Air Pollution in the United States With the ongoing air pollution problem, there are many questions as to why and how it's affecting us as a whole.

Glossary

Exacerbate: to make a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling worse. This is important because it can either describe one’s health in regards to the effects of air pollution. The word can also be used to describe the change to the environment from the effects of air pollution

Volatile - changing rapidly, sometimes it could be for the worse. This helps with the understanding of the topic because it’s a good word to describe how the environment is functioning. It can possibly also help with the contribution to air pollution.

Patronize - Treat with a feeling of kindness that resembles superiority. This is a significant word because the author suggested we should patronize advocates for a cleaner world. And those advocates are very important when it comes to the reduction of air pollution.

Inhibit - to restrict, prevent.When it comes to air pollution, it can inhibit your breathing. Your breathing is one of the main things affected by air pollution.

Aerosol - a substance enclosed under pressure, a spray such as a propellant gas. Aerosols are one of the sources of air pollution in the United States.

Cognitive: the process of knowing or perceiving.Researchers were studying the effects of air pollution on cognitive ability. They also found a link between those with cognitive impairment and air pollution as well.

What Are Some Sources of Air Pollution?

Human activity and natural causes results in air pollution. According to eSchoolToday, “Natural events that pollute the air include forest fires, volcanic eruptions, wind erosion, pollen dispersal, evaporation of organic compounds and natural radioactivity.” These are some of the many natural events that lead to air pollution. However, according to Cleaner and Greener, a Leonardo Academy program, they stated “Most of this air pollution we cause results from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, natural gas, and gasoline to produce electricity and power our vehicles.” Not only is air pollution naturally caused, but we as humans are a source of air pollution as well. Also us humans have also put in efforts in order to inhibit it as well.

How has the United States Taken Action upon the Reduction of Air Pollution and How Can You Act Upon Reducing Air Pollution?

The United States has found ways to combat air pollution by passing and revising the Clean Air Act. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. “On November 15, 1990 the Clean Air Act was revised with overwhelming bipartisan support and signed into law by President George H. W. Bush. Specifically the amendments were designed to curb four major threats to the environment and to the health of millions of Americans: acid rain, urban air pollution, toxic air emissions, and stratospheric ozone depletion…” There are also many steps that you can take in order to reduce air pollution. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services suggested methods you can implement in order to reduce air pollution. “Conserve. Participate in your local utility’s energy conservation programs. Limit driving by carpooling, using public transportation, biking and walking.Avoid excessive idling of your automobile. Use electric or hand-powered lawn care equipment” These are just a handful of many methods of reducing air pollution.

What's Polluting the Air?

There are a wide variety of substances polluting from the air, ranging from particulate matter, to ozone. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the most common air pollutants are “Particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) Ozone (O3)Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) Carbon monoxide (CO) Sulphur dioxide (SO2)” Are the most common air pollutants. Meanwhile,there are other materials polluting the air. According to Chris Woodford, a British science author for Explain That Stuff.“Unburned Hydrocarbons, Lead and Heavy Metals, Chlorofluorocarbons, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as household chemicals, aerosols, paint, waxes, and varnishes. And Carbon Dioxide (CO2) as it’s emitted as a greenhouse gas”. These are significant because they are extremely unhealthy when it comes to one’s respiratory health.

What are Some of the Main Health Effects of Air Pollution?

Those who are affected by air pollution are at risk from a variety of health effects ranging from mild to severe.According to the National Institute of Environmental Sciences, “Over the past 30 years, researchers have unearthed a wide array of health effects which are believed to be associated with air pollution exposure. Among them are respiratory diseases (including asthma and changes in lung function), cardiovascular diseases, adverse pregnancy outcomes (such as preterm birth), and even death.”

To narrow it down, other health effects are ”Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and breathing difficulties, exacerbated existing lung and heart problems, such as asthma Increased risk of heart attack In addition, long-term exposure to air pollution can cause cancer and damage to the immune, cognitive, neurological, reproductive, and respiratory systems. In extreme cases, it can even cause death.” According to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Where in the United States is Air Pollution the Worst.

Many areas in the United States have gone through some sort of air pollution. the American Lung Association released its 2016 State of Air report. The findings revealed that “more than 50% of Americans live in areas with unhealthy levels of particle pollution, tiny solid and liquid particles floating around the air we breath, or ozone pollution, harmful gases that react to sunlight.” Additionally, Los Angeles, California experiences some of the worst air pollution as severe road traffic and a busy trade port are major contributors to Los Angeles' poor air pollution. Los Angeles joins 12 other counties that have failed the 3 air pollution tests by the ALA. Also according to the ALA, “Several California cities ranked high on the pollution offenders list, with Los Angeles coming in at No. 1 for ozone pollution. Bakersfield ranked at the top for particle pollution, which can increase risk of cardiovascular and lung issues.”

WORKS CITED

Watson, Traci. "Air pollution from other countries drifts into USA ; Emissions that cross borders could cancel out U.S. efforts." USA Today. Gannett Company, 14 Mar. 2005. Web. Accessed 30 Jan. 2017.

Nguyen, Tina. "Science: Blame Chinese Air Pollution for America’s Terrible Weather." Mediate Science Blame Chinese Air Pollution for America’s Terrible Weather .16 Apr. 2014. Web. Accessed 26 Jan. 2017.

Audet, Marye. "Air Pollution in America." LoveToKnow. N.p.,n.d, http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/environmental-issues/air-pollution-america.Web. 24 Jan. 2017.

Saul, Isaac. "Could China's 'Airpocalypse' Happen In The United States?" A Plus. N.p., 11 Jan. 2017 http://aplus.com/a/china-red-alert-pollution-smog-misha-boehm?no_monetization=true&scrlybrkr=efd4773d. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.

Reuben, Aaron .THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON SMOG. Mother Jones, 2015.Explora. 1 July 2015. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

“NASA Images Show Human Fingerprint on Global Air Quality – Release Materials.” NASA, NASA Scientific Visualization Studio ,17 December 2015, Accessed 1 February 2017, https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4412

ESchooltoday. "What causes Air Pollution? Here are some natural and human activities that cause air pollution." What causes Air Pollution? Here are some natural and human activities that cause air pollution. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.

"The Clean Air Act - Highlights of the 1990 Amendments." EPA.gov. Environmental Protection Agency, 03 Jan. 2017. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.

"Air Pollution." Emissions Services by Cleaner and Greener®. Cleaner and Greener, a Leonardo Academy Program, 2013. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.

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