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Air Pollution

You need to breathe to stay alive. But how clean is the air you breathe? If you breathe dirty air, you are more likely to develop health problems and become ill. Plants and animals need clean air too. A lot of the things that make our lives more comfortable such as cars, electricity and heating, create bad gases which make the air dirty. The problem of air pollution started with the burning of coal in homes and factories. Dirty air is called 'polluted air'. 'Air pollution' is what we say to describe all bad gases in the air that we breathe and that are dangerous for us.

Have you ever noticed that the air in a city smells different from air in the country? One of the reasons is that exhausts from vehicles give off fumes, or gases, which can poison you.

The car exhausts eject a lot of bad gases, which create air pollution. These gases can be very dangerous for children. Although the fuels are becoming cleaner, it will not be making that much difference because there are more and more cars.


There is less pollution from coal, but today's modern world still creates air pollution. Today, air pollution has not really fallen, because new bad gases are released in the air, and there are a lot of them.



We spend a large part of our lives at home and it does not often cross our mind that the air we are breathing may be polluted. Pollution inside homes is called 'indoor air pollution'.

Indoor air pollution is usually very low. But a lot of things can increase it.

Fresh paint is a cause of indoor air pollution and so is the burning of fuels such as coal and gas, in heaters, stoves and ovens.

But one of the main causes of indoor air pollution is smoking. Smoking cigarettes and tobacco can be very dangerous for health. The poison in the smoke can cause heart problems, lung cancer and other lung diseases. If a woman smokes when she is pregnant, her baby will probably be smaller and become ill.

Cigarette smoke is dangerous for people smoking but also for those who do not! Breathing in air, which contains other people's smoke, can cause you the same health problems, for example lung cancer.

To reduce 'indoor air pollution', make sure the room is well ventilated while painting. Try ventilating your home often, you can open windows or use a fan. And if your parents or friends smoke, ask them to smoke outside. And best of all NEVER START SMOKING!!!



Gases from vehicles:



  • Carbon monoxide
    Carbon monoxide is a gas that pollutes the air, and is mainly released by cars and other vehicles. It has no colour or smell.


  • Nitrogen oxides
    Nitrogen oxides are emitted from vehicles, like cars and trucks. During rush hour periods, a lot more is released in the air. Nitrogen oxides are also emitted from power stations. These gases also make acid rain.


  • Hydrocarbons
    Hydrocarbons are produced when petrol is not fully burnt. They are one of the causes of modern-day smog.
  • Particulates
    Particulates are very small particles, like soot, dust and fumes that are released in the air. They are caused by vehicles, factories and smoke from homes burning coal for heating.

    Gases from factories:


  • Nitrogen Oxides (see above)


  • Sulphur dioxide
    Sulphur dioxide has no colour. Most of it is released by power stations. It causes acid rain when mixing with water in the air.

source :http://www.clean-air-kids.org.uk



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