chimneys of industry emitting smoke

Pollution of atmosphere


The condition of mixing of undesirable substances in the air so as to alter its natural quality is called as atmospheric pollution. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the atmospheric pollution can be defined as below.

 – The condition produced due to ‘substances put into air by the activity of mankind into concentration sufficient to cause harmful effects to his health, vegetables, property or to interfere with the enjoyment of his property’ is called as air pollution or the atmospheric pollution.

Human activities that change the composition of the atmosphere

Following are the human activities that tend to change the composition of atmosphere –

Pollutions caused through human activities are called as anthropogenic pollutions. Some of the significant sources of pollutions connected with human activities or the anthropogenic sources of pollutions are discussed below –

  1. Domestic Sources:

 Heating and cooking activities in homes produce different types of pollutants like- Carbon dioxide, Carbon monoxide, Sulphur dioxide, Nitrogen dioxide, Carbon particles, and dusts etc. These pollutants cause Indoor Air Pollution in unscientifically built houses. Pollution inside a house is called as Indoor Air Pollution. Heating plants employed in homes and apartments are considered to be fourth largest source of air pollution. Pollution beyond the boundary of a house is known as Outdoor Pollution

  • Automobile Sources:

Automobiles are regarded as greatest sources of air pollution. Cars, scooters, motor cycles etc. are some of the automobile sources of air pollution. About one- fifth of the air pollution in cities is caused through these sources.

  • Industrial Processors:

 Metallurgical plants and smelters, chemical plants, petroleum refineries, pulp and paper mills, sugar mills, cotton mills, synthetic rubber manufacturing plants etc. come under this category of industrial sources of air pollution.

  • Transport Industry:

Public Transport System, ships, aeroplanes, trucks, diesel rail engines, etc. come under this category.                                

  • Agricultural Sources:

These sources include many chemicals like insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, pollen grains, crop residues etc. that are routinely used on crop plants and in soils.

  • Construction and demolition sources:

Construction and demolition activities generate lots of wastes. Different types of paints and other chemicals that are used in furnishing of houses and furniture cause serious pollutions.

  • Industrial Accidents:

Accidents use to occur in different industries from time to time due to carelessness of workers and old machines. These accidents cause serious pollutions that produce long lasting impacts on life and property.

  • Dumps of Wastes:

Large amounts of wastes are routinely generated through human activities. These wastes are dumped carelessly here and there that create ugly scenes. The biodegradable wastes gradually decompose to produce methane (CH4) which is a serious pollutant if generated in big volumes. A number of germs of diseases develop at dumping sites and get disseminated through the agency of wind and water.

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