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Air pollution: Preventive Measures for Outdoor and Indoor

Grade 6
Aug 7, 2023

Introduction to Air pollution:

Any substance that is present in the environment and can have harmful effects on human beings and others can be considered an air pollutant. Air pollutants can be particulate matter, gases, and droplets that exist in a liquid state.

The whole world is facing serious problems due to air pollution. It has adverse effects on human health, vegetation, and the atmosphere. Thus, it is necessary to control the levels of air pollutants released into the air to protect life on earth. The key to preventing air pollution is to adopt measures that do not pollute the air so much because we all are responsible for creating a healthy environment for living.

So, let us learn about some ways to prevent air pollution.


Being aware and changing our habits is the only way to reverse the negative actions we have adopted in our modern lifestyles. Even though authorities must take some initiative, individual habits can still make a big impact.

The following list will help us to improve the quality of our lives by addressing air pollution and learning about ways to reduce it.


Ways to Decrease Outdoor Air Pollution

1. Use the Public Mode of Transportation

Encourage people to use more and more public modes of transportation to reduce pollution. Also, try to make use of carpooling. If you and your colleagues come from the same locality and have the same timings, you can explore this option to save energy and money.

Burning fossil fuels is one of the most important causes of air pollution. If most people use public transport, then the number of vehicles on the road decreases, thereby decreasing the burning of fossil fuels. The less burning of fuels leads to less amount of greenhouse gases being emitted, which in turn reduces global warming.

2. Better Household Practices

Discard fireplaces or wood stoves used for heating homes.

Because burning firewood in wood stoves leads to incomplete combustion and releases very small particles (less than 2.5 micrometers).

These tiny particles are the most damaging to our respiratory tracts as they can easily get deep into our lungs and may even enter our bloodstream.


Use gas logs instead of wood. Also, reduce the use of gas-powered lawns and gardening equipment. Avoid setting fire to garbage, dry leaves, or other materials in your yard and lighting bonfires in the open. Try to compost your yard waste.

3. Save Energy and Use Energy Efficiently

Burning fossil fuels for energy releases strong pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, black carbon, and carbon dioxide. All of these substances have adverse impacts on human health and the environment.

Some effective approaches to lower your energy consumption are as follows:

  1. Increase your home’s energy efficiency: Switch off fans and lights when you are going out. A large number of fossil fuels are burnt to produce electricity. Use CFL lights as they consume less electricity than their counterparts. They live longer, consume less electricity, lead to lower electricity bills, and also help you to reduce pollution by consuming less energy.
  2. Minimize the use of air conditioners:  Use them in the summer only when needed. Air conditioners require much more power than fans do.
  3. Use appliances smartly: Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when full and, if possible, at night.

4. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Do not throw away items that are of no use to you. Instead, reuse them for some other purpose. For example, you can use old jars to store cereals or pulses.

For the new products, each phase of the manufacture of raw materials is accompanied by emissions of polluting substances like heavy metals, chemicals, and greenhouse gases.

Therefore, instead of buying new, we can use recycled products. As recycled products have already been extracted and processed once, manufacturing the same products the second time is much less energy-intensive and polluting.

5. Use Clean Energy Resources

Using clean energy(renewable) technologies like solar and wind is rising these days. Because they do not emit leftover gases during their production.

Benefits of using clean energy sources: 

  • Reducing fine particulate matter
  • Lesser emission of carbon
  • Cutting down to ozone production
  • Lessens the adverse environmental impacts
  • Protection to wildlife

In this way, we can curb air pollution a long way.

6. Eat Local and Organic Products

Agriculture is the main producer of gases like ammonia and other nitrogen-containing compounds like nitrous or nitric oxide. 

Livestock farming also produces high methane concentrations, a potent greenhouse gas, and non-methane volatile organic compounds.

These all are very harmful pollutants. These pollutants mix and form fine particles that easily damage our respiratory system, leading to chronic health problems.

Organic agriculture is not entirely emission-free, but the amounts of many pollutants are lower.

If possible, consider buying organically grown products over conventional ones and look for local products. This way, you cut down emissions from transportation and energy needed to get the food on your plate.

7. Plant More Trees

Trees around us help us to reduce air pollutants significantly. 

