Sunday, March 9, 2014

Classification of Air pollution

Hi Dear,

This post is for the Civil Engineers studying Environmental Engineering.


Air pollution is defined as "presence in outdoor atmosphere of one or more contaminants, such as dust, fumes, gas, mist, odor, smoke or vapor in quantities, of characteristics, of duration such as injurious to human, plant or animal life or to property.

Air pollution exists in three different categories:

  1. Personal Air Pollution: This refers to the exposure of an individual to dust, fumes and gases. e.g. person indulges in cigarette, cigar or pipe smoking.
  2. Occupation Air Pollution: This represents the type of exposure of individuals to potentially harmful concentration of aerosols, vapors and gases in their working environment.
  3. Community Air Pollution: This represents most complex of the three varieties since it involves pollution from a variety of sources and contaminant and factors which cause adverse social, economic and health effects. Not only does community air pollution affect many individuals, but it can also exert a significant impact on man's total environment including plants, animals, property and the weather itself.
There are two main sources of air pollution:
  • Natural air pollution sources:
here is the list of natural air pollutants:
  1. Wind-blown dust
  2. Smoke, fly-ash, gases from forest fires.
  3. Micro-organisms
  4. Gases and odors from swamps and marshes
  5. Fog
  6. Volcanic ash and gases
  • Man made air pollution sources:
There are various man made sources/processes which produces dust such as, combustion of fuel at home oven, power plants, or in motor vehicles or from the burning of the refuse. Then dust is produced in various manufacturing processes such as in metallurgical plant. 

Similarly in chemical plants, in various agricultural activities such as crop spraying, field burning, and in nuclear energy activities such as ore preparation, nuclear fission and nuclear device testing etc. dust/gases in produced.