The problem of air pollution in the United States and the solution policies


Academic Paper, 2015
15 Pages

Excerpt

Content

1. Introduction

2. Research on the problem
Air pollution
Statistics
Dangers involved
Why there is a need to care about air pollution

3. Policy solutions
The Clean Air Act
How it works
Strengths
The air pollution control act of
Shortcomings
The Air Quality Act of
How the act works
Strengths

My opinion

To the Individuals

Industries

The government

References

1. Introduction

A grown-up person exchanges around 15kg of air daily, about 1.5kg of food and 2.5 kg of water. Air is a basic need for life and any contamination in the air, therefore, threatens the lives not only of human beings but also every living creature. A series of studies which started in the 1980s have linked daily deaths with the variations in air pollution. Moreover, air pollution has a considerable impact on the climatic changes and global warming. Many of the premature deaths and the deaths relating to lung problems in the United States result from air pollution related issues. By implementing the air quality policies in the United States, people can reduce the daily deaths significantly. Regardless of the fact that the United States has made significant steps in controlling air pollution through formulating and enforcing air pollution policies; air pollution remains a problem to the health and welfare of people in the United States.[1] [2] [3]

This paper will talk about the issue of air pollution in the United States today. I will first discuss the extent of air pollution problem in the United States and provide the statics to show the weightiness of this problem. Then I will explain the consequences of air pollution to us and our future generations. In response to the abovementioned areas, there are three government policy solutions to the problems; The Clean Air Act 1990, the air pollution control act of 1955 and the Air Quality Act of 1967. I will explain each solution and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each solution; and of the three solutions, I will discuss which is the most effective as well as my personal observations on the problem of air pollution in the United States.

2. Research on the problem

Air pollution

Air is a mixture of gasses. The original gaseous composition of the air in the troposphere has come into contact with many impurities for thousands of years. It is therefore not possible to find pure air in the modern times. Even the air in the areas with least impurities like deserts, poles or air at sea level is not pure and, therefore, can best be described as dilute polluted air. Air constitutes of oxygen (20.94%), nitrogen (78%), and argon (0.93%) as the primary constituents[4]

Because of many activities that produce different kinds of highly toxic gasses, the atmosphere in the current days contain many air pollutants. Air pollution is. Therefore, presence of foreign gasses, harmful particles, vapors or other substances which are detrimental to health affect welfare, or people’s comfort.[5] [6]

Statistics

Ozone is one of the greatest threats in the major cities like New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. This is because ozone results from exhaust fumes and these areas with high populations and many locomotives ozone have increased to alarming levels.

A big percentage of United State’s Population resides in high ozone or particulate air contaminated air and dangerous areas. According to the annual report regarding the quality of air in the United States, the number of people living in areas where the air is dangerously polluted rose by 5% between 2013 and 2014. California was reported the most affected and Los Angeles beach was ranked top for having the highest ozone levels. The area reported to have the highest level of particle pollution was Fresno-Madera.

However, the report noted that for the last one-decade air pollution as been falling significantly. Between 2010 and 2012 it was pointed out that particulate air pollution was lower than the ozone levels. This means that there were fewer particles in the atmosphere to contaminate the air. However, there is a problem because the particulate air pollution rose again to dangerous levels from 2013.

Dangers involved

Air pollution is the major cause of the Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in grown-ups. As well, air pollution is directly associated with dangerous diseases like lung cancer cardiovascular diseases, and chronic pulmonary infections. As well, air pollution is dangerous to children under the age of five years. According to the world health organization (WHO), an estimate of 0.5 deaths of children under the age of five from pneumonia, results from household air pollution.[7] [8]

The consequences of air pollution are frightening even to think of. The issue of air pollution has been one of the major concerns of EPA for the last two decades. This is because if the issue is not addressed people will knowingly or unknowingly continue doing the activities that lead to air pollution.[9]

Also, failure to address the problem of air pollution in the United States would lead to accumulation of toxic gasses in the atmosphere, which is dangerous to human life when they are within the troposphere. One of the major consequences of not addressing the issue of air pollution is that it would rise to alarming levels and many children under five years would die. It is, therefore, important to address this problem and save the future generations in the United States.[10]

Why there is a need to care about air pollution

There is a need to worry about air pollution because this problem once led to the death of many people in the United States of America in the past. For example, the 1948 atmospheric inversion which led to the formation of smog above the Los Angeles killing over 4000 people in a period of four days.[11]

3. Policy solutions

The Clean Air Act 1990

The clean air act 1990 (42 .U.S.C 740l) is an air quality policy in the United States that focuses on enhancing health and the welfare of people in all the United States by enforcing of principles which would minimize various emissions that contaminate the air in the surrounding.[12] [13]

How it works

[...]


[1] Organization, World H. World Health Statistics 2016: Monitoring Health for the Sustainable Development Goals (sdgs). Geneva: World Health Organization, 2016

[2] Firestone, M., Berger, M., Foos, B., & Etzel, R. (2016). Two Decades of Enhancing Children’s Environmental Health Protection at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Environmental Health Perspectives, 124 (12).

[3] Cubbage, F. W. (2017). Natural resource policy.

[4] Agarwal, S K. Pollution Management. New Delhi: A.P.H. Pub. Corp, 2001.

[5] Firestone, M., Berger, M., Foos, B., & Etzel, R. (2016). Two Decades of Enhancing Children’s Environmental Health Protection at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Environmental Health Perspectives, 124 (12).

[6] Jacobson, M. Z. (2012). Air Pollution and Global Warming: History, Science, and Solutions.

[7] Organization, World H. World Health Statistics 2016: Monitoring Health for the Sustainable Development Goals (sdgs). Geneva: World Health Organization, 2016.

[8] Kete, N. (1996). The politics of markets: The acid rain control policy in the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments.

[9] Agarwal, S K. Pollution Management. New Delhi: A.P.H. Pub. Corp, 2001.

[10] Firestone, M., Berger, M., Foos, B., & Etzel, R. (2016). Two Decades of Enhancing Children’s Environmental Health Protection at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Environmental Health Perspectives, 124 (12).

[11] Cubbage, F. W. (2017). Natural resource policy.

[12] Bryner, G. C. (1995). Blue skies, green politics: The Clean Air Act of 1990 and its implementation.

[13] Kete, N. (1996). The politics of markets: The acid rain control policy in the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments.

Excerpt out of 15 pages

Details

Title
The problem of air pollution in the United States and the solution policies
College
Kenyatta University
Author
Year
2015
Pages
15
Catalog Number
V373290
ISBN (eBook)
9783668518476
ISBN (Book)
9783668518483
File size
527 KB
Language
English
Tags
united, states
Quote paper
Doctor Alfhonce Michael (Author), 2015, The problem of air pollution in the United States and the solution policies, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/373290

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