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Atmospheric Pollution and Health Problems

Group 2, HUMSS 11Z

Josue, Janna Louise A.

Ortiz, Patricia P.

Tan, Hazel Catherine K.

Touzo, Lorraine Angeline R.


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I. Abstract

The Philippines’ Atmospheric Pollution is highly increasing every year due to harmful gases,

dust, and smoke that enters the atmosphere. Burning of fossil fuels like petroleum, coals, oil, natural gases

that makes our vehicles move is one of the major causes of air pollution. Household and farming

chemicals, carbon monoxide, ground level ozone, lead, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, and sulfur

dioxide are additional causes of air pollution.

Knowing the causes, what are the effects of air pollution? The major effects of atmospheric

pollution are from gases, dust, and smoke that make it hard for us to live. Not just us, but also with the

plants and animals. Acidification happens from chemical reactions with air pollutants can create acidic

compounds that causes harm to vegetation and buildings. When acid rain falls on an area, it can kill trees

and harm animals, and other wildlife. Low level ozone can produce poisonous gas ozone, it can affect the

diverse creatures on Earth. Particulate matter can be formed by air pollutants, which can be very harmful

to our health.

The preventions of air pollution from the government are taking action by investing wind energy,

solar energy, and renewable energy to minimize the burning of fossil fuels that may cause heavy air

pollution. They are also forcing companies to be responsible with the residue of the machine factories, so

that even though they cause air pollution, they are still controlled. Of course, even though the government

is taking action about this matter, we, as Filipino citizens, should be responsible to prevent our country’s

pollution. We can encourage our families to take the bus, train, or bike which results in lesser production

of fumes. Use electricity wisely to lessen the burning of fossil fuels for electricity generation. Recycle and

reuse things to help lessen the production of new things.

Keywords: Health, Air Pollution, Diseases

II. Introduction
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A. Background

The atmospheric pollution that the earth deals with is a never ending trouble around the world.

The acceleration of global economic developments is contributing to the continuing negative effects of

the atmospheric conditions on earth. The air pollution gets worse from time to time because of the growth

of the population and automobiles. It causes a domino effect to all living things in the planet that produces

uncontrollable wide spread problems all over the world. One of the problems it causes is health problems

around the world. Air pollution is a form of pollution when harmful particulates (solid or liquid) go into

the atmosphere and contaminate it. There are a lot of air pollutants that can be introduced into the Earth's

atmosphere through further chemical reactions. Poisonous pollutants including primary and secondary

pollutants are the three types of pollutants. Toxic air pollutants cause health problems in a significant

way. Power plants, industries, pesticide application, and contaminated windblown dust are the sources.

Primary pollutants are emitted directly into the air from pollution sources. Secondary pollutants are

formed when primary pollutants undergo chemical changes in the atmosphere. Ozone (O3) is an example

of it and often referred to as smog. Air pollution moves by air transport. It is when air pollution moves

from an emission source to a receptor. A source is a location (smokestack, a chimney, or exhaust pipe)

from which the pollutant emits. A receptor is the place (soil, vegetation, water bodies, human lungs)

where the pollutant is deposited. The atmosphere itself is the transporter of pollutants from sources to

receptors. Two main causes of atmospheric pollution are human activity and natural activity. Major

human activity as well as minor activities, contribute to the accumulation of pollution. It produces

chemicals and fumes, along with transportation produced pollution. These pollutants cause damage to

cultural resources, and injury to ecosystems and organisms, aggravate respiratory diseases, and reduce

visibility. Natural activity includes methane emissions from animals, smoke from wildfires, and volcanic

activity. Characteristics: Atmospheric particulate matters are microscopic solid or liquid particulates

suspended in Earth's atmosphere.


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They are also called as dust, fume, smoke, and mist. They have impacts on climate and precipitation that

adversely affect human health Asbestos a mineral that is found in natural settings such as caves and

outdoor deposits. Whenever asbestos fiber is cut, ripped or old enough to become brittle and break apart,

tiny particles that make up the mineral were released into the atmosphere. They develop respiratory

problems, internal tissue scarring and even forms of cancer. The Philippines’ Atmospheric Pollution is

highly increasing every year due to harmful gases, dust, and smoke that enters the atmosphere. Burning of

fossil fuels like petroleum, coals, oil, natural gases that makes our vehicles move is one of the major

causes of air pollution. Household and farming chemicals, carbon monoxide, ground level ozone, lead,

nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide are additional causes of air pollution. Knowing the

causes, what are the effects of air pollution? The major effects of atmospheric pollution are from gases,

dust, and smoke that make it hard for us to live. Not just us, but also with the plants and animals.

