Environmental Chemistry

What is air and it’s importance?

What is air pollution?

Air :

air characteristics

What is air?

Definition :

The  air  is a key element, formed by a combination of gases, water vapor and particulate matter. It is therefore a vital substance for the maintenance of life on earth, together with water and soil.

In addition, air is essential for the climate, the distribution of rain and the dispersion of seeds that favor agricultural production.

On the other hand, it favors the development of various diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and microorganisms, which are carried by air currents.

features of air :

  • Although it has weight and occupies space in the atmosphere, the air is a set of substances that have no color, smell, taste and that we cannot see or touch.
  • The main elements that make up the air are essentially  nitrogen  (78%) and  oxygen  (21%) and in small quantities  argon (0.94%),  carbon dioxide  (0.03%),  neon  (0.0015%) .
  • The air contains dust particles .
  • Its boiling point depends on its composition.
  • The properties of many substances are altered at the temperature of the liquid air (about -190 ° C).
  • They are compressible , that is, they can be compressed.
  • It does not have a defined volume but adapts the shape of the container where it is housed.
  • It puts pressure on the objects.
  • Its properties change depending on the height. Higher height, lower density and temperature but higher atmospheric pressure.
  • It has low density .

Importance of Air for Living Beings

When we breathe, the air in the atmosphere enters our body being filtered through the nostrils until it reaches the lungs, which will be used in energy production.

The breathing mechanism is performed as follows: we breathe oxygen (O2) and release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, which will be absorbed by plants and other autotrophic beings in the process called photosynthesis.

Thus, plants, important in this process, will release oxygen, extremely necessary for other living things. It is important to note that the sounds emitted by the vocal cords can only be produced by the existence of air.

Many experts claim that the act of “knowing how to breathe” can free us from various diseases. In this sense, it is worth noting that in many parts of the world, especially in large cities, the air has become contaminated, which has generated many respiratory and neurological diseases.

Air pollution

The  air pollution  or air pollution is a recurring theme today, since the growth of cities and population growth has significantly changed the quality of the air we breathe.

In addition to the  expansion of industries  and the rise of automobiles, many other factors affect air quality, for example, the reduction of green spaces, since plants are important in the process of the oxygen cycle,  burning, use of insecticides, agrochemicals in agriculture , among others.

When the air quality is affected, the ecosystem and the surrounding factors (climate, soil, water) are also altered, thus causing various phenomena, such as the greenhouse effect, acid rain, thermal inversion and destruction of the ozone layer.

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