of pollution.
- Air Pollution: It is sometimes visible like we can see polluted air left by the vehicles on the road because of its different colour. In most cases, it is not visible. Polluted air mainly affects the eyes and lungs of human beings as well as animals. It can even kill a living creature within a few minutes. We know about many incidents where harmful gas leakage has killed people. Even natural disasters can make the air toxic. Like volcanic eruptions produce harmful gases that affect human health and other natural resources as well. Vehicles and factories produce harmful gases that, in reaction to sunlight, creates thick fog. Air pollution also contributes to Acid Rain. It can destroy water life, forests, etc.
- Water Pollution: Same like water, one kind of water pollution is visible like muddy water, water with garbage, etc. At the same time, some visibly clean water can contain chemicals that are dangerous to our health. Drinking polluted water can cause serious health issues. A lot of people die worldwide by consuming contaminated water. It can also indirectly affect humans and animals. Like if we eat a fish from a polluted river or sea, we also absorb the potential pollutants. Natural gas and oil can also contribute to the pollution of water. Liquid wastes from factories also pollute the water. Solid wastes disturb the drainage system. Sewages, agricultural waste, acid rain are essential causes of water pollution.
- Soil Pollution: Solid wastes from factories and households pollute the land. Harmful chemicals mix in the soil through the pesticides used in agriculture. Pollutants from landfills mix in the ground and pollute it. When we eat plants that have grown in the polluted land, we indirectly consume contaminants harmful to our health.
- Noise Pollution: When the sound becomes intolerant and reason of disturbance, it is noise pollution. The sounds of vehicles, mike, loud music, or machinery cause noise pollution. It causes serious health issues like migraine, depression, hypertension, aggressive behavior, etc. to humans. It also directly affects the health of animals. It sometimes becomes the reason for their death.
Many people and animals are losing their lives or experiencing severe health issues due to the increased level of pollution. This critical issue needs immediate attention. Most of the causes of pollution are human activities. So, we should control such activities that contribute to pollution. It can at least minimize the severity of its effects.
Short Article on Pollution 200 Words in English
Pollution is how toxins mix in the natural environment and make it harmful for both human beings and animals. Plants also get affected by pollution. Air, water, soil, and noise pollution are some prevalent forms of pollution. However, there are other forms of pollution, light pollution, radioactive pollution, etc. Both natural and human activities contribute to pollution. Volcanic eruptions or oil and gas leakage can cause pollution.
Most human activities cause pollution. It is because of the consumerist approach of us. We use more than our needs, which adversely affect nature. The gases from vehicles and factories pollute the air. Solid garbages from factories, households, etc. pollutes the land and water. Agricultural wastes, pesticides cause pollution in the rural area. The massive sound of music, vehicle, and machinery causes noise pollution. The whole world is now suffering from pollution, which is causing Global Warming.
Trees should be planted on a large level to increase oxygen in the air. We should compromise with our consumerist approach. We have to understand the difference between need and want. Plastic bags should be avoided to decrease the level of land and water pollution. We should not always use our vehicle as more vehicle creates more harmful gases and noises. We should maintain a proper drainage system to protect the water from getting polluted. Natural activities can not be stopped, but we can control our actions. If we do so, we can minimize the impacts of pollution in nature.
10 Lines on Article on Pollution
- Pollution is the process in which toxic pollutants mix in the environment and makes it harmful for all living beings.
- Some of the frequent pollutions are Air, Water, Soil, and Noise Pollution.
- Both natural and human activities cause pollution.
- Harmful gases from factories and vehicles cause air pollution. Acid air is caused by air pollution.
- Volcanic eruptions also contribute to the pollution of air.
- Solid wastes from factories, agricultural land, households pollute the land. Acid Rain also causes pollution in the soil.
- Liquid wastes of factories mix with river and sea and pollute the water.
- Excessive sound from vehicles and machinery causes noise pollution.
- All kinds of pollution cause serious health issues in human beings and animals.
- Pollution can get prevented if we control our activities that cause pollution. We need to leave our consumerist approach.
FAQ’s on Article on Pollution
Question 1. What is Pollution?
Answer: Pollution is how toxic pollutants mix in the natural environment and makes it harmful for both human beings and animals. Plants also get affected by pollution.
Question 2. What are the significant kinds of pollution?
Answer: Air, water, soil, and noise pollution are some popular forms of pollution. However, there are other forms of pollution, as well as light pollution, radioactive pollution, etc.
Question 3. Can we prevent pollution?
Answer: Both natural and human activities cause pollution. Though we can’t control natural activities, we can control our actions that cause pollution.
Question 4. Who is affected by pollution?
Answer: All living beings get affected by pollution. Children and older people are more vulnerable. Animals and plants also get affected by pollution.
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Wildfires, volcanoes, and industrial chemicals cause some air pollution. But most air pollution comes from burning fossil fuels . These include coal, oil, and natural gas. Factories, electrical plants, and automobiles burn these fuels for power. The burning of fossil fuels may release solid particles, such as ash and soot, into the air. It also may release harmful gases. This type of pollution may be seen in the form of smog over big cities. Smog-filled air is hazy, or hard to see through.
Air pollution may cause such diseases as cancer and asthma. Air pollution also leads to acid rain , or polluted rain that can harm living things. In addition, air pollution may be a cause of global warming , which is a steady rise in Earth’s average temperature. Finally, air pollution damages a part of the atmosphere called the ozone layer. The ozone layer is important because it protects Earth against harmful rays from the Sun.
Other causes of water pollution are not so direct. The use of chemicals in farming is one example. Farmers use some chemicals as fertilizers, or substances added to soil to help crops grow. They use other chemicals as pesticides or herbicides. These are substances that kill pests or weeds. When these chemicals seep into the ground, they may make the groundwater unfit to drink. Chemicals also may drain into rivers and lakes, where they can harm fish and other forms of life.
Littering, or tossing garbage on the ground, is a form of land pollution. Litter is unpleasant to look at. It also can destroy the habitats, or homes, of plants and animals.
The buildup of dangerous chemicals in the ground is another form of land pollution. The chemicals may come from farms or factories. These chemicals can spread to plants and animals. They may even harm people who eat the contaminated plants and animals.
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Review article, environmental and health impacts of air pollution: a review.
