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Phoenix air pollution - Essay Example

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Course Number Date Phoenix Air Pollution Air pollution is a growing concern for many cities of the world. The problem is especially in cities of developing countries or by cities undergoing rapid industrial growth. Phoenix, Arizona is one city experiencing this problem…
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Download file to see previous pages I am very convinced that we are all after the same goal, which is to have a pollution free air. We now have to find a common ground to thread. I believe I have a proposal that will bring everyone on board. To solve this problem, we first have to accept that a problem does indeed exist. The most noticeable constant in the skies of Phoenix is the blanket of smog hovering up there. This smog extends to the wider regions of Maricopa County. The sky that is constantly heavy with cloudy dense smog that sometimes results in poor visibility. To put this into perspective, we have to look at statistics on the pollution levels. A survey on the quality of air in Phoenix done The American Lung Association found that the Air Quotient Index is at a staggering high at 57%(areavibes.com).The Air Quotient Index (AQI) refers to an average value that considers harmful pollutants in relation to its impact on the health of the people. This is way above the national index by 172.9 % ( arevibes.com). EPA uses this AQI when enforcing the Clean Air Act. EPA has classified these results into five major categories in relation to the pollutants. These are: nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ground level ozone, particulate matter and carbon. With these as guidelines, EPA in conjunction with ALA has made great strides in relation to the air quality in Phoenix. Another parameter used in the determination of the quality of air is the pollution index. This is the sum of all harmful and hazardous pollutants shown in pounds. The pollution index of Phoenix Arizona is at 46.6%. The main pollutants here are arsenic, benzene, lead, mercury and carbon tetrachloride. These pollutants have long term health implications for the inhabitants of this area. Consequently, Phoenix and the regions of the greater Maricopa County lie in a valley. Winds blowing across this area are mostly too weak to blow away the pollutant. This creates a scenario where all polluted air produced is trapped within the valley and put back into circulation. The smoke from factories, vehicles and other emissions accumulate and deplete the ozone layer. The ozone layer shields us from the unsafe rays of the sun. When depleted, the protection reduces and this increases chances of developing cancer. The accumulation of these toxins leads to the formation of the dense cloud of smog, which is synonymous with Phoenix. Another thing, which worsens the pollution levels, is the type of weather experienced in the Arizona area. The hot desert climate of Arizona increases the rate at which the smog is formed leading to even more hazy skies (Gulbinas 4). Air pollutants are grouped into two categories: primary pollution brought about by carbon monoxide, etc. Its pollution is direct in nature. Secondary air pollution occurs when some particles react with other particles to cause pollution. A good example will be rain and sulfur which form sulfurous acid. (Gulbinas 1). In depth analysis shows that hydrocarbons are a major source of cancer especially lung cancer. Ground level ozone forms when nitrogen in the atmosphere reacts with rainwater. (Gulbinas 7) .As earlier stated ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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