Air pollution: generator of respiratory problems
Since the mid-eighteenth century, with the onset of the Industrial Revolution in England, air pollution has grown significantly. The burning of coal (energy source for the machines of the time) threw tons of pollutants into the atmosphere of industrial cities in Europe. From this moment on, man had to live with the polluted air and all the damage that came from this technological "progress".
Causes and consequences of air pollution
Almost every major city in the world today suffers from the effects of air pollution. Cities like Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Tokyo, New York and Mexico City are among the most polluted in the world.
The pollution generated in today's urban centers is mainly the result of burning fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum products (gasoline and diesel). Burning of these products has released a high level of carbon monoxide and dioxide into the earth's atmosphere. These two fuels are responsible for the power generation that powers the industrial, electrical and transportation sectors of most of the world's economies. So putting them aside today is extremely complicated.
This type of pollution has caused many problems in large cities. People's health, for example, is most affected by air pollution. Various respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, rhinitis and asthma take thousands of adults and children to hospitals each year. Pollution has also caused damage to ecosystems and to historical and cultural heritage. As a result of this pollution, acid rain kills plants, animals and erodes historical monuments (buildings, monuments, churches, etc.) over time. In recent years, the Acropolis of Athens underwent a restoration process, as the ancient Greek construction was being eroded by the pollution of the capital of Greece.
The planet's climate is also affected by air pollution. The greenhouse effect phenomenon is raising the temperature on planet Earth. It occurs as follows: Polluting gases form a layer of pollution in the atmosphere, preventing heat dissipation. In this way, heat is concentrated in the lower layers of the atmosphere, causing changes in the climate. Researchers say that rising water levels are already occurring in the oceans, causing flooding of islands and coastal cities. Many animal species may become extinct and typhoons and tidal waves may occur more frequently and intensely.
In search of solutions
Faced with the negative news, man has sought to find measures to solve these environmental problems. Technological systems are moving towards creating ever less polluting or non-polluting machines and fuels. Many cars are already using natural gas as fuel. In Brazil, for example, we have millions of cars powered by alcohol, renewable, non-fossil fuel, which pollute little. Tests on hydrogen have shown that in the very near future, cars will be able to use a type of fuel that only throws water vapor into the air.
Air pollution: a serious environmental and public health problem.