Air Pollution Argumentative Essay: 10 Debatable Topics to Cover

Topics and ideas
Posted on November 22, 2016

Writing an argumentative essay requires extensive research of reputable literature already published on the subject matter your essay will be based on. In more extreme cases, were there are no ready data or literature to consult, a student may have to collect his or her own data using surveys or experiments due to the nature of an argumentative essay. This is because an argumentative essay is the one that requires a student to thoroughly investigate a topic, collect or generate valid evidence in order to establish a position on the subject to be discussed.

Writing an essay on air pollution falls under the expository and argumentative essay niche because it requires the use of facts to intelligently argue your stance on air pollution. But unlike an expository essay, the argumentative essay requires empirical evidence from reliable source as well as extensive research to showcase your line of reasoning to get the reader on your side. Therefore, to ease the burden of finding established facts on air pollution for your essay, below is an accurate list of air pollution facts that can help.

10 interesting facts on air pollution:

  1. Air pollutants are harmful. Pollutants released into the air are generally made of gas and tiny particles which can be harmful to human health. Statistics show that pollutants released into the air are more harmful than pollutants on land and water. This is because they are more difficult to notice and combat.
  2. Human and natural factors pollute the air. The emission of air pollutants is not solely due to human activities as nature also plays its part. A World Health Organization study found that approximately 70% of the pollutants found in the air are due to human activities while natural occurrences such as volcanoes and hurricanes account for approximately 20% of the pollutants currently in the air. The great smog of London which killed approximately 8,000 people is an example of how natural and human activities—cold weather and using fossil fuels—combine to pollute the air leading to deadly consequences.
  3. Air pollution adversely affects human health. Statistics show that the average human takes in 3400 gallons of air each day which is more than our food and water intake. With pollutants in the air the average human life-span is shortened by approximately 2 years. Other health problems it causes include itchy throats, breathing issues and death. Air pollutants are also accountable for approximately 5,000 premature deaths in California alone, approximately 50,000 yearly in the US and 250,000 in China. In Beijing, the high level of air pollution has led to constant coughing among its residents and this condition was named the ‘Beijing cough’.
  4. Air pollution adversely affects the economy. Statistics show that air pollution is not only dangerous to human health but also to the economy. A 2013 research on air pollution in Europe found that deaths caused by air pollution in the EU cost the region approximately €161billion and $200million in the state of California.
  5. Air pollution is prevalent among developed nations. The large scale industrialization that is currently going on in the developed world has led to the emission of air pollutants in unprecedented numbers. In the US, people high up at the Grand Canyon are unable to see its other side just a thousand miles away due to air pollution. While in China, air pollution can travel as high as the Central Valley in Asia. The fallout of this widespread air pollution is that 65% of deaths in central Asia and 25% in India are due to air pollution.
  6. The use of fossil fuels in vehicles is the leading cause of air pollution. Statistics from the UK’s Environment Audit Committee showed that diesel cars produce around 46% carbon monoxide and 42% nitrogen oxide. In China, 70% of air pollutants are currently being produced from the exhaust tail pipes of vehicles in use while in the US 28% of Americans believe that the use of fossil fuel is the leading cause of air pollution.
  7. The air in your home could be the worst. The WHO released a report stating that the level of air pollution in households could be worse than in public places due to poor ventilation. In under-develop nations, household pollution is caused by the burning of kerosene and other fossil fuels while in developed countries the use of cooking gas and space heaters produce air pollutants that congest the household air we breathe in.
  8. Air pollution creates attention problems. Studies have shown that exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)—emitted by burning fossil fuels—can affect one’s ability to focus. The study went on to explore the effects of air pollution on children below 9 and found that air pollution is in part responsible for attention deficit disorders in children which can lead to negative long-lasting effects in the future.
  9. Air pollution threatens our future. Statistic show that the continuous burning of fossil fuels at current rates will prove to be disastrous for future generations. Predictive analysis showed that by 2050, approximately 6million people will die per year due to air pollution related health issues. This will also be due to the exponential growth in vehicle purchases, heavy traffic jams and natural disasters.
  10. Air pollution is currently being fought. All hope is not lost as the WHO, UNICEF and government agencies are putting checks on pollutants we produce for a better tomorrow. In China, the largest air purifying tower currently purifies a million cubic feet of air in an hour. The taxation of fossil fuels in nations such as New Zealand, Great Britain and Finland is also set to reduce air pollution in these regions by approximately 60% by 2030.

These are the top 10 interesting facts on air pollution you should consider using in your argumentative essay when trying to establish your stance on pollution. It is also important to note that we have provided extra reading material such as tips on writing a platinum tier argumentative essay on air pollution. Students can also select a topic on today’s subject by reading this article containing 20 argumentative essay topics on air pollution.


Matyssek, R. (2013). Climate Change, Air Pollution and Global Challenges. Burlington: Elsevier Science.
Sullivan, C. (2016). Human-Made Fires Pollute Air with Ozone Half a World Away. Eos, 97.
Luo, M., Cao, B., Ouyang, Q. & Zhu, Y. (2016). Indoor Human Thermal Adaptation: Dynamic Processes and Weighting Factors. Indoor Air.
Pillai, V. (1996). Air pollution in developing and developed nations: A pooled cross‐sectional time series regression analysis. International Planning Studies, 1(1), pp.35-47.
Beckrich, A. (2015). The Green Room: Air Pollution in the Developing World. The Science Teacher, 082(05).
Nandasena, S. (2013). Indoor Air Pollution and Respiratory Health of Children in the Developing World. World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics, 2(2), p.6.
Pearce, D. (1996). Economic Valuation and Health Damage from Air Pollution in the Developing World. Energy Policy, 24(7), pp.627-630.

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