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Air Pollution Cause and Effects - Research Paper Example

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Instructor name Date Air Pollution Cause and Effects The term Air pollution refers to toxins permeating the atmosphere due to industrial and vehicle waste emissions. The tons of pollutants being pumped into the air every year result in destructive effects that are severely harming the health of people and the earth…
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Air Pollution Cause and Effects
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Download file to see previous pages It’s not healthy for those who are not sick or old too and the problem is not getting any better. Air pollution is also affecting the earth’s climate, causing it to warm. The consequences of this reality are far-reaching, cataclysmic and are happening now. Hundreds of coal-fired electric power plants and other smoke-stack industries along with hundreds of thousands of vehicles contribute to a significant public health problem by emitting the waste fumes produced by burning fossil fuels. Many studies have acknowledged that a wide array of undesirable health issues occur due to air pollution exposure including higher instances of respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, atherosclerosis, emergency room trips and premature death. Exposure to the particulate matter found in air pollution has also been connected with low birth weights, birth defects and premature births. About 38 million kids are estimated to live in air polluted areas. Several types of illnesses linked with air pollutants have risen dramatically the past 30 years. During that time, though the occurrences of death from childhood cancers have decreased considerably due to advances in medical science, the cancer incidence rates among children have gone up by a full third during that same period. “It is well known that children and infants are uniquely at risk from air pollution both because of physiological susceptibility and greater relative exposure.” (Gasping, 2011). For example, children breathe more air and inhale more pollution as a ratio of body weight as compared to adults. In addition, children play outside much more than adults. And, because their smaller bodies are still developing, kids are more vulnerable to the health problems caused by poisons in the air, principally cancers and reproductive issues which they and their children will suffer with later on in life. In addition, children have a longer life expectancy than their parents therefore have a better chance to develop illness from exposure to air pollutant toxins during their lifetime. (Gasping, 2011). Simply but factually stated, air pollution is causing the earth’s climate to change. Greenhouses gasses such as carbon dioxide, the most prevalent pollutant, are warming the earth. Basically, the greenhouse effect occurs by this method: When sunlight penetrates the atmosphere and strikes the surface of the earth not all solar energy from the sun is absorbed. Roughly a third of this energy it is bounced back into space. When living creatures exhale they emit carbon dioxide, it occurs naturally. The amount of naturally occurring carbon dioxide maintains a delicate balance with other forces of nature allowing one-third of energy to escape which has kept the earth’s climate fairly stable for thousands of years. Air pollution gases functions the same way as greenhouse glass, allowing sunlight to enter but retaining the solar heat. Tons of supplemental man-made gases being added to the atmosphere during the past century has produced a much thicker layer of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than normal trapping more solar energy and allowing less to escape. “In the past 150 years, such activities have pumped enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to raise its levels higher than they have been for hundreds of thousands of years.” (“Air pollution,” 1999). This preventable set of circumstances is making the earth warmer by the year. Lesser known but just ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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