World Issues

Essay by vinni119 April 2002

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Pollution is the contamination of any feature of the environment and

attached to it are certain characteristics. It is the addition of a substance or

substances at a faster rate than the environment can accommodate.

Certain pollutants like arsenic and mercury have natural levels in nature

but only if these levels exceed certain critical values, will it be considered

pollutants. Pollutants are not only chemicals but also forms of energy like

heat, sound and radioactive rays. To be a pollutant, a material has to be

potentially harmful to life. Air pollution is a problem that has existed since

humans first used fire. Two major causes of air pollution include exhaust

fumes from cars and trucks and pollutants produced by human activities,

which result in a number of health risks. In order to improve our air quality,

we must work together as a nation and do our part to attain cleaner air.

Our air is colorless, odorless and tasteless, making it barely

noticeable unless air is polluted with particles of dust, smoke, pollen or

unpleasant odors. Many pollutants can not be seen or smelled, which

allows gases to combine with other substances or gases, creating

compounds that are harmful to living things and inanimate objects. One of

the major human produced air pollutants is sulfur dioxide, which is

released from industries, power plants and home heating. Smoke and

ashes also pour from the coal being burned from factories, shops,

electric power plants, and home fireplaces. Out of six pollutants, nitrogen

dioxide is the pollutant linked with the most number of early deaths and

hospitalizations. Its major sources have to do with motor vehicle exhaust,

heat and power generation, nitric acid, explosives and fertilizer plants. It is

in the air that we breath that is causing many deaths and diseases, which...