You are on page 1of 9

FOUNDATION STUDIES DEPARTMENT

Air pollution in the world


ABSTRACT
Air pollution has been seriously noticed during the present time. This paper, based on secondary
research, gives necessary information on air pollution. In particular, three aspects are
mentioned, including some causes of air pollution, its effects to health of human, and several
solutions to this problem. The findings of the research indicate that if humans are aware of the
causes and effects of pollution, the air will be protected from contamination. Therefore, some
suggestions, consisting of measures to not only individuals but also collectives have been given
to control air pollution. All in all, the paper draws the conclusion that air protection is the
responsibility of both the government and individuals. They should cooperate to create fresh
atmosphere.

i
TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................................ i
TABLE OF CONTENTS .................................................................................................. ii
1. Introduction ............................................................................................................. 1
2. Discussion of findings .............................................................................................. 1
2.1. What are effects of air pollution? .................................................................... 1
2.2. Why is the air polluted? ................................................................................... 2
2.3. How should human do to reduce air pollution? ............................................ 3
3. Conclusion ................................................................................................................ 4
REFERENCES .................................................................................................................. 5

ii
1. Introduction
Business Dictionary defines air pollution as “the condition in which air is contaminated by
foreign substances, or the substances themselves”. As reported in an article about the great
“Smog disaster” in London (1952), there were four thousand people who died in a few days due
to the high concentrations of air pollution. It is estimated that there were 6.5 million deaths
worldwide from air pollution – related diseases in 2012 (WHO data). The figure accounted for
11.6% of all global deaths – more than the number of people killed by HIV/AIDS. According to
a study, a person breathes 20.000 liters of air each day. This means the more polluted the air is,
the more we breathe into our lungs dangerous chemicals. Dr Chris Murray, the director of IHME
(Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) said that: “Of all the different risk factors for
premature deaths, this is one area, the air we breathe, over which individuals have little control
Policy makers in health and environment agencies, as well as leaders in various industries, are
facing growing demands - and expectations - to address this problem”. Thus, this paper, with the
purpose to help human reduce air pollution will mention to some causes and effects of air
pollution and suggest several solutions to this problem.

2. Discussion of findings
2.1. What are effects of air pollution?

According to Business Dictionary, air pollution includes gaseous, liquid, or solid substances.
When they interact in a sufficient time and under certain conditions, it may tend to interfere with
health of human (Business Dictionary). The effects of air pollution are alarming. It can result in a
lot of serious diseases to human.

Initially, poor air quality might be responsible for reducing children’s IQs, affecting their ability
to learn and access information. The new report from Columbia University’s Mailman School of
Public Health (cited in Wilson, 2015), which is referred to as a “first - of - its - kind - study” ,
said that children born to mothers experiencing economic hardship who were exposed to high
levels of urban air pollution suffered from reduced IQs, imposing an obvious hardship beginning
at birth. According to a report published in the medical journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology
(cited in Wilson, 2015), children who were less exposed to air pollution scored much higher on
IQ tests at 5 – year – old compared with children born to poorer families who were exposed to

1
air pollution. As stated by Patrick Breysse (cited in Evans, 2009) – an environmental health
specialist at Johns Hopkins’ School of Public Health, air quality might be a part of the main
reasons for why wealthier children tend to do better at school than children from poorer
neighborhoods, as they might live in more polluted areas.

In addition, air pollution can cause many diseases related to heart and lung. According to a study
in the March 8th issue of JAMA (cited in Target, 2006), being exposed to air pollution increases
the risk for hospital admission for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases of a person. A research
study from Daily Mail (cited in Barker, 2016) illustrated that:

Those in the group with the highest exposure levels were 34 percent more likely to die with lung
cancer than people who lived more than three miles away from the sites, the researchers found.
And people in that group were 30 per cent more likely to die from other respiratory diseases.
They were also 5 per cent more likely to receive hospital treatment for all respiratory diseases,
including 9 per cent for asthma.

Another concerning disease resulting from air pollution is dementia, especially for women. It has
been claimed (‘Particulate air pollutants, APOE alleles and their contributions to cognitive
impairment in older women and to amyloidogenesis in experimental models’, Translational
Psychiatry, 2017) that air pollution can promote brain aging and contribute to the progression of
dementia, and women with a specific gene variant are at greater risk than others. As reported by
a study from researchers at the University of Southern California (Vuong, 2017), older women
who lived in areas where the air were polluted had 81% greater chance of general cognitive
decline and 92% more likely to develop dementia.

2.2. Why is the air polluted?

Although our health becomes worse and worse as a result of air pollution, people have not had a
clear awareness of the causes of air pollution. Whereas some reasons why the air is polluted are
entirely natural – being the result of sudden changes in temperature, seasonal changes, or regular
cycles, others are the result of human impact.

In the first place, natural forms of air pollution are those resulting from naturally – occurring
phenomena. Due to a lack of precipitation in large areas of open land having little to no
vegetation, wind can create dust storms (Williams, 2016). He still said that when scattered into
regions having natural vegetation, particulate matter can harm to the atmosphere. In addition, the

2
smoke and carbon monoxide from wildfires and forest fires contribute to carbon levels in the
atmosphere, which allows the development of air pollution (Williams, 2016). As stated by
Williams (2016), volcanic eruptions are one of the most major sources of natural air pollution.
He also claimed that a large amount of sulfur, chlorine, and ash products can be released into the
air and dispersed over large areas due to an eruption.

