Atmospheric pollution, or air pollution, is the introduction of harmful particulates, biological molecules or chemical molecules into the Earth’s atmosphere. Air pollution can lead to disease and death in humans. It can also damage other living organisms such as plants and animals by affecting the air quality and oxygen content of the air.
Outdoor air pollution is a large consequence of the industrial age. The majority of air pollution comes from the combustion of fuels for transport, power and other industrial activities. Combustion processes produce a wide variety of air pollutants that become stuck in the atmosphere and can damage the ozone layer of the Earth.
The ozone layer is an atmospheric layer of the Earth that is being depleted due to air pollution. As many particulates and biological molecules enter the atmosphere, they undergo chemical and physical changes. These changes cause certain biological molecules to transform into ozone and sulfate particles. Over time, buildup of these particles can cause holes to form in the ozone layer. Holes in the ozone layer cause the Earth to warm through global warming. This affects climate, air quality, water quality and Earth’s ability to sustain life. To slow global warming and clean the air, many countries around the world have taken action to cut emissions from combustible fuels.