What is Air Pollution


'What is Air Pollution' by definition:

The question "what is air pollution' can be answered by saying when a mixture of gaseous and particulate pollutants in the air deteriorate its normal quality then air pollution occurs. Air pollution in general means presence of any chemical, particulate or biological matters in the air that alter the natural composition of the air and make it harmful and threatening to the overall ecosystem and atmosphere.

Air pollutants may come from man-made or natural sources. Examples of such pollutants are harmful emissions from car; gaseous chemicals discharge of factories and other dust, pollen and mold spores suspended as particles etc. While natural sources like water vapor, mold, pollen, contribute to air pollution, the major source of air pollution are from human activities like automobiles usage and burning of fossil fuels.

Types of Air Pollution:

Air pollution can be broadly categories into outdoor and indoor air pollution.

Outdoor air pollution is referred to the pollutions that take place in the outside environment and deteriorate the air quality. Some examples of outdoor air pollution are: 

  1. Emission of harmful gases like carbon monoxide (CO), nitrous oxide (NO) etc. and other particulate pollutants from automobile exhausts.
  2. Harmful particulate and gaseous emission from factories and power plants like sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and various unburned hydrocarbon and particulate matters.
  3. Smog, a combination of smoke and fog. When sunlight reacts air pollutants like sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide (NO), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) etc. and produce ground level ozone, a toxic exogenous compound; smog occurs. Visually it appears as a brown or grey fog covering an urban city. Smog can poses severe breathing difficulties and health hazard to individuals.

Indoor Air Pollution is referred to deteriorate of air quality in the indoor environment. Some examples of indoor air pollution are:

  1. Harmful emissions from household products and cleaning agents
  2. Harmful emission from building materials and paints like asbestos, formaldehyde, lead etc.
  3. Direct or second hand smoke
  4. Mold, pollen, dust mites etc.

Although the majority of air pollution causes are manmade, some of them are due to naturally occurred phenomena. Discover both natural and anthropogenic air pollution causes in details in the following link:

Air Pollution Causes

Discover different common air pollutants along with their origin and effects on human health, nature and environments in the following link:

Common Air Pollutants

Discover various air pollution facts and figures along with supporting data  and references that shed lights on its wide spread and lethal effects on human health and environment locally, regionally and globally under the following link:

Air Pollution Facts

Polluted air has various impact on human health, other ecosystems as well as on earth’s climate and environment. Discover different air pollution effects in the following link:

Air Pollution Effects

Discover different air pollution solutions strategies that we can adopt at local, national, international as well as personal level to fight this deadly and devastating environmental pollution in the following link:

Air Pollution Solutions


Discover more on what is air pollution



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