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Health and environmental effects of diesel pollution - Essay Example

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Health and environmental effects of diesel pollution

Some of these particles are often directly released into the atmosphere while others are formed when they are mixed and react with other pollutants in the atmosphere. These particles often come in various sizes. Fine Particles (PM2.5). These are also known as fine particles and usually measure up to 2.5 microns in diameter. These are seen in almost all sources of fuel combustion, from automobiles, wood burning, industrial plants, and power plants. With their diminutive configurations, they are likely to deeply penetrate the lungs and respiratory system. Where large concentrations of this fine particulate matter are formed, a haze is usually apparent. Coarse Particles (PM10). These are particles which measure about 2.5 to 10 microns and are derived from various sources like natural wind, erosion of soil, or airborne residue from industrial plants. These particles are often visible to the naked eye, and can appear collectively as haze, dust, or soot. Particle pollution always presents a significant risk, however, the risk is usually greater: During calm weather when pollution usually accumulates or builds up In and around factories, especially during busy hours and along near busy roads. When smoke is emitted from wood stoves, fireplaces, forest fires, and other burning vegetation. Health Effects of Particle Pollution & Who is Most at Risk The lungs and the heart are usually affected during particulate pollution. Studies suggest that the initial response to short-term exposure to particle pollution is coughing, along with minor throat irritation. Where larger particles are involved, the lung function is often reduced, along with the rate of respiration and cardiovascular function. Various studies have already been carried out associating fine particles with various health issues, including: Asthma and chronic bronchitis Acute respiratory symptoms, with coughing and chest tightness Decreased lung function, usually felt as shortness of breath Heart attacks Premature death among individuals with an existing heart or lung disease These conditions often cause issues with work and school activities. Moreover, the possibility of emergency room visits and admissions is often increased with these conditions. As for longer-term exposures, more health issues often become apparent, life expectancy is often reduced, and other health issues often become exacerbated. The following "sensitive groups" are often vulnerable to health issues with exposure to high levels of particulates: Children, since their lungs are still in the development stage Elderly, especially those already suffering from cardiovascular diseases Those who are asthmatic or who are already suffering from any respiratory problems. In addition, healthy adults who experience respiratory difficulties when exposed to fine particulates may also be affected by the pollution since they are likely to breathe deeply and exert more during exercise or work. Environmental Effects of Particle Pollution As was mentioned previously, significant amounts of coarse and fine particles usually create a haze which can affect visibility and compromise visual range to a significant extent. Airborne particles and droplets also usually remain in the air for long periods of time and sometimes even travel great distances. As they settle in a particular place, they may cause damage to surfaces; they can acidify lakes and other bodies of water, and cause significant damage to plants and animals. Nitrogen Dioxide ...Show more

Summary

Health & Environmental Effects of Diesel Pollution Various pollutants which are significantly harmful to the health of the general population and to the environment are contained in diesel exhaust. Diesel exhaust alone and in combination with other materials can create and exacerbate health risks…
Author : ereilly
Health and environmental effects of diesel pollution essay example
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