In today’s world, air pollution is a big growing concern. The air we breathe is mixed with a lot of impurities, one that will deprive us of any fresh air. People are now dealing with air pollution on a daily basis due to its massive spread. For a long time, the factories, car engines, etc have been polluting the environment by spreading harmful gasses and for all that, the atmospheric layer has been severely damaged.

Basically, air pollution is the presence of pollutants in the air which is further breathed in by us leading to serious harmful diseases. The pollutants come in many forms. They may be liquid droplets, solid materials, etc and many more. Pollutants can be further subdivided into two heads, primary and secondary.

There are many processes by which the basic pollutants are released into the air and of them is a volcanic eruption. This is one of the most popular sources of mixing of pollutants with the air. CO released by the car engines (auto mobiles) is another popular source of air pollutants. One is natural, whereas the other is man made. The sulphur dioxide gas released from factories is another way of releasing the air pollutants into the air. Here is a detailed of about these air pollutant sources and discuss some other types of air pollution alongside as well.

What Are The Different Types of Air Pollution:

Following are some of the most harmful air pollution types and pollutants list.

1. Particle Pollution:

According to different researches conducted by the specialists in this field, it has been figured out that the different types of pollutants in the air cause the most pollution.

Source of the Pollutants:

The particles can generally be divided into types, solid and liquid. The liquid particles are generally made up of ashes which are produced when certain substances are burned such as coal. Diesel exhaust and chemicals in the air are also considered to be a popular source of liquid particle pollution. Most of the passenger vehicles such as the bus can produce massive amounts of pollutant ashes which further lead to air pollution. Burning of wood and other similar substances can lead to particle pollution.

Effect on Health and Environment:

These kinds of particle pollution can lead to strokes, heart attacks, coughing problems and can also cause some serious lung cancer symptoms. Besides the flora of the area are also affected and thereby affects the growth of it.

The governments are taking some serious measures to reduce the usage of such substances which can lead to air pollution. But still, there are some places where burning of wood, coal, etc are in excessive practice.

2. Common Air Pollutants:

There are certain types of air pollution facts which cannot be avoided and we are the mere victims of them. For development, industries have to be built and when the industries start running on full scale there is a constant emission of carbon monoxide gas.

Source of the Pollutant:

Carbon monoxide is considered to be one of the most harmful gases out there and is definitely one those things that cause the most number of physical problems caused by air pollution. This colourless, odourless gas is one of the most harmful one under the category of gases hazardous to human health.

Emission of nitrogen oxide is also another thing that leads to massive air pollution.

Impact on Health and Environment:

It is one of those gases that can lead to lung diseases and can make a human being sick from the core. The nitrogen oxide gas also leads to smog and is the cause of the decaying causes to the Taj Mahal once. It is this nitrogen oxide gas which leads to the occurrence of acid rain.

How To Prevent:

People should be more careful to use environment-friendly products which will lead to the least emission of this gas. The gas is known to pollute the environment adversely.

3. Greenhouse Gases:

There is a number of causes that can be blamed to be responsible for causing air pollution. But greenhouse gas is something that is at the top of that list. It is the type of air pollution sources that is definitely one of the most harmful gases out there. There are certain natural sources which can be claimed to be the largest producer of such gases. This is one of the most harmful gases out there that is causing one of the main problems throughout the globe, global warming.

Source of the Pollutant:

The most known form of air pollution is this gas and it is the culprit when it comes to the production of a greenhouse effect. It severely affects the climate of the earth and is one of the things that is hugely responsible for the climatic variations at almost every place on the earth.

There are many causes that can lead to the emission of this harmful gas, burning of fossil fuels being the most important one. Carbon dioxide, methane, etc are such gases that can be sated to be a greenhouse gas and is leading to global warming as well.

Impact On the Society:

Not only humans, even animals suffer due to such climatic changes and they are sometimes forced to migrate as well. The environment then becomes unfit for flora and fauna.

See More: Types Of Pollution And How To Prevent

4. The Volatile Organic Compounds:

Volatile organic compounds or VOC’s is also a significant greenhouse gas but there is a lot more to that. Some consider that it is much more harmful and can cause some of the most harmful diseases know to man in the present times.

Source of the Pollutant:

There are a number of hydrocarbon VOC’s, which can also be stated to be responsible for polluting the air and making the earth worse. 3-butadiene is one of the most dangerous compounds that can lead to air pollution and is one of the most harmful gases ever.

