Controlling Air Pollution:
Now let us see, how air pollution can be controlled.
i) Photochemical smog-eliminating this would require large scale changes in life style and culture. Life has become fast, and quicker modes of transport are preferred. Every year hundreds of thousands of vehicles are added to the existing large number of automobiles. So the net result is an increased production of oxides of nitrogen, and the phorochemical smog. The alternative is to develop transport of a very different kind, perhaps electrically operated cars and two wheelers rather than those burning petrol, or to make the automobile industry develop devices that could be fitted to the vehicles to minimise the discharge of pollutants.
ii) Particulates generated largely by industries, can be controlled by scrubbers, precipitators, and filters. These devices cost money but they save lives. So far, owners of industries have thought only of cost and profit. They have not cared as to whathappens to plants and animals that are exposed to the soot and smoke which their factories pump into the air.
iii) To control sulphur dioxide, which is produced largely by coal furnaces and coal-fired steam generators. several possibilities are available. One is to change from high sulphur to low sulphur fuel, such as natural gas. oil or nucleat fuel. This is. however, not a long term solution, as low sulphur fuels are in short supply and nuclear fuels have problems of their own. The other possibility is to remove sulphur from fuel, before use. Scrubbing the gases is the third alternative you have studied about it earlier.
iv) The amount of smoke emanating from the kitchens can be minimised by the use of smokeless cbulhas solar cookers and biogas. These have dualadvantage. One. they are within the easy reach of people and secondly, there is minimum pollution.
So you can see, air pollution is related to technological development and industrialisation. Technologies were available in the past to speed up transport or to release the energy of fossil fuels for increasing production. There was little concern about the pollution that was caused, until the use of technologies became more widespread and the hazards became too great to ignore. But for the poorer countries. air pollution means many other things. The housewife who bums cowdung or dry leaves or splintered wood to cook food is exposed to intense heat and smoke. It is known that a lot of people. particularly in rural areas, go half-blind due to such exposure. People live in very dusty atmospheres-again very much so in rural areas. and their lungs often get damaged. Those working in mines and small workshops are exposed to air, that contains substances which irritate the breathing system causing disease, and often, early death. Air also carries foul odours, flies and mosquitoes which make life unpleasant and cause communicable diseases. Our priorities in combating air pollution have to be intelligently determined. Perhaps, it can be said that the greatest hazard is poverty which obliges people to live in dirt and squalor and work under conditions, to which, even animals should not be exposed.