We have seen that the world is changing dramatically. Every nation wants to become super power in this new revolutionary era. Development and urbanization has now become the
game changer instrument for a developed country.
But we know that urbanisation and development are done at the cost of environmental pollution.
However, the effects of pollution can be seen mostly in those countries which are at the developing stage. This vertical chain indicates
that the most vulnerable to the environment pollution is under-developed country. Air pollution among
various pollution is quite high which is a cause of concern across the world. It can be caused naturally as well as man-made.
For instance, in autumn and winter month density of smoke, smog and particulate pollution has increased due to large scale crop residue burning in agricultural practices.
Devastating effects of air pollution
The effects of air pollution are alarming as everyone knows how dangerous it is, still people ignore it. They thought that it is not in their hand to control air pollution. We know that how air pollution influence our health as they are known to create several respiratory and heart conditions like asthma, chronic bronchitis, heart attacks and strokes along with cancer and any other threats to the body. Several million are known to have died due to the direct or indirect effects of Air pollution. If we talk about India, analysis of the Indian State-Level Disease Burden Initiative which is published in Lancet, states that the total number of deaths due to air pollution in India in 2019 was around 1.67 million. The most shocking is that death rate due to ambient particulate matter pollution increased by 115.3% from 1990 to 2019, due to ambient ozone pollution increase of 139.2% and household air pollution increased by 64.2%. These data are quite horrible which require awareness about air pollution among the masses.
Factors which are responsible for air pollution
Air pollution is caused by solid and liquid particles and certain gases that are suspended in the air. These particles and gases can come from vehicles, factories, dust, pollen, industries, volcanoes wildfires, burning of fossil fuels, etc. Particulate matter is one of the major factors which contribute to air pollution on a large scale. These pollutants have the tendency to affect one’s health by entering into blood vessels and spread throughout body. For instance, stubble burning is practiced predominantly by farmers in north India which affected those people who inhibited in those areas by releasing harmful gases into the atmosphere such as nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. In recent years, this practice has created vast smoke blanket across the Indo-Gangetic Plain. This directly exposes millions of people to air pollution. Also to generate electricity we extensively depend upon the utilization of fossil fuels instead of natural gas as the burning of fossil fuels releases harmful gases like nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides into the atmosphere which are responsible for depletion of ozone layer, acidic rain and many others.
What we do
Indeed, this is the fact that we can’t curb air pollution unless we don’t step forward to prevent these with our integrated effort. We have to adopt these measures strictly such as :
• We should avoid using own vehicles rather prefer public modes of transport for shorter distance.
• The use of solar, wind and geothermal energies instead of fossil fuels and biomass energy.
• Fuel substitution is another way of controlling air pollution like petrol and diesel are being replaced by CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and PNG (Pipped Natural Gas).
• To properly test the vehicles on roads which are the major contributor of vehicle emissions.
• Last but not the least, the best way of reducing the ill effects of air pollution is tree plantation. Plants and trees are considered as carbon sinks.
There are various reasons which are responsible for aggravating anthropogenic climate change. Yet air pollution is one of those which impact marginalized groups badly as compared to wealthy ones. As the poor people can’t afford to protect themselves from the exposure of air pollution. The government has launched several programmes to curb air pollution such as the National Clean Air Programmme launches in 2019 aims for a 20-30% reduction in PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations by 2024 in 102 cities. It’s time to acknowledge environmental injustice as tackling air pollution entrenched with social justice and alleviating poverty.