Acidification happens from chemical reactions with air pollutants can create acidic compounds that

causes harm to vegetation and buildings. When acid rain falls on an area, it can kill trees and harm

animals, and other wildlife. Ground-level ozone can create a poisonous gas ozone, it can affect people’s

health and can damage vegetation types, and some animal life too. Particulate matter can be formed by air

pollutants, which can be very harmful to our health. The preventions of air pollution from the government

are taking action by investing wind energy, solar energy, and renewable energy to minimize the burning

of fossil fuels that may cause heavy air pollution. They are also forcing companies to be responsible with

the residue of the machine factories, so that even though they cause air pollution, they are still controlled.

Of course, even though the government is taking action about this matter, we, as Filipino citizens, should

be responsible to prevent our country’s pollution. We can encourage our families to take the bus, train, or

bike which results in lesser production of fumes. Use electricity wisely to lessen the burning of fossil

fuels for electricity generation. Recycle and reuse things to help lessen the production of new things.
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B. Problems

Air pollution has significant effects on humans and their health. Because of sulfates and nitrates,

they contribute to the effect on health problems. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), 2

million people die each year because of air pollution related diseases. Heart problems, respiratory

problems, and different kinds of cancers are usually the health concerns. Motor vehicle exhaust release

lead that may affect people’s health by directly inhaling it especially people living in highways. It can

also be ingested after it is deposited on to food. Lead poisoning can cause destructive behavioral changes,

learning disabilities, and permanent brain damages. Because of greenhouse gases, the greenhouse effect is

another effect of air pollution. It is a natural process that keeps our atmosphere warm. They trap the heat

from the sun in the earth's atmosphere and begin to raise global temperatures. Too much gasses in the

atmosphere can trap more heat, and can make the planet artificially warm.

III. Discussion

A. History and Timeline

During the Industrial Revolution to the mid-1990s, that industry did not have protect and put

concern on the environment and the public health of the people. With the new laws and regulations, there

is expectation that is put to the refining, chemical processing, and related industries. The business and

industrial community has turned out to be more mindful of the need to guarantee their entitlement to work

according to the overall population and the particular groups in which they work.

Air pollution from the population’s activities started some time before the Industrial Revolution.

The approach of the Industrial Revolution brought a big scale on the production and mechanical

operations that increased the air pollution levels.


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Timeline:

· Late 13th century: King Edward I of England banned the burning of sea-coal because of major

smoke and soot pollution. The ban was not successful.

· 1800s and 1900s: The Industrial Revolution was based on the use of coal. It was used in homes for

domestic heat by burning it. Industries were often located in towns and cities, so urban air pollution was

very high. Urban smogs (smoke and fog) were formed during foggy conditions because the pollution

levels rapidly increased. Not only it intensified air pollution, but also water pollution.

· 1936: Smoking on all public transportations were banned in Milwaukee. It was the first American

city to ban it.

· 1955: Congress passed the Air Pollution Control Act of 1955, the first federal legislation with

significance in solving air pollution. The act creates funding for air-pollution research.

· 1963: The Clean Air Act of 1963 was passed by the Congress. It is the first federal legislation to

focus on air pollution control.

· 1970: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established by President Richard

Nixon. The agency was created to safeguard human health and protect the natural environment: air, water,

and land.

· 1970: The Clean Air Act was revised to incorporate stricter standards for air quality and auto

emissions.

· 1975: The catalytic converter was invented. It was used to cut auto emissions and reduce air

pollution.

· 1987: The Indoor Air Quality Act was introduced to Congress. It focuses on indoor air pollution.
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· 1990: A ban was enacted for banning smoking aboard flights in the U.S. of six hours or less. It was

implemented to prevent secondhand cigarette smoke.

· 2000: Federal Regulation required that all flights to and from the U.S. are smoke-free.

· 1990: San Luis Obispo became the first city in the world to prohibit smoking in public areas such

as buildings, including bars and restaurants.

· 2002: A landmark law was passed by California. It required automakers to reduce greenhouse gas

emitted from motor vehicles by 30 percent by 2016.

· 2003: New York City banned smoking in all workplaces, including bars and restaurants.

· 2005: The Kyoto Protocol came into control. The protocol calls for participating nations to reduce

greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, except China.

