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How Air Pollution Destroys Our Health

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By Author: Optromix
Total Articles: 19
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As the world around us becomes more polluted and overpopulated, factories continue to emit air pollutants into the atmosphere and half of the people does not have access to clean fuels or technologies, the levels of air pollution we breathe are becoming more dangerous — currently, 9 out of every 10 people breathe particulate pollutants, which lead to 7 million deaths each year.
Air pollution has severe health consequences - one-third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer, and heart disease are caused by the absence of air pollution control and insufficient air treatment.
This is equivalent to exposure to tobacco smoke and much more serious than, for instance, the consequences of consuming excessive amounts of salt.
Air pollution is difficult to avoid no matter how rich the area you live in. Microscopic particulate pollutants can pass through the protective mechanisms of our body, penetrating deep into the respiratory and circulatory system and destroying the lungs, heart, and brain.
The absence of visible smog does not mean that there is healthy air around. All around the world, both cities and villages are exposed to toxic air pollutants that exceed the annual average recommended in the WHO air quality guidelines (the World Health Organization).
The true cost of climate change can be seen in our hospitals and felt by our lungs. The influence of dirty energy sources is so great that the transition to cleaner and more sustainable options for energy, transport and food systems will eventually pay off. When health concerns are taken into account, reducing the effects of climate change promises opportunities, not costs.
"Breathe Life", a global campaign for clean air led by the WHO, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, and the United Nations Environment Program, calls on communities to reduce the impact of polluted air in cities, regions, and countries, providing strict air pollution control, herewith, it currently reaches about 97 million people.
The WHO, the UN environment program and the "Breathe life" campaign of the Climate and clean air coalition have developed an online tool for measuring particulate pollutant levels to help people better understand how polluted the air is where they live.
The WHO and its partners have repeatedly held conferences on air pollution and human health in order to bring all of humanity together to meet key commitments to solve the problem. The conference attendants draw attention to this growing public health issue and provide information and tools for taking action on health risks associated with air pollution.
The Conference focuses on air treatment activities. There are available strategies for reducing emissions from energy generation, vehicle use, waste management, housing, and industrial activities. These air pollution control activities often provide other benefits, such as limiting traffic and reducing noise that contribute to improved health and well-being.
Better air quality provides benefits for all of us and everywhere. The conference calls for urgent action and agreement on a goal to reduce deaths caused by air pollution.
There are two types of pollution — outdoor air pollution and indoor pollution, which is associated with burning fuels (such as coal, firewood, or kerosene) over an open fire or in stoves in poorly ventilated areas. Both types of air pollution can aggravate each other, as air moves from rooms to the outside and vice versa.
Indoor air pollution kills 4 million people every year, mostly in Africa and Asia, where polluting fuels and technologies are used daily in homes for cooking, heating, and lighting. Women and children who spend more time indoors are most affected.
The main particulate pollutants are fine particles, i.e. a mixture of solid particles and small drops produced mainly in fuel combustion and traffic; nitrogen dioxide arising from traffic and use of gas stoves indoors; sulfur dioxide resulting from the burning of fossil fuels, and ozone at the earth's surface, formed by the reaction of sunlight with air pollutants emitted by motor vehicles. The greatest impact on people is caused by small particulate matters (often referred to as PM and used as a unit of measurement for air pollution).
Particulates with a diameter of 10 microns or less (≤ PM10) can penetrate and settle deep in the lungs, but even more dangerous to health are particles with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less (≤ PM2.5). These are the smallest particulates — 60 of these particles are equal to the thickness of a human hair.
PM2.5 can enter the lungs and circulatory system. They can increase the risk of heart and respiratory diseases, as well as lung cancer.
Polluted air has a devastating effect on children's health. Worldwide up to 14% of children aged 5-18 years suffer from asthma caused, among other things, by air pollution. Every year 543.000 children under the age of 5 die from respiratory diseases related to air pollution. Air pollution is also linked to childhood cancer. The influence of polluted air on pregnant women can lead to fetal brain development. Air pollution is also associated with cognitive impairment in both children and adults.
