This is a form of pollution which occurs when harmful materials such as industrial wastes, particulates, and biological wastes are released into the air. These products have devastating effects on the surrounding environment leading to the destruction of animal’s life and other structures.

Different forms of air pollutants

Air is mainly polluted when harmful gasses are released to the atmosphere. These gases include;

  • Carbon monoxide – this gas is released from combustion of fossil fuels, industrial wastes, and burning of


  • Odours from sewage, industrial processes, and garbage
  • Volatile organic compounds such as non-methane and methane products
  • Green houses gases including carbon dioxide
  • Radioactive pollutants from war explosives, nuclear explosives and other natural processes such as decaying of radon
  • Chlorofluorocarbons produced when waste products are burned
  • Dust particles, toxic chemicals, cadmium, soot, and ash
  • Sulphur power dioxide and nitrogen oxides from vehicles and industrial facilities
  • Depletion of the ozone layer- this is the layer responsible for trapping the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. These rays can lead to damage the ecosystem and cause respiratory illnesses

Sources of air pollutants

The following are the different sources of materials which pollute air: Carbon monoxide. Habits of smoking, and volcanic eruptions which are known for producing ash particles and gases such as sulphur, aerosol sprays. Other sources include waste deposition which produces methane as well as dust resulting from natural sources.

What are the main effects associated with air pollution?

Air pollution has many adverse effects on both the environment and the various aspects of life on earth. These effects include: the gasses produced can irritate your throat, eyes, and nose leading to breathing difficulties. The mixture of gases and water can lead to the formation of acid rain which corrodes metal structure and building. Acid water can also kill the living plants and other organisms in the water. Nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide gases can lead to respiration problems. Carbon dioxide gases are known for causing global warming which is one of the leading causes of climate change and skin diseases.

How do you minimize and control air pollution?

High level of pollution is associated with negative impacts on life and the environment. There are many measures which can be adopted to minimize and reduce this form of pollution and the risks associated with it.

  • Use of recyclable products
  • Stop smoking habits- You should seek medical assistance if you are an addict of smoking
  • Using water-based paints or paints which are free from solvents
  • Using cleaners which are environmentally friendly
  • Using clean and renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power
  • Using natural gas when cooking instead of charcoal- this will help in reducing the harmful gasses emitted from combustion
  • Using public transport such a trains and buses