April 1, 2007
Air and water pollution has long been a concern in the major cities of the United States but our concern should not end there. Other cities and even small towns are suffering from the effects of pollution. Cincinnati, Ohio is a city with very poor air and water quality from pollution so a plan is needed to reverse these effects and restore health to the ecosystem and human life.
The term air pollution is used quite often, but what does it actually mean? Basically, it can be defined as the presence of chemicals in the atmosphere in concentrations high enough to affect climate and harm organisms and materials (Miller, 2005). The air pollution in Cincinnati is photochemical smog, which is also called brown-air smog. Photochemical smog is a mixture of air pollutants formed by the reaction of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOC) under the influence of sunlight (Miller, 2005).
There are several factors contributing to the photochemical smog over Cincinnati. Car exhaust, industry, coal-burning, gas-powered lawn equipment, paints and boats on the Ohio River are some of the major contributors with car exhaust contributing 44% alone. Oak trees in the surrounding hills emit high levels of VOCs which are ingredients in the development of the smog. Photochemical smog has many harmful effects to human health and the health of other living organisms but it also increases the rate of destruction of buildings, metals and rubbers.
Water pollution in Cincinnati is just as harmful. The Ohio River ranks number three on the list of the most polluted waters in the United States. One of the pollutant sources is from Mill Creek which runs near Cincinnati and is highly industrialized. Wastes and toxins from factories and plants are dumped into Mill Creek contaminating the water which then flows into the already highly polluted Ohio River, which is also polluted from industry, agriculture and...