The world as we know it has changed drastically over the years. With the advent of technological and industrial advancement, life has become much easier, however, not without its share of negative consequences. One such consequence is that the quality of the air we breathe has deteriorated considerably- mainly as a result of human activity. Is this an acceptable price to pay for development?
This report seeks to identify the main industrial sources of air pollution in Trinidad and Tobago, describe the nature of the pollutants released by these sources and the likely impact that they will have on the environment. It will also outline a suitable strategy for control of these pollutants, inclusive of physical, managerial and legislative approaches. What is air pollution?
Air pollution is the contamination of the atmosphere by gaseous, liquid or solid wastes or by-products that can endanger human health, the health and welfare of plants, animals and the environment, or can reduce visibility or produce undesirable odours. Available at http://library.thinkquest.org/C0110400/usr/www/tqteams/tqic/2001/C0110400/4csfolder/AIRPOLLUTION.html What makes the topic of air pollution such a sensitive one is that unlike other forms of pollution, for example water pollution, it cannot just simply be cleaned up. Measures can be put in place to minimise the volume of harmful emissions, but once out there, nothing can be done to get the quality of air back to its original state. Added to this is the fact that air pollution can have adverse short-term and long-term health effects on individuals, as well as, destroy the environment. According to the State of the Environment Report 2000........ “Most of these compounds affect human health and many target the respiratory tract. Other affected organs/ systems include the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, the nervous system, kidneys, cardiovascular and reproductive systems and the numerous other toxic effects produced by volatile organic compounds. On the other hand, ozone depleting substances and greenhouse gases are not directly toxic to human beings but affect the atmospheric processes required for life on earth. Ozone depleting substances impair the formation of ozone, decreasing stratospheric ozone levels. This results in an increase in the transmittance of ultraviolet radiation and an increase in skin cancers and cataracts in people. Greenhouse gases contribute to global warming, and so may affect life on earth through climate change and sea level rise....” (see Figs. 1 and 2)
Fig.1 Diseased lung tissue and respiratory disease
Fig. 2 The aftermath of a tsunami
TRINIDAD and TOBAGO IN BRIEF:
Trinidad and Tobago is a twin island state which lies off the coast of Venezuela and covers an area of 5128 sq km. Trinidad and Tobago is classified as an upper middle income country in the World Development Report of the World Bank. GDP growth is currently exceeding 7% due to a rise in energy prices and the country is ranked 54th in the Human Development Index. Petroleum has dominated the economy of Trinidad and Tobago since the 1950s, when offshore production began. In 1999, 18 international companies were involved in oil and gas exploration and production, while state owned Petrotrin was involved in extraction and refining at its refinery at Pointe- a - Pierre. In the year 2000, Trinidad and Tobago became the world’s largest exporter of methanol, a liquid used as a solvent or fuel, while it was also the world’s largest exporter of ammonia, a gas used in industry. Available at http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Americas/Trinidad-and-Tobago.html Trinidad and Tobago is the 5th largest exporter of LNG in the world and the single largest supplier of LNG to the US, providing two- thirds of all LNG imported in the US since 2002. Available at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35638.htm
AIR POLLUTION WOES:
Because of its importance as an oil and...