Nikaalo Prelims Spotlight || Pollutants, Important Keywords in Environment

Dear Aspirants,

This Spotlight is a part of our Mission Nikaalo Prelims-2023.

You can check the broad timetable of Nikaalo Prelims here

Session Details

YouTube LIVE with Parth sir – 1 PM  – Prelims Spotlight Session

Evening 04 PM  – Daily Mini Tests

Telegram LIVE with Sukanya ma’am – 06 PM  – Current Affairs Session

Join our Official telegram channel for Study material and Daily Sessions Here

23rd Mar 2023

Pollutants, Important keywords in Environment

What are Air Pollutants?

Pollutants are the substances which cause pollution; air pollution is caused by air pollutants.

Types of Air Pollutants

Primary Pollutants Secondary Pollutants
The pollutants that directly cause air pollution are known as primary pollutants.  The pollutants formed by the intermingling and reaction of primary pollutants are known as secondary pollutants.

Classification of Pollutants

Particulate Pollutants  Gaseous Pollutants
  1. Lead
  2. Fly Ash
  3. Metallic Oxides
  4. Nanoparticles
  1. Carbon monoxide (CO)
  2. Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  3. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  4. Ozone (O3)
  5. Nitrogen oxide (NOx)
  6. Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Benzene
  • Ethylene
  • Biological pollutants
  • Asbestos
  • Radon

Particulate Pollutants

The particles that pollute the air by being suspended can be defined as particulate pollutants.

These particles are results of some anthropogenic processes like vehicles, industries, construction sites/activities, etc. or natural sources like pollen, volcanic eruptions, natural gaseous precursors, etc.

  • Their size ranges from 0.001 to 500 micrometers (µm) in diameter.
Heavy Particulate Matter Suspended Particulate Matter Nanoparticulate Matter
  • More than 10 µm
  • Less than 10 µm
  • Less than 0.02 µm
  • Settles down after a point
  • Floats and moves freely with air currents
  • Very light and harmful
  • Form aerosols

Gaseous Pollutants

Gaseous Pollutants Description Impacts
Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Highly toxic.
  • Produced from internal combustion engines due to incomplete combustion.
  • Other sources are volcanoes, forest fires, etc.
  • Greenhouse gas.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Produces carboxyhemoglobin reducing the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Heavier than air.
  • Source are volcanoes, fire, etc.
  • Greenhouse gas.
  • CO2 is an asphyxiant gas (asphyxia: a condition arising when the body is deprived of oxygen, causing unconsciousness or death.).
  • Has other harmful effects if a high concentration of CO2 is inhaled like dizziness, headache, etc.
  • Carbonic rain in high polluted areas.
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Used in refrigerators, air conditioners, aerosols, etc.
  • Highly destructive to the Ozone layer.
Ozone (O3)
  • Very useful in the Stratosphere but harmful at the ground layer.
  • It’s produced due to industries and vehicles.
  • Greenhouse gas.
  • Has toxic effects.
  • Causes watery and itchy eyes.
Nitrogen oxide (NOx)
  • Various oxides of Nitrogen come under NOX.
  • Caused due to the reaction between oxygen and nitrogen at high temps such as in combustion engines and industries.
  • Aggravates Ashtamatic conditions and other respiratory issues in humans.
  • Plays a major role in the formation of SMOG, acid rain (nitric acid), and the greenhouse effect.
Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
  • Pungent smelling colorless gas produced from mostly volcanic activities, industrial processes, and production of sulphuric acid.
  • Respiratory issues, premature deaths, and death of certain nerves when inhaled.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a large group of carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature.
  • Irritations in eyes, skin, nose, and throat.
  • Long-term exposure can cause serious damage to the liver and other organs.
  • Found in petrochemicals and used as a fuel additive
  • Increases cancer risk and a major cause of bone marrow failure.
  • Used in plastic and chemical industries in the production of Polyethylene and other polymers.
  • Excess exposure can cause headaches and dizziness.
  • Ethylene oxide is a carcinogen.
  • Occurs naturally as a fibrous mineral.
  • Prolonged exposure and inhalation can be very harmful and can cause fatal illness.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch