Q:

What is air pollution?

A:

Air pollution stems from the addition of unnatural compounds and toxins through indirect and direct mechanisms. Direct sources of air pollution include electricity, fuels and transportation, while indirect sources are goods and services that require energy to produce and deliver, such as vehicles and household appliances.

Goods and services for the majority of air pollution, followed by home heating oil and other residential fuels. Electricity, on a residential and commercial scale, contributes the third-largest volume of air pollution, while transportation contributes the least. Common air pollutants include nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. Lead and mercury also account for some air pollution, but are primarily associated with water contamination. These toxins are synthetic chemicals and compounds, which means that they do not biodegrade when released into the surrounding air. They cause environmental, health and aesthetic disturbances, and occur primarily in vapor or liquid form. Nitrogen oxides are among the biggest contributors to air pollution; these compounds come from the burning of gasoline, coal, oil and natural gas. Emissions from car and truck exhaust systems are primary sources of nitrogen oxides, which may cause respiratory illness and lung damage to humans. Carbon monoxide is another leading source of air pollution; like nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide poses human health risks and contributes to acid rain.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How does air pollution affect the environment?

    A:

    Air pollution affects the environment by causing acid rain, reducing visibility, damaging plants and animals, and contributing to climate change. It has a negative effect on biodiversity and the survival of species. Air pollution is caused by both particulate and gaseous pollutants.

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  • Q:

    How does air pollution affect humans?

    A:

    Air pollution can cause a variety of illnesses in humans, including asthma, lung cancer, heart disease and even reproductive and developmental disorders. It can also compromise the immune system by overworking the respiratory system and the body's natural defenses. Air pollution also contributes to global warming, increasing worldwide temperatures, raising sea levels and damaging agricultural yields.

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  • Q:

    What is the government doing about air pollution?

    A:

    As of 2014, the U.S. government has an organization called the Environmental Protection Agency that regulates greenhouse gas emissions on automobiles, partners with private businesses to reduce industry emissions and reduces the agency's emissions. The government also partners with other countries and makes commitments to reduce air pollution worldwide.

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  • Q:

    What are some solutions to air pollution?

    A:

    Air pollution can be reduced both inside and outside the home by avoiding the use of chemicals or not allowing a car to idle. Air pollution is caused by the deposits of harmful gases into the atmosphere that include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, sulfur and chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs.

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