Air Pollution's Effects on Human Health & Mortality

Essay by ked164University, Bachelor's March 2004

download word file, 5 pages 4.6 1 reviews


Environmental pollution is a term that refers to all the ways that human activity harms the natural environment. It is one of the most serious problems facing humanity and other life forms today. Thick, brown haze wraps around cities. Unwanted tires, appliances and other refuse float in streams. Oil spills kill thousands of wildlife each year. All of these are examples of environmental pollution. Many of the health problems on the increase today are directly linked to how we are treating the environment.

Air pollution is defined as the contamination of the air by such substances as fuel exhaust and smoke. It can also be produced naturally when forest fires and volcanic eruptions shoot gases and particulates into the air and rain and wind scatter the particulates. The atmosphere consists of nitrogen, oxygen, and small amounts of carbon dioxide and other gases and particulates. Particulates are tiny particles which may be liquid or solid matter.

They may be visible or invisible particulates. To keep the air in balance, plants use carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Animals use up oxygen in return and produce carbon dioxide through respiration. Air pollution occurs when the natural processes can no longer keep the atmosphere in balance. Then air pollution turns clear, odorless air into hazy, smelly air that harms human health, kills plants, and damages property.

Scientific Methods:

Air pollution is particularly prevalent in metropolitan areas. One such area, Azusa, California, is notable for frequently exceeding both federal and state ambient air standards for ozone and particulate matter. Noticing this trend, William J. Mautz, a professor at the University of California Irvine, investigated this trend and performed an experiment to examine the potential for development of cumulative respiratory tract injury in people who are repeatedly exposed to mixtures of air pollutants containing...