Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Health Impacts

 

   

Pollutants

Effects

Sulphur Dioxide  (SO2)

Breathing rate increase while breathing itself becomes Less deep and a general feeling of air starvation is experienced-some even show signs of Bronchial spasms and asthmatics are badly affected. Any SO2 which oxidizes to SO3 may dissolve in body fluids to from H2SO4, a very strong and corrosive acid.

Carbon monoxide  (CO)

CO combines with the haemoglobin in the blood to from carboxy haemoglobin and when about half of the hemoglobin of the blood is used up, death ensues as the carboxy haemoglobin is useless for respiratory purposes. Persons poisoned by carbon monoxide exhibit a characteristic bright pink colour of the flesh due to the presence of carboxy haemoglobin in the blood.

Oxides of nitrogen  (NO2)

Prolonged exposure of human beings to even low concentrations of oxides of nitrogen, can cause a chronic irritation of the respiratory tract, headache, loss of appetite and corrosion of teeth, Nitric oxide reacts with air to form brown nitrogen dioxide which is very poisonous.

Ozone (O3)

In high concentrations, ozone exhibits a noticeable blue colour and an odour not unlike chlorine. It is poisonous in comparatively low concentrations and can cause irritation and a total ozone concentration of 26 g/m3 may lead to asthma attacks.

 

Source: Environmental Management by G.N. Pandey

 

EFFECTS OF NON-BIOLOGICAL AIR POLLUTANTS ON MAN

 

Pollutant

Source

Effects

Aldehyde (formaldehyde and acrolein)

Autoexhaust, waste incineration, fuel combustion, photo-chemical reactions

Odours irritant to eye, skin and respiratory system

Ammonia

Chemical industries, coke ovens, refineries, stocks yards and fuel incieneration

Corrosive to mucous membranes, damaging to eyes and respiratory tract.

Arsenic

Metal smelter, arsenical pesticides and herbicides

If inhaled, ingested or absorbed through skin, it causes dermatibis, mild bronchitis and nasal irritation, suspected carcinogen.

Asbestos

Asbestors factory or mine construction sites

Pulmonary fibrosis, pleural calcification, lung cancer.

Barium

Industries, mining, refining, barium based chemicals, smoke suppressant, additives in diesel fuels

Affects heart muscles, gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system and respiratory tract.

Beryllium

Industry usage, production of fluorescent lamps, motor fuels

Pulmonary damage and damage to skin membranes from handling and mucous soluble salts of beryllium.

Boron

Industry producing boron, petroleum fuel, or additives, present in coal

Toxic through ingestion of inhalation, as dust causes irritation and inflammation; boron hydrides can cause damage to central nervous system which may result in death.

Cadmium

Metal industries engaged in extraction, refining, machining, electroplating and welding materials. Byproduct of refining lead, zinc and copper. Pesticides, fertilizer, cadmium, nickel batteries, reactor poison in nuclear fission plants, used in production of tetraethyl lead gasoline.

Chronic and acute poisoning. Inhalation of fumes and vapours, causes damage to kidney, emphysema, bronchitis, cancer, gastric and intestinal disorders, diseases of heart, liver and brain.

Chlorine

Process industries using chlorine, accidental breakage during storage and transportation.

Irritates eye, nose and throat. Large doses damage lungs, producing edema, pneumonitis, emphysema and bronchitis.

Chromium

Metallurgical and chemical industries, products employing chromate compounds, cement, asbestos.

Irritative, corrosive and toxic to body tissues. Believed to cause carcinogenic action. Develops dermatitis and ulcers of the skin and perforation of nasal septum.

Ethylene

Motor vehicle emissions, chemical industries, incineration of agricultural wastes, emitted by growing plants.

Eye irritation as a result of photochemical reaction with nitrogen oxide and ozone.

 

Source: Environmental Management by G.N. Pandey

 

AIR POLLUTION CONTROL LAWS

 ·     Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

    ·    Environment (Protection) Act, 1986

    ·    Ambient Air Quality Standards 1986, revised periodically

    ·   The Motor Vehicle Act, 1938, amended in 1988

    ·    Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991

    ·    Environmental Audit Notification, 1992

    ·    Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 1994

 

  

POLLUTION TOLERANT PLANTS

 


Certain trees, shrubs and weeds can tolerate pollution some extent. A list of such pollution tolerant plants is given below:

 

 

Pollution Tolerant Plants

Trees

1.

Ber (Rhamnaceae)

Zizyphus mauritiana L

2.

Chatian (Apocynaceae)

A Schalarbris R.Br.

3.

Chatian (Apocynaceae)

Alstonia macrophyalla wall

4.

Jungle jalebi (paplionaceae)

Pithecolabium dule (Roxb)benth

5.

Maharuk (Simaroubaceae)

Ailanthus excelsa Roxb

6.

Neem (Miliaceae)

Axadirachita Indica A Juss

7.

Palas (Ulmaceae) ButaeMonasperma

Lam, Kunze

8.

Papri(Ulmaceae)

Integrifolia Planch

9.

Peepal (Moraceae)

Ficus religiosa

10.

Sham (mimosaceae)

Propsopis Juliflora Dc.

11.

Shisham (Papilionaccae)

Dalbergia Sissoo Roxb

12.

Tendu (Ebenacaceae Diosphyros)

Melanoxylon Roxb

Shrubs

 

 

13.

Behaya (Convolvulaceac)

Ipomoea Fistulosa Mart Ex Choisy

14.

Chandani (Apocynaceae)

Tebernacemontana cornaria R.Br.

Weeds

 

 

15.

Bhatkaiya (Solanceae)

Solanum xanthoarpum Schard & Wendl

16.

Litjira (Amaranthaceae)

Achyranthes asperia L.

17.

Shialkanta (Papaveraceae)

Argemone Mexicana