A Quick Look at Air Pollution

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Air pollution is a big concern across the world today. Of course, it is more of a concern in some countries than others. Still, even though the pollution in some places is far worse than others, there is definitely cause for B2 Lab concern that it will continue to get worse everywhere.

WHAT IS AIR POLLUTION?

The term “air pollution” actually refers to the systemic release of pollutants into the air which have been determined to be detrimental to human (and animal and plant) health; and bad for the planet all together.  You must also remember, in a more broad sense, that air pollution can also refer to the presence of chemicals or compounds in the air which are not normally present and contribute to reducing the quality of the surrounding air or which cause significant detrimental changes to quality of life.

Of course, you should also remember the importance of concentration.  Basically, one toxin’s effect on the air may not be the same as another; and how much is necessary before there are notable effects can also greatly differ. As a matter of fact, some immediately leave trace evidence in the air while others can continue to go unnoticed until specific tests are conducted or until they result in physical illness.

WHAT CAUSES AIR POLLUTION?

While air pollution, in a general sense, does technically occur in nature—like volcanic eruptions and wildfires—they tend to be quite rare; and ecosystems tend to balance this out.  When people talk about “air pollution,” then, they are referring to the introduction of said chemicals as a result of human activities. These human activities can include:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Mining
  • Smelting
  • Industrial work

COMMON AIR POLLUTANTS

A striking amount of contaminants have the potential to pollute the air, but the volume you would need in order to register as a pollutant might be out of the ordinary.  Indeed, just about any toxic chemical could find its way into the atmosphere and pollute the air we breathe.  

Those chemical compounds that lower air quality are known as pollutants.  These compounds can take two basic forms: gaseous and solid.  Of course, in this regard, “solid” refers to particulate matter that is suspended in the air; or, microparticles that circulates in the air around us.  Common air pollutants include:

  • ammonia
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Carbon monoxide
  • HG in gaseous form
  • Nitrogen oxides
  • Particulate matter
  • Radioactive pollutants
  • Sulfur oxides
  • Volatile organic