In Times When The Breathing Is Not So Relieving – Air Pollution

Yes, you read it right, we are in the times when the air we breathe is not so relieving it is distressing. According to WHO’s report, air pollution kills an estimated seven million people around the world every year. Anytime if you check Delhi’s air quality you will find that at places the air quality is poor. Many things to blame on but are we taking adequate measures to fight them? Let’s find out more about pollution along with other acts of polluting the environment and the initiative taken to beat the air pollution in India.

What Is Pollution?

Let’s begin with understanding the meaning of pollution through the points mentioned below.

  • When through our activities we release harmful substances or damaging energy in the environment it makes it polluted.
  • The act of polluting makes the air unfit to breathe, water unsuited to drink, soil infertile to grow crops.
  • Besides them, pollution due to excessive light (light pollution), heat (thermal pollution) and radioactive energy (radioactive pollution) make the environment extremely inhabitable for living organisms

What Are The Types of Pollution?

Pollution can be classified into six major types, let’s look at all of them here one by one.

Air Pollution

  • Air pollution is believed to have planet-wide implications.
  • It occurs due to the release of harmful toxins in the air and also excessive noise comes under air pollution since 1987 after the amendment of the Air Act 1981.
  • Any sound that exceeds the 85 decibels limit causes noise pollution.
  • The sources are industries, automobiles, construction sites, social gatherings, volcanic eruptions and even household activities.
  • The common sources of the toxins in the air are industries, mining operations, agriculture burning, automobiles and overuse of fossil fuel.
  • The excessive release of harmful gases are the cause of episodes of acid rain and if it stays in the atmosphere like a smog then it causes dyspnoea.
  • The situation nowadays is so grim that scientists speculate apocalypse-like situations if the air quality is not checked.

Light Pollution

  • Has it ever happened that you couldn’t see the stars and galaxies? Using electric lights to light up the sky is the cause.
  • While lights are necessary for the nighttime, too many lights cause light pollution blocking out the night sky.
  • Light pollution is extremely harmful to animals especially birds as it confuses them while migrating.

Land Pollution

  • One of the major pollutants affecting the human population.
  • It happens when there is overuse of fertilizers or chemicals during agriculture, industrial operations etc.
  • Overgrazing and faulty animal domestication practices also make the soil unfit hence disrupting flora and fauna.
  • The pollution in the land can penetrate deep into the groundwater or run into lakes and streams leading to different forms of pollution.

Water Pollution

  • The most disastrous way of polluting the environment is by polluting the waterways.
  • The most common causes are industrial, agricultural runoffs and oil spills. Besides that natural ageing of water bodies called eutrophication is also a major threat.
  • The act of polluting water bodies leads to the risk of water-borne diseases, loss of marine life, disruption of the ecosystem, biomagnification, eutrophication etc.

Thermal Pollution

  • The impact of thermal pollution is not as direct as others.
  • Many times, industries use water to bring down the temperature during various operations.
  • However, if they put that warmed up water back into the environment, it causes severe damage to marine life because it lowers the oxygen level.
  • Thermal pollution can be caused by soil erosion, giving water more sunlight.

Radioactive Pollution

  • The release of radioactive substances in the atmosphere during nuclear explosions, mining of radioactive ores, etc. leads to radioactive pollution.
  • Chernobyl or Fukushima incidents are the biggest examples of radioactive fallouts.
  • These nuclear power plants used fission of uranium and plutonium, which are radioactive, to create electricity.
  • However, they failed and their failure led to toxic chemicals and radiation being leaked out into the environment causing deleterious effects on the environment.

What Are The Health Ailments Caused By Air Pollution?

  • Respiratory disorders such as emphysema, bronchitis and asthma are very common in people living in metro cities where the air quality is very poor.
  • Other issues such as wheezing, chest pain, dry throat, headache or nausea, nonfatal heart attacks, irregular heartbeat are also due to breathing foul air.
  • Air pollutants reduce our body’s resistance to infections thus increasing fatigue.
  • Polluted air not only damages our respiratory and immune systems but also has a deleterious effect on our psychological health.
  • Air pollution can cause anxiety, depression, and illicit suicidal thoughts. Besides, there are many neurodegenerative diseases too.

Indians never fail to rise to the occasion. In the grim situation, many organisations and individuals came forward to beat the air pollution. Let’s learn about five innovative ideas that proved to be the steps in the right direction.

5 Ways India Fights Back Against the Monsters In The Air

Aditya – The Solar Ferry

  • NavAlt Solar & Electric Boats formed India’s first solar ferry and brought together innovation in naval design and engineering, solar power and advanced controls.
  • It is India’s first commercially viable solar-powered ferry.
  • The 75 seater ferry gets over 80% of its energy from the sun and can cruise over 6 hours on a sunny day.

The Chakr Innovation

  • Is a Delhi based initiative that built the world’s first retro-fit emission control device for diesel generators.
  • The device efficiently captures approximately 90% of particulate matter from the exhaust air.
  • The diesel soot collected from the exhaust air is then converted into inks and paints.

Innovative Idea By Agnisumukh

  • Agnisumukh manufacturers got so inspired by the Indian method of cooking on charcoal that they came up with commercial kitchen equipment that runs energy-efficient radiant heat gas burners.
  • These cooking stoves could save 30% on gas, and help beat indoor air pollution in commercial kitchens.

Cellzyme Biotech’s Initiative

  • Coimbatore’s Cellzyme Biotech used an enzyme engineered to make antibiotics at room temperature without solvents which are one of the main threats to air quality.

Biomedical Waste Management

  • Nowadays specialised microwaves are available in the Indian market to cope with infectious waste.
  • These microwaves help eliminate air emissions like toxic POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) and toxic chemicals that adversely affect human health and the environment.

We hope you find the article a good read and that it could provide you with some substantial takeaways and help you identify the activities of day today that contribute to the pollution. For more such value laden content keep following us.