Pollution: A Case Study in Environmental Harm

Pollution is causing irreplaceable damage to the planet, and it is increasing every passing year at an alarming rate. It is a problem of environmental pollution, but what exactly is this pollution, why is it matter of such a big concern to understand. In persuasive essay about pollution this topic will be discussed. 

Humans keep adding impurities on a large scale to the surrounding, and this keeps going on a daily basis. This essay will talk about the concept of air pollution, components, some of the ways to control it, impacts of air pollution on living beings and serious health regarding risks associated with it.

According to WHO’s definition of air pollution, “it is the contamination of the indoor or outdoor air by a range of gasses and solids that modify its natural characteristics. Key health harmful pollutants include particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) 1, carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), black carbon (BC), sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides (NOx). ”Air pollution is the addition of chemicals indoor particles to the atmosphere in concentrations that are harmful to life on Earth. It is very important to know that these pollutants are naturally added to the atmosphere all the time. It is just the excess addition by human processes that causes serious problems sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide are reactive gases that damaged buildings and plants and can also increase respiratory problems in humans they are emitted from the combustion of fuel such as coal-burning power plant and nitrogen oxide are also heavily emitted from automobile exhaust particulate matter refers to small solid or liquid particles that are released from many natural sources, such as fires dust and volcanic eruptions but are also emitted by humans during construction and industrial processes PM 2.5 and 10 refer to the size of these particles another major pollutant is carbon monoxide which is toxic to humans as well as other animals. In low concentrations given that it reduces oxygen circulation in the body.

Carbon monoxide is mostly emitted from automobile exhaust all of these pollutants. So far sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides particulate matter and carbon monoxide are all considered primary pollutants that are released directly into the air. Secondary pollutant like ozone. Environmental scientists talk about ozone at two regions in the atmosphere ozone in the upper stratosphere is very helpful in blocking ultraviolet radiation. The ground-level ozone which is very harmful to respiratory systems of plants and aminals. Ozone is a secondary pollutant, a secondary pollutant is produced when the primary pollutants react with other atmospheric chemicals with ozone, for example, this can occur as nitrogen dioxide is released from automobile exhaust as a primary pollutant and react with oxygen and sunlight in the atmosphere the result is the formation of the secondary pollutant ozone.

There are other air pollution processes as well. In urban areas air pollution is dependent on emission retes topography and weather conditions for example if the city is located in the low valley, this city burns coal and thus releases sulphur dioxide and particulate matter into the air, because of the low wind conditions in this valley these pollutants have no way to go and thus it starts building up over the city overtimes. This can create long-lasting smog these conditions are further exacerbated by a temperature inversion recall that normally we think of the atmosphere as getting colder with a height from the earth since air pressure decreases at higher altitudes yet with a temperature inversion these conditions are switched cloud cover and pollution in the atmosphere block solar radiation from the Sun creating a warm layer of atmosphere above the cooler city below, this temperature inversion traps the pollution near the city continuing the problem smog and temperature inversions occur in many cities all over the world. Another environmental problem caused by air pollution is acid rain. Acid rain is precipitation in which the pH is below 5.6 recall that pH describes how acidic or basis a a solution is by measuring the concentration of hydrogen ions natural rain is slightly acidic at five or six because of the reaction between water and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere acid rain is produced when emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are transformed into sulphate or nitrate particles that combined with water vapour to form a sulfuric and nitric acids. This produces rain that is very acidic and can damage soil vegetables and ecosystems since plants and animals can only survive under certain pH conditions.

