What is Atmospheric Pollution?
Atmospheric pollution harms the living organisms directly, air has more priority than food when it comes to the survival of life on earth. Therefore atmospheric pollution is a matter of great concern for life to exist on this planet. Smog is the most common type of atmospheric pollutant which affects a major portion of the world. The combination of two words namely, smoke and fog results in the formation of the word ‘smog’.
It reduces visibility and causes breathing issues. Smog falls under particulate pollutants, as it is composed of very minute particles. We have two major classifications of smog:
Types of Smog:
This is the typical form of smog found in areas which have a humid climate. It is a mixture of smoke, fog and sulphur dioxide. This smog acts as a reducing agent in atmospheric pollution and hence it is also known as reducing smog.
This type of smog is prevalent in dry and sunny areas of the world. Automobiles and factories emit smoke which contains hydrocarbons and nitrogen dioxide, these compounds under the action of sunlight become the major component of photochemical smog. This smog contains a high concentration of oxidizing agent hence it is also known as oxidizing smog.
Effects of photochemical smog
Ozone, nitric oxide and peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) are the major components of photochemical smog. It causes serious health issues, ozone acts as a powerful eye irritant. Ozone and nitric oxide in high concentration cause headache, chest pain, dryness of throat and difficulty in breathing, these are some of the major disadvantages of atmospheric pollution. Photochemical smog also leads to the corrosion of metals, building materials, and painted surfaces.
Prevention of photochemical smog
To reduce photochemical smog, we should have a check at the primary level for a reduction in the use of hydrocarbons and nitrogen dioxide and at the secondary level for ozone and PAN. Catalytic converters when used in automobiles, reduce the emission of hydrocarbons and nitrogen dioxide. This results in reduced levels of atmospheric pollution.
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