- Composition of air
- Consequences of changing air composition
- Sources of pollution
- Smog great and terrible
- Russian law on air protection
- The dirtiest cities in Russia
- Protecting cities from air pollution
- International cooperation
Protection of air from pollution has become one of the priorities of society today. After all, if a person can live without water for several days, without food - for several weeks, then without air one cannot do even a few minutes. After all, breathing is a continuous process.
We live at the bottom of the fifth, airy, ocean of the planet, as the atmosphere is often called. Without it, life on Earth could not have arisen.
Composition of air
The composition of atmospheric air has been constant since the dawn of mankind. We know that 78% of air is nitrogen, 21% is oxygen. The content of argon and carbon dioxide in the air together is about 1%. And all the other gases add up to give us a seemingly insignificant figure of 0.0004%.
What about other gases? There are many of them: methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, helium, hydrogen sulfide and others. As long as their number in the air does not change, everything is fine. But with an increase in the concentration of any of them, air pollution occurs. And these gases literally poison our lives.
If peoplewant to maintain their he alth, keeping the air free from pollution is vital.
Consequences of changing air composition
Air pollution is also dangerous because people have a variety of allergic reactions. According to doctors, allergies are most often caused by the fact that the human immune system cannot recognize synthetic chemicals created not by nature, but by man. Therefore, the protection of air purity plays an important role in the prevention of human allergic diseases.
Every year there are a huge number of new chemicals. They change the composition of the atmosphere in large cities, where the number of people suffering from respiratory diseases is growing as a result. No one is surprised that a poisonous cloud of smog hangs almost constantly over industrial centers.
But even the ice-covered and absolutely uninhabited Antarctica has not remained aloof from the pollution process. And no wonder, because the atmosphere is the most mobile of all the shells of the Earth. And neither borders between states, nor mountain systems, nor oceans can stop the movement of air.
Sources of pollution
Thermal power plants, metallurgical and chemical plants are the main air pollutants. The smoke from the chimneys of such enterprises is carried by the wind over great distances, leading to the spread of harmful substances for tens of kilometers from the source.
Large cities are characterized by traffic jams in which thousands ofmachines with running engines. Exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, products of incomplete combustion of fuel and suspended particles. Each of them is dangerous to he alth in its own way.
Carbon monoxide interferes with the supply of oxygen to the body, causing exacerbation of diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Solid particles penetrate the lungs and settle in them, causing asthma, allergic diseases. Hydrocarbons and nitric oxide are a source of ozone depletion and cause photochemical smog in cities.
Smog great and terrible
The first serious signal that the need to protect the air from pollution was the "great smog" in 1952 in London. As a result of stagnation over the city of fog and sulfur dioxide formed during the combustion of coal in fireplaces, thermal power plants and boiler houses, the capital of Great Britain was suffocated for three days from lack of oxygen.
About 4 thousand people became victims of smog, and another 100 thousand received exacerbations of diseases of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. And for the first time, there was massive talk about the need for air protection in the city.
The result was the adoption of the Clean Air Act in 1956, which banned the burning of coal. Since then, in most countries, the protection of air from pollution has been enshrined in legislation.
Russian law on air protection
In Russia, the main regulatory legal act in this area is the Federal Law "On the Protection of Atmospheric Air".
They set air quality standards (hygienic and sanitary) and emission standards. The law requires state registration of pollutants and hazardous substances and the need for a special permit for their release. The production and use of fuel is possible only with certification of fuel for atmospheric safety.
If the degree of danger to humans and nature is not established, the release of such substances into the atmosphere is prohibited. It is prohibited to operate economic facilities that do not have an installation for the purification of emitted gases and control systems. Vehicles with excessive concentrations of hazardous substances in emissions are prohibited from use.
The Air Protection Act also establishes the responsibilities of citizens and businesses. For the emission of harmful substances into the atmosphere in volumes exceeding the existing standards, they bear legal and financial responsibility. At the same time, the payment of imposed fines does not relieve from the obligation to install gaseous waste treatment systems.
The dirtiest cities in Russia
Air protection measures are especially important for those settlements that top the list of Russian cities with the most acute environmental situation, including air pollution. These are Azov, Achinsk, Barnaul, Beloyarsky, Blagoveshchensk, Bratsk, Volgograd, Volzhsky, Dzerzhinsk, Yekaterinburg, Winter, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Kurgan, Kyzyl, Lesosibirsk, Magnitogorsk, Minusinsk, Moscow, Naberezhnye Chelny, Neryungri, Nizhnekamsk, NizhnyTagil, Novokuznetsk, Novocherkassk, Norilsk, Rostov-on-Don, Selenginsk, Solikamsk, Stavropol, Sterlitamak, Tver, Ussuriysk, Chernogorsk, Chita, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
Protecting cities from air pollution
Protection of the air in the city should begin with the elimination of traffic jams, especially during peak hours. Therefore, traffic interchanges are being built to avoid standing at traffic lights, one-way traffic is introduced on parallel streets, etc. To limit the number of vehicles, bypass roads are being built past cities. In many major cities around the world, there are days when only public transport is allowed in central areas, and it is better to leave a personal car in a garage.
In European countries, such as Holland, Denmark, Lithuania, the best type of urban transport locals consider a bicycle. It is economical, does not require fuel, does not pollute the air. Yes, and traffic jams are not afraid of him. And the benefits of cycling are an added bonus.
But air quality in cities depends on more than just transportation. Industrial enterprises are equipped with air purification systems, pollution levels are constantly monitored. They try to make factory chimneys higher so that the smoke does not dissipate in the city itself, but is carried away beyond its borders. This does not solve the problem as a whole, but it reduces the concentration of hazardous substances in the atmosphere. For the same purpose, the construction of new "dirty" enterprises in large cities is prohibited.
This can be considered half measures. BUTthe real measure is the introduction of waste-free technologies, in which there is simply no place for waste to occur.
Many people remember the summer of 2010, when many cities in Central Russia were captured by smog from burning peat bogs. Residents of some settlements had to be evacuated not only due to the danger of fires, but also because of the strong smoke in the area. Therefore, air protection measures should include the prevention and fight against forest and peat fires as natural air pollutants.
Protection of air from pollution is not only a matter of Russia or any other separate country. After all, as already mentioned, the movement of air does not recognize state borders. Therefore, international cooperation is vital.
The main coordinator of actions of various countries on environmental policy is the United Nations. The UN General Assembly determines the main directions of environmental policy, the principles of relations between countries for the protection of nature. It holds international conferences on the most acute problems of the environment, develops recommendations for the protection of nature, including air protection measures. This helps to develop cooperation among many countries of the world to protect the environment.
It was the UN that initiated the signed multilateral treaties on the protection of atmospheric air, the protection of the ozone layer and many other documents on the environmental well-being of countriespeace. After all, now everyone understands that we have one Earth for all, and the atmosphere is also the same.