Consequences of Air Pollution
The physiological effects of toxic pollutants on living beings can be of two types:
Acute effects are immediate but short-lived. They occur when the victim is exposed to a high concentration of toxic pollutant for a brief period. For example, we experience headache while travelling on a busy road. This is due to exposure to carbon monoxide released from transport vehicles. Acute effects result when a pollutant is released in abnormally large quantities.
Chronic effects are due to short-term exposure for a long period. The effects appear after months or years. For example, exposure to SO2 may give rise to chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis or exposure to coal dust may give rise to black lung.