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Last updated June. 21, 2017
Air is essential to all life on earth. It is imperative to our very existence. Without it, we would die. But what do we actually know about the substance we breathe? How well to we know the one component necessary to our very survival?
Air is both mysterious and mystical. Its facts are surprising and infinitely interesting. The more we learn about our air, the more we see the true beauty of its complexities and the more we appreciate the work it does for us in our daily lives.
There are many fascinating facts about our air. We have compiled a few of the most important facts for you here to get to know that which you breathe.
First, let’s define what air actually is.
1. What is air?
Air is scientifically classified as atmospheric gases. It is essential for the life of humans, animals and is also a necessity for plants photosynthesis. Most of us believe that most of our air is made up of oxygen but it breaks down into some startling statistics.
You see, our air is actually 78% nitrogen, 20% oxygen, 1% argon, and 0.04% carbon dioxide. The other 0.06% consists of a mixture of other trace gases such as neon, helium, methane, nitrous monoxide, and carbon monoxide. Water vapour is also found in our air and varies significantly depending on our location and weather patterns.
These are all naturally found in the air we breathe. This layer of gases is called the atmosphere. There are also other manmade components in our air such as pollution. The amount varies depending on where you are and the industry around you.
2. How Does the Air Work for Us?
Humans and animals take in the air around us, fill our lungs and breathe out carbon dioxide which is another gas. This process is called respiration.
Plants will then take this carbon dioxide and use it to live and release oxygen for us to use and live on. The average person breathes in 7 liters of air per minute which translate to about 12870 liters of air per day.
The air is constantly working for us to keep us alive and well. The air naturally decreases the temperature at night while we sleep and rises to a higher temperature in the day. It also absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. It holds in heat and releases it. Air also helps to form the clouds, wind and rain.
3. How Dirty is our Air?
There are dust particles everywhere. Our homes are our safe havens. No matter how clean we think our homes are, it is estimated that there are 18kgs of dust generated each year per 1500 square feet. While that statistic is staggering, keep in mind that our bodies are naturally equipped to handle and stop the dust from being harmful to our health.
However, one of the most common allergens is dust and, now knowing this statistic, that makes sense. For those who suffer from dust allergies, the allergen can be controlled by adding HEPA filters to your home and by keeping the floors, air ducts and your cooling system’s filters cleaned on a regular basis.
This gas makes up about a fifth of the air that we breathe and rightly so. If we breathed in pure oxygen it would be too strong and poisonous for our lungs.
Oxygen tanks hold a mixture or gases compatible with the natural air that we breathe. The “oxygen” in them is only a low dose.
This mysterious and magnificent gas is essential to all life. It is in the earth, air and water. The oxygen in the water allows the fish to breathe.
Oxygen likes to mix with other components. It is very rare to find it in single molecules. It likes to stand in a pair which is 02, or regular oxygen. It does combine into threes and when it does it is called ozone.
This usually occurs naturally in the upper atmosphere. Ozone works to protect us and keep galactic radiation from mixing in our breathable atmosphere. When ozone is created unnaturally on earth it is a pollutant and can be harmful to the air we breathe as well as nature around us. Factories create this three-oxygen ozone daily.
5. Our Atmosphere
Air is odourless and colourless. It is without definite shape and volume. Though it is a mixture of gasses it is also classified as a matter as it holds definite mass and weight. It also creates an atmospheric pressure.
The atmosphere is all around us. It is the air that we breathe. The atmosphere is nearly 1,000 kilometres thick and is comprised of several layers that encircle the planet.
Our layer of the atmosphere is the thinnest and easiest for us to breathe. It is called the troposphere that is approximately 14 kilometres thick. We live at the bottom of this layer.
6. The Air Has Life
Many living things live in the air we breathe in. Tiny microbial organisms live in our air. They are called bioaerosols. They cannot fly, instead, they are so lightweight that they float on the air.
The Wind carries them long distances as does the rain. These bioaerosols are usually harmless to our lungs and our bodies naturally deal with them when they are inhaled.
Air pollution is a mixture solid particles, gases, and chemicals that get released into our air from factories, industry, automobiles, and other manmade inventions. Pollution causes hazards in the air we breathe.
It can cause illness, disease, and even death in certain situations depending on the chemicals released into our air. Pollution also affects the growth of the crops we grow for food and the state of the water we drink. Pollutants released into the air are the most dangerous to our lives and are among the top ten killers in the world.
Attempts are constantly made to develop ways to cut down on air pollution. Every city in the world has it, some far worse than others. Cities set their own regulations on air pollution and combat it through various laws.
The air we breathe is a wondrous thing. It is imperative to life and should be protected by everyone on the planet.
If you have any further questions, contact us and we would be happy to help you.