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Air Pollution

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Air is one of the most important elements for the well-being of living beings. The undesirable change in the physical or biotic elements of the environment which causes adverse effects on the biotic community is said to be air pollution. Pollutants can be classified into two types:

  1. Primary Pollutant:
    The pollutants which are directly emitted to the environment from the source are said to be a primary pollutant. For example: nitrogen, oxides, etc.

  2. Secondary Pollutant:
    The pollutants which are not directly emitted in the environment but are formed when primary pollutants chemically react in the atmosphere is said to be a secondary pollutant. For example: ozone, formaldehyde, etc.

The major causes of air pollution are: dust particles and gases emitted from factories, industries, improper management of waste products, etc.

Sources of Air Pollution

  1. Natural Sources
    The sources of air pollution which are directly related to the activities of nature is natural sources. For example: volcano eruption, forest fire, etc.

  2. Artificial Sources
    The sources of air pollution which are not naturally made but caused due to human activities are called artificial sources. For example: gases produced by industries, factories, etc.

Effects of Air Pollution

  1. Reduction in visibility:
    The mixing of various harmful gases in the atmosphere makes the sky blur and makes the visibility less. It is very risky to drive vehicles and fly planes in a foggy and smoggy climate.

  2. Reduction in solar radiation:
    The areas with high air pollution receive less solar energy. Due to which, the amount of solar radiation required to reach the surface cannot get there. The temperature is also fluctuating in those areas.

  3. Greenhouse Effect:
    Various gases which are formed due to air pollution traps the radiation from the sun and it does not let the heat escape to outer space. This increases the temperature of the earth which is known as greenhouse effect.

  4. Inhibition in biological growth of plants:
    Increase in air pollution causes reduction in the sunlight due to which the growth and development of the plant is disturbed. It causes inhibition in biological growth of plants.

  5. Adverse effect on human health:
    There is a various adverse effect of air pollution in the life of humans as gases like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide etc. formed due to pollution causes harmful effects. It increases the problems like a headache, nausea, insomnia, laziness, etc.

  6. Depletion of ozone layer:
    As the components such as CFCs, methyl bromide, etc. get decomposed in the atmosphere, it deplete the ozone layer. It is very harmful for humans.

  7. Acid Rain:
    When the acidic gases such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, etc. get mixed up in the atmosphere, the rainfall that occurs also gets polluted. As a result these gases after getting moisture falls on the surface of Earth as acid rain.

  8. Change in Climate:
    The harmful gases formed due to air pollution are collected in the atmosphere which increases temperature in some places and decreases in other places. It may also result in floods and drought.

Measures to Control Air Pollution

  1. The industrial should be kept far from the residential areas.
  2. The drastic increase in the population should be controlled.
  3. The use of cheap gases which produce more pollution should be banned.
  4. Plantation programmes should be conducted in roadsides.
  5. Alternate sources of energy should be focused.
  6. Different types of awareness programme should be conducted.



  1. The change caused to the chemical components of air due to unwanted external sources which is harmful for humans and other living organisms is called air pollution.
  2. There are two types of air pollutants: Primary Pollutants and Secondary Pollutants.
  3. There are a number of effects of air pollution which can be controlled by various ways by conducting different programmes.
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Questions and Answers

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The undesirable change in the physical or biotic elements of the environment which causes adverse effects on the biotic community is said to be air pollution.

The major source of air pollution can be classified into two types:

  1. Natural Sources
    The sources of air pollution which are directly related to the activities of nature is natural sources.
    For example: volcano eruption, forest fire, etc.

  2. Artificial Sources
    The sources of air pollution which are not naturally made but caused due to human activities are called artificial sources.
    For example: gases produced by industries, factories, etc.

The major effects of air pollution are:

  1. Reduction in visibility:
    The mixing of various harmful gases in the atmosphere makes the sky blur and makes the visibility less. It is very risky to drive vehicles and fly planes in a foggy and smoggy climate.

  2. Reduction in solar radiation:
    The areas with high air pollution receive less solar energy. Due to which, the amount of solar radiation required to reach the surface cannot get there. The temperature is also fluctuating in those areas.

  3. Greenhouse Effect:
    Various gases which are formed due to air pollution traps the radiation from the sun and it does not let the heat escape to outer space. This increases the temperature of the earth which is known as the greenhouse effect.

  4. Inhibition in the biological growth of plants:
    Increase in air pollution causes a reduction in the sunlight due to which the growth and development of the plant are disturbed. It causes inhibition in biological growth of plants.

  5. Adverse effect on human health:
    There is a various adverse effect of air pollution in the life of humans as gases like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide etc. formed due to pollution causes harmful effects. It increases the problems like a headache, nausea, insomnia, laziness, etc.

  6. Depletion of the ozone layer:
    As the components such as CFCs, methyl bromide, etc. get decomposed in the atmosphere, it deplete the ozone layer. It is very harmful to humans.

  7. Acid Rain:
    When the acidic gases such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, etc. get mixed up in the atmosphere, the rainfall that occurs also gets polluted. As a result, these gases after getting moisture falls on the surface of the Earth as acid rain.

  8. Change in Climate:
    The harmful gases formed due to air pollution are collected in the atmosphere which increases the temperature in some places and decreases in other places. It may also result in floods and drought.

Some of the measures that can be followed to control air pollution are:

  1. The industrial should be kept far from the residential areas.
  2. The drastic increase in the population should be controlled.
  3. The use of cheap gases which produce more pollution should be banned.
  4. Plantation programmes should be conducted in roadsides.
  5. Alternate sources of energy should be focused.
  6. Different types of awareness programme should be conducted.

The pollutant is a waste substance that pollutes substances, especially air, water, and the surrounding environment.

 Pollutants can be classified into two types:

  1. Primary Pollutant:
    The pollutants which are directly emitted to the environment from the source are said to be a primary pollutant.
    For example: nitrogen, oxides, etc.

  2. Secondary Pollutant:
    The pollutants which are not directly emitted in the environment but are formed when primary pollutants chemically react in the atmosphere is said to be a secondary pollutant.
    For example: ozone, formaldehyde, etc.

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  • The pollutants that are directly emitted to the environment from the source is known as ______.

    environment pollution
    water pollution
    secondary pollutant
    air pollution
    land pollution
    primary pollutant
  • The sources of air pollution that are directly related to the activities of the nature are called ______.

    over pollution
    secondary sources
    artificial sources
    primary sources
    greenhouse effect
    natural sources
  • What is the term used for describing any undesirable changes in the fresh air which harms humans and other living beings?

    environmental pollution
    all of them
    sound pollution
    air pollution
    land pollution
    water pollution
  • Which of them is the cause of decreased visibility and lack of sunlight on the Earth's surface?

    sound pollution
    land pollution
    none of them
    water pollution
    noise pollution
    air pollution
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