Click on image for full size
Air Pollution Sources
Air pollution comes from many sources. Some natural sources affect air quality. Volcanoes produce sulfur, chlorine, and ash. Wildfires make smoke and carbon monoxide. Cattle and other animals release methane as part of their digestive process. Even pine trees make volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
People make many types of air pollution. Factories, power plants and cars make nitrogen oxides, VOCs, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and particulates. In most megacities, such as Mexico City and Los Angeles, cars are the biggest source of air pollution. Even farmers burning their crop waste make carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and particulates.
One important thing to remember about air pollution is that it doesn’t say in one place. Winds and weather play an important part in moving pollution around. Pollution can move all around the world, changing everything it touches.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist
, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store
You might also be interested in:
Have you ever played with Mega Bloks ©? They are big, chunky blocks! Or have you seen the megahit movie, Finding Nemo? Megahit means it was a really popular movie! When you put mega in front of a word...more
The air is shared by everyone and everything on Earth. Living things breathe it and depend upon on it for life. When pollution is added to it, we can’t stop breathing or escape from it. After all, air...more
Have you ever heard of air pollution? Air pollution is not new. 700 years ago, when people started burning large amounts of coal 700 years ago in London, England, they complained about the dust and soot...more
Volatile Organic Compounds are also called VOCs. They contain carbon and are a gas at room temperature.. There are many types of VOCs. Hydrocarbons have both hydrogen and carbon atoms. Oxygenates contain...more
Have you ever heard of acid rain? Acid rain is what happens when some types of air pollution is washed out of the sky by rain. Sometimes, the pollution can be washed out by snow, sleet, hail, mist or fog,...more
When you think of chemistry, do you think about mixing colored liquids in test tubes and maybe making an explosion... or at least a nice puff of smoke? Did you know that a lot of chemistry happens in Earth's...more
Carbon monoxide is kind of gas. It is poisonous. A molecule of carbon monoxide (CO) has one carbon atom and one oxygen atom. Earth's atmosphere has a small amount of carbon monoxide in it. The carbon monoxide...more