passage given below and answer the questions that follow:
pollution is an issue which concerns us all alike. One can
willingly choose or reject a food, a drink or a life comfort, but
unfortunately there is little choice for the air we breathe. All,
what is there in the air is inhaled by one and all living in
pollutant is defined as a substance which is present while
normally it is not there or present in an amount exceeding the
normal concentrations. It could either be gaseous or a
particulate matter. The important and harmful polluting gases are
carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone and oxides of sulphur and
nitrogen. The common particulate pollutants are the dusts of
various inorganic or organic origins. Although we often talk of
the outdoor air pollutions caused by industrial and vehicular
exhausts, the indoor pollution may prove to be as or a more
important cause of health problems.
of air pollution is relatively recent. It is not uncommon to
experience a feeling of 'suffocation' in a closed environment. It
is often ascribed to the lack of oxygen. Fortunately, however,
the composition of air is remarkably constant all over the world.
There is about 79 per cent nitrogen and 21 per cent oxygen in the
air − the other gases forming a very small
fraction. It is true that carbon dioxide exhaled out of lungs may
accumulate in a closed and over-crowded place. But such an
increase is usually small and temporary unless the room is really
air-tight. Exposure to poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide
may occur in a closed room, heated by burning coal inside. This
may also prove to be fatal.
4. What is
more common in a poorly ventilated home is a vague constellation
of symptoms described as the sick-building syndrome. It is
characterized by a general feeling of malaise, head-ache,
dizziness and irritation of mucous membranes. It may also be
accompanied by nausea, itching, aches, pains and depression. Sick
building syndrome is getting commoner in big cities with the
small houses, which are generally over-furnished. Some of the
important pollutants whose indoor concentrations exceed those of
the outdoors include gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon
dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and organic substances like spores,
formaldehydes, hydrocarbon aerosols and allergens. The sources
are attributed to a variety of construction materials,
insulations, furnishings, adhesives, cosmetics, house dusts,
fungi and other indoor products.
of fuel combustion are important in houses with indoor kitchens.
It is not only the brining of dried dung and fuelwood which is
responsible, but also kerosene and liquid petroleum gas. Oxides
of both nitrogen and sulphur are released from their
6. Smoking of
tobacco in the closed environment is an important source of
indoor pollution. It may not be high quantitatively, but
significantly hazardous for health. It is because of the fact
that there are over 3000 chemical constituents in tobacco smoke,
which have been identified. These are harmful for human
Micro-organisms and allergens are of special significance in the
causation and spread of diseases. Most of the infective illnesses
may involve more persons of a family living in common indoor
environment. These include viral and bacterial diseases like
infections, allergic and hypersensitivity disorders are spreading
fast. Although asthma is the most common form of respiratory
allergic disorders, pneumonias are not uncommon, but more
persistent and serious. These are attributed to exposures to
allergens from various fungi, molds, hay and other organic
materials. Indoor air ventilation systems, coolers,
air-conditioners, dampness, decay, pet animals, production or
handling of the causative items are responsible for these
hypersensitivity − diseases.
the spectrum of pollution is very wide and our options are
limited. Indoor pollution may be handled relatively easily by an
individual. Moreover, the good work must start from
one”™s own house.
from the Tribune)
(a) (i) What
is an air pollutant? (1)
(ii) In what
forms are the air pollutants present? (2)
(iii) Why do
we feel suffocated in a closed environment?
(iv) What is
sick building syndrome? How is it increasing?
(v) How is
indoor smoking very hazardous? (1)
(vi) How can
one overcome the dangers of indoor air pollution?
(b) Find the
words from the above passage which mean the same as the
(a) (i) Air
pollutant is any substance which is usually not found in air or
which is present in an amount that exceeds its usual
concentration in air.
pollutants can occur either as gases or as particulate matter.
Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone and oxides of sulphur and
nitrogen are some of the important gaseous air pollutants. Dusts
of various organic and inorganic origins are the common
particulate air pollutants.
experience a feeling of suffocation in a closed environment
because of a lack of oxygen.
Sick-building syndrome is the vague constellation of symptoms
such as headache, dizziness, nausea and depression which one
experiences when one lives in a poorly ventilated home. It is on
the increase in big cities because of the growing number of
small, over-furnished homes.
indoors is significantly hazardous as tobacco smoke contains over
3000 chemicals that are harmful for human health.
dangers of indoor air pollution can be overcome by ensuring that
our homes are properly ventilated. We should also see to it that
our homes are free from sources of indoor pollution such as
tobacco smoke and dust.