Meaning, Causes, Effects and Control of Air Pollution


In this post, we shall look into the concept of air pollution, its meaning, causes, effects, and control measures. At the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • define air pollution;
  • identify the types of pollution;
  • examine the causes of air pollution;
  • list the effects of air pollution; and
  • enumerate the control measures of air pollution.

Meaning of Air Pollution

Pollution is the undesirable contamination of the natural environment with harmful substances as a consequence of human activities. 


It is a state whereby waste matter contaminates the water, air or soil. 

Image Credit: Chris LeBoutillier on Unsplash.

There are different types of pollution. They are:

  1. Soil pollution
  2. Water pollution
  3. Air pollution
  4. Noise pollution


Air pollution is the contamination of the atmosphere with noxious gases such as fumes, smoke, dust particles, nuclear waste and so on. 

Causes of Air Pollution

There are numerous reasons for air pollution. Listed below are some of the many causes of air pollution:

  1. Air pollution can be caused by industrial waste from industrial processes such as sulphuric acid, mist from coal mining and cement factories.
  2. Air pollution can also be caused by the emission of smoke into the atmosphere.
  3. Volcanic eruptions can also cause air pollution.
  4. Fumes from exhaust pipes from vehicles can also result into the pollution of the air.
  5. Dust storms from the desert can also pollute the air.
  6. Poor refuse disposal system may result in the pollution of the air.
  7. Fumes from explosion of bombs and other dangerous weapons can cause air pollution.

Effects of Air Pollution

The effects of air pollution are:

  1. It brings about variation in climate.
  2. It is instrumental in the increase and decrease of the temperature.
  3. Air pollution destroys the Ozone layer.
  4. It has health hazards like lung disease and skin cancer on human beings.
  5. It causes smog.
  6. It affects plant growth and aquatic life.
  7. Air pollution may also bring poor visibility in humans.
  8. Air pollution effects acidic rain.
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Control Measures for Air Pollution

Ways of controlling air pollution include:

  1. Provisions should be made for the making and enforcement of laws that ensure the minimal pollution of the air.
  2. People should be educated on effective waste disposal.
  3. Relevant bodies should ensure the proper monitoring of air pollution.
  4. Technological improvements especially in the area of waste cycling will go a long way in ensuring air pollution is put in check.
  5. There is also the need for the synergy between international bodies and countries for effective deliberations on how best to control air pollution.


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