- 1 Delphis S.A., Kifisia, Greece
- 2 Laboratory of Hygiene and Environmental Protection, Faculty of Medicine, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece
- 3 Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Service de Médicine Interne, Lausanne, Switzerland
- 4 School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
One of our era's greatest scourges is air pollution, on account not only of its impact on climate change but also its impact on public and individual health due to increasing morbidity and mortality. There are many pollutants that are major factors in disease in humans. Among them, Particulate Matter (PM), particles of variable but very small diameter, penetrate the respiratory system via inhalation, causing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, reproductive and central nervous system dysfunctions, and cancer. Despite the fact that ozone in the stratosphere plays a protective role against ultraviolet irradiation, it is harmful when in high concentration at ground level, also affecting the respiratory and cardiovascular system. Furthermore, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), dioxins, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are all considered air pollutants that are harmful to humans. Carbon monoxide can even provoke direct poisoning when breathed in at high levels. Heavy metals such as lead, when absorbed into the human body, can lead to direct poisoning or chronic intoxication, depending on exposure. Diseases occurring from the aforementioned substances include principally respiratory problems such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma, bronchiolitis, and also lung cancer, cardiovascular events, central nervous system dysfunctions, and cutaneous diseases. Last but not least, climate change resulting from environmental pollution affects the geographical distribution of many infectious diseases, as do natural disasters. The only way to tackle this problem is through public awareness coupled with a multidisciplinary approach by scientific experts; national and international organizations must address the emergence of this threat and propose sustainable solutions.
Approach to the Problem
The interactions between humans and their physical surroundings have been extensively studied, as multiple human activities influence the environment. The environment is a coupling of the biotic (living organisms and microorganisms) and the abiotic (hydrosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere).
Pollution is defined as the introduction into the environment of substances harmful to humans and other living organisms. Pollutants are harmful solids, liquids, or gases produced in higher than usual concentrations that reduce the quality of our environment.
Human activities have an adverse effect on the environment by polluting the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the soil in which plants grow. Although the industrial revolution was a great success in terms of technology, society, and the provision of multiple services, it also introduced the production of huge quantities of pollutants emitted into the air that are harmful to human health. Without any doubt, the global environmental pollution is considered an international public health issue with multiple facets. Social, economic, and legislative concerns and lifestyle habits are related to this major problem. Clearly, urbanization and industrialization are reaching unprecedented and upsetting proportions worldwide in our era. Anthropogenic air pollution is one of the biggest public health hazards worldwide, given that it accounts for about 9 million deaths per year ( 1 ).
Without a doubt, all of the aforementioned are closely associated with climate change, and in the event of danger, the consequences can be severe for mankind ( 2 ). Climate changes and the effects of global planetary warming seriously affect multiple ecosystems, causing problems such as food safety issues, ice and iceberg melting, animal extinction, and damage to plants ( 3 , 4 ).
Air pollution has various health effects. The health of susceptible and sensitive individuals can be impacted even on low air pollution days. Short-term exposure to air pollutants is closely related to COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, asthma, respiratory disease, and high rates of hospitalization (a measurement of morbidity).
The long-term effects associated with air pollution are chronic asthma, pulmonary insufficiency, cardiovascular diseases, and cardiovascular mortality. According to a Swedish cohort study, diabetes seems to be induced after long-term air pollution exposure ( 5 ). Moreover, air pollution seems to have various malign health effects in early human life, such as respiratory, cardiovascular, mental, and perinatal disorders ( 3 ), leading to infant mortality or chronic disease in adult age ( 6 ).
National reports have mentioned the increased risk of morbidity and mortality ( 1 ). These studies were conducted in many places around the world and show a correlation between daily ranges of particulate matter (PM) concentration and daily mortality. Climate shifts and global planetary warming ( 3 ) could aggravate the situation. Besides, increased hospitalization (an index of morbidity) has been registered among the elderly and susceptible individuals for specific reasons. Fine and ultrafine particulate matter seems to be associated with more serious illnesses ( 6 ), as it can invade the deepest parts of the airways and more easily reach the bloodstream.
Air pollution mainly affects those living in large urban areas, where road emissions contribute the most to the degradation of air quality. There is also a danger of industrial accidents, where the spread of a toxic fog can be fatal to the populations of the surrounding areas. The dispersion of pollutants is determined by many parameters, most notably atmospheric stability and wind ( 6 ).
In developing countries ( 7 ), the problem is more serious due to overpopulation and uncontrolled urbanization along with the development of industrialization. This leads to poor air quality, especially in countries with social disparities and a lack of information on sustainable management of the environment. The use of fuels such as wood fuel or solid fuel for domestic needs due to low incomes exposes people to bad-quality, polluted air at home. It is of note that three billion people around the world are using the above sources of energy for their daily heating and cooking needs ( 8 ). In developing countries, the women of the household seem to carry the highest risk for disease development due to their longer duration exposure to the indoor air pollution ( 8 , 9 ). Due to its fast industrial development and overpopulation, China is one of the Asian countries confronting serious air pollution problems ( 10 , 11 ). The lung cancer mortality observed in China is associated with fine particles ( 12 ). As stated already, long-term exposure is associated with deleterious effects on the cardiovascular system ( 3 , 5 ). However, it is interesting to note that cardiovascular diseases have mostly been observed in developed and high-income countries rather than in the developing low-income countries exposed highly to air pollution ( 13 ). Extreme air pollution is recorded in India, where the air quality reaches hazardous levels. New Delhi is one of the more polluted cities in India. Flights in and out of New Delhi International Airport are often canceled due to the reduced visibility associated with air pollution. Pollution is occurring both in urban and rural areas in India due to the fast industrialization, urbanization, and rise in use of motorcycle transportation. Nevertheless, biomass combustion associated with heating and cooking needs and practices is a major source of household air pollution in India and in Nepal ( 14 , 15 ). There is spatial heterogeneity in India, as areas with diverse climatological conditions and population and education levels generate different indoor air qualities, with higher PM 2.5 observed in North Indian states (557–601 μg/m 3 ) compared to the Southern States (183–214 μg/m 3 ) ( 16 , 17 ). The cold climate of the North Indian areas may be the main reason for this, as longer periods at home and more heating are necessary compared to in the tropical climate of Southern India. Household air pollution in India is associated with major health effects, especially in women and young children, who stay indoors for longer periods. Chronic obstructive respiratory disease (CORD) and lung cancer are mostly observed in women, while acute lower respiratory disease is seen in young children under 5 years of age ( 18 ).
