Air pollution

Vilnius College
Faculty of ..

Air pollution

Full name:

Accepte by lecture: H. Klupšienė



1. Introduction..............................3
2. What symptoms does air pollution cause?...................4
3. What can I do to protect my family and myself?.................5
4. Health effects..............................7
5. Concluction..............................8
6. To list of literature..............................9


I would like to talk about air pollution, becouse it is one of the major problems of the planet.
Air pollution is made up of many kinds of gases, droplets and particles that reduce the quality of the air. Air can be polluted in both the city and the country.
In the ci

ity, cars, buses and airplanes, as well as industry and construction may cause air pollution. In the country, dust from tractors plowing fields, trucks and cars driving on dirt or gravel roads, rock quarries and smoke from wood and crop fires may cause air pollution.
Ground-level ozone is the major part of air pollution in most cities. Ground-level ozone is created when engine and fuel gases already released into the air interact when sunlight hits them. Ozone levels increase in cities wh
hen the air is still, the sun is bright and the temperature is warm. Ground-level ozone should not be confused with the “good” ozone that is miles up in the atmosphere and that protects us from the sun’s harmful radiation.
In my
y opinion air pollution levels are high. Many pollutants have lower levels indoors than outdoors. Furthermore, air pollution can affect our health in many ways with both short-term and long-term effects.

What symptoms does air pollution cause?

Air pollution can irritate the eyes, throat and lungs. Burning eyes, cough and chest tightness are common with exposure to high levels of air pollution.
Different people can react very differently to air pollution. Some people may notice chest tightness or cough, while others may not notice any effects. Because exercise requires faster, deeper breathing, it may increase the symptoms. People with heart disease, such as angina (chest pain), or with lung disease, such as asthma or emphysema, may be very sensitive to air pollution exposure, an

nd may notice symptoms when others do not.
Is air pollution bad for my health?Fortunately for most healthy people, the symptoms of air pollution exposure usually go away as soon as the air quality improves. However, certain groups of people are more sensitive to the effects of air pollution than others.
Children probably feel the effects of lower levels of pollution than adults. They also experience more illness, such as bronchitis and earaches, in areas of high pollution than in areas with cl
leaner air.
People with heart or lung disease also react more severely to polluted air. During times of heavy pollution, their condition may worsen to the point that they must limit their activities or even seek additional medical care. In the past, a number of deaths have been associated with severely polluted conditions. Pollution this bad is rare today in the United States.
The health effects of long-term exposure to low levels of air pollution are being studied.
Is there a group that keeps track of air pollution?The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) checks and reports on air quality in the United States. The EPA, in cooperation with local air-quality boards, measures the level of pollution in the air over many large cities and a number of rural areas. Because of the Agency’s efforts, the nation’s air quality has greatly improved over the last 20 years.

Newspapers, television and radio stations often give air-quality reports in areas where pollution is a problem. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a scale of air quality that ranges from 0 to 500 and is used in many weather reports. An AQI score of over 100 indicates unhealthy air conditions.

What can I do to protect my family and myself?

Check the predicted AQI in your area. Be careful if the AQI is greater than 100. Also be careful if there are high-risk weather conditions, such as a hot, sunny day, and you begin to develop symptoms like chest tightness, burning eyes or a cough.
You can protect yourself and your family from the effects of air pollution by doing the following:
Stay indoors as much as you can during days when pollution levels are high. Many pollutants have lower levels indoors than outdoors.
If you must go outside, limit outside activity to the early morning hours or wait until after sunset. This is important in high ozone conditions (such as in many large cities) because sunshine increases ozone levels.
Don’t exercise or exert yourself outdoors when air-quality reports indicate unhealthy conditions. The faster you breathe, the more pollution you take into your lungs.
These steps will generally prevent symptoms in healthy adults and children. However, if you live or work close to a known pollution source, or if you have a chronic heart or lung problem, talk with your doctor about other ways to protect yourself from air pollution.
Smog is a type of large-scale outdoor pollution. It is caused by chemical reactions between pollutants derived from different sources, primarily automobile exhaust and industrial emissions. Cities are often centers of these types of activities, and many suffer from the effects of smog, especially during the warm months of the year. Additional information about smog and its effects are available from Environment Canada and the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) in southern California.
For each city, the exact causes of pollution may be different. Depending on the geographical location, temperature, wind and weather factors, pollution is dispersed differently. However, sometimes this does not happen and the pollution can build up to dangerous levels. A temperature inversion occurs when air close to the earth is cooler than the air above it. Under these conditions the pollution cannot rise and be dispersed. Cities surrounded by mountains also experience trapping of pollution. Inversion can happen in any season. Winter inversions are likely to cause particulate and cabon monoxide pollution. Summer inversions are more likely to create smog.
Another consequence of outdoor air pollution is acid rain. When a pollutant, such as sulfuric acid combines with droplets of water in the air, the water (or snow) can become acidified . The effects of acid rain on the environment can be very serious. It damages plants by destroying their leaves, it poisons the soil, and it changes the chemistry of lakes and streams. Damage due to acid rain kills trees and harms animals, fish, and other wildlife. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Environment Canada are among the organizations that are actively studying the acid rain problem.

