AIR POLLUTION 11
Airis an essential requirement for human life. If there is no air, it isimpossible to survive. However, the quality of air has beensignificantly rendered unhealthy since the advent of industrialrevolution. Today, the world’s atmospheric air is more pollutedwith harmful toxics than decades ago. Increased emissions of toxicgases in the atmosphere have made the atmospheric air a threat tohuman survival as well as other ecosystems. The World HealthOrganization reported in 2014 that around seven million people diedof air polluted complications globally. Air pollution is now asignificant problem in many countries and solutions have to beimplemented as soon as possible to avert more catastrophicoccurrences. While several debates, controversies and policies havebeen advanced on how to reduce air pollution, less have beenachieved. Many countries are still polluting the air despite numerousair pollution conventions, resolutions and policies.
Inorder to explore the problems of air pollution, I choose the article“Mr. President, World’s Worst Air Is Taking 6 Hours Off yourlife” to connect my topic to air pollution. The title is of greatinterest to me because air pollution is a serious issue in my homecountry China. This article talks about Obama’s visit to India andexplains how India’s capital has the most polluted air in the world(Pearson, 2015). In fact, the American Embassy had to employ over1800 Swedish air purifiers ahead of Obama’s visit. According toPearson (2015), Delhihas the world’s highest levels of PM2.5 tiny, toxic particles thatlead to respiratory diseases, lung cancer and heart ailments. In thearticle,Pearson quotesSpiegelhalter’sargument that Delhi’s residents life expectancy could be reducingby approximately two hours each day. The Indiancapital was averaged at 153 micrograms per cubic meter in 2013according to the World Health Organization report in May, on airpollution. The 153 micrograms per cubic meter air pollution isfifteen times more than the average annual exposure recommended bythe WHO (2015).
Delhiis India’s capital and has the most toxic air in the worldconsequently most residents in Delhi have suffered adverse healtheffects from the polluted air(Guo, Shanker and Katakey, 2015).The purpose of selecting this topic was based on my strong beliefthat air pollution is a great problem in the modern society. Inparticular, air pollution contributes to negative and adverse effectson human and the ecosystem every second. Air pollution is a greatproblem in China that results from industrial wastes and motorvehicle exhausts. Most cities in China are experiencing significantair pollution problems such as the haze phenomena that has been aserious issue in Beijing (Bloomberg News. 2015).
Manypeople have relocated from Beijing because of the haze problem(Bloomberg News. 2015). Controlling air pollution requires inputsfrom the public and the private sectors in reducing air pollutionthis will significantly reduce hazardous health effects, anddeterioration of the ecosystem. Controlling air pollution is thus animportant and urgent measure required in the modern environmentalmanagement to avert serious effects on people’s health and theecosystem.
Theimpacts of air pollution on health
Airpollution affects people’s health. Human beings as well as allliving things depend on air every second for survival. The biologicalmechanisms of living things depend on fresh air to facilitatebiological functions necessary for human survival. In particular,livings things require fresh air with higher amounts of oxygen andless toxic gases such as carbon dioxide or sulfur. Lack of fresh airor inhaling toxic air leads to biological health complications inhuman lives. In particular, insufficient supply of oxygen orbreathing toxic air leads to acute and chronic respiratory problems(Khan, 2015). In the modern world, most people have developedrespiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, cardiovascular andlung cancer conditions due to toxic air. The results have beenincreased fatalities and disability due to air pollution.
Indoorair pollution is another air pollution aspect that has beenattributed to increased health complications among people. Accordingto WHO, approximately three billion people rely on solid fuels suchas dung, coal, polythene papers, rubber tires, wood and crop wastesto heat and cook at home (WHO 2014). These fuel materials producehigh levels of household pollution that have significant healtheffects on people. WHO estimates that around 4.3 million people dieglobally every year from health complications resulting from longperiod of household air pollution exposure. These health effects aremore prevalent among the women and children (Cortez, 2014).
Industrialemissions, machinery and motor vehicle exhausts also contributeadversely to air pollution. Emissions from industries contain highlevels of carbon dioxide, sulphuric and lead particulates that havecarcinogenic effects on living things (Khan, 2015). Verifiable dataacross the globe indicate significant relationship between complexhealth problems and fatalities with air pollution. According to WHOdeveloping countries and poor countries have higher health risks fromair pollution. For instance, many people have experienced damaginghealth effects such as the autism and schizophrenia cases reported inChina (Cortez, 2014).