Accumulation of air pollution, especially sulfur dioxide and smoke, reaching 1,500 mg/m3, resulted in an increase in the number of deaths (4,000 deaths) in December 1952 in London and in 1963 in New York City (400 deaths) ( 19 ). An association of pollution with mortality was reported on the basis of monitoring of outdoor pollution in six US metropolitan cities ( 20 ). In every case, it seems that mortality was closely related to the levels of fine, inhalable, and sulfate particles more than with the levels of total particulate pollution, aerosol acidity, sulfur dioxide, or nitrogen dioxide ( 20 ).
Furthermore, extremely high levels of pollution are reported in Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro, followed by Milan, Ankara, Melbourne, Tokyo, and Moscow ( 19 ).
Based on the magnitude of the public health impact, it is certain that different kinds of interventions should be taken into account. Success and effectiveness in controlling air pollution, specifically at the local level, have been reported. Adequate technological means are applied considering the source and the nature of the emission as well as its impact on health and the environment. The importance of point sources and non-point sources of air pollution control is reported by Schwela and Köth-Jahr ( 21 ). Without a doubt, a detailed emission inventory must record all sources in a given area. Beyond considering the above sources and their nature, topography and meteorology should also be considered, as stated previously. Assessment of the control policies and methods is often extrapolated from the local to the regional and then to the global scale. Air pollution may be dispersed and transported from one region to another area located far away. Air pollution management means the reduction to acceptable levels or possible elimination of air pollutants whose presence in the air affects our health or the environmental ecosystem. Private and governmental entities and authorities implement actions to ensure the air quality ( 22 ). Air quality standards and guidelines were adopted for the different pollutants by the WHO and EPA as a tool for the management of air quality ( 1 , 23 ). These standards have to be compared to the emissions inventory standards by causal analysis and dispersion modeling in order to reveal the problematic areas ( 24 ). Inventories are generally based on a combination of direct measurements and emissions modeling ( 24 ).
As an example, we state here the control measures at the source through the use of catalytic converters in cars. These are devices that turn the pollutants and toxic gases produced from combustion engines into less-toxic pollutants by catalysis through redox reactions ( 25 ). In Greece, the use of private cars was restricted by tracking their license plates in order to reduce traffic congestion during rush hour ( 25 ).
Concerning industrial emissions, collectors and closed systems can keep the air pollution to the minimal standards imposed by legislation ( 26 ).
Current strategies to improve air quality require an estimation of the economic value of the benefits gained from proposed programs. These proposed programs by public authorities, and directives are issued with guidelines to be respected.
In Europe, air quality limit values AQLVs (Air Quality Limit Values) are issued for setting off planning claims ( 27 ). In the USA, the NAAQS (National Ambient Air Quality Standards) establish the national air quality limit values ( 27 ). While both standards and directives are based on different mechanisms, significant success has been achieved in the reduction of overall emissions and associated health and environmental effects ( 27 ). The European Directive identifies geographical areas of risk exposure as monitoring/assessment zones to record the emission sources and levels of air pollution ( 27 ), whereas the USA establishes global geographical air quality criteria according to the severity of their air quality problem and records all sources of the pollutants and their precursors ( 27 ).
In this vein, funds have been financing, directly or indirectly, projects related to air quality along with the technical infrastructure to maintain good air quality. These plans focus on an inventory of databases from air quality environmental planning awareness campaigns. Moreover, pollution measures of air emissions may be taken for vehicles, machines, and industries in urban areas.
Technological innovation can only be successful if it is able to meet the needs of society. In this sense, technology must reflect the decision-making practices and procedures of those involved in risk assessment and evaluation and act as a facilitator in providing information and assessments to enable decision makers to make the best decisions possible. Summarizing the aforementioned in order to design an effective air quality control strategy, several aspects must be considered: environmental factors and ambient air quality conditions, engineering factors and air pollutant characteristics, and finally, economic operating costs for technological improvement and administrative and legal costs. Considering the economic factor, competitiveness through neoliberal concepts is offering a solution to environmental problems ( 22 ).
The development of environmental governance, along with technological progress, has initiated the deployment of a dialogue. Environmental politics has created objections and points of opposition between different political parties, scientists, media, and governmental and non-governmental organizations ( 22 ). Radical environmental activism actions and movements have been created ( 22 ). The rise of the new information and communication technologies (ICTs) are many times examined as to whether and in which way they have influenced means of communication and social movements such as activism ( 28 ). Since the 1990s, the term “digital activism” has been used increasingly and in many different disciplines ( 29 ). Nowadays, multiple digital technologies can be used to produce a digital activism outcome on environmental issues. More specifically, devices with online capabilities such as computers or mobile phones are being used as a way to pursue change in political and social affairs ( 30 ).
In the present paper, we focus on the sources of environmental pollution in relation to public health and propose some solutions and interventions that may be of interest to environmental legislators and decision makers.
Sources of Exposure
It is known that the majority of environmental pollutants are emitted through large-scale human activities such as the use of industrial machinery, power-producing stations, combustion engines, and cars. Because these activities are performed at such a large scale, they are by far the major contributors to air pollution, with cars estimated to be responsible for approximately 80% of today's pollution ( 31 ). Some other human activities are also influencing our environment to a lesser extent, such as field cultivation techniques, gas stations, fuel tanks heaters, and cleaning procedures ( 32 ), as well as several natural sources, such as volcanic and soil eruptions and forest fires.
The classification of air pollutants is based mainly on the sources producing pollution. Therefore, it is worth mentioning the four main sources, following the classification system: Major sources, Area sources, Mobile sources, and Natural sources.
Major sources include the emission of pollutants from power stations, refineries, and petrochemicals, the chemical and fertilizer industries, metallurgical and other industrial plants, and, finally, municipal incineration.
Indoor area sources include domestic cleaning activities, dry cleaners, printing shops, and petrol stations.
Mobile sources include automobiles, cars, railways, airways, and other types of vehicles.
Finally, natural sources include, as stated previously, physical disasters ( 33 ) such as forest fire, volcanic erosion, dust storms, and agricultural burning.
However, many classification systems have been proposed. Another type of classification is a grouping according to the recipient of the pollution, as follows:
Air pollution is determined as the presence of pollutants in the air in large quantities for long periods. Air pollutants are dispersed particles, hydrocarbons, CO, CO 2 , NO, NO 2 , SO 3 , etc.
