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Air Pollution - Research Paper Example

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Air Pollution

Some developed countries have taken measures against the air pollution by making laws and policies and introducing green technologies. However, the rapid increase in industrialization has minimized the effect of these measures and millions of people are at risk by inhaling air containing harmful substances. Air pollution is a major problem in big industrial urban areas as compared to rural areas. Industrial, Vehicle and other types of smoke, CFCs and the greenhouse gasses are mixing up into the air that we inhale and the toxic substances in them act like slow poisons within our bodies (Gujrar, Molina and Ojha 1-14; Agarwal 1-6). We are focusing on the air pollution in general in first part of the paper and then specifically in United States. The top three greenest states and why are they called the green states will be discussed. Also the top three most polluted states and what are they doing to overcome the high level of pollutants in air will be discussed finally. Air pollution According to World Health Organization air pollution is “the contamination of the ecological system by any toxic chemical, physical or biological agent that alters the natural environment” (World Health Organization). ...
Most common types of air pollutants are car emissions, chemical wastage from factories, dust, pollen, and mold spores. Pollutants can be classified into types: Primary pollutants and secondary pollutants. Primary Pollutants – are emissions discharged directly from a source. For example, volcanic eruptions or factory discharges (Gray). Secondary Pollutants- are formed as a consequence of reactions between primary pollutants and other substances found in the atmosphere for example Ozone that makes up smog (Gray). One of the most distinguishable characteristics of air pollutants is their transboundary nature that is they can travel to far and wide places away from their origins. The six major pollutants described by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are briefly discussed below (EPA; Gray): AIR POLLUTION IN UNITED STATES A study reports that more than 500,000 Americans die annually due to cardiopulmonary diseases caused by air pollution. In a recent economic study in Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin valley of southern California it is shown that more than 3800 people face premature deaths annually (approx. 14 years earlier) because of the illegal amount of pollutants in the air. In 1948, Donora, Pennsylvania 20 died and more than 7000 were injured due to the worst ever smog disaster reported in U.S history (Peterman). The 1990 Clean Air Act (CAA) requires EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for the conventional air toxics such as: Ozone, Particulate matter, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides, Sulfur dioxide and Lead. Out of which Ozone and Particulates are the biggest and primary threats. The act also enables EPA to restrict the emissions from chemical plants, utilities and steel mills. Through this act, the ...Show more

Summary

The increase in globalization and industrialization has brought about a climatic change not just at regional level but at a global level. Industrial activities have influenced air quality largely. …
Author : tamaraturcotte
Air Pollution essay example
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