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AIR POLLUTION

Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere. The atmosphere is a complex dynamic natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on planet Earth. Stratospheric ozone depletion due to air pollution has long been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to the Earth's ecosystems. Indoor air pollution and urban air quality are listed as two of the world's worst pollution problems in the 2008 Blacksmith Institute World's Worst Polluted Places report. Causes of Air Pollution Air pollution is caused by a wide variety of things. The earth is great at cleaning the air on its own. However, air pollution has grown so much, the earth can no longer clean all of it. This is starting to have adverse effects on the environment such as causing acid rain, smog and a wide variety of health problems. Combustion Engine Exhaust Cars, trucks, jet airplanes and other combustion engine vehicles cause air pollution. The exhaust from these contains carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and gaseous oxide. This type of air pollution creates smog (as seen in Los Angeles) which causes respiratory health problems and holes in the ozone layer, which increases the exposure to the sun's harmful rays. Factories Factories, office buildings, homes and power-generating stations burn fossil fuels, which cause air pollution. The burning of oil and coal (fossil fuels) also contributes to smog. This air pollution destroys plants, damages buildings and creates oxidation on iron. Petroleum Petroleum refineries release hydrocarbons and various particulates that pollute the air. Power Lines Some power lines are not insulated and are high voltage. This creates air pollution. Pesticides Pesticides used to kill indoor and outdoor pests, insecticides used to kill insects and herbicides use to kill weeds all cause air pollution. Radioactive Fallout Radioactive fallout causes air pollution from the nuclear energy dispersed, which is a dust. Fertilizer Dust Dust from fertilizers used to help plants grow causes air pollution. Indoor Air Pollution Sick building syndrome (SBS) is the term used when there is indoor air pollution. This happens when there is not enough ventilation to disburse the toxic fumes from new carpet, paint and/or cleaning chemicals that are used indoors. Mold can also cause SBS. Mining Operations Mining causes air pollution by releasing a variety of particles. Mills and Plants Mills and plants, include paper mills, chemical plants, iron mills, steel mills, cement plants and asphalt plants, release emissions into the air causing air pollution.