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Pollution is a process of impacting the environment in harmful damaging ways. Pollution can be found in various forms throughout our planet. It enters the environment and taints it in a certain way. Pollution arises in two forms, point source and non-point source. Point source pollution can be monitored and observed, where non-point pollution is more of an unknown and is harder to trace.

Air pollution

Air pollution has been identified as the most damaging and harmful form of pollution that impacts the environment.[1] Air pollution levels began to increase at the start of the industrial times, and levels have continued to increase at alarming rates. [1] Air pollution is caused by everyday living, large amounts of chemicals are dispersed throughout the atmosphere. The hefty contributors to air pollution are emissions that are released from cars, the burning of fossil fuels, and active power plants. These are all responsible for the massive increased amounts of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulfur dioxide that are currently present in Earth’s atmosphere. [2]

Impacts of air pollution

Smoke being released into the atmosphere. Retrieved from pixabay, URL https://pixabay.com/p-258786/?no_redirect

Greenhouse gases are caused by the emissions that are released and get trapped into the atmosphere, which has led to increased global temperatures, known as global warming. [3]

Poor air quality has led to an alarming rate of increased negative health effects that have been reported. Numerous respiratory issues have been found in citizens. Some of the health effects frequently found are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute respiratory illness, cerebrovascular disease, lung cancer, and ischemic heart disease. [2] This has led to elevated premature mortality numbers, 6% of all deaths around the globe occur prematurely from exposure to ambient air pollution. [4] About 3/4 of these deaths were caused by strokes and heart attacks. Air pollution is said to be killing 3.3 million people worldwide every year. [4]The study produced in the journal Nature projected that if no changes are made and current trends stayed the same, the planet is projected to lose an estimated 6.6 million people every year by 2050. [4]China has the most deaths in a year due to air pollution, with a high number of 1.4 million, followed by India with 645,000 deaths and Pakistan with 110,000. [4]The United States had 54,905 deaths in 2010 from soot and smog pollution, and that number is predicted to have increased in the last 5 years. [4] [5]

Acid rain is caused by sulfur dioxide and numerous other gases that are found in the air as a result of pollution. [4]

Pollution is not just harming humans, plants are also being affected by air pollution. Plants and flowers have had some molecules decrease within the flowers which has been alternating them in a way. Studies have predicted that bees and other insects will struggle in the future attempting to find flowers that have not been altered and effected by high pollution levels.[6]

Due to the impacts of air pollution, Plume air report application developers have created a new smartphone application which alerts the users when air pollutions is at safe levels for the users to do outdoor activities. It allowed users to see how the pollution will evolve within 5 hours so the users are aware of the current and future conditions if they are attempting to make plans. [7]

Air pollution has had an impact on Earth's oceans, with the changing conditions known as ocean acidification.

Plastic pollution

One of many plastic bottles found near Earth's waters. Retrieved from pixabay, URL https://pixabay.com/en/plastic-bottle-bottle-beach-sea-606881/

Plastic has infiltrated the ocean's ecosystems. Plastic production has doubled in size every 11 years, this has led to the expanded levels of plastic found in Earth’s oceans.[8]There is an estimate of 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans currently to date. [9]Annually this number has increased by 8 million units of plastic that are added into Earth’s oceans. [9]A new report by the Ocean Conservancy noted that by the year 2025, the ocean could have one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish. [9]All this plastic is disrupting marine ecosystems. In 1960, scientists found plastic in 5% of seabirds, in 2010 that number has increased to 80%. [8]Plastic damages birds by restricting their movements, blocking their gut, increasing their exposure to toxins that get stored into their internal tissues and organs. [8]When plastic is eaten it can be a poison pill for the marine life, because it acts as a pollution sponge. [9]Plastic pollutions impact and effect habitats, and wildlife in devastating ways.

See also

Other closely related articles in this wiki include:


  1. 1.0 1.1 Jones, L. (20 Sep 2015). Air pollution linked to 3,500 deaths in Scotland - The Scotsman. Accessed September 23, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Karnik, M. (21 Sep 2015). In 2025, Delhi’s air will be the world’s deadliest—killing over 30,000 Quartz. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  3. Francis, J. (18 Feb 2015). A melting Arctic and weird weather: the plot thickens. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Lapis, S. (17 Sep 2015). Study: Air pollution kills 3.3 million worldwide, may double Fox News. Retrieved September 23, 2015
  5. Lovett, I. (10 Sept 2015). Fires in West Have Residents Gasping on the Soot Left Behind The New York Times. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  6. Kollipara, P. (14 Sep 2015). Flowers don’t smell so sweet, thanks to ozone pollution Science/AAAS News. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  7. Dillet, R. (17 Sep 2015). Plume Air Report Is a Weather Forecasting App For Urban Air Pollution TechCrunch. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Connor, S. (31 Aug 2015). Almost every seabird “will have eaten plastic by 2050” because of ocean pollution The Independent. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Groden, C. (1 Oct 2015). New Ocean Conservancy Report Finds Plastics in Ocean at Crisis Level Fortune. Retrieved October 7, 2015.

External links

  • NRDC's page regarding air pollution [1]
  • EPA's page on climate change[2]
  • TED Talk on air pollution [3].
  • TED Talk on plastic pollution [4]
  • Actions to reduce the health impacts of air pollution [5]
  • Air pollution worsens drought and flooding [6]
  • Article on black carbon, Ocean Today [7]
  • Article on which industries pollute the most [8]
  • Plastic products and estrogenic chemicals [9]
  • Various forms of pollution [10]
  • TED Talk on ocean acidification [11]
  • Air pollution video for children [12]
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