Every year environment day is celebrated on June 5 with different themes. The themes for environment day are selected on the basis of alarming issues and this year too they have come up with the theme of “Beat Air Pollution”. This theme has been selected to bring down the portions of air pollutants and make the air breathable. The air has been contaminated with lager number of intoxicants that pose problems not only to the environment but also to the health of people.
The theme is chosen by China, the hosts of this year environment day. The theme has been chosen by them to call on action to combat this global crisis. This year’s topic invites everyone worldwide to consider how we can change our everyday lives to reduce the amount of air pollution we produce, and thwart its contribution to global warming and its effects on our own health. Air Pollution is something that can’t be assured to be seen with naked eye but is largely present in the air. According to World Health Organization, 9 out of 10 people worldwide are exposed to levels of air pollutants that exceed safe levels set by WHO. The urgent need of the hour is to recognize what’s counting on air pollution and then immediately taking on considerable steps that can help combating the issue.
- The biggest cause of air pollution is Household air pollution. The large amount of air pollution occurs due to the indoor burning of fossil fuels, woods and other biomass based fuels which are used for cooking, source lighting the home and other household works. The stats for air pollution are worse in developing countries as they see no major policy for combating the issue. Around 3.8million premature deaths occur due to indoor air pollution every year.
- Another big contributor to this suffocated air is the pollutants coming from the Industries. Energy production is a leading source for air pollution. There are plants run on coal burning which are the main reasons behind alarming rise of pollutants in the air. Another thing which is contributing largely in recent times is diesel run generators. They pollute the air to larger extents and make it suffocating.
- Transport - The global transport sector accounts for almost a part of quarter of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions which are rising with the passage of time. Transport emissions have been linked to nearly 400,000 premature deaths. These numbers are haunting because at a glance it doesn’t seem that transport in itself will contribute to such large number of deaths from its polluting emissions.
- According to UN facts: Agriculture is another main reason that contributes to air pollution largely. There are two major sources of air pollution from agriculture: livestock, which produces methane and ammonia, and the burning of agricultural waste. Around 24 percent of all greenhouse gases emitted worldwide come agriculture, forestry and other land-use. In India itself, the vision outside becomes almost negligible around the area of Punjab and Haryana when harvesting is done and hay is burnt.
- Open dumping of wastes is another big reason for the large air pollutants springing in air. The open waste is often burnt which leads to the release of harmful dioxins, furans, methane and black carbon into the atmosphere. These are so poisonous gases that when mixed with air they make the whole air polluted which then leads to respiratory problems in humans as well as animals. Globally, an estimated 40 percent of waste is openly burned.
- Other sources - Volcanic eruptions, dust storms and other natural processes also cause problems. The dust and sand storms from dessert areas are particularly concerning. They make the environment very dusty and hazy that leads to large polluting content in the environment.
Often, air pollution is neglected as it is no always seen too clearly. However, we become vigilant only when the air looks too dirty, polluted, blackish and inappropriate for breathing. Before it becomes too late, it’s important for every human to realize what is the importance of air in our lives and how we can save it. We need to take small steps in order to bring a large step change in the environment. Car pool, riding bicycle for short distances, not burning waste outside, controlling the use of burning fuels at homes, using smoke filters in industries can be some ways out where we can contribute our bit to bring up a large change for making the earth better and greener.