Air pollution has adverse effects on almost everything. People, animals, the environment, and the economy are the main victims of air pollution. For people, animals and the environment the quality of the air taken in by all living things has to be clean. Unclean air can result in many illnesses to man, and can be especially harmful to those already suffering from asthma. Unclean air can also damage trees, crops, plants, lakes and all animals living on land or in the water.
The cost to the economy is enormous:
- health care for the people made sick
- reduced farm crops and forests costs money in lost food and timber production
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The causes of air pollution are both natural and human. Human causes are:
- burning of fossil fuels
- emissions from all our sources of transport
- electricity power plants
- polluting the air by burning wood in stoves
- the paint we use
- aerosol sprays and most of the cleaning products we use
Natural causes are:
- Smoke and a gas called carbon monoxide wind erosion
- Methane gas from farm animals and rotting plants
- Radon gas and poisonous gasses from erupting volcanoes.
We can all do our bit to reduce air pollution by using less electricity, using gas over wood or charcoal, cycling or walking rather than using cars, and to recycle as much as possible, for example, paper, plastic, glass bottles, cardboard and aluminium cans. There is strong evidence that recycling may reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
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