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Pollution - Essay Example

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Pollution is caused when air, water or soil gets contaminated by discharge of harmful substances. Pollution causes imbalance in the ecosystem by causing harm and discomfort to living organisms. …
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Download file to see previous pages... By steps taken for eliminating toxic substances from production process and by diminishing production of harmful materials people can safeguard the environment and human health. Different forms of pollution Air pollution Air pollution can be caused when pollutants like carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, oxides of sulphur and nitrogen and also materials like dust, smoke and compounds of lead are emitted directly into the atmosphere. Global warming is caused by greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (49% to 55%), chlorofluorocarbons (14% to 25%), methane (12% to 18%), nitrous oxides and other gases (13% to 19%). Some natural sources of air pollution are volcanoes, forest fires, “oceans, swamps, lakes, vegetative matter and insects” (Faiz, Sinha, Walsh and Varma, 1990, p. 3). Other sources which are caused by human activities are fuel like coal and wood burning and most importantly transport which is a major contributor towards air pollution. All the pollutants get dispersed in the air and pollution is measured by the mass of the pollutants per volume of air. This depends on a number of factors like quantity of emission, altitude and atmospheric conditions. Rain cleans the air which gets rid of harmful materials, but these substances can react with oxides of sulphur and nitrogen to produce acids which may cause damage to buildings, forests and water bodies. This is popularized as acid rain. Solar radiation can produce ozone which can disrupt the atmospheric balance near the ground. (Faiz, Sinha, Walsh and Varma, 1990, pp. 3-5) Air Pollution To reduce air pollution it is necessary to set the standard of ambient air quality. In US there are two sets of standards of air quality and they are primary and secondary. The primary standard of air quality is designed in the way to protect the health of human beings and for this purpose those people who are more easily affected by air pollution (viz. children and the elderly people) are taken into consideration. Secondary standard of air quality is designed for general public welfare. This includes air pollution effect on soil, water, crops, animals, climate, economy and human comfort (Faiz, Sinha, Walsh and Varma, 1990, p. 8). In 1970, Clean Air Act Amendments was enacted and it changed the structure of air pollution control in US. This Act was further amended in 1977 and it imposed restrictions on plants and factories in areas having clean air to avoid any damage to air quality. Public concern about air pollution increased in the late 1980s and numerous bills were passed to improve the existing air pollution regulatory measures and also to deal with new problems like acid rain and global warming. (Bailey, 1998, pp.78, 79) Oil Pollution It was the “Torrey Canyon” incident in 1967 which awakened the public in regard to oil pollution. Since then the Oil Pollution Compensation has seen numerous changes. The incident caused the public to make loud protests against oil pollution. This led to development of international conventions to provide compensation to those who bear the cost of cleaning up or to those who face pollution damages from continuous spill of hydrocarbon mineral oil from tankers. These international conventions were developed under International Maritime Organisation. (Azab, Shorbagy and Ghais, 2005, p.3) In the Arabian Gulf, concentration of petroleum hydrocarbon (PH) average to about 26 ug/l of surface water and about 5 ug/kg of the bottom. As there will be continuous rise of production and transportation of oil, the concentration of PH in water will keep on growing especially in water areas where there is maximum flow of traffic. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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