Air Pollution Essay

Topics: Air pollution, Carbon dioxide, Oxygen Pages: 6 (1775 words) Published: June 15, 2011
Air Pollution

Earth is the only place in the universe that can support human life. It is very important that we realize this fact and take very good care of it. Various human activities cause the destruction of earth. Human beings can live a few days without food and water however humans can last only a few seconds without oxygen. Various human activities lead to the aggravation of the quality of air. Gases produced by human activities mainly due to exploitation of resources and industrialization cause air pollution. Green house gases mainly chlorofluorocarbons; carbon dioxide, sulfur trioxide and nitrogen dioxide contribute to air pollution. Why is air pollution such a serious issue? Air pollution is a serious issue now because many respiratory related deaths are caused by air pollution. Also air pollution disrupts the eco-system and the effects will be too catastrophic for the future generations to overcome. The world leaders seem to pay very little attention to pollution because the effects are not drastically noticed and the industrialized nations are the leading cause of air pollution. Industrialization contributes greatly to air pollution. China and the United States both accounted for 41.7% of the world’s total carbon emissions. Linfen, China is the world’s most polluted city. Nearly 3,000,000 people are affected everyday from air pollution. The type of pollutant is coal and the source is from industrial emissions. (Walsh 2).

Chart showing the sources of air pollution

Indoor Air Pollution

You cannot escape air pollution, not even in your own home. “In 1985 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that toxic chemicals found in the air of almost every American home are three times more likely to cause some type of cancer than outdoor air pollutants.”(Miller 488). The health problems in these building are called “sick building syndrome”. An estimated one-fifth to one-third of all US building are now considered “sick”. (Miller 489). The EPA has found that the air in some office buildings is 100 times more polluted than the air outside. Poor ventilation causes about half of the indoor air pollution problems, the rest come from specific sources such as copying machines, electrical and telephone cables, mold and microbe harboring air condition systems and ducts, cleaning fluids, cigarette smoke, carpet, latex caulk and paint, vinyl molding, building materials and furniture that emit air pollutants such as formaldehyde. A major indoor air pollutant is radon-222, a colorless, odorless, tasteless, naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the radioactive decay of Uranium-238. "According to studies by the EPA and the National Research Council, exposure to radon is second only to smoking as a cause of lung cancer". (Miller 489)

Causes of Air Pollution

Carbon Dioxide (CO2): the major pollutant in the atmosphere. Major sources of carbon dioxide are fossil fuels burning and deforestation. “The concentration of carbon dioxide in the air around 1860 before the effects of globalization were felt, it is assumed to have been about 290 parts per million(ppm). In the hundred years and more since then, the concentration has increased by about 30 to 35 ppm that is an increase of 10 percent”. (Breuer 67). Industrial countries account for 65% of Carbon dioxide emissions. Less developed countries with 80% of the world’s people are responsible for 35% of CO2 emissions but may also contribute to 50% by 2020. Carbon dioxide emissions are increasing by 4% every year”. (Miller 450) .Carbon dioxide is a good transmitter of sunlight, but particularly restricts infrared radiation going back from earth to space. This produces the green house...
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