All the technologies, all these developments, have happened with just one simple objective in mind: to make life comfortable: you can do things faster, to do things to make life comfortable and as a result of a lot of good things happen: people live longer, and health facilitates are batter. This has given rise to globalization, communication has become good, the transportation has been good and material comforts are plenty. But having said all that, if you go over each one, one by one in a line, eventually this leads to some kind of problems. We then probably can go into details that mining people will do harmful things; they will go down underneath the earth for 3 kilometres, 4 kilometres…. If you can say that God has made everything under the ground so it is not disturbed; man has been able to bring it up and we have all kinds of problems that come up… we some for good things, but then again there will be some associative problems; we all can talk

about new chemicals being added and the problem of pesticides.we can talk about transportation and all. We can drive through cities quickly, but then again the issues and the problems that come from transportation and automobile engineering. So also in power generation, and all kinds of problems; not only the SO2, NO2 particulate matter, but CO2 is something that is not ignorable. In civil engineering, also there are many things that lead to problems as well. What was happening is, when these things were developing, people were very happy; without considering the after-effects the backlashes of the technology. Everything has a good side as well as a bad side. So, there were also the backlashes that started coming in, then the people from science, people from the medical sciences and environmental health, they came up and said there are certain problems: things are not so perfect, the ways of progress human are following cannot be sustained, it is impossible.

Air pollution is not just harmful to health but it further leads to serious problems and even leads to death in some cases. Most of the problems are commonly associated with smog. According to the report of Health Impacts of Air Pollution in Canada – Estimates of Morbidity Outcomes and Premature Mortalities - 2019, The Government of Canada estimates that 14,600 premature deaths per year in Canada can be linked to air pollution from fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. Coughing, breathing problems, watery eyes, skin problems etc are the immediate effects of air pollution. Air pollution can also increase the risk of heart diseases and even lead to premature death. It has the same effect as tobacco. Exposure to a high-level of pollution during pregnancy even leads to miscarriages, premature birth, asthma in children, damage the development of the brain in children.

Case study: AMAZON: The “lungs of the planet” are burning

Being the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon forest no doubt plays an important role in maintaining a balance in the environment by producing approximately 20% of the total oxygen, as it is very rich in flora, due to presence of variety of plants which takes the carbon dioxide and produce oxygen through the process called photosynthesis. It is wide in 2.1 million square miles in an area that is why known as the “lungs of the planet”.

According to NASA, the Amazon rainforest is a generally very humid and wet region. The months of July to October are known as the dry season months as compared to the other months of the year, whereas the month of September is at the peak of it. Till now nearly doubled the fires of 2018 has been recorded so far in Brazil and still to go four months more. Humans are destroying and disturbing nature, now its nature’s turn to take revenge. But are we really ready for it? The forest fires in amazon are not only dangerous for the local community but people from all over the world are affected by it directly and indirectly. There are several reasons for it, there are several reasons humans are responsible for it, but deforestation is the biggest appeared so far. Farmers and others are clearing the forest for their own purposes and forests are shrinking day by day.

Control methods of air pollution

Electrostatic Precipitator

This method is used to eradicate the pollutants from the exhaust of thermal power plants. About 99% of particulate matter can be easily removed. In this method, electrodes are charged with high voltage charge which produces corona [which produces electrons]. These electrons get attached to pollutants and charge them and the presence of earthing plates helps to attract the electrons and let them fall to containers in the form of dust particles.


In the industrial exhaust, this method is used to remove harmful gasses like sulphur dioxide. This involves the spraying of water and lime on the dirty air-water dissolves gasses and lime acts on sulphur dioxide to make precipitates of calcium and sulphide.

Catalytic Converters 

Vehicles release pollution in the form of nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. In order to control pollution, engineers fitted platinum-palladium and rhodium as catalytic. When vehicle exhaust is passed through the catalytic converter, nitrogen oxide breaks into simple forms to nitrogen and oxygen whereas carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide and unburnt hydrocarbons get combustible. In this way, the toxic compound of gasses alters to less dangerous substances.


All in all, its not just about today, but people should also think about the future generation as we have to pass these all to them. Future generation will surely face many serious problems if actions are not taken into the account today. Suggestion, strategies etc are nothing if we don’t implement into our lives. Each of us has to put actions on our own level in order to save this planet. It is not about us, our future generation, our country but it is about ‘mother earth’


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10 October 2022
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