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Air Pollution in China and Azerbaijan

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Air pollution in China and Azerbaijan

Introduction

As the whole world evolves rapidly, pollution has become more and more severe. In modern society, pollution is defined as “ the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem” ( Wikipedia, 2012 ) or the addition to the ecosystem of something that brings detrimental effects. Dating back to 1272, pollution was first known by a British called King Edward. As a matter of fact, the word “ pollution” was not so familiar to people some centuries ago. However, there is no denying that due to pollution, the quality of living condition of human beings reduces to a lower level. Furthermore, some of the citizens who live in the regions which are seriously polluted can not bear the disgusting and nasty pollution any longer and consider it as a serious threat to not only their personal health but also the quality of their lifestyle. Fortunately, the government all over the world has lain more emphasis on finding out effective solutions to pollution in recent years. There are totally three specific forms of pollution: solid particle, liquid droplets and gases which can be either natural or man-made. Speaking of different types of pollution, there are numerous such as noise pollution, visual pollution, light pollution, thermal pollution and so forth whereas as is surveyed the three most severe kinds of pollution are air pollution, water pollution and land pollution. However, from the overall impact on human beings and the whole world, air pollution, ranked the first according to the harmful and negative effects on the environment, is no doubt the worthiest topic to be discussed about.

Air pollution is “ the human introduction into the atmosphere of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials which causes harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms or damages the environment” . ( Wikipedia, 2012) Under the authority of statistics in 2011, China and Azerbaijan are the two countries which suffer most from air pollution. One of the major contributors to air pollution in both countries is motor and vehicle emissions. Another primary source of air pollution in China is coal combustion in plants whereas fetid water emitted from the process of drilling the oil fields is an important reason why Azerbaijan is the world’ s dirtiest city. For instance, Shanghai, one of the biggest Chinese cities, surrounded by a belt of factories is consequently in bad quality of air. Fortunately, there has been some effective prevention projects and programs for the sever air pollution such as the Environmental Projection Department which has taken comprehensive measures to reduce air pollution such as regulating environmentally for cars in use and innovating clean technology for vehicle fuel.

In the following, the causes, effects, solutions, programs and prevention projects will be introduced and the two countries, China and Azerbaijan will be compared in various aspects of air pollution mentioned above.

Causes
According to China’s own evaluation, the air quality of the 338 cities in China is considered seriously and moderately polluted. On the basis of a survey in Time Magazine, the Chinese cities Linfen and Tianying are the two most polluted cities all over the world.
Since air pollution has become the most serious problem in China and Azerbaijan, there are quite a lot of important reasons and causes of air pollution. One of the major contributors to air pollution is motor and vehicle emission in China. As more and more people have started to use cars in recent years, a lot more chemicals such as carbon monoxides, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides which can be regarded as common pollutants that influence different levels of air pollution. Another primary source of air pollution in China is coal combustion. There is no denying that coal is one of the main source of the country’s energy needs, so burning of large quantities of coal is necessary and inevitable, especially for industrial plants, For instance, big Chinese manufacturing cities such as Beijing, Tanjin, Shenyang and so forth are surrounded by a belt of factories which produce supply steel and chemical and electronic products. Consequently, it can be obviously deduced that harmful waste gas will be easily released to nature and then exert negative influence on not only human beings but also the urban environment.
Compared to the causes of air pollution in China, those in Azerbaijan, the world’s dirtiest country, are different in some aspects. The most important and severe reason is fetid water. On account of huge amounts of oil ponds and oil fields, free-flowing sewage can be easily seen in the river ways in Azerbaijan which can bring terrible stench and enables the air quality to become poor. For another significant cause of air pollution in Azerbaijan. As a result, the condition that black plumes of smoke rises continuously often appears in the downtown area.

Effects

Air pollution affects the health of not only the atmosphere and the environment but also human beings. First, a lot of environmental problems will occur due to air pollution. In China, acid rain is always a rigorous question. As is surveyed, 30% of Chinese mainland has been eroded to varying degree by acid rain. Furthermore, acid rain will take part in further harmful chemical reaction in the atmosphere, bringing worse effects and influence such as dust haze, photochemical smog and other regional air pollution problems. At the same time, it will reduce the growth and yield of local plants and vegetables by 5% to 25%. In Azerbaijan, the existence of numerous living creatures has been badly affected and some have ever become endangered due to acid rain. Till 2011, 11 species of mammals, 8 species of birds, 5 species of fish and 13 species of reptiles have been extinct and they will never appear among the public horizon.

Another important aspect affected by air pollution that has to be mentioned is people’ s health. Since air pollution brings the highest annual incidence of deaths among various kinds of pollution, it has had a great impact on the population’ s health and life expectancy. Pulmonary, digestive, circulatory and immune systems are four main systems that are seriously influenced. In Azerbaijan, estimates of deaths due to respiratory and heart disease linked with air pollution are between 200000 and 600000 every year. Other negative effects may also appear because of the heavy air pollution. For instance, rain capacity in Northeastern China has increased sharply over the years. Consequently, flood control problems naturally grow and more and more people have been afflicted by this natural disaster. In Azerbaijan, sometimes airports will be shut dowm as a result of heavy fog hanging over some cities and flights can not set out on time.