Water pollution is organic and inorganic charge and biological charge ( 10 ) at high levels that affect the water quality ( 34 , 35 ).
Soil pollution occurs through the release of chemicals or the disposal of wastes, such as heavy metals, hydrocarbons, and pesticides.
Air pollution can influence the quality of soil and water bodies by polluting precipitation, falling into water and soil environments ( 34 , 36 ). Notably, the chemistry of the soil can be amended due to acid precipitation by affecting plants, cultures, and water quality ( 37 ). Moreover, movement of heavy metals is favored by soil acidity, and metals are so then moving into the watery environment. It is known that heavy metals such as aluminum are noxious to wildlife and fishes. Soil quality seems to be of importance, as soils with low calcium carbonate levels are at increased jeopardy from acid rain. Over and above rain, snow and particulate matter drip into watery ' bodies ( 36 , 38 ).
Lastly, pollution is classified following type of origin:
Radioactive and nuclear pollution , releasing radioactive and nuclear pollutants into water, air, and soil during nuclear explosions and accidents, from nuclear weapons, and through handling or disposal of radioactive sewage.
Radioactive materials can contaminate surface water bodies and, being noxious to the environment, plants, animals, and humans. It is known that several radioactive substances such as radium and uranium concentrate in the bones and can cause cancers ( 38 , 39 ).
Noise pollution is produced by machines, vehicles, traffic noises, and musical installations that are harmful to our hearing.
The World Health Organization introduced the term DALYs. The DALYs for a disease or health condition is defined as the sum of the Years of Life Lost (YLL) due to premature mortality in the population and the Years Lost due to Disability (YLD) for people living with the health condition or its consequences ( 39 ). In Europe, air pollution is the main cause of disability-adjusted life years lost (DALYs), followed by noise pollution. The potential relationships of noise and air pollution with health have been studied ( 40 ). The study found that DALYs related to noise were more important than those related to air pollution, as the effects of environmental noise on cardiovascular disease were independent of air pollution ( 40 ). Environmental noise should be counted as an independent public health risk ( 40 ).
Environmental pollution occurs when changes in the physical, chemical, or biological constituents of the environment (air masses, temperature, climate, etc.) are produced.
Pollutants harm our environment either by increasing levels above normal or by introducing harmful toxic substances. Primary pollutants are directly produced from the above sources, and secondary pollutants are emitted as by-products of the primary ones. Pollutants can be biodegradable or non-biodegradable and of natural origin or anthropogenic, as stated previously. Moreover, their origin can be a unique source (point-source) or dispersed sources.
Pollutants have differences in physical and chemical properties, explaining the discrepancy in their capacity for producing toxic effects. As an example, we state here that aerosol compounds ( 41 – 43 ) have a greater toxicity than gaseous compounds due to their tiny size (solid or liquid) in the atmosphere; they have a greater penetration capacity. Gaseous compounds are eliminated more easily by our respiratory system ( 41 ). These particles are able to damage lungs and can even enter the bloodstream ( 41 ), leading to the premature deaths of millions of people yearly. Moreover, the aerosol acidity ([H+]) seems to considerably enhance the production of secondary organic aerosols (SOA), but this last aspect is not supported by other scientific teams ( 38 ).
Climate and Pollution
Air pollution and climate change are closely related. Climate is the other side of the same coin that reduces the quality of our Earth ( 44 ). Pollutants such as black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone, and aerosols affect the amount of incoming sunlight. As a result, the temperature of the Earth is increasing, resulting in the melting of ice, icebergs, and glaciers.
In this vein, climatic changes will affect the incidence and prevalence of both residual and imported infections in Europe. Climate and weather affect the duration, timing, and intensity of outbreaks strongly and change the map of infectious diseases in the globe ( 45 ). Mosquito-transmitted parasitic or viral diseases are extremely climate-sensitive, as warming firstly shortens the pathogen incubation period and secondly shifts the geographic map of the vector. Similarly, water-warming following climate changes leads to a high incidence of waterborne infections. Recently, in Europe, eradicated diseases seem to be emerging due to the migration of population, for example, cholera, poliomyelitis, tick-borne encephalitis, and malaria ( 46 ).
The spread of epidemics is associated with natural climate disasters and storms, which seem to occur more frequently nowadays ( 47 ). Malnutrition and disequilibration of the immune system are also associated with the emerging infections affecting public health ( 48 ).
The Chikungunya virus “took the airplane” from the Indian Ocean to Europe, as outbreaks of the disease were registered in Italy ( 49 ) as well as autochthonous cases in France ( 50 ).
An increase in cryptosporidiosis in the United Kingdom and in the Czech Republic seems to have occurred following flooding ( 36 , 51 ).
As stated previously, aerosols compounds are tiny in size and considerably affect the climate. They are able to dissipate sunlight (the albedo phenomenon) by dispersing a quarter of the sun's rays back to space and have cooled the global temperature over the last 30 years ( 52 ).
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports on six major air pollutants, namely particle pollution, ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and lead. Air pollution can have a disastrous effect on all components of the environment, including groundwater, soil, and air. Additionally, it poses a serious threat to living organisms. In this vein, our interest is mainly to focus on these pollutants, as they are related to more extensive and severe problems in human health and environmental impact. Acid rain, global warming, the greenhouse effect, and climate changes have an important ecological impact on air pollution ( 53 ).
Particulate Matter (PM) and Health
Studies have shown a relationship between particulate matter (PM) and adverse health effects, focusing on either short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic) PM exposure.
Particulate matter (PM) is usually formed in the atmosphere as a result of chemical reactions between the different pollutants. The penetration of particles is closely dependent on their size ( 53 ). Particulate Matter (PM) was defined as a term for particles by the United States Environmental Protection Agency ( 54 ). Particulate matter (PM) pollution includes particles with diameters of 10 micrometers (μm) or smaller, called PM 10 , and extremely fine particles with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers (μm) and smaller.
Particulate matter contains tiny liquid or solid droplets that can be inhaled and cause serious health effects ( 55 ). Particles <10 μm in diameter (PM 10 ) after inhalation can invade the lungs and even reach the bloodstream. Fine particles, PM 2.5 , pose a greater risk to health ( 6 , 56 ) ( Table 1 ).
Table 1 . Penetrability according to particle size.
