Air Pollution Essay 5

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  • Topic: Air pollution, National Ambient Air Quality Standards, Smog
  • Pages : 3 (972 words )
  • Download(s) : 172
  • Published : January 9, 2011
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The greenhouse effect is a phenomenon whereby greenhouse gases create a condition in the upper atmosphere causing a trapping of heat and leading to increased surface and lower tropospheric temperatures. Carbon dioxide from combustion of fossil fuels is the major problem. Other greenhouse gases include methane, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, chlorofluorocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and ozone. This effect has been understood by scientists for about a century, and technological advancements during this period have helped increase the breadth and depth of data relating to the phenomenon. Currently, scientists are studying the role of changes in composition of greenhouse gases from natural and anthropogenic sources for the effect on climate change. A number of studies have also investigated the potential for long-term rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide to cause increases in the acidity of ocean waters and the possible effects of this on marine ecosystems. The World Health Organization states that 2.4 million people die each year from causes directly attributable to air pollution, with 1.5 million of these deaths attributable to indoor air pollution. "Epidemiological studies suggest that more than 500,000 Americans die each year from cardiopulmonary disease linked to breathing fine particle air pollution." A study by the University of Birmingham has shown a strong correlation between pneumonia related deaths and air pollution from motor vehicles. Worldwide more deaths per year are linked to air pollution than to automobile accidents. Direct causes of air pollution related deaths include aggravated asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, lung and heart diseases, and respiratory allergies. The US EPA estimates that a proposed set of changes in diesel engine technology could result in 12,000 fewer premature deaths, 15,000 fewer heart attacks, 6,000 fewer emergency room visits by children with asthma, and 8,900 fewer respiratory-related hospital admissions...
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