Our planet Earth is only a tiny part of the universe, but nowadays it's the only place where we can live.
People always polluted their surroundings. But until now pollution was not such a serious problem. People lived in rural areas and did not produce such amount of polluting agents that would cause a dangerous situation in global scale.
With the development of overcrowded industrial highly developed cities, which put huge amounts of pollutants into surrounds, the problem has become more and more dangerous. Today our planet is in serious danger. Acid rains, global warming, air and water pollution, and overpopulation are the problems that threaten human lives on the Earth.
In order to understand how air pollution affects our body, we must understand exactly what this pollution is. The pollutants that harm our respiratory system are known as particulates. Particulates are the small solid particles that you can see through rays of sunlight. They are products of incomplete combustion in engines, for example: internal-combustion engines, road dust and wood smoke.
Billions of tons of coal and oil are consumed around the world every year. When these fuels are burnt, they produce smoke and other by-products, which is emitted into the atmosphere. Although wind and rain occasionally wash away the smoke, given off by power plants and automobiles, but it is not enough.. These chemical compounds undergo a series of chemical reactions in the presence of sunlight; as a result we have smog, mixture of fog and smoke. While such pollutants as particulates we can see, other harmful ones are not visible. Among the most dangerous to bur health are carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and ozone or active oxygen.
If you have ever been in an enclosed parking garage or a tunnel and felt dizzy or lightheaded, then you have felt the effect of carbon monoxide (CO). This odourless, colourless, but poisonous gas is produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels, like gasoline or diesel fuel.
Factories emit tons of harmful chemicals. These emissions have disastrous consequences for our planet. They are the main reason for the greenhouse effect and acid rains.
Our forests are disappearing because they are cut down or burnt. If this trend continues, one day we won't have enough oxygen to breathe, we won't see a beautiful green forest at all.
The seas are in danger. They are filled with poison: industrial and nuclear wastes, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. If nothing is done about it, one day nothing will be able to live in our seas.
Every ten minutes one kind of animal, plant or insect dies out forever. If nothing is done about it, one million species that are alive today may soon become extinct.
And even greater threats are nuclear power stations. We all know how tragic the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster are.
Fortunately, it's not too late to solve these problems. We have the time, the money and even the technology to make our planet a better, cleaner and safer place. We can plant trees and create parks for endangered animals.
We can recycle our wastes; persuade enterprises to stop polluting activities, because it is apparent that our careless use of fossil fuels and chemicals is destroying this planet. And it is now more than ever apparent that at the same time we are destroying our bodies and our future.
tiny part - крихітна частина
to pollute - забруднювати
rural area - сільський район
polluting agents - забруднюючі компоненти
global scale - глобальний масштаб
acid rains - кислотні дощі
overpopulation - перенаселення
to threaten - погрожувати
to affect - впливати
respiratory system - дихальна система
particulates - макрочасток
solid particles - тверді частинки
ray of sunlight - зд. сонячне світло
combustion - спалювання, згоряння
internal-combustion engine - двигун внутрішнього згоряння
wood smoke - зд. згоряння деревини
by-products - побічні продукти
power plants - силові установки
chemical compounds - зд. хімічні елементи
to undergo - піддаватися впливу
smog - зміг
fog - туман
carbon monoxide - чадний газ
nitrogen oxides - оксиди азоту
sulfur dioxide - сірчистий газ
dizzy - запаморочення
odourless - без запаху
fossil fuels - органічне паливо
gasoline - бензин
to emit - випускати, викидати
disastrous consequences - згубні наслідки
greenhouse effect - парниковий ефект
to breathe - дихати, вдихати
chemical fertilizers - добрива
pesticide - пестицид
plant - рослина
insect - комаха
extinct - зникнути, вимирати
to persuade enterprises - зд. переконати підприємців
wastes – відходи
1. When did the problem of pollution become dangerous?
2. What problems threaten human lives on the Earth?
3. Why is air pollution harmful?
4. Is it dangerous to breathe polluted air?
5. What does the burning of fuel and fossil fuels produce?
6. What are the most dangerous pollutants?
7. What is the main reason for the greenhouse effect and acid rains on our planet?
8. Can we solve the problem of environmental protection?
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