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Air Pollution: Causes, Effects, and Solutions

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The Earth is slowly dying, and one of the reasons why is because of us. We are hurting the planet through our actions. The world’s air quality has been rapidly declining due to air pollution mainly caused by human activities. Air pollution is a mixture of particles and gases in the air that becomes harmful to everyone. It can have serious effects on the health of the entire planet; it affects people locally and the world as a whole. Air pollution can have both human-made and natural sources. The causes range from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, indoor burning of wood, biomass-based fuels to cook, heat, light, transportation emissions, increased industrial activities, and more. Some natural sources of air pollution contributions include volcanic activity, dust and wildfires, animals, and vegetation.

Humans are the primary cause of the rapid increase in air pollution in the past decades. They have caused air pollution in many different ways. Air pollution is connected and caused directly when we use transportation, electricity, fuels, gas, and etc. It can also be caused indirectly, when people buy goods and services that use energy and production processes that release the chemicals. Most of this air pollution we cause results from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, natural gas, and gasoline to produce electricity and power our vehicles. Through activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, indoor burning of wood, biomass-based fuels to cook, heat, and light. Coal-burning power plants are a significant contributor. Industrial processes such as factories and the chemicals coming from those buildings pollute the air. Transportation also causes air pollution. Vehicle emissions contribute a lot to bad air quality. Another major factor is waste and the burning of waste in landfills. It produces and releases harmful chemicals into the atmosphere, such as dioxins, furans, methane, and black carbon.

Some air pollutants are poisonous. Inhaling them can increase the chance of having health problems in the future. People with heart or lung disease, older adults and children, are at higher risk from air pollution. Air pollution is not just outside; the air inside buildings can also be polluted and affect your health. It can be indoor and outdoor effects. No one can escape air pollution; it affects us all. It is everywhere. This is why this is a global problem, not just local. Pollution is also linked to climate change. Everyone is involved and impacted in some type of way. Air pollution not only affects us but also all life on Earth. The plants, animals, wildlife, the environment – they are all harmed. Toxic chemicals are released into the air, and it goes into plants and their food sources, it contaminates the water and can poison animals. It is a vicious cycle that travels through the food chain, hurting everyone. It is a global problem and affects the entire population of people living on the planet and the planet itself.

The purpose of these actions is not to harm to Earth and cause pollution; it is just the only way to advance and create more. The start of air pollution is not something we wanted to produce, but it was an outcome of everything else we began. Humans started to do these things to advance in civilization and technology. The industrial revolution, as well as developing new technology, has caused more air pollution for the world. New industries, an increasing amount of factories, power plants, burning of materials to function and produce. Industrial processes release pollutants such as nitrous oxide and hydrofluorocarbons into the air. Factories also pollute the air through the high levels of fossil fuel emissions produced, which can be toxic and harmful. Transportation is another leading cause of air pollution due to vehicle emissions, but transportation is necessary for life and continues to grow with population growth as well. As the world becomes more prominent, there will be more people, and then there will be more humans, therefore, more human activities that contribute to pollution

Air pollution has its negative as well as positive outcomes. There is not just one side to it; it is not only negative. As the years have passed, there has been a considerable increase and development in technologies, industries, and improved processes. The positive outlook on all this is that society is slowly becoming more advanced and improved through more breakthroughs and research. We have made more progress; the industries are becoming more abundant, there is more production, more growth. We have improved, and higher technology such as vehicles are advancing, small products and appliances, energy resources, and more. Although pollution may be the downside of all this advancement, there are still benefits to it. It has its ups and downs; not everything is only one-sided. It is a fair trade between good and bad outcomes.

Some ways to help reduce air pollution would be to resort to using less and maybe converting to renewable energy sources. There are little things we can all do to lessen the harmful effects of air pollution. We need to be more aware of our actions and attempt to reduce chemicals and toxins produced. We can conserve energy, use energy-efficient appliances, limit transportation by carpooling or using public transport or walking/biking, avoid excess use of certain things; burning of fuel/gas. Just be more aware and conscious of the things we do. Some ways the people and world are trying to help reduce this problem is by giving access to cleaner-burning fuel, creating more policies aimed at increasing energy efficiency, more renewable resources, cleaner processes, reducing fuel emissions. There have been policies adopted that require the use of cleaner fuels, improving the collection, separation, and disposal of solid waste can reduce the amount of waste that is burned or landfilled. We can also separate the organic waste and change it into compost and bioenergy and provide an alternative energy source. It can take even small efforts that will help reduce this issue. People do not believe they have a role and can help better this situation and problem. However, they are wrong; everyone has a purpose and can help change the world’s pollution. Small changes such as using less energy, carpooling, avoid excess use of appliances, and machines that release toxins and chemicals can dramatically help. If everyone does their part and play a role, then it can help. 

There are billions of people on this planet; if one person starts, then it will be a chain reaction. If we all do this, the outcome of the planet will be brighter, the future will be less polluted and damaged Earth. One person’s small action can turn into billions of people doing the same thing, which will have an enormous effect. My role is to help reduce and do the little things I can to help.     

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