Multiple epidemiological studies have been performed on the health effects of PM. A positive relation was shown between both short-term and long-term exposures of PM 2.5 and acute nasopharyngitis ( 56 ). In addition, long-term exposure to PM for years was found to be related to cardiovascular diseases and infant mortality.
Those studies depend on PM 2.5 monitors and are restricted in terms of study area or city area due to a lack of spatially resolved daily PM 2.5 concentration data and, in this way, are not representative of the entire population. Following a recent epidemiological study by the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard School of Public Health (Boston, MA) ( 57 ), it was reported that, as PM 2.5 concentrations vary spatially, an exposure error (Berkson error) seems to be produced, and the relative magnitudes of the short- and long-term effects are not yet completely elucidated. The team developed a PM 2.5 exposure model based on remote sensing data for assessing short- and long-term human exposures ( 57 ). This model permits spatial resolution in short-term effects plus the assessment of long-term effects in the whole population.
Moreover, respiratory diseases and affection of the immune system are registered as long-term chronic effects ( 58 ). It is worth noting that people with asthma, pneumonia, diabetes, and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases are especially susceptible and vulnerable to the effects of PM. PM 2.5 , followed by PM 10 , are strongly associated with diverse respiratory system diseases ( 59 ), as their size permits them to pierce interior spaces ( 60 ). The particles produce toxic effects according to their chemical and physical properties. The components of PM 10 and PM 2.5 can be organic (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins, benzene, 1-3 butadiene) or inorganic (carbon, chlorides, nitrates, sulfates, metals) in nature ( 55 ).
Particulate Matter (PM) is divided into four main categories according to type and size ( 61 ) ( Table 2 ).
Table 2 . Types and sizes of particulate Matter (PM).
Gas contaminants include PM in aerial masses.
Particulate contaminants include contaminants such as smog, soot, tobacco smoke, oil smoke, fly ash, and cement dust.
Biological Contaminants are microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, mold, and bacterial spores), cat allergens, house dust and allergens, and pollen.
Types of Dust include suspended atmospheric dust, settling dust, and heavy dust.
Finally, another fact is that the half-lives of PM 10 and PM 2.5 particles in the atmosphere is extended due to their tiny dimensions; this permits their long-lasting suspension in the atmosphere and even their transfer and spread to distant destinations where people and the environment may be exposed to the same magnitude of pollution ( 53 ). They are able to change the nutrient balance in watery ecosystems, damage forests and crops, and acidify water bodies.
As stated, PM 2.5 , due to their tiny size, are causing more serious health effects. These aforementioned fine particles are the main cause of the “haze” formation in different metropolitan areas ( 12 , 13 , 61 ).
Ozone Impact in the Atmosphere
Ozone (O 3 ) is a gas formed from oxygen under high voltage electric discharge ( 62 ). It is a strong oxidant, 52% stronger than chlorine. It arises in the stratosphere, but it could also arise following chain reactions of photochemical smog in the troposphere ( 63 ).
Ozone can travel to distant areas from its initial source, moving with air masses ( 64 ). It is surprising that ozone levels over cities are low in contrast to the increased amounts occuring in urban areas, which could become harmful for cultures, forests, and vegetation ( 65 ) as it is reducing carbon assimilation ( 66 ). Ozone reduces growth and yield ( 47 , 48 ) and affects the plant microflora due to its antimicrobial capacity ( 67 , 68 ). In this regard, ozone acts upon other natural ecosystems, with microflora ( 69 , 70 ) and animal species changing their species composition ( 71 ). Ozone increases DNA damage in epidermal keratinocytes and leads to impaired cellular function ( 72 ).
Ground-level ozone (GLO) is generated through a chemical reaction between oxides of nitrogen and VOCs emitted from natural sources and/or following anthropogenic activities.
Ozone uptake usually occurs by inhalation. Ozone affects the upper layers of the skin and the tear ducts ( 73 ). A study of short-term exposure of mice to high levels of ozone showed malondialdehyde formation in the upper skin (epidermis) but also depletion in vitamins C and E. It is likely that ozone levels are not interfering with the skin barrier function and integrity to predispose to skin disease ( 74 ).
Due to the low water-solubility of ozone, inhaled ozone has the capacity to penetrate deeply into the lungs ( 75 ).
Toxic effects induced by ozone are registered in urban areas all over the world, causing biochemical, morphologic, functional, and immunological disorders ( 76 ).
The European project (APHEA2) focuses on the acute effects of ambient ozone concentrations on mortality ( 77 ). Daily ozone concentrations compared to the daily number of deaths were reported from different European cities for a 3-year period. During the warm period of the year, an observed increase in ozone concentration was associated with an increase in the daily number of deaths (0.33%), in the number of respiratory deaths (1.13%), and in the number of cardiovascular deaths (0.45%). No effect was observed during wintertime.
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon monoxide is produced by fossil fuel when combustion is incomplete. The symptoms of poisoning due to inhaling carbon monoxide include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and, finally, loss of consciousness.
The affinity of carbon monoxide to hemoglobin is much greater than that of oxygen. In this vein, serious poisoning may occur in people exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide for a long period of time. Due to the loss of oxygen as a result of the competitive binding of carbon monoxide, hypoxia, ischemia, and cardiovascular disease are observed.
Carbon monoxide affects the greenhouses gases that are tightly connected to global warming and climate. This should lead to an increase in soil and water temperatures, and extreme weather conditions or storms may occur ( 68 ).
However, in laboratory and field experiments, it has been seen to produce increased plant growth ( 78 ).
Nitrogen Oxide (NO 2 )
Nitrogen oxide is a traffic-related pollutant, as it is emitted from automobile motor engines ( 79 , 80 ). It is an irritant of the respiratory system as it penetrates deep in the lung, inducing respiratory diseases, coughing, wheezing, dyspnea, bronchospasm, and even pulmonary edema when inhaled at high levels. It seems that concentrations over 0.2 ppm produce these adverse effects in humans, while concentrations higher than 2.0 ppm affect T-lymphocytes, particularly the CD8+ cells and NK cells that produce our immune response ( 81 ).It is reported that long-term exposure to high levels of nitrogen dioxide can be responsible for chronic lung disease. Long-term exposure to NO 2 can impair the sense of smell ( 81 ).
However, systems other than respiratory ones can be involved, as symptoms such as eye, throat, and nose irritation have been registered ( 81 ).
