Air pollution levels in India are a very well-known fact of concern and the metropolitan cities are having an alarming rate of pollution levels already. According to WHO, outdoor air pollution has now become the 5th largest killer in India.
WHO reports also state that that air pollution has been accounted for the deaths of 3.7 million people across the globe in 2012 and approximately 660,000 deaths in India. In 2015, WHO placed 10 Indian Cities in the list of top 20 most polluted cities in the world and the Indian capital tops the list among other cities.
There are various sources of air pollution but the major ones are vehicles, industrial fumes, agricultural pollution, pollens and dust.
What are the most dangerous sources of
outdoor air pollution?
Vehicular Pollution: Killing you with their fumes
All cars and trucks contribute to air pollution throughout their life. The pollutants are generated during their operation, manufacturing, disposal and refueling. The major pollutants that are emitted by vehicles are particulate matter, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. The particulate matters are formed during combustion and are found in the exhaust of the vehicles. Diesel engines contribute a large amount of particulate matter in the environment than the gasoline engines. The particulate matters are so small that they can easily infiltrate the human system and affect the lungs leading to several breathing problems and lung cancer.
Industrial Pollution: Major source of soot in the environment
With the onset of industrial revolution, human beings have been able to advance in technology on a daily basis. The rapid development in science and manufacturing led to production of smoke as a major air pollutant. Many forms of air pollution can be traced back to being because of the industrial revolution. The smoke produced by the industries consist of soot particles which are fine black particles and are composed of carbon. The production of soot occurs due to incomplete combustion of fuels. Soot particles consist of dust, chemicals, acid and metal particles. Soot also include particulate matter which are 30 times smaller than human hair.
Agricultural Pollution: Modern farming methods are dangerous
Agriculture is the very reason human beings exist and it is a necessary means of survival. Until the time agriculture involved only natural processes, it did not harm the environment. However, modern agricultural processes are the root cause of agriculture now contributing to air pollution. Factory farms collect animal waste in a large amount and store it in pits called slurry lagoons. When the animal waste matter decomposes, it forms ammonia gas which leads to breeding of bacteria. The bacteria interacts with the pollutants already present in air and forms nitric acid which is considered very harmful for human health. Methane gas is another very harmful gas that is produced in factory farms. Also, the unsanitary conditions in factory farms, poor quality of food being fed to animals and use of antibiotics has led to birth of diseases that are hard to treat. Dangerous diseases like swine flu and avian flu, which have their origins from livestock, are air borne diseases and can be mortally fatal for human beings.
Dust and Pollen: The main reason for rise in asthma patients
Biological pollutants are on a rise in every city and they are majorly in the form of pollens, dust, virus etc. Pollens come from grasses, trees and other plants and are responsible for numerous allergic reactions and breathing problems. Although, pollens are natural found in the environment, human activities can increase the amount of pollens thereby resulting in increased allergic reactions. Dust on the other hand is found to be suspended in the air and can easily enter the human system via the process of breathing since the finer dust particles are minute in size.
Smog: The most dangerous pollutant during winters
Smog is the most dangerous form of pollution and is named so because of its constituents: smoke and fog in the air. The classic smog is formed due to combustion of huge amount of coal in an area and is caused due to mixture of sulphur dioxide and smoke. Smog can result in inflammation of breathing passages, reduced lung capacity and shortness of breath. When in high concentration, it can also cause irritation in the eye and the nose.
How to stay protected from the hazards of outdoor air pollution?
Keeping a good eye on the health risks due to outdoor air pollution, many would agree to using masks that encourage filtration through multi-layers. However, people hesitate to buy masks that cost more and turn a blind eye to towards the safety that comes along with it. Well if you must know, the pollution is at its peak and if you don’t do something now then you might as well lose 23 months of your life, as mentioned in the latest reports of the WHO.
Multi-layered pollution masks tend to capture most of the pollutants that are present out there through their filtration technology, unlike other masks.
Atlanta Healthcare Cambridge Masks are such type of masks that give 99% protection from various air pollutants like particulate matters (PM10, PM2.5, PM0.3), viruses, bacteria and gas pollution. These masks consist of three layers that are primary layer filter, three-ply micro particulate filter and military grade carbon filter.
The first layer of the pollution mask filters dust and PM10 particles and the second layer is designed to block PM2.5 particles. Also, the second layer has been even tested to filter PM0.3 particles.
The third layer is made up of 100% pure activated carbon cloth, which was invented originally by the UK Ministry of Defence. The pores in this layer of filter are 25 times smaller than the standard carbon materials and hence are more powerful. The activated carbon filter is also capable of removing potentially harmful pathogens from entering your system.