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Air Pollution

Air pollution is when the air becomes unclean (dirty or contaminated). Our Earth is surrounded by a blanket of air, which is made up of various gases. This blanket of air is called the atmosphere. The atmosphere helps to protect the earth and allows life to exist.

Air pollution occurs when additional fumes (smoke), gases, odour and dust particles are introduced into the atmosphere, destroying the natural balance. This is harmful to plants, animals and humans. Things that pollute the air are called pollutants.

Where do these pollutants come from?

The major air pollutants include methane, carbon dioxide and water vapour. Methane and carbon dioxide are produced by burning fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) for transportation, in factories and in the production of electricity. Methane is also created by livestock, such as cows, and when garbage in landfills decomposes.

Water vapour is caused by evaporation of water. The more water we use to wash our cars, water the farms and fill our swimming pools the more water vapour is created.

How does air pollution affect us?

Air pollution makes it hard for us to breathe, and it is also one of the reasons why our earth is becoming warmer. When pollution occurs in the air, it can easily travel and spread and because we breathe in air we cannot avoid it!

Can we help stop air pollution?

Of course we can! Here are a few simple solutions:

1.       Find alternatives to the burning of fossil fuels for transportation and electricity, like solar energy maybe?

2.       Don’t buy new stuff, try and buy used stuff or make your own instead.

3.       Grow your own food.

4.       Conserve electricity and water.

5.       Plant native plants that only require rain and no extra watering.

Expert Advice


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