.. es not affect all parts of the world. It is most common in a city such as Los Angeles where these weather conditions exist. Ozone depletion is looked upon as a problem that up till now, we can not fix. Air pollution has caused this hole in the ozone layer.
The ozone layer absorbs 99% of the sun’s harmful energy. It prevents ultraviolet radiation from reaching the Earth’s surface and the troposphere. It protects humans from sunburn, skin and eye cancer, and cataracts. It also prevents much of the oxygen in the troposphere from being converted to ozone (gas). In the mid-seventies chemists F.
Sherwood Rowland and Mario J. Malian discovered CFC’s were creating a global chemical time bomb by lowering the average concentration of ozone in the stratosphere. In other words, the CFC’s were and are creating a hole in the ozone layer. As long as we keep using these CFC’s the hole is going to continue to grow wider and wider. Effects on the Health of Living Organisms Air pollution is hazardous to our health.
It can endanger the health of living organisms in several ways. One way, is by introducing particulate matter and poisonous gases into the respiratory systems of humans, animals, and plant leaves. Another way is by increasing the acidity of precipitation, which alters the chemistry of soil and water. One more way, is that it engages chemical reactions in the atmosphere that increase the exposure of living organisms to harmful radiation. Yet another way that it affects living organisms is by altering globally, the composition and ultimately the temperature of the atmosphere and thus producing conditions that threaten the survival of living organisms.
In humans air pollution especially affects our respiratory system. Our respiratory system has a number of protective mechanisms built to protect against exposure to air pollution. Hairs in the nose filter out large particles. The mucus lining in the upper respiratory tract helps capture and dissolve smaller particles and gaseous pollutants. Sneezing and coughing helps to remove contaminated air and mucus when the respiratory system is exposed to pollutants. Long term exposure to cigarette smoke and other air pollutants can ruin the natural defenses, resulting in respiratory conditions such as allergic reactions like asthma, and diseases such as lung cancer, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis.
Air pollution can also cause other health problems. It can cause extreme allergic reactions. It also can cause headaches, nausea, rashes, and swelling. Such activities as jogging, bicycling, and other strenuous outdoor activities, while being done in areas with high concentrations of air pollution, can cause vigorous coughing and chest pain. The hole in the ozone layer is the cause of many cases of skin cancer.
Control of Air Pollution There are three basic approaches to control air pollution. The first approach is called preventive measures. This means that they would change the raw materials used in industry or the ingredients of fuel. The second approach is called dispersal measures. That is raising of the smokestacks.
The third one is called collection measures. This is done by designing equipment to trap pollutants before they get into the atmosphere. Government Control Most highly industrialized countries have legislation to prevent and/or control air pollution. In the U.S. air pollution is the responsibility of the state and local governments.
All states have an air quality management program that are patterned after federal laws. The basic federal law is the Clean Air Act of 1970. It was last amended in 1990. Under law the Federal Environmental Protection Agency sets the standards for air quality. The EPA sets the limits on the amounts of air pollutants that can be given off by automobiles, factories, and other sources.
Air quality programs have improved many areas. There are several examples on how these air quality programs have improved areas. One example is that burning low sulfur coal and oil in factories and power plants has lowered levels of air pollution in the areas of the factories and plants. Another example is that automobile engines have been redesigned to emit lower emissions. New cars are equipped with devices such as catalytic converters which change pollutants into harmless substances. Because of this, air pollution from car exhaust has also been reduced.
The EPA released the Pollution Prevention Strategy in February of 1991. The strategy provides guidance on the EPA’s ongoing environmental protection efforts and includes a plan for achieving substantial voluntary reductions of targeted high risk industrial chemicals. The major component of the strategy is the Industrial Toxics Project. The EPA has identified seventeen high risk industrial chemicals that offer significant opportunities for prevention. These seventeen pollutants present both significant risks to human health and the environment and opportunities to reduce such risks through prevention. Scrubbers are pollution control devices used in industry to remove aerosols and waste gases.
Wet scrubbers operate by directing sprays of water or other liquids into chambers containing exhaust gases. The gases are then washed away in the liquid. Another form of scrubber works by a process called adsorption in which gases are removed by activated charcoal and filtering. Alternate Energy Forms Another way to control air pollution is to use alternate or renewable sources of energy. One of these alternate sources is solar power.
The number of solar power plants is increasing as the markets expand for this power source. There is absolutely no pollution from solar power. However, backup systems using conventional fuels are needed at night, during bad weather, and in the snowbelt areas, where the sun is often obscured during the winter months. Another thing is that the cost of solar energy is much higher than fossil fuels. Another alternate form of energy is nuclear power. Nuclear power is energy that is generated by radioactive fuels at nuclear plants. Nuclear power is often described as clean power when it is compare to fossil fuels.
Nuclear power would limit air pollution problems since nuclear plants do not produce carbon dioxide or any of the gases that cause acid rain. On the downside, if there are nuclear power plants, there is always the threat of a nuclear fallout. If any radioactive materials escape from the plant, they could expose the people to radioactive contamination. Conclusion The dilemma of air pollution is a major problem that faces our world today. What if we can’t go outside because the smog is to thick? What happens when the acid rain gets potent enough to eat right through our skin? What do we do when the hole in the ozone layer widens and melts the polar ice caps? These could be some of the questions we will ask if we don’t find ways to control the problem of air pollution.
Formal Outline Air Pollution: The Causes, The Effects, and How It Can Be Controlled I. Introduction II. Causes of air pollution A. Residential causes 1. Automobiles 2. Forest fires B.
Industrial causes 1. Factories 2. Burning of fossil fuels III. Effects of air pollution A. Environmental effects 1. Acid rain 2. Smog 3.
Hole in the ozone layer B. Effects on the health of living organisms 1. In the environment 2. On the human body IV. Control of air pollution A.
Government intervention 1. Strict laws 2. Scrubbers B. Alternate forms of energy 1. Solar 2. Nuclear V. Conclusion Social Issues.