10 Common Air Pollutants Around Your Life
Air pollution is a concern that should be on the minds of every individual. Unfortunately, it is something that continues to get worse with time and unless something is done to mitigate the circumstances, the problem could become even worse in the very near future. In order to better understand the types of air pollution that have come to exist, it is important to understand the 10 most common air pollutants. Furthermore, it gives you an opportunity to find out not only what they are, but what normally causes them and what happens when they are present. Continue reading to find out more.
Lead– Lead and other heavy metals typically form from exhaust fumes and from the smokestacks of incinerators. They can cause a number of health concerns because lead is poison, especially when it is present in large amounts. Unfortunately, the more industrialized a particular area is, the more likely it is to be adversely impacted by the effects of lead and heavy metals. Therefore, it has a dramatic and immediate impact on the planet and on individuals who are exposed to it.
Hydrocarbons– Hydrocarbons are not considered harmful when they are properly burned, but they are often incompletely burned in the environment. This happens due to a variety of different reasons, namely from incomplete combustion. This causes smog to form because of particulate matter and also causes carbon monoxide, something that can be exceptionally dangerous even in relatively small amounts.
Chlorofluorocarbons– Often referred to as CFCs, chlorofluorocarbons damage the ozone layer, the protective layer in the Earth’s stratosphere that is in place to prevent harmful UV rays from reaching the Earth’s surface. These CFCs were once thought to be safe and as a result, they were used in practically everything that required refrigeration, ranging from refrigerators and air conditioners to things like aerosol hairspray cans. Today, CFCs exist in large numbers as a direct result of this misguided idea of safety. They are directly responsible for the erosion of the ozone layer and many of the other environmental problems that are currently being experienced.
Ozone– Also known as trioxygen, ozone is formed when sunlight hits other types of pollutants. While ozone is safe and is even desirable in the stratosphere, it is not safe when human beings or animals are exposed to it on the Earth’s surface. In fact, these particulars are known to be extremely hazardous to individual health. Those who are sensitive to ozone or who have pre-existing health conditions often have extremely adverse reactions to its presence. Whenever ozone exists in high enough concentrations, even those are not sensitive to the gas and who don’t have any health conditions can become negatively impacted.
Particulates– Particulates exist largely as a direct result of exhaust fumes and the smoke that comes from factories and other similar industries. They vary in size and can be so dense that they actually transform buildings from a clean, pristine exterior to a sooty mess. More importantly, they can cause a number of health problems ranging from allergies to asthma and more serious health conditions that could easily become chronic.
Volatile Organic Compounds– Typically referred to as VOCs, these compounds create both smoke and ozone gas. They come from a variety of things that seem relatively harmless such as paint , varnish or wax, but they can be quite harmful to the human body when there is a great deal of exposure or a person is sensitive to VOCs. In large amounts, they are harmful to virtually anyone that is exposed to them.
Nitrogen Oxide and Nitrogen Dioxide– Both of these pollutants are products of combustion. They exist because of automobile exhaust, factories, power plants, and other business that rely heavily on industrial measures. Eventually, they build up to form potentially harmful greenhouse gases, as well as smog, ozone gas, and acid rain.
Carbon Dioxide– This is another greenhouse gas, one of the things that is responsible for the erosion of the ozone layer. This gas is a product of the Industrial Revolution, as it really didn’t exist before so many factories started popping up all over the place.
Carbon Monoxide– This gas is colorless, odorless, and it is unquestionably one of the most dangerous gases that any living creature could ever come into contact with. Even in small amounts, it can do a tremendous amount of damage to the body. In large enough concentrations, a single exposure can easily be fatal. A number of smaller exposures are thought to be equally as dangerous, even if the effects are not immediately recognizable. This is because carbon monoxide exposure that occurs over and over again can cause a number of chronic health conditions related to dementia, neurological disorders, cardiovascular issues, and breathing problems.
Sulfur Dioxide– Finally, this is a gas that exists as a direct component of the burning of fossil fuels. It is a major source of smaller particulate matter. It also contributes significantly to the potential health problems experienced by individuals who are exposed to it, whether that exposure involves several smaller exposures or one or two exposures that involve significant levels of the gas.