Speech on Air Pollution

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The topic I have chosen for today is something we all take for granted…the air. Most of us hardly ever think about it. It's just something we take for granted. But the air we breathe carries pollutants that can be bad for our health. People with sensitivities, like those who have asthma, or the elderly, and also athletes are especially vulnerable to unhealthy levels of air pollution.

There are many kinds of air pollution. The ones I want to talk about are the ozone, acid rain, carbon monoxide and toxic air contaminants. Ozone is formed when hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide react in sunlight. Therefore, ozone is at its peak during hot summer days. Exposure to high levels of ozone can have serious consequences on your health. It can cause respiratory disease, loss of pulmonary elasticity, and premature aging of our lungs. Next, is acid rain, which occurs in the atmosphere in the form of sulfur and nitrogen oxide. These pollutants can have serious damaging affects on aquatic, forest and wildlife ecosystems, as well as deterioration of buildings. Carbon monoxide is another form of pollution. It reduces the blood's ability to carry oxygen. If a human is exposed to higher levels, it can cause chest pains, angina attacks or even death.

Coal-burning power plants and motor vehicles are among the largest contributors to air pollution. Around 70% of the carbon monoxide found in the Northeast comes from cars. They also are the biggest source of hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions which help form ozone. Acid rain deposits are found in fossil fuels emitted from utility and industrial sources. The power plants that were built before the 1977 Clean Air Act did not have to comply because they were supposed to be phased out eventually. Many are still operating today, releasing much more pollution than modern plants. 97 percent of the acid rain and haze-causing sulfur dioxide, 85 percent of the ozone smog-causing nitrogen oxide, and 99 percent of...
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