2 March, 2008 The Solution for Air Pollution Society as a whole faces many environmental problems, and as a result, environmental awareness tends to be a pressing issue. Every day, people recycle cans, glass bottles, and newspapers. Many people buy bottled water, or own filters for their tap water, as a health precaution from the pollutants in normal everyday drinking water. Air pollution is perhaps the biggest environmental issue the Earth is facing. Automobiles are responsible for a notable amount of the air pollution problem.
Of course, on the other hand so are factories. If the fight against air pollution were to be taken to a higher level, putting pressure on factories that produce air pollution will have a greater effect than focusing on automobiles. The solution for problems caused by automobiles can only be taken to the level of removing vehicles off the road that cause excessive pollution. A campaign to promote car-pooling, and the use of public transportation could be started up, but those types of promotions do not get enough support.
Clearly, factories should be targeted for the best results. The environmental policies that the government regulates for factories or other companies who produce air pollution must be made stricter. Factories are causing enormous amounts of air pollution, the air in most metropolitan areas is filled with pollutants, and passing laws that are more strictly enforced could have a positive effect on the situation. Air pollution can be simply defined as “all the substances that are exhausted into the atmosphere that do not normally make up the air.
There are numerous types of these pollutants in the air, but carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides are, by far, the most common. Such particles are expelled daily by leniently controlled factories through the continuous outpour of smoke. The primary process that creates air pollution is oxidation, which is simply defined as burning. This process has been going on for centuries, beginning when man first became aware of a very useful cooking tool, what is now known as fire.
As technology advanced, major industries developed and began to use fires as a source of energy for power plants and the disposal of garbage. Air pollution has long been a factor with the issue of protecting the environment. For example, in the nineteenth century, people in London, England complained about the foggy weather that was created by the smoke from burning coals in the homes of people, as well as places of business. In December of 1952, the worst air pollution disaster ever recorded also occurred in London.
Nicknamed the “killer smog,” this disaster occurred because of a temperature inversion, which is when warmer temperatures get hotter as they get further from the earth’s surface rather than cooler as they usually do. In this particular event, a cool front also moved in below the warm air, which caused more people than usual to burn coal, which is high in sulfur. Because of the warm air that had risen, the smoke from the fireplaces had nowhere to rise and was being pushed back down. This string of events produced the “killer smog” which led to the deaths of more than four thousand people.
Because of this one horrific event, scientists became more aware of the effects that air pollution can have on a population, which has led to more in-depth studies. The same type of pollution, though in much more extreme cases, can be seen in cities today. The modern name for the foggy weather that these people were seeing is now referred to as smog. It is composed of mainly ground level ozone, which is caused by toxins in the air. These toxins are released mainly through the exhaust systems of automobiles and from factories. There are two main causes of air pollution: automobiles and factories.
The dangerous effects that these two cause can be primarily attributed to burning, or more specifically, oxidation. When a substance is burned, it releases harmful byproducts that are emitted into the air and thereby become pollutants. The greater majority of citizens drive automobiles, and they are vital in everyday life for the purpose of transportation. There are many practical, cost-effective measures that can be taken to reduce the emissions of air pollutants, including the adoption of energy conservation measures and switching to natural gas.
Many existing Clean Air Act programs, such as the acid rain program, and the ground-level ozone smog programs, if properly implemented, will do much to reduce the concentration of fine particles by controlling the pollutants. These give a hopeful outlook that the air pollution problem can cease to exist in the severe form that it now does, and with the support of not only governmental agencies and non-profit organizations, but also the help of everyday citizens, the problem can be overcome in no time.
The air that people breathe everyday is critical to the very existence of not only civilization, but also the entire Earth; therefore, taking care of it should be a priority to everyone that inhabits it. A commitment needs to be made by all. It is not necessary for everyone to be radical protesters against factories and automobile manufacturers, but if everyone were to get involved, even in the slightest way, such as carpooling to work, the air that is inhaled by all as a matter of survival would be increasingly cleaner.
The air pollution created by these factories is dangerous to the environment and to the health of people everywhere. “Industrial air pollution is the greatest threat to air quality in the United States. The factories themselves must not be treated as criminals in this matter; their intent is not to harm the environment, but to provide a product. They must be treated as fairly as possible, while still accomplishing the goal of cleaner air. Although this will be a long process, the end result of cleaner air and a cleaner environment will prove to be well worth the time, money and effort spent.
References used: http://www. epa. gov/ http://www. yale. edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1986/6/86. 06. 04. x. html#a http://www-personal. umich. edu/~murty/techhype2/node16. html http://search. cancer. org/search? client=amcancer&site=amcancer&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=amcancer&q=air+pollution http://www. npr. org/templates/story/story. php? storyId=873954 http://wrc. iewatershed. com/index. php? pagename=education_forest_02 http://www. ncstormwater. org/pages/workbook_pollution_solutions. html
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