Besides removing particulate matter, trees also reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, monoxide, ozone, benzene, and dioxide.

Trees help to balance the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the air.

They also help to bring rain due to which other harmful gases are removed from the air.

The trees like ginkgo biloba, oak, and linden trees are the most efficient air cleaners.

Trees are not only natural air filters, but they also cool down summer temperatures by a few degrees.

Additionally, these temperatures are more comfortable for our well-being, making trees a great substitute for air conditioners.

8. Minimize Air Pollution from Vehicles

Road transportation is one of the biggest producers of nitrogen oxides. Oxides of nitrogen hurt health.

  1. Use internal combustion engines in vehicles for complete and efficient fuel burning and to reduce unburnt fuel and carbon monoxide.
  2. Do not use diesel cars. These cars emit more nitrogen oxides than petrol cars.
  3. Look into hybrid or all-electric cars or use CNG (compressed natural gas) as fuel in the vehicles.
  4. Keep your car well maintained and regularly replace air filters at recommended intervals.
  5. Unleaded petrol should be used in vehicles.
  6. The installation of catalytic converters has been recommended in vehicles to reduce air pollution.

9. By Installing Tall Chimneys with Filters in the Factories:

By installing tall chimneys in factories and power plants, the smoke coming out of them is filtered and released high up into the air, with more solid particles depositing on the filter inside the chimney walls.

Preventive Measures for Indoor Air Pollution

As we think of air pollution, we only think about outdoor air; however, indoor air is also responsible for air pollution. In fact, indoor air averages 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Because air circulation indoors is much lower than outdoors, which allows toxins from dust particles.

For example, one of the most common indoor pollutants is formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is found in furniture, insulation, textiles, wallpapers, glues, detergents, softeners, disinfectants, cosmetic products, and even electronics. Increased concentrations of formaldehyde cause irritations, asthma, and eczema.

Let us learn to use some preventative measures to improve the air quality in our homes and other places.

      1.Open Your Windows

Opening the windows at least once a day for three to five minutes can replace sluggish and polluted indoor air with fresh air from outside.

     2. Keep Air Purifying Indoor Plants

Several houseplants can metabolize air pollutants from indoor spaces and refresh the air by removing carbon dioxide and filling oxygen levels. 

Examples of houseplants for cleaning indoor air are:

  1. Peace Lilies
  2. Rubber Plants
  3. Elephant Ears
  4. Peace Lilies
  5. Bamboo Palms
  6. Weeping Figs

These plants can absorb harmful substances like formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, toluene, octane, and carbon monoxide.

3. Use Natural Products and Non-toxic Cleaners 

Most of the market’s detergents, air fresheners, paints, and cleaners contain toxic substances, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), that simply vaporize into indoor air.

To reduce your exposure to these chemicals, choose products that are made of natural substances.

  • Opt for (no-VOC or low-VOC) paints, finishes, paint strippers, and glues. Paint with a brush rather than spray.
  • Use green cleaning substances instead of conventional chemical-filled substances.
  • Instead of using chemical air fresheners, use natural essential oils, herbs, and flowers to make your home smell nice.

4. Do Not Smoke Indoors

Cigarette smoke contains up to 70 percent of substances and toxins that cause cancer and remain in the indoor air for a prolonged time.

Various health-deteriorating compounds in smoke are lead, arsenic, ammonia, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Passive exposure to cigarette smoke can also cause serious health problems for other family members and pets.


  • Air pollution has adverse effects on human health, vegetation, and the atmosphere.
  • Thus, it is necessary to control the levels of air pollutants released into the air to protect life on earth.
  • Ways to decrease outdoor air pollution are as follows:
    • Use the public mode of transportation
    • Better household practices
    • Save energy and use energy efficiently
    • Reduce, reuse, and recycle
    • Use clean energy resources
    • Eat local and organic products
    • Minimize air pollution from cars
  • Indoor air pollution:

Indoor air averages 2-5 times more pollution than outdoor air. One of the most common indoor pollutants is formaldehyde which is found anywhere.

  • Ways to decrease indoor air pollution are as follows:
    • Open your windows
    • Keep air-purifying indoor plants
    • Use natural products and non-toxic cleaners
Air Pollution


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