The Air We Breathe

Nature is not static – it is constantly changing. Nothing is more demonstrative of that than the air in the atmosphere.

Did you know that at the time of earth’s formation there was no Oxygen in the atmosphere? Yes, that is the truth. Oxygen was formed about 3 billion years ago by blue-green Algae in the oceans. As more and more Oxygen was formed it resulted in the birth of the first Aerobic organism- a bacteria.

in fact, being highly combustible Oxygen was considered dangerous. 

Our current Oxygen supply comes from Plants and Microbes and Oxygen is currently 21 % of all the atmospheric gases. 

Molecules in the air include primarily nitrogen and oxygen as well as water, carbon dioxide, ozone, and many other compounds in trace amounts, some created naturally, others the result of human activity.

In addition to gases, the atmosphere contains extras such as smoke, dust, acid droplets, and pollen. The composition of the atmosphere changes constantly and depends on the season, weather, time of day, latitude, longitude, elevation, and geography.

AIR POLLUTANTS

Three Types

• Gases

• Particulate Matter

• Bacteria and Viruses 

COMMON AIR POLLUTANTS

•Carbon Monoxide

•Ground Level Ozone

•Lead

•Nitrogen Dioxide

•Particulate Matter

•Sulfur Dioxide

PARTICULATE MATTER (PM)

PM 2.5

Fine particle- PM 2.5 Micrometre or smaller – can only be seen by Electron Microscope. 

COMES FROM- Chemical Reactions, fuel combustion, farming (plowing, field burning), road construction/ building activities

PM 10

Coarse dust Particles – 2.5 to 10 Micrometres – crushing or grinding operations, dust from roads and construction

 PM CAUSES

– Respiratory and CVS problems, irritation of eyes nose and throat, headache, nausea, lung cancer, heart disease…

– There is also evidence of links between household air pollution and low birth weight, tuberculosis, cataract, nasopharyngeal and laryngeal cancers

– Air pollution has already been associated with a number of conditions, from strokes to brain cancer, miscarriage and mental health problems.

-However, the research suggests the impact could be far wider, and that almost every cell in the body may be affected by dirty air.

Pic- Courtesy NASA.

Pic- Courtesy NASA.

So as we can see the danger of Air Pollution is real – bad air causes a great deal of harm.

It has also been recently postulated that air pollution may affect the lethality of the Covid-19 infection.

For ‘What should we do?’ kindly read my next article on “The Truth about Air Purifiers”.

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