Besides naturally – occurring phenomena, however, human activities are the greatest
contributing to air pollution. According to Williams (2016), a major cause of air pollution is the
process of burning fossil fuels namely coal, petroleum, charcoal, and others. He said it creates
unburnt organic matter, which might be released into the atmosphere, then causing air pollution.
A study conducted by the UCS (‘Car Emissions and Global Warming’) showed that
transportation made up more than half of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, and almost a
quarter of the hydrocarbon emitted into the air in the US. Moreover, one of the most hazardous
gases in the atmosphere is ammonia – a very common product from agriculture ( Rinkesh, 2000).
He declared that the regular use of insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers in agricultural activities
also leads to air pollution. That manufacturing industries release a large amount of carbon
monoxide, hydrocarbons, organic compounds, and chemical substances makes the quality of air
worse (Rinkesh, 2000). As stated by him, you can find manufacturing industries at every corner
of the earth. Thus, there is no area that has not been affected by it.

In fact, it is estimated that there are 4,3 million people dying every year, which results from the
exposure to household air pollution (WHO). According to the EPA, air pollution outside is often
two or five times less harmful than it is indoor. A lot of people cook and heat their homes by
using solid fuels such as coal, wood, charcoal, dung, and crop wastes on open fires or traditional
stoves, which create a toxic gas polluting the air.

2.3. How should human do to reduce air pollution?

Air pollution is a severe problem to everyone on earth. Correspondingly, not only the
government but also individuals in the world need to take some measures to help to control air
pollution.

First and foremost, for government, they should promulgate national and state policies which can
be used to reduce air pollution. A fantastic measure is always offered by legislation and
regulations for tackling the air pollution. A huge number of cities and countries that were once

3
heavily polluted have substantially attained fresh air mainly due to laws against air pollution. For
instances, in England, the government enforced its Clean Air Act of 1956 placing limits on
burning coal and requiring industries to build higher smokestacks after the 1952 smog tragedy
that deprived thousands of human lives in London (Madann n.d). Since the enactment of its, only
44% of smokestacks emitting sulfur oxides have installed air scrubbers, whereas 37% of
smokestacks producing nitrogen oxides have begun to use air scrubbers (Epstein, 2011). He also
stated that according to the EPA, the lives of 17,000 people annually in the United States would
be protected from respiratory related deaths by simply installing scrubbers.

In addition, a practical solution to air pollution is opting for alternative or renewable energy
sources namely wind energy, geothermal energy, solar energy, and hydro – power to produce
power instead of relying on fossil fuels or coal energy (Madann n.d). Converting to sources such
as solar, wind, and geothermal will create electricity without carbon emissions, which helps to
reduce air pollution.

Furthermore, awareness creation is one of the most important factor to consider because it will
make people realize and understand the causes and effects of air pollution. If individuals are
aware of these, they should encourage family, friends, or colleagues to use more and more public
modes of transportation such as bus, train or bike when going to school or going to work
(Madann n.d). Besides, switch off fans and lights when you are going out. Moreover, people
should try to understand the concept of reduce, reuse, and recycle to control air pollution
(Rinkesh, 2000).

3. Conclusion

The above analysis has shown that there are many things that human do to cause air pollution but
there are also a lot of ways that people can prevent it. In the long run, it can be said that it is high
time the action was taken to protect the atmosphere because it is so significant for all living
beings. We can not imagine how wonderful life is when human accomplish the target.

4
REFERENCES

Business Dictionary, http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/air-pollution.html

Barker, D 2016, Why living near a landfill can give you lung cancer, viewed 15 January 2017,
http://www.naturalnews.com/054253_landfills_lung_cancer_air_pollution.html

Cars and global warming, Union of Concerned Scientists, viewed 2 February 2017,
http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/car-emissions-and-global-warming#

Evans, K 2009, Air Pollution Linked to Low IQ in Children, viewed 8 January 2017,
http://www.naturalnews.com/026683_pollution_air_IQ.html

Evans, K 2010, Indoor Air Pollution: Look at the Causes and Solutions, viewed 6 February 2017,
http://www.naturalnews.com/028018_indoor_air_pollution.html

Madann, S n.d, 5 Brilliant Solutions to Air Pollution, viewed 8 February 2017,


http://www.eartheclipse.com/pollution/brilliant-solutions-to-air-pollution.html

Particulate air pollutants, APOE alleles and their contributions to cognitive impairment in older
women and to amyloidogenesis in experimental models, Translational Psychiatry, 2017, viewed
1 February 2017,
http://www.nature.com/tp/journal/v7/n1/full/tp2016280a.html

5
Rinkess, 2000, What is Air Pollution?, viewed 4 February 2017,
http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-effects-solutions-of-air-pollution.php

Target, N 2006, Fine Particle Air Pollution Associated With Respiratory and Cardiovascular
Diseases (press release), viewed 10 January 2017,
http://www.naturalnews.com/019942_cardiovascular_air_pollution_risk.html

Vuong, Z 2017, Air pollution may lead to dementia in older women, viewed 16 January 2017,
https://news.usc.edu/115654/air-pollution-may-lead-to-dementia-in-older-women/

Williams, M 2016, What causes air pollution?, viewed 5 February 2017,


http://www.universetoday.com/81977/causes-of-air-pollution/

Wilson, J 2015, Why cities make people stupid: Air pollution significantly reduces children's IQ,
study finds, viewed 6 January 2017,
http://www.naturalnews.com/049903_air_pollution_city_life_intelligence.html