October 21, 2009
The average person breathes about three thousand gallons of air per day. Imagine if that air was dirty? Most of us take for granted the air we breathe, and don’t even realize that we are breathing in toxins. Most of us aren’t even aware of how polluted the air is and how unhealthy it can be for the average person to breathe it in. It can make breathing difficult for some people and it affects all living things. Air pollution is a major problem in the world today. There have been many laws passed regulating air pollution to protect our environment and all living things.
According to Webster, pollution is defined as “a state of being polluted: impure (Taylor 1). Air is a mixture of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.3% carbon dioxide, and around 0.7% rare gases making it colorless and odorless. One can consider any object containing smell, for example the smell of a rose, the smell of a pine forest, a woman’s perfume, or a rain cloud, to be air pollution (Taylor 1). However, the impurity of air is not considered to be pollution unless it has an odor that irritates the senses, affects visibility, corrupts property, or is toxic to humans, animals, or plants (Taylor 1). Some toxicants in polluted areas, which bring about huge concerns include: sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, hydrogen fluoride, chloride, ethylene, and ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate (Taylor 2).
The never ending increase in world population and other groups of people in small regions continue to multiply the amount of pollutants released in the air (Taylor 2). Paul Ehrlich once wrote “Too many cars, too many factories, too much detergent, too much pesticides, multiplying contrails, inadequate sewage treatment plants, too little water, too much carbon dioxide-all can be traced easily to too many people” (Hodges 12).Some pollution problems increase as population grows because of the amounts of human waste (Hodges 17). The air pollution...
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Taylor, O.C. Air Pollution: It’s Causes and Effects. California: U of California, 1968.
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