Therefore,managing air pollution is an integral aspect in environmentalmanagement. Stringent and urgent efforts are needed to force allplayers in the public and private sector cut air pollution.Controlling air pollution would significantly improve lifeexpectancy, reduce diseases and improve the ecosystem. Air pollutionleads to toxic air that in turn increases toxicity in animal andplant produce. This means that through contaminated air, human beingshealth is threatened in all ways. Catastrophic environmentaloccurrences such as the recent typhoons in Haiti lead to adversehealth and fatal cases. In other aspects, humans consume or get intocontact with anomaly and plant produces that lead to health problems(Cortez, 2014). To this end, managing air pollution to low levelswould improve the overall environmental management.
Negativeeffects of air pollution on health cannot be adequately managementwithout efficient environmental management. Effective environmentalmanagement should focus on advocating the use of green energy,efficient waste disposal and reducing lethal emissions. Countrieswith higher levels of toxic air such as India and China pose seriousthreats to human lifespan expectancy, productivity and the ecosystem.Controlling air pollution could decrease diseases, and help peoplebecome healthier (Cortez, 2014).
Airpollution contributes to the destruction of the ecosystem. Ecosystemis essential in environmental management because the ecosystem is animportant aspect in sustainable development. Air pollution negativelyaffects plants and animal growth habitats leading to the imbalance inthe ecosystem (WHO 2014). Air pollution leads to the degeneration ofthe atmosphere through toxic gases that makes it difficult for plantsand animals to produce optimally. Increased air pollution throughtoxic gases has increased global warming thereby interfering withclimatic conditions. The resulting effects of changed climaticconditions have been catastrophic in the ecosystem. For instance,changes in seasons and climate have greatly affected the naturalhabitats and production lifecycle of some plants and animals. Lack ofrain and increased draughts have made some plants and animals tobecome extinct.
Inother aspects, polluted air leads to decreased production and growthof plants. In this way, the ecological interdependency cycle isweakened leading to the death and extinction of some plant and animalspecies (WHO 2014). Today, most global ecosystems such as forests,aquatic life and other wildlife have been destroyed through airpollution. There are fewer lush vegetations, aquatic and animals dueto harmful air that interferes with ecological factors that supportthe lives of the ecosystem (Khan, 2015). For instance, acidic rain ison the increase and this is harmful to various plant, animal andhumans. Air pollution results in water pollution high are otherimportant aspects that support different lives in the ecosystem.
Increasedglobal warming and resulting draughts have led to loss of habitatsthat support the ecosystem. Marine life is also affected by airpollution especially through eutrophicationhigh amount of nitrogen leads to the development of the green algaematter in water bodies and this affects plants, fish and animalspecies. Increased air pollution and degeneration of habitats leadsto increased animal and human migration(Vennemo, Aunan, Lindhjem and Seip, 2009).These migrations adversely affect the ecosystem thereby rendering itless sustainable. For instance, draught may lead to adverse migrationof herbivorous animals from one area to another resulting in theecosystem imbalance carnivorous would result to alternative sourceof food.
Depletionof the Ozone layer due to chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere would result in adverse effectson animal and plants UV rays have adverse effects on plants andanimals. As such, effective air pollution control mechanism is keyaspect of environmental engagement. In part, to reduce air pollutionrequires emphasis on the use of clean energy, energy conservation anda deep understanding on the concept of reducing, reusing andrecycling wastes. This also means using energy efficient devices inthe production processes, implementing expensive sanctions for airpollution cases and improving awareness on effectives of airpollution to the ecosystem (Haq,Han, Wha-Jin and Kim, Christine, 2002).
Lastly,air pollution is a serious problem to urban development. Urbanmanagement is an important part to environmental management now, andreasonable planning is necessary to urban management. Air pollutionhas influence on urban development because the industries in thecities are one of the reasons why air pollution exists. As such,effective urban development would greatly reduce air pollution. Airpollution inn urban areas arise from population congestion, trafficvolumes, congestion of industries around urban areas and changes inlifestyles (such as dependence on private cars). Due to poor urbanplanning, most urban areas have high waste disposals that polluteair, more car exhausts and industrial emissions(Guo, Shanker, and Katakey, 2015).
Itis important for urban planners to develop effective urban plans thatspecifically enhance environmental management. In particular, urbanplans to be made in such a way that decongests urban areas throughrelocation of industries. Heavy industries that emit toxic gasesshould be encouraged to relocate to rural areas of urban centers.This is important in dispersing toxic gases in areas that are lessoccupied by humans and other ecosystems. This would be accomplishedby giving industry owners tax incentives to relocate industries torural areas.
