Air pollution is the presence of abnormal concentration and abnormal constituents in air. We know that Fresh air is needed for a healthy life.
In the 4th century before Christ, Emperor Ashoka issued edicts engraved in stones, ordering the protection of human health and the life of animals and plants. The fight against pollution has been on since time immemorial. But the magnitude of the problem was less alarming in the earlier days and so the solutions were also less sophisticated. The world today has reached a point where we cannot put the clock back or resign ourselves to a simplistic natural state. Technology is. here to stay. Industrialisation is a part of the struggle being waged by man to make the world a better place for him to live in. Keeping in mind the maxim, environment with development we may proceed to seek the defences against pollution.
In order to minimise the effects of industrial pollution, four distinct procedures arc to be put into effect. The thrust of the anti-pollution campaign should be to force the industries to adopt modern scientific techniques to bring down to the minimum the toxicity of industrial wastes. For this purpose legal compulsions coupled with restrictions are to be resorted to. A national service backed by legislative Acts for monitoring pollution levels in various ecospheres has already started functioning with success in some of the developed nations. A third measure would be to entrap the hazardous discharges or the smoke from the factories and neutralise them by catalytic filters and absorbers, If viable, accessory plants may also be set up to convert the toxic by-products into substances of utility value. Finally, proper safety measures are to be ensured. If the management fails to do so, statutory provisions may be invoked to compel them to fall in line.
Solutions to the problem of air pollution are also offered in the forms of afforestation and mass realisation of the menace of the multi-faceted problem of air pollution. Nature has provided us with a solution to the problem of oxygen deficiency in the atmosphere in the process of photosynthesis of plants. Hence planting of trees is one sure and simple remedy to air pollution. But the remedy is to become a movement for a definite and widespread impact.
After air, soil and water are the two major affected areas of the biosphere. Mining and quarrying for minerals, felling of trees for timber arid fuel wood, clearing of forest areas for agriculture degrade the soil. But then, these activities are essential for progress and development. Area management is the solution in this case While trees are being axed down in one part, a regular force should be working for afforestation in another corner. Another common cause of soil degradation is ill-managed irrigation which often results in severe salinity and water-logging. Overdose of pesticides is becoming another menace in agricultural sector. The affected areas have little chance of revival. But a defence against this terror lies in the timely interference of scientists. Proper outlets and avoidance of haphazard town planning will provide a relief from water- logging.
It is, thus, obvious that the various aspects of pollution are interlinked and tackling of one will consequently lead to an improved condition of the other. Protection of the environment still remains by and large a little understood subject. Most people are not aware of the fact that it is not mere protection of a few animal or plant species, or planting of trees, or the concern over big polluting industries, or the simple cleaning up of the environment that constitutes environmental protection.
It is a combination of all these. The knowledge of environment and environmental pollution can no more be the subject of specialists only. Time has come for the introduction of environmental study as a regular subject in schools. The school project work of students should include at least one programme to fight the evil effects of pollution.