Impact on the Society:

VOCs are primary step to the formation of ground-level ozone and particulate matter, the main ingredients of smog. Smog is known to have adverse effects on human health and the environment. VOCs are known to cause eye, nose and throat irritation, frequent headaches, nausea, damage the liver, kidney and central nervous system.

5. Ammonia:

Last but not the least, Ammonia is considered to be one of the worst substances known to man.

Source of the Pollutant:

It is emitted from agricultural processes and generally comes with a disturbing odour, rather pungent. The terrestrial organisms feed on this but on the other hand, this particular chemical substance is extremely harmful to the human beings.

Impact on Ecosystem:

Even though it is used by the pharmaceutical companies, it is quite hazardous to our health. The harm caused by ammonia in water bodies is a matter of higher concern because it is very toxic to aquatic organisms. Low concentrations of ammonia in a soil are natural and is necessary for plant nutrition. Higher doses of ammonia in the air cause burning of the nose, throat and respiratory tract. This will further lead to bronchialr and alveolar edema, and airway destruction resulting in respiratory distress or failure. Inhalation of lower concentrations can cause coughing, and nose and throat irritation.

See More: Types Of Water Pollutants And Their Effects

6. Bad Odours:

Sometimes bad odours can be stated to be a reason for causing air pollution. That is why a neighbourhood should be kept as clean as possible to maintain a healthy environment.

Source of the Pollutant:

The next in the air pollutant list is the bad odour. The main source of this pollutant is the waste generated from industries that come out as smell, the careless disposal of waste that rots and generate bad smell and the smell of the smoke arising from cars and other vehicles.

Impact on Humans:

Some gaseous compounds can have adverse effects on your health that will cause shortness of breath, headaches, eye irritation, or if large amounts are inhaled, even death.

7. Natural Sources of Pollution:

1. Dust:

Dust is also considered as a pollutant of the air. It usually has a high dose of pollen grains which also are considered as dust. It comprises unburnt carbon particles, skin cells, pollen grains, hair, fine grains of minerals, thin fibres, soil particles etc. All these particles of dust make it a pollutant.

Source of the Pollutant:

Dust is yet another major source of pollutant in the air. It generally consists of particles in the atmosphere that come from various sources such as soil, dust lifted by weather (an aeolian process), volcanic eruptions, and pollution.

Impact of the Pollutant:

Pneumoconiosis covers a group of lung diseases that are caused by breathing in dust, mostly mineral dust, that the lungs can’t get rid of. The most common diseases that it gives rise to is the silicosis, coal miners’ pneumoconiosis and asbestosis. Silicosis is caused by inhaling crystalline silica dust.

2. Natural Gas:

Among the air pollutants list, natural gases will be one. Gases using increasing rapidly and leaving more pollutants in air and that causing drastic changes in the environment.

Source Of Pollution:

The combustion of natural gas produces amounts of sulphur, mercury, and particulates. The burning of natural gas also produces nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are the first signs to the formation of smog, but at lower levels than gasoline and diesel used for motor vehicles.

Impact of the Pollutant:

Natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) when combusted in a new, efficient natural gas power plant as against emissions from a typical new coal plant. Exposure to high levels of these air pollutants will result in adverse health outcomes, including respiratory symptoms, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

3. Crackers:

Burning of crackers is yet another type of air pollution that is prevalent.

Source Of Pollution:

In the list of effects of air pollution crackers are one which have many toxic compounds in them like copper and cadmium, that stays suspended in the air for longer period of time.

Impact of the Pollutant:

These pollutants increase the risk of asthma attacks, bronchitis and symptoms of allergic rhinitis, including sneezing, runny nose and headaches. Since these gases take a longer time to dissipate, they even lead to respiratory diseases even after months of burning them.

4. Cigarette Smoking:

The next type of air pollution is caused by cigarette smoking. The air pollution emitted by cigarettes is 10 times greater than diesel car exhaust. Environmental tobacco smoke produces fine particulate matter, which is the most dangerous element of air pollution for health.

Source Of Pollution:

The only source is people who smoke in public, thereby spreading the effects of passive smoking on others as well.

Impact of the Pollutant:

The commonly known impact is cancer. They not only affect the smoker, but also the one who stands next to him/her while smoking. They not only damage their health but also the land and environment when they throw the cigarette buds away carelessly.

The types of air pollution sources are plentiful. While we ensure to take care of our health and body from the harmful substances of the society, we must also take short steps to eliminate the pollutants that cause the air pollution. For a healthy living and a better tomorrow, we need to be prepared to take the smaller steps and effectively prevent these pollutants taking an adverse effect on us.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.