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Air pollution is the emission of substances in the atmosphere that interferes with the amenities of live. Air pollution could also be defined as any process that alters the standard component of the atmosphere by quantity or quality.
Air pollutants may be classified as follows
* Aerosol is a term used to describe dusts of small particle size, smoke and some mists whose presence can be really revealed by its scattering of visible radiation. Aerosols cover a wide range of gaseous disperse systems consisting of particles of low vapor pressure which settle slowly under gravity.
* Smokes are formed by combustion, destructive distillation or volatilization
* Dusts are solid particles dispersed into the atmosphere as a result of mechanical disintegration of a body of matter.
* Mist consists of droplet as a result of condensation of vapor in the air. When there are many particles in the droplet, it is called fog. When there is droplet with particle and dust at the same time it is called haze and if there is fog as well as poisonous gases, it is referred as smog.
* Acid rain, this occurs when the rain water pH falls below 5. It is usually as a result of presence of CO2 in the rainwater. Gaseous emission is a very important aspect of air pollution especially the green house gases (CO2, CFC, and NO2) that it emits in the atmosphere.
The effect of air pollution could be categorized as follows.
Earth warm and climate change; this is as a result of green house gases in the atmosphere. When the solar radiation strikes the earth surface, some of these gases trap the heat of the sun and thereby giving rise in the increase of temperature of the environment. The effect of this rise in temperature is shifts in temperature and rainfall. Sea level will rise as a result of thermal expansion of the ocean. Some area will be subjected to drought. Another effect of these gases is the depletion of the ozone layer.
Air pollution affects the health of the body ranging from eye irritation to lung diseases.
Acid rain is one of the very dangerous effects of air pollution. Its environmental effects range from acidification of lakes and streams resulting in reduction of fish population. It could also lead to the damage of vegetation, structure and equipment.
The cause of air pollution are as follows; domestic and industrial activities, Transportation sector and thermal power stations.
Air pollution control achievement depends on a well knowledge of the source of the pollution.
Pollution in the transportation sector can be curbed by
*taxation aimed at penalizing inefficiency in fuel consumption.
* Developing more efficient fuel combustion systems.
* Installation of systems to monitor the exhaust of automobile.
* encouraging mass transit
Pollution by industries should be controlled as follows
*Polluting industries may be regulated to emit pollutant only on a favorable wind movement and direction.
*Erection of tall stacks which usually also have high velocities in them so that the pollutants are sent in the high part of the atmosphere, where they will be diluted and made harmless.
*Use of fossil fuel should be reduced and resorting to much more environmental friendly source of energy should be encouraged.
*Industries should use scrubber to trap most of the pollutant that they emit.
Developing countries should endeavor to have consistent power supply so as to discourage the use of domestic generators. However, the flexible strategy of controlling air pollution remains the use of taxes and price mechanism