B. Relationship of Two Discipline

Earth Science is the branch of science that deals with the physical constitution of the earth and its

atmosphere. Life Science is the branch of science dealing with the living organisms and life processes.

The relationship of the two disciplines is that both branches deal with life processes because when you

study life sciences it includes people and how they love. In life sciences, we study the cells which

includes the earth because we study how the living things in our environment are made or what their

components are.

C. Possible Impacts of Air Pollution

Air pollution can cause a variety of environmental effects such as acid rain, eutrophication, and

haze. Acid rain is precipitation containing harmful amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids. These acids are

formed primarily by nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are

burned.
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The acid formed in the atmosphere was being brought back to the Earth’s surface by the way of wet

precipitation or dry precipitation. Eutrophication is a condition in a water body to where high

concentrations of nutrients (such as nitrogen) stimulate blooms of algae, which in turn can cause fish kills

and loss of plant and animal diversity. When sunlight hit tiny pollutants in the air, this is called haze.

Haze affects the clearness and colors of the objects seen by our eyes. With regards to human health, air

pollution can harm us when it accumulates in the air in high enough concentrations. People live in areas

affected by smog, and other pollutants are in threat of serious illnesses. Air pollution long-term health

effects can include chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to the brain,

nerves, liver, or kidneys. Constant exposure to the pollution affects vital organ of growing children and

adults. Short-term effects include irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, and upper respiratory infections

such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Poisonous pollutants in atmosphere and soil on water source can affect

wildlife in many ways. Like humans, animals can experience health problems if they are exposed to

sufficient concentrations of air toxics over time. Studies show that air toxic are contributing to birth

defects, reproductive failure, and disease in animals. Pollution effects are indeed many and wide-ranging.

There is no doubt that excessive levels of pollution are causing a lot of damage to human and animal

health, tropical rainforests, as well as wider environment.

IV. Conclusion

Health of millions of people around the world are currently affected because of atmospheric

pollution. The case for action to remove air pollution is overwhelming and this action can take many

forms. If air pollution levels in heavy traffic areas were reduced, the incidence of respiratory diseases

would be significantly reduced. While it is generally accepted that efforts to reduce air pollution will

prevent further environmental changes, they will not reverse existing global warming. The atmospheric

pollution that the earth deals with is a never ending trouble around the world. With all the things

discussed, it is essential for everyone to be aware of the entire effects of pollution in all diversity in our

planet and how it should be managed.


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Rules and regulations should be implemented in order to have discipline among the people which will

help in managing the cleanliness and order of the inhabitants of the world. With this, pollution will reduce

and the world will be cleaner and safer for all living things.

V. References

Air Pollution. (n.d.). Retrieved August 21, 2017, from

https://www.nps.gov/shen/learn/nature/airpollution.htm

Asbestos Fiber. (n.d.). Retrieved from : https://www.mesothelioma.com/asbestos-

exposure/products/asbestos-fiber/

Bradford, A. (2015, March 10). Pollution Facts & Types of Pollution. Retrieved August 21, 2017, from

https://www.livescience.com/22728-pollution-facts.html

Bright, I. (2008, April). Pollution Effects On Humans, Animals, Plants and The Environment. Retrieved

August 21, 2017, from http://www.tropical-rainforest-animals.com/pollution-effects.html

E. (n.d.). Retrieved August 21, 2017, from http://eschooltoday.com/pollution/air-pollution/effects-of-air-

pollution.html

E. (n.d.). Retrieved August 21, 2017, Retrieved from: http://eschooltoday.com/pollution/air-

pollution/what-is-indoor-air-pollution.html

ECRD2015 Follow. (2015, December 24). Air pollution, sources and characteristics. Retrieved from

https://www.slideshare.net/ECRD2015/air-pollution-sources-and-characteristics

John Wiley & Sons, Tnc. (2006). Historical Background on Air Pollution. Historical Perspective on Air

Pollution Control. Safe Design and Operation of Process Vents and Emission Control System. Retrieved

from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/0470038071.app9/pdf
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Nahla A. Nabhan. (n.d.). Air Pollution Timeline. Retrieved from:

http://www.ewp.rpi.edu/hartford/~ernesto/F2013/AWPPCE/AdditionalReadings/Air/air-

pollution-timeline.pdf

Particulates. (2017, August 05). Retrieved August 21, 2017, from

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particulates

Visibility and Regional Haze. (2017, April 25). Retrieved August 21, 2017, from

https://www.epa.gov/visibility
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