Read the passage given below and answer the questions that
1. Air 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
2. Air 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.
3. Recognition 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
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.
5. By-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 combustion.
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 health.
7. 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
8. Besides 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.
9. Obviously, 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.
(Extracted 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 following: (3)
(i) giddiness (para 4)
(ii) constant (para 8)
(iii) humidity (para 8)
(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.
(ii) 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.
(iii) We experience a feeling of suffocation in a closed
environment because of a lack of oxygen.
(iv) 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.
(v) Smoking indoors is significantly hazardous as tobacco smoke
contains over 3000 chemicals that are harmful for human health.
(vi) The 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.
(b) (i) dizziness