The Effects Of Air Pollution On Human Health And / Or The Environment Essay

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Air pollution refers to a “broad range of contaminates” (Brimblecombe & Atkins, 2013, p.20) found in the atmosphere that are harmful to human health and/or the environment. While air pollution can, at its most simplistic, be defined as “any input of chemical, aerosol, or particulate” (Blauvelt & Gates, 2011, p. 17) found to be deleterious and airborne, the term "can be subdivided in many ways by source, components, and mode of formation." (Blauvelt & Gates, 2011, p. 17)
Typically, an essential distinction is made between primary and secondary sources of emission. Primary air pollution is released directly from its source (e.g. carbon monoxide–CO– from a car 's exhaust pipe) while secondary emissions are formed in the atmosphere itself (for example, ozone–O3–is almost entirely created in the atmosphere), almost always through photochemical (i.e. involving light, in this case sunlight) processes (WHO, 2006).
In addition to source, air pollution is further classified by basic composition: either in a gaseous or particulate form. Gases (and vapors) are analyzed at the molecular level and because of their small size they “are readily taken into the human respiratory system” (WHO, 2006, p.10) which presents a health risk. Common gaseous pollutants include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone, methane, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Particulate matter (PM) is defined as "material in solid or liquid phase suspended in the atmosphere " (WHO, 2006, p. 11) and is divided by
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