High levels of nitrogen dioxide are deleterious to crops and vegetation, as they have been observed to reduce crop yield and plant growth efficiency. Moreover, NO 2 can reduce visibility and discolor fabrics ( 81 ).
Sulfur Dioxide (SO 2 )
Sulfur dioxide is a harmful gas that is emitted mainly from fossil fuel consumption or industrial activities. The annual standard for SO 2 is 0.03 ppm ( 82 ). It affects human, animal, and plant life. Susceptible people as those with lung disease, old people, and children, who present a higher risk of damage. The major health problems associated with sulfur dioxide emissions in industrialized areas are respiratory irritation, bronchitis, mucus production, and bronchospasm, as it is a sensory irritant and penetrates deep into the lung converted into bisulfite and interacting with sensory receptors, causing bronchoconstriction. Moreover, skin redness, damage to the eyes (lacrimation and corneal opacity) and mucous membranes, and worsening of pre-existing cardiovascular disease have been observed ( 81 ).
Environmental adverse effects, such as acidification of soil and acid rain, seem to be associated with sulfur dioxide emissions ( 83 ).
Lead is a heavy metal used in different industrial plants and emitted from some petrol motor engines, batteries, radiators, waste incinerators, and waste waters ( 84 ).
Moreover, major sources of lead pollution in the air are metals, ore, and piston-engine aircraft. Lead poisoning is a threat to public health due to its deleterious effects upon humans, animals, and the environment, especially in the developing countries.
Exposure to lead can occur through inhalation, ingestion, and dermal absorption. Trans- placental transport of lead was also reported, as lead passes through the placenta unencumbered ( 85 ). The younger the fetus is, the more harmful the toxic effects. Lead toxicity affects the fetal nervous system; edema or swelling of the brain is observed ( 86 ). Lead, when inhaled, accumulates in the blood, soft tissue, liver, lung, bones, and cardiovascular, nervous, and reproductive systems. Moreover, loss of concentration and memory, as well as muscle and joint pain, were observed in adults ( 85 , 86 ).
Children and newborns ( 87 ) are extremely susceptible even to minimal doses of lead, as it is a neurotoxicant and causes learning disabilities, impairment of memory, hyperactivity, and even mental retardation.
Elevated amounts of lead in the environment are harmful to plants and crop growth. Neurological effects are observed in vertebrates and animals in association with high lead levels ( 88 ).
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons(PAHs)
The distribution of PAHs is ubiquitous in the environment, as the atmosphere is the most important means of their dispersal. They are found in coal and in tar sediments. Moreover, they are generated through incomplete combustion of organic matter as in the cases of forest fires, incineration, and engines ( 89 ). PAH compounds, such as benzopyrene, acenaphthylene, anthracene, and fluoranthene are recognized as toxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic substances. They are an important risk factor for lung cancer ( 89 ).
Volatile Organic Compounds(VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as toluene, benzene, ethylbenzene, and xylene ( 90 ), have been found to be associated with cancer in humans ( 91 ). The use of new products and materials has actually resulted in increased concentrations of VOCs. VOCs pollute indoor air ( 90 ) and may have adverse effects on human health ( 91 ). Short-term and long-term adverse effects on human health are observed. VOCs are responsible for indoor air smells. Short-term exposure is found to cause irritation of eyes, nose, throat, and mucosal membranes, while those of long duration exposure include toxic reactions ( 92 ). Predictable assessment of the toxic effects of complex VOC mixtures is difficult to estimate, as these pollutants can have synergic, antagonistic, or indifferent effects ( 91 , 93 ).
Dioxins originate from industrial processes but also come from natural processes, such as forest fires and volcanic eruptions. They accumulate in foods such as meat and dairy products, fish and shellfish, and especially in the fatty tissue of animals ( 94 ).
Short-period exhibition to high dioxin concentrations may result in dark spots and lesions on the skin ( 94 ). Long-term exposure to dioxins can cause developmental problems, impairment of the immune, endocrine and nervous systems, reproductive infertility, and cancer ( 94 ).
Without any doubt, fossil fuel consumption is responsible for a sizeable part of air contamination. This contamination may be anthropogenic, as in agricultural and industrial processes or transportation, while contamination from natural sources is also possible. Interestingly, it is of note that the air quality standards established through the European Air Quality Directive are somewhat looser than the WHO guidelines, which are stricter ( 95 ).
Effect of Air Pollution on Health
The most common air pollutants are ground-level ozone and Particulates Matter (PM). Air pollution is distinguished into two main types:
Outdoor pollution is the ambient air pollution.
Indoor pollution is the pollution generated by household combustion of fuels.
People exposed to high concentrations of air pollutants experience disease symptoms and states of greater and lesser seriousness. These effects are grouped into short- and long-term effects affecting health.
Susceptible populations that need to be aware of health protection measures include old people, children, and people with diabetes and predisposing heart or lung disease, especially asthma.
As extensively stated previously, according to a recent epidemiological study from Harvard School of Public Health, the relative magnitudes of the short- and long-term effects have not been completely clarified ( 57 ) due to the different epidemiological methodologies and to the exposure errors. New models are proposed for assessing short- and long-term human exposure data more successfully ( 57 ). Thus, in the present section, we report the more common short- and long-term health effects but also general concerns for both types of effects, as these effects are often dependent on environmental conditions, dose, and individual susceptibility.
Short-term effects are temporary and range from simple discomfort, such as irritation of the eyes, nose, skin, throat, wheezing, coughing and chest tightness, and breathing difficulties, to more serious states, such as asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, and lung and heart problems. Short-term exposure to air pollution can also cause headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
These problems can be aggravated by extended long-term exposure to the pollutants, which is harmful to the neurological, reproductive, and respiratory systems and causes cancer and even, rarely, deaths.
The long-term effects are chronic, lasting for years or the whole life and can even lead to death. Furthermore, the toxicity of several air pollutants may also induce a variety of cancers in the long term ( 96 ).
As stated already, respiratory disorders are closely associated with the inhalation of air pollutants. These pollutants will invade through the airways and will accumulate at the cells. Damage to target cells should be related to the pollutant component involved and its source and dose. Health effects are also closely dependent on country, area, season, and time. An extended exposure duration to the pollutant should incline to long-term health effects in relation also to the above factors.
