Understanding Air Pollution Better


April 8, 2019

Understanding Air Pollution Better

We hear so much about air pollution, what it does to us, our family, our surrounding. But do we really understand it? Being one of the most serious problems in the world, air pollution undeniably deserves all the attention it can get.

We hear so much about airpollution, what it does to us, our family, our surrounding. But do we reallyunderstand it? Being one of the most seriousproblems in the world, air pollution undeniably deserves all theattention it can get.

If you are rolling your eyes withthat “Tell-me-something-I-don’t-know” look,try answering a few questions to prove your knowledge. What are you breathingright now? Do you know what pollutants your indoor space has? Are you sure thatyou are as healthy as you think you are? What are your means of protecting youand your family against pollution? Have you invested in the right kind of mask?Well, we can keep asking,but we are sure,you get our point!

But is it not enough that we knowpollution can do us a lot of harm? The answer is NO. When you have to find asolution to aproblem, you must first know everything about it. Only then will your solutionbe effective and long-term. A peripheral approach can just give you a short-termadjustment or what we call “a Jugaad!” That’s not what we want.

Seeing theProblem for what it is

The air pollution statistics thatyou normally see is basically deduced by following the air quality trends ofvarious pollutants across the country (or city). However, the data you get mayhave a bit of projection and estimationsmaking them pretty inaccurate.

Also, while every kind ofpollution is bad for us, it is the concentration and quantity of certain toxicelements that make air pollution extremely hazardous for our health. Forinstance, you do breathe in and out carbon dioxide on a daily basis,but it is ok till the concentration is lessthan 0.05% in the air. If you were to breathe in air which has more than 10% ofCO2, it could kill you in a few minutes.

Now, let us consider factors thatmight impact our existing pollution. Let us consider this instance. You livenear a factory which releases toxic gases. But since the smokestacks are prettyhigh, and your area is pretty windy, you don’t feel its impact to a greatextent. But that’s just a peripheral approach. Where does that smoke eventuallygo? Does it vanish into space or is siphoned off into outer space? No. It isout there, slowly lurking near you. What if the wind betrays you one day and youare left there suffocating? What if there is a forest fire nearby and the smokereaches you? Suddenly what seemed to be an adaptable issue, feels more severeright?

The smoke doesn’t go away; it is either heating our Earth or killingpeople elsewhere. So there is no point closing our eyes and saying it is notaffecting me.

Lookingfor a Solution based on your Problem

So while the entire world is affected by pollution, theproblem is essentially not the same. So if you have to find a solution for it,that can’t be similar either. Based on what kind of pollutants you are dealingwith, its concentration levels, frequency,andintensity your solution would have to be altered and modified. Investing in anair quality monitor can help you understand just what you are dealing with andthe data can help concerned research bodies and regulatory bodies come up withare-based pollution control measures to help you combat pollution. So you arenot only monitoring the air you breathe, butyou are also helping other regulatory bodies to control and reduce pollution inand around your areas using your real-time data.

While using sustainable and eco-friendly fuels, plants andfactories with electrostatic smoke precipitators, power generation throughcleaner sources like wind, water and sun are some broader areas of controllingpollution, there are a lot of areas (constructions, harsh chemicals, industrialsolvents,and household appliances andproducts) that gets ignored and continues to contribute to air pollution.

The next time we talk about air pollution we need to be sureabout what we are talking about. If we are not doing that, we are not solvingthe problem.

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