This is a strange question, as air pollution is typically considered negative. However, there may be some small advantages to air pollution:
1. Air pollution helps plants grow
Guess what our factories and cars put in the air? Nitrogen.Theoretically, putting more nitrogen in the air might actually cause plants to grow more.
2. Air pollution slows climate change
Some pollutants we put out heat up the Earth, like carbon dioxide. But pollutants like sulfur actually keep our planet cooler.
3. Air pollution keeps polluted cities cooler in the summer
The heat-shielding of pollution works at the level of the entire Earth, but it also works at the level of a city.
What Are the Disadvantages of Air Pollution?
Air pollution has many disadvantages and negative health affects on the human body. Learn more about the disadvantages of air pollution here.
Read more: are there any advantages to air pollution
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Long-term health effects from air pollution include heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases such as emphysema. Air pollution can also cause long-term damage to people’s nerves, brain, kidneys, liver, and other organs. Some scientists suspect air pollutants cause birth defects.
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Smog is a specific type of air pollution. It is a combination of harmful pollutants (often appearing relatively low to the ground as a yellow-brown haze) that are introduced into the atmosphere by both natural and human induced processes. It was first described over 5 decades ago as a mixture of smoke and fog, hence the name “smog”—but today it has a more specific definition and composition.
Smog is made up of many chemicals including nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), but the two main components of smog are particulate matter (PM) and ground-level ozone (O3).
Normal smog (often called London-type smog) is mainly a product of burning large amounts of high sulfur coal. Whereas photochemical smog is a more modern phenomena commonly produced by vehicle emissions in contact with sunlight—mostly from burning gasoline and diesel. Photochemical smog forms in warm, densely populated cities with many vehicles. Visit the page here to learn more about photochemical smog.
Smog forms when pollutants are released into the air. The pollutants are formed both naturally and by humans, however, the human-induced pollutants are of most concern due to the magnitude of pollutants produced by the burning and extraction of fossil fuels, which are known to cause extreme health effects. The location of smog formation is also of great concern, especially for human health, as a good portion of it is produced within cities where large portions of the population live.
One of the primary constituents, ozone, is created through chemical reactions between sunlight and certain pollutants. The other primary constituent, particulate matter, can also form through chemical reactions but is introduced to the atmosphere through other means as well. Wind may disperse these particles among land, thereby decreasing the amount within a given area. In addition, rainfall may wash these pollutants out of the local atmosphere, however, this can result in other unwanted events like acid rain. When smog encounters an inversion layer (caused by warm areas in the upper atmosphere) it can stay over a region for an extended period of time—exposing people to its effects for longer. Visit the inversion layer page to see how this phenomenon occurs.
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