The Greenhouse Effect, also referred to as global warming, is generally believed to come from the build up of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is produced when fuels are burned. Plants convert carbon dioxide back to oxygen, but the release of carbon dioxide from human activities is higher than the world’s plants can process. The situation is made worse since many of the earth’s forests are being removed, and plant life is being damaged by acid rain. Thus, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air is continuing to increase. This buildup acts like a blanket and traps heat close to the surface of our earth. Changes of even a few degrees will affect us all through changes in the climate and even the possibility that the polar ice caps may melt. (One of the consequences of polar ice cap melting would be a rise in global sea level, resulting in widespread coastal flooding.) Additional resources and information about the Greenhouse Effect and global warming are available from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Science Education Academy of the Bay Area (SEABA) and the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ).

Ozone depletion is another result of pollution. Chemicals released by our activities affect the stratosphere , one of the atmospheric layers surrounding earth. The ozone layer in the stratosphere protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) from aerosol cans, cooling systems and refrigerator equipment removes some of the ozone, causing “holes”; to open up in this layer and allowing the radiation to reach the earth. Ultraviolet radiation is known to cause skin cancer and has damaging effects on plants and wildlife. Additional resources and information about the ozone depletion problem are available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Ozone ACTION.

Health effects

Air pollution can affect our health in many ways with both short-term and long-term effects. Different groups of individuals are affected by air pollution in different ways. Some individuals are much more sensitive to pollutants than are others. Young children and elderly people often suffer more from the effects of air pollution. People with health problems such as asthma, heart and lung disease may also suffer more when the air is polluted. The extent to which an individual is harmed by air pollution usually depends on the total exposure to the damaging chemicals, i.e., the duration of exposure and the concentration of the chemicals must be taken into account.
Examples of short-term effects include irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, and upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Other symptoms can include headaches, nausea, and allergic reactions. Short-term air pollution can aggravate the medical conditions of individuals with asthma and emphysema. In the great “Smog Disaster” in London in 1952, four thousand people died in a few days due to the high concentrations of pollution.
Long-term health effects can include chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys. Continual exposure to air pollution affects the lungs of growing children and may aggravate or complicate medical conditions in the elderly. It is estimated that half a million people die prematurely every year in the United States as a result of smoking cigarettes.
Research into the health effects of air pollution is ongoing. Medical conditions arising from air pollution can be very expensive. Healthcare costs, lost productivity in the workplace, and human welfare impacts cost billions of dollars each year.
Additional information on the health effects of air pollution is available from the Natural Resources Defense Council. A short article on the health effects of ozone (a major component of smog) is available from the B.A.A.Q.M.D.


Air pollution is another important issue. The cars and factories in around our cities are giving off dangerous fumes. In the past few years, more and more people than ever before have developed allergies and breathing problems. If we don’t something now, our cities will become impossible to live in.
So, I think that we shoud ban cars from city centre. Furthermore goverments should force factories to put filtres on chimneys and we should stop using the products of companies whose factories cause pollution.

To list of literature

1. Virginia Evans- Jenny Dooley, Enterprise 4, 1997.