Science

Air Pollution: Which Gases are Most Responsible?

These gases contribute a lot to air pollution.

An invisible threat to humanity, air pollution is a major reason behind numerous health issues such as cardiovascular disorders, respiratory infections, neurological problems, and even certain types of cancer. Also, it takes a heavy toll on plants, wildlife, and architecture as well, making it hard for future generations to live a “normal” life. What’s more worrying is that the entire scenario is getting a lot worse with each passing day. Now, when it comes to the contributors of air pollution, the list majorly includes some harmful gases, along with chemicals, solid particles, biological molecules, and more. In this article, we will discuss some of the gases which are most responsible for the increasing air pollution.

Carbon monoxide: Carbon monoxide is a flammable gas consisting of one carbon atom and one oxygen atom. This colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas gets released into the atmosphere due to the incomplete combustion of carbon-containing fuels – such as oil, coal, wood, and other natural resources.

Carbon dioxide: A major greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide gets emitted from mostly deforestation and fossil fuel combustion. This gas is one of the major contributors to smog – which is a visible form of air pollution. Moreover, it also contributes to climate change, which is now considered a global emergency.

Methane: The second most abundant greenhouse gas, methane is usually emitted from the production of oil, coal, and natural gas. Methane is an extremely toxic gas as it mixes with nitrogen oxides and then creates ozone pollution. This is a significant contributor to air pollution.

Ammonia: A colorless gas with a pungent odor, ammonia gets released from agricultural practices. It reacts with nitric acid as well as sulfuric acids and then forms nitrate-containing particles that pollute the air to a large extent. Known as ammonia pollution, this is damaging the overall biodiversity a lot.

Nitrogen oxides: Nitrogen oxides, such as nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, get released from the reaction of nitrogen and oxygen during fuel combustion at high temperatures. Especially, nitrogen dioxide is extremely toxic as it reacts with other gases and forms particles that destroy the ozone layer on earth. These gases are one of the major reasons behind smog and acid rain. Also, they contribute a lot to global warming.

Apart from these, fluorinated gases such as hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, etc. are some other contributors to air pollution.

Sayan Paul

Sayan is an art lover with a passion for life and food. Films and music are his two biggest companions and he learns and grows with every film he watches and every song he listens to. He is whom we turn to for all things related to entertainment and films.
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