Particulate Matter (PMs), dust, benzene, and O 3 cause serious damage to the respiratory system ( 97 ). Moreover, there is a supplementary risk in case of existing respiratory disease such as asthma ( 98 ). Long-term effects are more frequent in people with a predisposing disease state. When the trachea is contaminated by pollutants, voice alterations may be remarked after acute exposure. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be induced following air pollution, increasing morbidity and mortality ( 99 ). Long-term effects from traffic, industrial air pollution, and combustion of fuels are the major factors for COPD risk ( 99 ).
Multiple cardiovascular effects have been observed after exposure to air pollutants ( 100 ). Changes occurred in blood cells after long-term exposure may affect cardiac functionality. Coronary arteriosclerosis was reported following long-term exposure to traffic emissions ( 101 ), while short-term exposure is related to hypertension, stroke, myocardial infracts, and heart insufficiency. Ventricle hypertrophy is reported to occur in humans after long-time exposure to nitrogen oxide (NO 2 ) ( 102 , 103 ).
Neurological effects have been observed in adults and children after extended-term exposure to air pollutants.
Psychological complications, autism, retinopathy, fetal growth, and low birth weight seem to be related to long-term air pollution ( 83 ). The etiologic agent of the neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's and Parkinson's) is not yet known, although it is believed that extended exposure to air pollution seems to be a factor. Specifically, pesticides and metals are cited as etiological factors, together with diet. The mechanisms in the development of neurodegenerative disease include oxidative stress, protein aggregation, inflammation, and mitochondrial impairment in neurons ( 104 ) ( Figure 1 ).
Figure 1 . Impact of air pollutants on the brain.
Brain inflammation was observed in dogs living in a highly polluted area in Mexico for a long period ( 105 ). In human adults, markers of systemic inflammation (IL-6 and fibrinogen) were found to be increased as an immediate response to PNC on the IL-6 level, possibly leading to the production of acute-phase proteins ( 106 ). The progression of atherosclerosis and oxidative stress seem to be the mechanisms involved in the neurological disturbances caused by long-term air pollution. Inflammation comes secondary to the oxidative stress and seems to be involved in the impairment of developmental maturation, affecting multiple organs ( 105 , 107 ). Similarly, other factors seem to be involved in the developmental maturation, which define the vulnerability to long-term air pollution. These include birthweight, maternal smoking, genetic background and socioeconomic environment, as well as education level.
However, diet, starting from breast-feeding, is another determinant factor. Diet is the main source of antioxidants, which play a key role in our protection against air pollutants ( 108 ). Antioxidants are free radical scavengers and limit the interaction of free radicals in the brain ( 108 ). Similarly, genetic background may result in a differential susceptibility toward the oxidative stress pathway ( 60 ). For example, antioxidant supplementation with vitamins C and E appears to modulate the effect of ozone in asthmatic children homozygous for the GSTM1 null allele ( 61 ). Inflammatory cytokines released in the periphery (e.g., respiratory epithelia) upregulate the innate immune Toll-like receptor 2. Such activation and the subsequent events leading to neurodegeneration have recently been observed in lung lavage in mice exposed to ambient Los Angeles (CA, USA) particulate matter ( 61 ). In children, neurodevelopmental morbidities were observed after lead exposure. These children developed aggressive and delinquent behavior, reduced intelligence, learning difficulties, and hyperactivity ( 109 ). No level of lead exposure seems to be “safe,” and the scientific community has asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce the current screening guideline of 10 μg/dl ( 109 ).
It is important to state that impact on the immune system, causing dysfunction and neuroinflammation ( 104 ), is related to poor air quality. Yet, increases in serum levels of immunoglobulins (IgA, IgM) and the complement component C3 are observed ( 106 ). Another issue is that antigen presentation is affected by air pollutants, as there is an upregulation of costimulatory molecules such as CD80 and CD86 on macrophages ( 110 ).
As is known, skin is our shield against ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and other pollutants, as it is the most exterior layer of our body. Traffic-related pollutants, such as PAHs, VOCs, oxides, and PM, may cause pigmented spots on our skin ( 111 ). On the one hand, as already stated, when pollutants penetrate through the skin or are inhaled, damage to the organs is observed, as some of these pollutants are mutagenic and carcinogenic, and, specifically, they affect the liver and lung. On the other hand, air pollutants (and those in the troposphere) reduce the adverse effects of ultraviolet radiation UVR in polluted urban areas ( 111 ). Air pollutants absorbed by the human skin may contribute to skin aging, psoriasis, acne, urticaria, eczema, and atopic dermatitis ( 111 ), usually caused by exposure to oxides and photochemical smoke ( 111 ). Exposure to PM and cigarette smoking act as skin-aging agents, causing spots, dyschromia, and wrinkles. Lastly, pollutants have been associated with skin cancer ( 111 ).
Higher morbidity is reported to fetuses and children when exposed to the above dangers. Impairment in fetal growth, low birth weight, and autism have been reported ( 112 ).
Another exterior organ that may be affected is the eye. Contamination usually comes from suspended pollutants and may result in asymptomatic eye outcomes, irritation ( 112 ), retinopathy, or dry eye syndrome ( 113 , 114 ).
Environmental Impact of Air Pollution
Air pollution is harming not only human health but also the environment ( 115 ) in which we live. The most important environmental effects are as follows.
Acid rain is wet (rain, fog, snow) or dry (particulates and gas) precipitation containing toxic amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids. They are able to acidify the water and soil environments, damage trees and plantations, and even damage buildings and outdoor sculptures, constructions, and statues.
Haze is produced when fine particles are dispersed in the air and reduce the transparency of the atmosphere. It is caused by gas emissions in the air coming from industrial facilities, power plants, automobiles, and trucks.
Ozone , as discussed previously, occurs both at ground level and in the upper level (stratosphere) of the Earth's atmosphere. Stratospheric ozone is protecting us from the Sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. In contrast, ground-level ozone is harmful to human health and is a pollutant. Unfortunately, stratospheric ozone is gradually damaged by ozone-depleting substances (i.e., chemicals, pesticides, and aerosols). If this protecting stratospheric ozone layer is thinned, then UV radiation can reach our Earth, with harmful effects for human life (skin cancer) ( 116 ) and crops ( 117 ). In plants, ozone penetrates through the stomata, inducing them to close, which blocks CO 2 transfer and induces a reduction in photosynthesis ( 118 ).