Ozone is one of the main causes of asthma (or its aggravation), and nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide can also lead to asthma, bronchial symptoms, pneumonia, and reduced lung function.
In addition to affecting our health, air pollutants cause long-term environmental damage, leading to climate change, which is also a significant threat to health and well-being.
The WHO and its partners, such as the United Nations Environment Program, are developing air treatment options for supporting countries. For example, the WHO is developing a set of methodologies (a set of methodologies for ensuring clean energy sources in households) to help countries implement the WHO's recommendations on household fuel combustion and develop strategies for increasing the use of clean energy sources at home.
The UN intergovernmental group of experts on climate change has warned that to limit the rate of global warming at 1.5°C, it is necessary to stop generating electricity by burning coal by 2050. Otherwise, we may see a major climate crisis in 20 years.
So how can we achieve air pollution control? For example, at present, the requirements of legislation and industry regulations on environmental protection have significantly increased. Each company that releases various particulate pollutants into the air pays for ambient air pollution if they do not exceed the established standards, in case of exceeding the standards, are subject to penalties up to the suspension of production.
Besides, it is possible to perform the air treatment of polluted air in industries. Gas air treatment devices, such as scrubbers are used for cleaning industrial gaseous waste.
A scrubber is an industrial unit used for air treatment of waste polluted air from various particulates. The scrubber is considered to be the most effective device for removing solid particles of any dispersed composition from gases. In addition to capturing dust, it can perform heat exchange and absorption processes.
A wet scrubber is a device designed for air treatment of gas from various impurities by washing the gas medium with a liquid (usually water).
The scrubber applications include:
● Engineering;
● Chemical industry;
● Ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy;
● Oil production and petrochemical industry;
● Coal industry;
● Powerhouses;
● Other areas of industry where there is a need to clean the gas from particulate pollutants.
The scrubber operating principle is based on the wet air treatment technique — the gas in the working chamber is mixed with water or other technical liquid, as a result, water droplets surround dust particulates or other contamination, after which the treated gas goes into the atmosphere, and the wastewater is drained from the working chamber. The wet air scrubber can treat the gas up to 99% due to this principle of operation.
Scrubber systems differ in the principle of operation - the size and performance of scrubbers depend on this.
Main types of scrubbers:
Centrifugal wet air scrubber;
Nozzle scrubber;
Hollow scrubber;
Venturi scrubber;
Packed bed scrubber (which, in its turn, is divided according to the principle of operation into foam and bubble).
Advantages of using scrubber systems for air treatment:
● The wet air scrubber allows you to quickly and effectively treat the environment from various particulates. The system demonstrates an uninterrupted operation for a long time.
● The design meets safety standards. The equipment can operate even at pressures above 0.07 MPa.
● The scrubber is multi-functional since it can be used not only for dry but also for wet air treatment. Small and large pollution, smoke, fumes, and dust are eliminated almost instantly.
● The wet scrubber reduces the flue gas temperature and steam condensation, which is especially important for large petrochemical plants.
● The design humidifies the air. Evaporation occurs smoothly, so temperature and pressure differences are not obvious.
● The wet air scrubber is a cost-effective device, as in the process of operation in the equipment are disposed of outgoing gases.
If you would like to make your contribution to improving air quality in order to provide air pollution control, you should choose a new type of wet scrubbers that is Multi-Vortex scrubber. Multi-Vortex wet air scrubber could apply water contaminated with dust, sand, and even small rocks to capture particulate pollutants, different types of dust and some gases from the air.
This type of scrubber is an ideal solution for ore and coal mining. Thus, it can be used in different mining, combustion and chemical processes to capture gases. Also, in some cases, the unique Multi-Vortex scrubber design allows utilizing cheaper reagents to capture the pollutant gas with more efficiency than a standard wet scrubber. If you would like to buy Multi-Vortex wet air scrubber or have some questions, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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