They are caused by many sources and not only prove a problem in the immediate vicinity but can travel long distances.
One of the most visible effects of air pollution is smog. A fog-like smoke can cover many cities, and is seen as a discoloured haze that obscures the view of skylines. It mainly comes from car exhausts and other emissions from surrounding industries. This effects not only the people who breathe it but also all systems that rely on circulating air.
Chemical reactions involving air pollutants can create acidic compounds which can cause harm to vegetation and buildings. Acid rain is caused when chemicals from pollutants enter the atmosphere and become bound to rain droplets, the water then changes and becomes acidic, When acid rain falls to earth, aside from polluting the water, fish and other aquatic life, it can kill a forest and harm animals and other wildlife by raising the acidity of the soil.
It can also affect man-made constructions, especially those made of stone. For example monuments and building structures are eaten away by the acid.
Air pollution causes numerous health consequences. A person’s lungs can become coated with the particulate matter in the pollution. This can lead to any number of respiratory problems, depending on the levels of exposure and the level of effect usually depends on the length of time of exposure. At the very minimum, people who suffer from asthma or respiratory issues may have more difficulty. Long term exposure can lead to health concerns similar to long term smoking, such as cancer and emphysema. Please click HERE to find out more information on Health Effects.
Please click HERE for a detailed table of the pollutants, sources and their effects on the Defra website.