Air Pollution and the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Essay by jeaniew November 2009

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What is air pollution? What are the dangers of air pollution to athletes? How is the air pollution in Beijing? What are the attempts to reduce the air pollution for the Olympic Games? Air pollution has been a major issue all over the world. An average person can breathe in about 20,000 liters of air daily (Team 26026, 1999). Humanity needs to be cautious because some of the air breathed in is polluted. Air pollution comes from all the particles in the air. The places that have to deal with air pollution the most are big cities that have many automobiles (Team 26026, 1999).

What is Air PollutionAccording to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "…there are many kinds of air pollution." (EPA, 2009) The EPA uses an Air Quality Index to focus on the "…five major air pollutants" (EPA, 2009), ground level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.

Two of the popular particles that appear in many parts of the country are ozone and particle pollution.

Ozone, a "…colorless odorless gas" formed at ground level, by "…cars, trucks, power plants, industries and some consumer products" (EPA, 2009) that are affected by the sun. In addition to ground level, ozone appears in the ozone layer. The benefit of ozone gas in the ozone layer is protection from the sun, in the absence, it would cause humans damage. However, when ozone is inhaled "…at ground level" damage is caused to the lungs.

Particle pollution, also referred to as particle matter, is "…microscopic particles in the air." (EPA, 2009) Depending on where one lives, the particles cause problems during winter and summer months. Results from particle pollution include haze in many cities. In addition, similar to Ozone at ground level it is unhealthy to inhale.

Dangers of Air Pollution...