Anotherurban plan that would help reduce air pollution is by prohibitingentry of private cars in urban areas (Fensterstock,Kurtzweg and Ozolins, 1971).Residents of major urban areas that have high levels of air pollutionsuch as India and China should be encorgaed to use public servicetransport rather than private cars. Industries operating in urbanareas should be forced to use clean energy sources that have lessharmful emission substances. Other measures such as discouraginglocalization of important firms in urban areas would help reducepopulations in urban areas (Hester,Hester, Harrison, Roy and Royal Society of Chemistry, 1997).
Inaddition, governments need to develop rural areas and discouragerural urban migration. However, the most effective way is encouragingpublic transport and forcing industries to relocate farther away fromurban areas (Fensterstock,Kurtzweg and Ozolins, 1971).These measures would significantly lower air pollution. Anotherimportant measure in urban development would be enlarging roadnetworks around urban areas to lower motor vehicle emissions. Thebuilding of new industries needs to comply with anti-pollutionrequirements this involves well designed policies on air pollutionprevention.
Existingindustries should be forced to implement building plans that does notallow any leakage of toxic gases in the atmosphere (Haq,Han, Wha-Jin and Kim, Christine, 2002).Another important aspect in urban development and air pollutioncontrol is planting more trees in urban areas to help in airpurification. Trees should be planted on major urban roads andrecreational areas as part of environmental management. Effectiveurban management is an important aspect that would greatly lowerincreased air pollution in urban areas(Hester, Hester, Harrison, Roy and Royal Society of Chemistry, 1997).In particular, urban development plans should focus on decongestingurban roads, relocating heavy industries to remote areas andenforcing stricter air pollution measures(Fensterstock, Kurtzweg and Ozolins, 1971).
Airpollution has adverse effects on the general health of humans andanimals. Air pollution leads to various fatal health complicationsthat arise from inhaling toxic gases. Polluted air has severalcarcinogenic air particulates that are harmful to humans, animals,plants and other living things. Ecologically, polluted air has led tothe degradation of the ecosystem. Some plant and animal species havebecome extinct as a result of polluted air. Toxic air results inacidic rain that is harmful to all living things on earth and marinelife. Air pollution has led to global warming and the subsequentchanges in climatic conditions.
Changesin climatic conditions have led to catastrophic occurrences such ashurricanes, typhoons and extended periods of draught. The changedecosystem continues to impact negatively on the normalinterdependence that exists in the ecosystem. Furthermore, airpollution have made it imperative for urban planners to rethink onvarious ways of decongested the urban areas(Haq, Han, Wha-Jin and Kim, Christine, 2002).Urban areas contribute the largest share of air pollution andeffective plans should be focused on implementing stricter measuresagainst air pollution especially from industrial plants. Airpollution is a major problem across the globe that requiresinstitutionalized policies that force the public and the privatesectors against air pollution.
Majormeasures that could significantly reduce air pollution involvesencouraging use of green energy, strict policies against airpollution and enforcing urban plans that decongest cities. Inaddition, every firm should have a corporate responsibility thatfocus on clean air. Strict measures should be enforced to reducetoxic gases and effective industrial waste management.
BloombergNews. (2015). “Heavy smog casts pall over Beijing as it bids forOlympic Games.”
Cortez,F. M. (2014). “Air pollution exposure in pregnancy linked to Autismin study.” BloombergBusiness.Retrieved from
Fensterstock, J. C., Kurtzweg J. A. & G. Ozolins (1971), “Reduction of Potential through Environmental Planning,” Journalof the Control Association,21:7, 395-399.
Guo,A., Shanker, A., & Katakey, R. (2015). “Oil slump heightenspollution challenge from Delhi to Shanghai. BloombergBusiness.Retrieved from
Haq,G., Han, Wha-Jin, & Kim, Christine. (2002). Urbanair pollution management and practice
inmajor and mega cities of Asia.Seoul: Korea Environmental Institute.
Hester,Harrison, Hester, R. E., Harrison, Roy M., & Royal Society ofChemistry . Information
Services.(1997). Airquality management(Issues in environmental science and technology 8). Cambridge, U.K.:Royal Society of Chemistry.
Khan,N. (2015). Hong Kong air pollution soars, public is warned to avoidoutdoors. Bloomberg
Pearson,O. N. (2015). Mr. President, world’s worst air is taking 6 hoursoff your life. Bloomberg
PhillipsT, (5 November 2013). "China’sair pollution blamed for eight-year-old’s lung cancer".TheTelegraph.Retrieved 27March2015.
Vennemo,H. Aunan, K. Lindhjem, H. Seip, H. M. (2009). "EnvironmentalPollution in China: Status and Trends". Reviewof Environmental Economics and Policy3(2): 209.
WorldHealth Organization (2014), “7 million premature deaths annuallylinked to air pollution.” Retrieved fromwww.who.int/…/news/…/2014/air-pollution/e.