On living organism
Air pollution causes following effects on living organism:
(a) Effects on humans:
1. Carbon monoxide reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of blood. It combines with haemoglobin leading to form carboxy haemoglobin. Hence the quantity of oxygen available to body cells is reduced leading to cardiovascular problems.
2. Oxides of nitrogen causes eye irritation and even lung congestion. Among children is causes respiratory illness.
3. Oxide of sulphur causes respiratory, respiratory diseases like asthama, bronchitis, eye irritation etc.
4. Dust, soot and smog cause respiratory troubles such as bronchitis, asthama and lung cancer.
5. Fly ash and metal dust causes headache, loss of appetite, dizziness, insomnia, anaemia etc.
6. Air borne material, such as pollen grains, spores, bacteria, fungi causes several diseases and allergic reactions or hay fever.
7. Tobacco smoke contains a hydrocarbon called benzopyrene which causes lung cancer
(b) Effect on animals:
Animals are affected by air pollution mainly by eating contaminated vegetation. The main effects are as follows:
1. Farm animals like cattle and sheep are susceptible to fluorine toxicity. IT causes lack of appetite, periodic diarrhaea, muscular weakness, loss of weight and death.
2. Lead poisoning causes paralysis and difficulty in breathing.
3. Arsenic poisoning in animals causes salivation, thirst, vomiting, irregular pulse and abnormal body temperature.
(c) Effect on plants:
1. Dust, smoke and other particulate settle on leaves of plants and thereby retard photosynthesis process in plants.
2. Sulphur dioxide causes chlorosis, plasmolysis, membrane damage and metabolic inhibition.
3. Fluorides destroy tissues in leaves causing necrosis of leaf margins and tips.
4. Ozone damages chlorenchyma and thus destructs the foliage in large no of plants.
3.2.2 on non-living organism
Air pollutions following effects on non-living organisms:
Effects on materials and buildings:
1. Oxides of sulphur and nitrogen and products of photochemical smog have deteriorating effects on buildings, metals, textile and marble statues.
2. Acid rains produced by oxides of sulphur and nitrogen have corrosive effects on buildings and other materials.
3. Hydrogen sulphide discolour silver and lead paints of buildings and monuments.
4. Ozone has deteriorating effects on rubber goods.