Air quality is the state of the air present in an area. Good quality air constitutes of clean, unpolluted, and odorless air. Such air is useful in maintaining life and balance on the earth. It is useful for respiration among the living things. On the other hand, poor quality air is the air that has odor, polluted, and unclear. Such factors pose a risk to the life of plants and animals on the earth. Air quality comprises of ambient and indoor air depending on the location where it is found.
a) Ambient Air Quality
This is the air that is found in the outside environment. This air is not conveyed in rooms or containers. The ambient air quality is usually measured near the ground level. At the same time, it is measured in a distance far from sources of pollution. The ambient air quality is free from destruction and interference by pollutants. The air is free from manipulation as a result of human activities such as: manufacturing, driving, and fires.
b) Indoor Air Quality
This is the type of air which is enclosed in different spaces such as: homes, hospitals, industries, schools, or workplaces. This air is under the risk of pollution by different sources of pollution. In these institutions, different activities including motor driving, firewood combustion and emission from industries can cause air destruction.
Also, tobacco smoking, chemicals disposal, and food and waste rotting can emit strange and unpleasant air. This air sticks in the environment causing pollution of the fresh air that previously occupied an area. However, in-door air quality is essential in preventing disease conditions such as asthma, allergies, and meningitis.
What are the Factors Affecting Air Quality?
1. Topography of Land
Steep slopes in mountains and valleys have a significant impact on the quality of air. They prevent free movement of air in an area. At the same time, they prevent wind movement which has a high potential of carrying air from one place to another.
Weather has an effect on the quality of air in a place. Winds, temperature, rainfall, and cloud cover influences the air quality. Wind increases the speed with which air moves from a place to another. Thus, wind can cause pollution as well as cleansing of air in an area. High temperature and cloud cover are usually associated with poor quality. Rainfall cools and humidifies the air. Humidity rate in the air should be regularly checked as it has a significant impact on its quality.
3. Physical and Chemical Properties of Pollutants
Activities such as manufacturing, home activities, and road transport are associated with emission of pollutants into the environment. The physical and chemical properties in these pollutants dictate the air quality in an area, for example, presence of carbon di-oxide, sulphur, dust, and pollen grains.
How can you improve the Quality of Air?
1. Use of Air Conditioners
Air conditioners improve the movement of air in a place. They are designed to eliminate humidity, bad odors, and cold. They also increase air temperature and humidity level in a room.
2. Living in Spacious and Ventilated Rooms
This increases the potential of air to move in and out of an area. Thus, poor air quality is regularly substituted with good air quality.
3. Control of Pollution
This is done through prevention of emissions from factories, homes, institutions, and roads. It keeps the air in good quality at all times.
It is essential to determine the quality of air in places where we live or work. This will help us to understand the factors which are responsible for the air quality in an area. Also, it will help us to devise means to influence or control these factors so as to improve air quality.