(The Gist of Science Reporter) Sources of Dirty Air [FEB-2018]

(The Gist of Science Reporter) Sources of Dirty Air


Sources of Dirty Air

Some air polluting arise due to natural factors like forest fires and volcanic eruptions. When aided by strong winds, the suspended particles get carried across distances causing pollutions However , such occurrences are few and far between and often confined to geographical conditions, concentrating within in the regions of the source. The major contributors to the hazardous atmosphere we are witnessing around as today , especially in urban spaces, arise due to human –made activities. Improper regulation and insufficient mandates to check growing levels of pollutants have further worsened the situations. Also the economic variations among the population lead unhealthy practices, furthers deteriorating the condition.

Vehicular and industrials emissions :

Vehicular Exhaust contributes to massive levels of air contaminants : oxides of nitrogen, sulphur and carbon along with volatile organic
compounds , react with heat, sunlight and moisture form toxic vapours. The numbers of private vehicles hitting our roads has risen tremendously. In 2015 , The Times of India reported that 53,700 private vehicles are registered daily across India.

Indoor particulate pollutants : The visible indoor air contaminants are biological components that include animal dander, fur , mites , pollen , moulds fungus and animal faeces along with dust , grimes and fums. These elements contribute to suspended particulate matter (PM) in indoor atmosphere.

A common sight in rural areas in the burning of solid fuels like wood, coal and livestock dung, used for cooking and heating purposes . Improper ventilation and cramped spaces heighten the levels of these fums and increase the levels of PM. Also , a part of outdoor pollution such as vehicular exhaust finds a way into indoor spaces.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases or COPD is a term used to describe a spectrum of progressive respiratory disease. Here the damage caused to the lungs given rise to symptoms of breathlessness , wheezing tightness in the chest and cough leading to condition like chronic bronchitis and non – reversible asthma. Early stages of COPD often go unnoticed until the breathlessness , one begin to notice the
shortness of breath.

A spirometry test is the commonly suggested pulmonary function test to detect respiratory anomalies. This simple test assess how the lungs function by measuring the volume of inhaled air , exhaled air and the time to exhale.

Research studies published in the US National institute of Health reveal the anti – inflammatory properties of Curcuma longa and Ocimum
sanctum – two common herbs we know as turmeric and tulsi. The study claims the pharmacological benefits of these elements on induced conditions of COPD, wherein they act as inhibitors and provide relief to aggravated mucosal layers. Ayurveda too documents and
accords to high status to these two herbs in treating respiratory disorders

Nature of the rescue

NASA along with a few University researched on plants for space farming and method to improve oxygen levels within the Indore atmosphere of space capsule their studies provided encouraging solution from nature common indoor plants like funds aloe vera rubber plants palms and peace lilies are Highly Effective in absorbing the v o c from indoors and in removing stubborn contaminants like formaldehyde. The process called phytoremediation involves the absorbent pores in the leaves and roots of the plant while the natural photosynthesis breaks down some of the chemical, further assistance is obtained from the micro organism in the soil that holds the plants.

Air cleaners and purifiers

indoor air cleaners a device used to clean particulars type of air pollutants different types provide different functions:

Hepa filters : high efficiency particulate air filters used mechanical filters material to trap the particulate matter this on the commonly available filters in the affordable range.

Electronic air cleaners : this filter use electrostatic attraction to trap charged ions of particles in the air and generator disperses ions
into the indoors spaces this ions attack to the particulate matter intern charging them charged particles accumulate in a collector provided or on furniture walls and other solid surfaces to be cleaned.

Gaseous air filters : These removes fumes and orders from the air by using absorbent material like activated carbon the limitation of these filters is that they are useful in removing only specific type of gaseous element and and do not work on a broad range of contaminants.

UVGI cleaners : ultraviolet germicidal irradiation cleaners are UV radiation to destroy gems and airborne allergens. They are useful in specific regions and cannot replace filters.

PCO cleaners : photocatalytic oxidation cleaners use UV source along with a catalyst this combination react with gaseous element and neutralised damn however this are ineffective PM.

Ozone generators: This to use UV radiation however the device produces Ozone to remove pollutants Ozone is a Lung irritant and if the safe levels exceed this type of cleaners will, turn, cause more harms. These types of filters or not always reliable.

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Courtesy: Science Reporter