Effect of air pollution, Biology

(i)    Effect on Human Health:

Air pollution causes many respiratory problems in human being.

(1)   Dust, soot and smog causes several respiratory troubles such as bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, lung cancer.

(2)   Fly ash and metal dusts causes headache, anemia, dizziness, insomnia etc.

(3)   SO2 causes drying of mouth, sore throat, eye irritation. It may damage the tissues by forming H2SO2.

(4)   NO and CO combine with hemoglobin of blood and reduces oxygen carrying capacity of blood.

(5)   Air borne organic material such as bacteria, a fungus etc. causes several diseases and allergic reactions or hay fever.

(6)    In atmosphere ozone is formed by photochemical reaction in stratosphere, which protects life on earth from high energetic U.V. radiation. In lower atmosphere, it produces chest pain, coughing and eye irritation.

(7)    Depletion of ozone layer exposes the earthy to increased U.V. radiations, which have caused increased rate of skin cancer and genetic mutation.

(8)    PAN (Peroxyacylnitrate) causes acute eye irritation.

(9)   Many hydrocarbons induce cancer. Tobacco smoke contains a hydrocarbon called benzopyrene, which causes lung cancer.


(ii) Effects on Animals:

The effects of air pollution on animals in and around industrial area are similar to those on human beings.

(1)        Ingestion of fluorine compounds deposited on fodder causes Fluor sis (Excessive calcification of bones and teeth). It is also causes of lameness, diarrhea and loss of weight.

(2)        Lead poisoning causes bronchitis and loss of appetite.

(3)        Many air borne microbes cause disease.


(iii) Effects on Plants:

Air pollution causes wide spread damage to plants.

(1)    Particulate such as dust, fog, soot get deposited on plant leaves, and retards photosynthesis.

(2)    Exposure of plant to high level of ozone causes chlorosis i.e. yellowing of green leaves.

(3)    Many plants are sensitive to PAN in smog which reduces photosynthesis and adversely effects cellular metabolism.

(4)    SO2 causes chlorosis, plasmolysis and membrane damage.

(5)    Ethylene (Hydrocarbon) causes premature leaf fall, fruit dropping, shedding of floral buds, curling of petals and discoloration of sepals.

(6)    Polluted air causes inhibited growth and death of lichens and it is an indicator of polluted area.

(7)    Terrestrial and aquatic vegetation is severely affected by acid rain.


(iv) Effects on Climate:

Earth climate depends on various factors one of them is composition of atmosphere and balance of gases. Therefore air pollution brings about harmful effects on climate.

(1)   Increase in CO2 will enhance the temperature of earth, (green house effects) resulting in melting of polar ice caps and glaciers etc.

(2)   Aerosols and nitrogen oxide depletes ozone layer in stratosphere which causes harmful U.V. radiation to reach on earth.

(3)   Changing regional climate may alters forests, crop fields and water supplies.

Posted Date: 7/11/2012 3:55:31 AM | Location : United States

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