The Pros And Cons Of Air Pollution

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Air pollution has become the subject of many discussions due to the overuse of a number of pollutant causing materials. According to Miller and Spoolman (2012) “Air pollution is the presence of chemicals in the atmosphere in concentrations high enough to harm organisms, ecosystems, or human-made materials, or to alter climate.” Although there are natural emissions of pollutant causing materials, these emissions aren’t significant enough to build up high concentration levels that pollute the air. However, transportation is significant enough to build up high concentration levels to pollute the air, harming the environment and all of the species in it. There are many harmful substances in the air; these substances can be split into two types. The EPA classifies these two types as criteria pollutants and hazardous air pollutants. Criteria pollutants consist of particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), etc. Hazardous air pollutants include benzene, dioxins, chromium, etc. All six of these chemical pollutants are found in transportation, making it one of the leading factors to the ongoing problem of air pollution. According to scorecard.goodguide (2011) (the pollution information website) “EPA's criteria air pollutant emission inventory indicates that releases of all criteria air pollutants except nitrogen oxides have been in decline since the passage of the 1970 Clean Air Act. Overall air quality across the country has improved significantly since the 1980s. These improvements, however, have not eliminated air quality problems, and major efforts to control pollution sources are still required to ensure everyone breathes air that meets Clean Air Act standards.” The problem has improved over the past decades... ... middle of paper ... ..., but we have legs for a reason, if it is within a walking distance, hop on a bike or take a walk to your destination, doing so will prevent the burning of fossil fuels, another preservation method is to turn your car off when you are waiting for someone/something instead of leaving it running. On a higher level, I already mentioned implementing stronger laws, we already have the Clean Air Act, but we need something that will enforce bigger penalties on those choosing to not follow the law. Also, the EPA supports the use of renewable fuels; electric cars are already a hit amongst the population, auto manufacturers are producing a lot of new alternative fuel vehicles, and although not everyone is in favor of electric cars, by converting older cars that run on gasoline/diesel to run on clean alternative fuels that will also help pollutants from entering into the air.

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