Air Pollution and Its Health Impacts on Three Cities

Topics: Air pollution, Air Quality Index, Smog Pages: 5 (1297 words) Published: March 19, 2011
Air pollution and its health impacts on three cities

Air pollution has a significant impact on human health. It can cause death by compromising the respiratory and cardiorascular system, or by its toxic carcinogenic effects. Transport is the greatest source of air pollutions, owing to increased numbers of cars in the city. Moreover, manufacturing and factories are another reason for air pollution. Results from the government not having suitable policy on air pollution are becoming more and more serious. This essay will discuss air pollution and its health impacts in Bangkok, Mexico City and New York. Researcher found that increased mortality from air pollution was much higher in Asia than in other world regions because of the industrial affluent from factories. ( Faiz and Sturm, 2000) And the air pollution in cities is much more serious than in countryside. In Bangkok, transport is the most serious problem, and in Mexico City, urbanization is the serious problem, also in New York, industrial areas caused more serious problem than others.

An air pollutant is known as a substance in the air that can cause harm to humans and also natural ecosystems. As a consequence of population increase, city development and a growing number of motor vehicles on its roads, Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, has experienced serious air pollution problems. (UN HABITAT, 2010) In Mexico City, industrial growth, a population boom (from three million in 1950 to some 20 million today), and the proliferation of vehicles are caused serious air pollution. (Maricela Yip and Pierre Madl, 2000) New York also has the problem of transport, manufactory, and population, the difference between Bangkok and Mexico City is the building boilers in winter and high temperature. According to Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), residents of New York could experience increased health risk as a result of climate change. The International Panel on Climate Change projects a four-degree rise in average temperature for the state of New York over the next century. Higher temperatures will result in increased heat-related illnesses and death, particularly for the elderly. (ProQuest, 2001) Air pollution is effecting three of these three cities. Many disease will be caused by air pollution without their becoming apparent for a long time. Diseases such as bronchitis, lung cancer, and heart disease may all eventually appear in people exposed to air pollution. According to The World Health Organization states that 2.4 million people die each year from causes directly attributable to air pollution. (Gail Robinson, 2005) Air pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen oxides, and sulphur dioxide also have harmful effects on natural ecosystems. They can kill plants and trees by destroying their leaves, and can kill animals, especially fish in highly polluted rivers.

Air pollution has many disastrous effects that need to be curbed. In order to accomplish this, governments, scientists and environmentalists are using or testing a variety of methods aimed reducing pollution in these cities. The Royal Thai Government has adopted a number of measures to mitigate Bangkok’s air pollution problems, focusing on maintaining a good quality of life for the general public. To provide transport alternatives and decrease the number of vehicles on the roads, Bangkok developed a new public transport system, featuring a subway line and an above-ground Skytrain, in 2004. What’s more, Bangkok is now working to expand the distance reachable by Skytrain, which will help ensure good air quality even while the population increases. (UN HABITAT, 2010) Like in Bangkok, the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA), also recognized that transportation has proved to be a major pollution source in Mexico City. So the strategies in Mexico City are aims to reduce or control atmospheric pollution has to include a transportation improvement program. The main programs to combat air pollution in the MCMA are:...

References: 1. Air Pollution, 2005
2. Air pollution in Mexico City, 2000
3. Atmospheric Environment, 2000, New Directions: Air pollution and road traffic in developing countries
A.Faiz: The World Bank, Washington DC, 20433, USA
Volume 34, issue 27, 2000, pages 4745-4746
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