Air Pollution

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

A Breath Of Bad Air Due to the growth in population,recent studies show that Nevada is currently experiencing a critical set ofcircumstances concerning bad air quality. This bad air quality results fromthree major resources: area sources,point sources, and mobile sources. Area sources are defined as sources thatemit less than 10 tons per year of a criteria or hazardous air pollutant, andthey include small pollution sources like dry cleaners, gas stations, and autobody paint shops. Mobile sources include both on road vehicles (such as cars,trucks and buses) and off road equipment (such as ships, airplanes,agricultural and construction equipment). Mobile sources are responsible forabout 75% of carbon monoxide pollution. Point sources include major industrialfacilities like chemical plants, steel mills, oil refineries, power plants, andhazardous waste incinerators. Point sources are defined as those that emit 10tons per year of any of the criteria pollutants or hazardous air pollutants. Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) are chemicals that can cause adverse effects tohuman health or the environment.

Almost 200 of these chemicals have beenidentified, including chemicals that can cause cancer or birth defects.

In 1990, the federal governmentpassed the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA), which is a set of environmentallaws that establishes primary and secondary standards for National Ambient AirQuality Standards (NAAQS) for various pollutants. The six pollutants consideredharmful to public health and the environment include: carbon monoxide, lead,nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. The pollutantswere chosen based on two criteria: emissions of these substances cause orcontribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endangerpublic health or welfare; and the presence of these substances in the ambientair results from numerous or diverse mobile or stationary sources. The CleanAir Act established two types of national air quality standards. Primarystandards are intended to protect public health, including the health ofsensitive populations such as asthmatics,