Air Pollution in New York
The people of New York have the right to enjoy an environment that is conducive to the full development of individuals as human beings. This is an environment that is not only free from obvious threats of physical harm such as crimes but also from concealed threats that have long term effects on human health and functioning such as air pollution. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of the New York City government to improve ambient air quality in New York through pollutant level monitoring, air pollution clearly remains a major threat to the people’s health. (NYSDEC, 2008) Industrial and vehicle emissions continue to be the main source of air pollution in the city, which in turn exposes the people to greater risks of contracting diseases from air-borne pollutants and carcinogens. (Routledge, et. al. 1383) Thus, there is a need not only for strengthening existing air pollution-control methods and legislation but in making them more effective by encouraging public participation to solve the problem.
The alarming effects of New York air pollution is reflected in a recent study which shows that air pollution affects even unborn babies in their mother’s wombs and increased the risk of DNA damage for newborns exposed to toxins in the air. (Perera, et. al. 1994) While the effect of this damage on babies is not yet known, it is a significant cause for concern since exposure to air-borne toxins and carcinogens have been proven to increase the risks of developing cancer in adults. Perera, et. al.’s findings also add to the growing number of reasons on why the government should put air pollution reduction and elimination at the top of its priorities.
Indeed, air pollution does not only affect the human respiratory system contrary to widely-held beliefs. Morris, et. al. (1995) points out that “several studies suggest that the effect of air pollution on persons with underlying cardiovascular disease may be equal to or greater than the effect...
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