Air Pollution in Birmingham, Alabama Essay

Air Pollution in Birmingham, Alabama Essay

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Air pollution continues to be a significant problem in the city of Birmingham, as it has been for decades. No one enjoys walking the streets of Birmingham only to taste or smell the smoke and particulates in the air, not to mention the damaging effects to one’s health. Fortunately, improvements have been made; forty years ago, residents of Birmingham could not even see the skyline due to the immense amounts of particulates in the air, but now the skyline is visible on a daily basis. The noticeable improvement indicates the progress that has been made over the years, but there is still plenty of room for much needed improvement. Birmingham’s air quality is among some of the worst in the United States, but there are several feasible and relatively simple solutions which would make a positive impact on air quality, undoing the damaging effects on human and environmental health: recycling, proper disposal of used tires, and closely monitoring factory waste disposal.
In the United States before 1970, there was no law in place regarding pollution which led to toxic air quality levels. Conversely, the Environmental Protection Agency passed a new law, the Clean Air Act, which led to federal District Judge Sam Pointer ordering an emergency halt to the operations of 23 smokestack industries in Birmingham until the passing of the emergency period (Spencer). The Clean Air Act was passed with intentions of creating clearer and uncontaminated air across the country, but Birmingham’s air was nowhere near clear and uncontaminated. Over the course of the past 40 years, adjustments have been made to factories and mills, and it has not gone unnoticed. As written by Spencer, “the EPA has proposed that Birmingham be certified as having attained co...


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...useless to create a product such as rubber asphalt which lasts longer than asphalt itself.



Works Cited

Spencer, Thomas. "An Old Cloud of Polluted Air Lifts from Birmingham's Shoulders | Al.com." Alabama Blogs and Bloggers-Al.com. Web. 23 Nov 2011.
Kallman, Matt. "August 2008 Monthly Update: Air Pollution's Causes, Consequences and Solutions |
"Coal Burning Power Plants." Black Warrior Riverkeeper. Web. 23 Nov 2011.
“Downtown B’ham Recycling Center.” Web. 23 Dec 2011.
Lioy, Paul J., and Panos G. Georgopoulos. “New Jersey: A Case Study of the Reduction in Urban and Suburban Air Pollution From the 1950s to 2010.” Environmental Health Perspectives 119. 10 (2011): 1351-1355. Academic Search Premier. Web. 8 Dec 2011.
“Tire Trouble." Family Education Network, Resource for Parents, Teachers & Kids. PearsonSchool.com-Family Education Network. Web. 23 Nov 2011.

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