Global climate change is an important issue that concerns mankind. As is known, the “greenhouse effect” keeps the Earth's temperature stable. Unhappily, anthropogenic activities have destroyed this protecting temperature effect by producing large amounts of greenhouse gases, and global warming is mounting, with harmful effects on human health, animals, forests, wildlife, agriculture, and the water environment. A report states that global warming is adding to the health risks of poor people ( 119 ).
People living in poorly constructed buildings in warm-climate countries are at high risk for heat-related health problems as temperatures mount ( 119 ).
Wildlife is burdened by toxic pollutants coming from the air, soil, or the water ecosystem and, in this way, animals can develop health problems when exposed to high levels of pollutants. Reproductive failure and birth effects have been reported.
Eutrophication is occurring when elevated concentrations of nutrients (especially nitrogen) stimulate the blooming of aquatic algae, which can cause a disequilibration in the diversity of fish and their deaths.
Without a doubt, there is a critical concentration of pollution that an ecosystem can tolerate without being destroyed, which is associated with the ecosystem's capacity to neutralize acidity. The Canada Acid Rain Program established this load at 20 kg/ha/yr ( 120 ).
Hence, air pollution has deleterious effects on both soil and water ( 121 ). Concerning PM as an air pollutant, its impact on crop yield and food productivity has been reported. Its impact on watery bodies is associated with the survival of living organisms and fishes and their productivity potential ( 121 ).
An impairment in photosynthetic rhythm and metabolism is observed in plants exposed to the effects of ozone ( 121 ).
Sulfur and nitrogen oxides are involved in the formation of acid rain and are harmful to plants and marine organisms.
Last but not least, as mentioned above, the toxicity associated with lead and other metals is the main threat to our ecosystems (air, water, and soil) and living creatures ( 121 ).
In 2018, during the first WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, the WHO's General Director, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called air pollution a “silent public health emergency” and “the new tobacco” ( 122 ).
Undoubtedly, children are particularly vulnerable to air pollution, especially during their development. Air pollution has adverse effects on our lives in many different respects.
Diseases associated with air pollution have not only an important economic impact but also a societal impact due to absences from productive work and school.
Despite the difficulty of eradicating the problem of anthropogenic environmental pollution, a successful solution could be envisaged as a tight collaboration of authorities, bodies, and doctors to regularize the situation. Governments should spread sufficient information and educate people and should involve professionals in these issues so as to control the emergence of the problem successfully.
Technologies to reduce air pollution at the source must be established and should be used in all industries and power plants. The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 set as a major target the reduction of GHG emissions to below 5% by 2012 ( 123 ). This was followed by the Copenhagen summit, 2009 ( 124 ), and then the Durban summit of 2011 ( 125 ), where it was decided to keep to the same line of action. The Kyoto protocol and the subsequent ones were ratified by many countries. Among the pioneers who adopted this important protocol for the world's environmental and climate “health” was China ( 3 ). As is known, China is a fast-developing economy and its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is expected to be very high by 2050, which is defined as the year of dissolution of the protocol for the decrease in gas emissions.
A more recent international agreement of crucial importance for climate change is the Paris Agreement of 2015, issued by the UNFCCC (United Nations Climate Change Committee). This latest agreement was ratified by a plethora of UN (United Nations) countries as well as the countries of the European Union ( 126 ). In this vein, parties should promote actions and measures to enhance numerous aspects around the subject. Boosting education, training, public awareness, and public participation are some of the relevant actions for maximizing the opportunities to achieve the targets and goals on the crucial matter of climate change and environmental pollution ( 126 ). Without any doubt, technological improvements makes our world easier and it seems difficult to reduce the harmful impact caused by gas emissions, we could limit its use by seeking reliable approaches.
Synopsizing, a global prevention policy should be designed in order to combat anthropogenic air pollution as a complement to the correct handling of the adverse health effects associated with air pollution. Sustainable development practices should be applied, together with information coming from research in order to handle the problem effectively.
At this point, international cooperation in terms of research, development, administration policy, monitoring, and politics is vital for effective pollution control. Legislation concerning air pollution must be aligned and updated, and policy makers should propose the design of a powerful tool of environmental and health protection. As a result, the main proposal of this essay is that we should focus on fostering local structures to promote experience and practice and extrapolate these to the international level through developing effective policies for sustainable management of ecosystems.
All authors listed have made a substantial, direct and intellectual contribution to the work, and approved it for publication.
Conflict of Interest
IM is employed by the company Delphis S.A.
The remaining authors declare that the present review paper was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
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Keywords: air pollution, environment, health, public health, gas emission, policy
Citation: Manisalidis I, Stavropoulou E, Stavropoulos A and Bezirtzoglou E (2020) Environmental and Health Impacts of Air Pollution: A Review. Front. Public Health 8:14. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.00014
Received: 17 October 2019; Accepted: 17 January 2020; Published: 20 February 2020.
Copyright © 2020 Manisalidis, Stavropoulou, Stavropoulos and Bezirtzoglou. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
*Correspondence: Ioannis Manisalidis, firstname.lastname@example.org ; Elisavet Stavropoulou, email@example.com
† These authors have contributed equally to this work
This article is part of the Research Topic
Environment and Health
Safalta Exam Preparation Online
Article writing : pollution.
Safalta expert Published by: Gitika Jangir Updated Sun, 24 Jul 2022 12:21 AM IST
This article contains a few articles that you can use as a guide when requested to write articles to on pollution .
- Informal Letter Format: Know How To Write An Informal Letter
- Informal Letter to your Friend Describing About Your School
- Informal Letter to your Friend Describing About Your Hobby
- Informal Letter to your Friend Describing About Your School trip
- Informal Letter to your Friend Describing About Your Summer holidays
- Informal Letter to your Friend Describing About Your Birthday party
- Informal Letter to your Friend Describing About Your Ancestral House
Types, Causes, and Effects of Pollution
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- Waste plastic
- fossil fuels being burned
- Forest fires
- using equipment that produces a lot of carbon compounds
- the burning of waste
- smoke produced by businesses and factories
- spills of oil
- Ocean dumping
- waste removal
- Pesticides and fertilizers
- Radioactive waste
- Worldwide warming
- ozone layer destruction
- Environmental degradation Fertility of the land
- increased danger to human health, including allergies, cancer, heart attacks, and respiratory illnesses.
- Animal welfare
- Acidic rain
- Changing weather
200-word essay about the need to stop pollution and steps being taken to do so
Why does pollution occur, how can pollution be stopped, what are the pollution's natural causes, free e books.
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