Solutions

Fortunately, both governments have been trying their best to find out effective solutions to preventing and slowing down the expansion and spread of air pollution. For instance, China’ s Environmental Protection Administration ( SEPA) , one of the counterparts of the United States Environmental Projection Agency ( EPA) has focused on the issues about air pollution for over two decades. “ EPA and SEPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding ( MOU) in December of 2003” ( Kasma, 2012) that established a group for clean air and clean energy and project called “ Strategy for Clean Air and Energy Cooperation. ” The Strategy emphasis on enhancing the regional management of clean air in major regions in China. The members of EPA and SEPA work together to reduce te severe damage of air pollution under this Strategy.
One of the major contributions that EPA made to China was that EPA cooperated with the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games to enables Beijing to achieve the goal of obtaining healthy air in 2008 Olympics. For instance, EPA has made great efforts to develop a system to lower emissions and use low-sulfur fuels to do good to air quality.

Programs and prevention projects

On the other hand, the government of Azerbaijan has achieved some international support for the environmental restaurant of “ the city from several United Nations organizations, including the United Nations Develop Program ( UNDP) and the World Health Organization( WHO) . In 2003, the World Bank releases a US project of $2.7 million for the clean-up of a set of industrial plants where 1566 tons of mercury were spilled while other international programs funded by UK and Japan have also been put into effect.

Another important project to reduce air pollution in China is the Environmental Protection Department. There are quite a lot of comprehensive measures in this project, such as environmental admittance for new cars and environmental regulations for cars in use. A new innovation is the clean technology for vehicle fuels which can quickly accelerate the implementation of motor and vehicle emission standards and implant all-around control on total. Furthermore, some government policies can also been obviously seen in this program. There are two main policies that closing down some heavily polluted enterprises in costal cities such as Shanghai, Dalian, Qingdao and so forth is the most major one while adopting natural gas instead of coal is another effective solution.

Conclusion

In general, air pollution has become an inevitable problem for the whole world to deal with. According to all the information mentioned above, China and Azerbaijan are the two countries which have suffered most from air pollution. There are quite a lot of causes of air pollution, such as vehicle emission, coal combustion and fetid water. As a result, they will bring many bad effects. Air pollution affects human beings in many aspects not only their health but also the atmosphere and the earth. As is known to all, badly polluted air will causes diseases such as lung cancer and liver cancer. Million of people have died of such terrible diseases each year. Obviously, the problem of air pollution is worldwide and transnational. Although it is still a serious problem, some steps have been taken to prevent the harm to our society. Furthermore, some solutions such as closing down some polluted factories

[pic]

Particulate matter in the air http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=392&catid=10&subcatid=66 [pic]
Total emissions from stationary sources – Baku and Sumgayit. http://www.ecocaspian.com/gpage1.html [pic]

Total air emissions from stationary sources in Azerbaijan http://www.ecocaspian.com/gpage1.html [pic]
Historical trend for selected air pollutants http://www.ecocaspian.com/gpage1.html [pic]

Stationary sources vs. mobile sources of air pollution http://www.ecocaspian.com/gpage1.html Reference

People’s Daily, Wu, 2011, Car emission becomes major cause of airpollution
Viewed: 26, March, 2012
Available at: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90882/7683695.html Forbes, Tiffany M., 2008, The world’s dirtiest cities
Viewed: 27, March, 2012
Available at: http://www.forbes.com/2008/02/26/pollution-baku-oil-biz-logistics-cx_tl_0226dirtycities.html Wikipedia, n.d., 2012, Pollution in China
Viewed: 27, March, 2012
Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_pollution_in_China#Air_pollution Apfel A., n.d., How Does Smoke Cause Air Pollution?
Viewed: 30, March, 2012
Available at: http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5407725_smoke-cause-air-pollution_.html Holden K., 2007, Chinese Air Pollution Deadliest in World, Report Says
Viewed: 31, March, 2012
Available at: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/07/070709-china-pollution.html Cao, 1989, Air pollution and its effects on plants in China
Viewed: 2, April, 2012
Available at: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2403688?uid=3737800&uid=2&uid=4&sid=47698853543507

Hays J., 2012, Air pollution in China
Viewed: 2, April, 2012
Available at: http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=392&catid=10&subcatid=66

Azerbaijan – Environment, n.d.
Viewed: 5, April, 2012
Available at:http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Asia-and-Oceania/Azerbaijan-ENVIRONMENT.html

WWF, Rautkari M., n.d., Air pollution
Viewed: 7, April, 2012
Available at: http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/teacher_resources/webfieldtrips/air_pollution/

EPA, Kasman M., 2012, Clean Air and Energy Projects in China
Viewed: 7, April, 2012
Available at: http://www.epa.gov/international/air/chinaair.html Mansurov A., 2009, Air pollution in Baku and Sumgayit
Viewed: 14, April, 2012
Available at: http://www.ecocaspian.com/gpage1.html Sumgayit, Azerbaijan, n.d.
Viewed: 16, April, 2012
Available at:
http://www.worstpolluted.org/projects_reports/display/27

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