What are the harmful Effects of Air Pollution?

Air pollution affects men, animals, plants, forests, materials and also has a profound adverse effect on atmosphere.

(i) Effect on man:

It is detrimental to human health causing major respiratory disorders. Hay fever, asthma and bronchitis are caused due to air pollution.

Sculpture dioxide is responsible for cough, spasm of larynx and reddening of the eye due to irritation of membranes in the eye. Hemorrhage and pulmonary disorders are resulted even with very low concentrations of ozone. Beryllium causes berylliosis. Dusts, grits and smokes cause tuberculosis and silicosis whereas heavy metals are carcinogenic in nature and develop dermatitis and ulcers of skin. Nickel may cause lung cancer.

(ii) Effects on animals:

The forage crops are sometimes contained with metallic pollutants, such as, lead, arsenic and molybdenum in mining and thermal power plants area due to air pollution. The domestic animals feeding on contaminated fodder suffer from different diseases. Air contaminated with ozone causes pulmonary changes, oedema and haemorrhage in dogs, cats, and rabbits.

Animals feeding on fluoride compound containing fodder may suffer from fluorosis. Cattle and sheep are most frequently affected animals. Hypoplasia of dental enamel and bone lesioning are the other effects caused due to excessive fluoride in the body.

(iii) Effects on plants:

Plants are affected by various air pollutants. Excessive sulphur dioxides make the cells inactive and finally are killed. At lower concentrations, brownish red colour of leaf, choruses and necrosis take place. Tomato is affected by ammonia and radish, cucumber and soybean are affected due to hydrogen sulphite. Ethylene causes epinasty and early maturation of plants.

(iv) Effects on materials and atmosphere:

Sulphur dioxide with water produces sulphurous and sulphuric acids that are extremely corrosive. Different metals, such as iron, aluminum and copper are corroded when exposed to contaminated air. Building and other materials are disfigured by deposition of soot.

Increase in carbon dioxide concentration increases the temperature of the earth. Depletion of ozone layer due to fluoro carbon of aerosol causes the exposure of U. V. radiation which is lethal.