Atmospheric Pollution

Atmospheric pollution is the existence of dangerous gases, solids or liquids in the atmosphere (Environmental Protection Agency, 2011). Atmospheric pollution occurs as a result of various types of noxious wastes.

Particulate matter, the first type, comprises of liquid and solid aerosols suspended in air. This occurs as a result of hazardous industrial processes and burning coal. It speeds up the erosion of construction materials and the decomposition of metals which destructs the human respiratory system by introducing poisonous materials into the system.

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The minute particles cause ailments such as: lung cancer, bronchial asthma and emphysema among others.
Sulphur oxides, the second type, mainly come from burning coal and manufacturing industries. The nature of acidity of the sulphur oxides causes harm to human beings, plant life and other materials on the earth’s surface.

Carbon monoxide, the third type of pollutant, is a colourless gas which people have no guard against. Haemoglobin, present in blood, mixes with carbon monoxide and transports less oxygen to the body tissues posing a risk of health and heart effects. A number of health issues originate from the exhaust fumes seeping out from automobiles. Hundreds of Americans lose their lives as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning every year.

Hydrocarbons, the fourth type, are chemical complexes made up of carbon and hydrogen only. Hydrocarbons come up from vehicles powered with gasoline and industrial procedures. Hydrocarbons are emitted when power in the engine burns up incompletely. Whenever hydrocarbons get in touch with sunlight, they create ground level ozone, a chief ingredient in the creation of smog. Ground level ozone damages lungs, causes eye irritation as well as general respiratory problems.

The final type is nitrogen oxides which originate from high-temperature ignition, for instance in electric power plants, motor car engines and general use of fuel. Nitrogen oxide adds to acidity during the production and precipitation of chemical fog. Nitrogen oxide is however hazardous as it springs severe illness and demise even in cases of short periods of exposure.

Description of the Problem

Atmospheric pollution is an environmental problem that has to do with contaminants in the air. Atmospheric pollution leads to several health and environmental problems. The world is getting hotter, making people to suffer. Each day, a common person inhales almost twenty thousand litres of air. Each time we inhale we risk drawing in hazardous chemicals that have made their way into the atmosphere. Atmospheric pollution includes all pollutants found in the air. These hazardous substances can exist in the type of gases or particles.

Atmospheric pollution can occur both in and out-of-doors. It poses health risks like emphysema, cancer and asthma. It also leads to the exhaustion of the ozone layer which causes the melting of ice caps as well as global warming. Up to the industrial age, the air was rather clean. Afterwards, the use of vents and the burning of coal added many pollutants in the air. The amplified use of fossil fuels nowadays also contributes to this.

If pollution goes on as badly as it is currently, the O-Zone layer will be run down adequately to allow ultra violet waves into the earth leading to skin cancer and other issues associated with the ultra violet rays.

Since ozone layer protects the earth from dangerous ultraviolet radiation, ozone exhaustion is believed to cause high number of skin cancer cases in nations like Australia and Saudi Arabia. It is expected that the Montreal Protocol which constrained the emission of artificial pollutants like the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) would direct ozone layer’s recuperation by 2050 (Sunyer, 2001).

Smog is a blend of many contaminants, primarily particulate matter and ground-level ozone. Ozone is produced from nitrogen oxides and volatile organic composites. During summers, most people get exposed to ground-level ozone absorptions that are greater than the present national ambient quality of air objective of eighty two parts per billion in one hour (Goss et al., 2004). In the United States, the key sources of nitrogen oxides are industries, transport sector, and use of fossil fuels as a source of energy.

Non-artificial sources of nitrogen oxides are usually insignificant. The chief sources of artificial volatile organic composites are petroleum and solvents. While non-artificial sources of volatile organic composites (chiefly from plants) are 5.5 times artificial sources, it is significant to note that locally, in crowded smog-affected areas, volatile organic composite emissions tend to rule during ozone events.

Though ozone changes only a small number of regions, many big cities experience heights of particulate matter which are said to have major effects on human wellbeing. Particulates and ground-level ozone are related to a variety of bad health impacts, among them being respiratory problems, augmented emergency cases of illness and early death.

Nonliving and Living Factors that Contribute to or Are Affected by the Problem

Human beings are the major living factor that causes atmospheric pollution. This is so because human beings cut trees for use in industries and use fossil fuels as sources of energy. The rising earth population is also significantly associated to this matter. A large population causes pollution in that as the number of people increase, the demand for timber as a construction material increase, thus increasing deforestation.

Numerous forms of transport are available globally. So long as these forms of transport rely on fuel to run, they will forever emit pollutants. Exhausts from vehicles, aircrafts, and ships have become the main pollutants of the globe. If bikes and other non-fuelled modes of transports can be employed, the presence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could be reduced. Exhausts from cars weaken the o-zone layer. By not smouldering plastics or using fossil products, we can aid in preventing atmospheric pollution.

The altitude of oceans is normally elevated by global warming that occurs as a result of atmospheric pollution. The heightened levels of water ingest low land areas and islets which cause problems to humans, plants and other creatures that inhabit that area. Water coats plants inhibiting their growth. As a result, aquatic animals lack food and in severe cases, they die. Loss of plants and animals depress the whole ecosystem and particularly, the lives of human beings.

Furthermore, global warming augments the ocean temperatures, thus endangering the lives of ocean animals (Tuner, 1994). The most affected by this process is the algae. Algae manufacture food for the sea habitants by photosynthesis. It also acts as a meal to a many creatures like crabs, small fish and whales.

The loss of algae leads to malnourishment of other animals and consecutively the sea kingdom begins to die out. The emission of greenhouse gases raises temperatures which results to the drying of trees leaves. As a result, the forest burns since dry leaves easily catch fire. Green house gases also cause acid rain which is corrosive. It affects both plants and animals lives.

Positive or Negative Human Impacts

Human forces on forests like forestation can be helpful. However, deforestation can greatly impact the ecosystem as it raises the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Evaluation of Current Sustainability Strategies and Solution

At present, there are many luminous sustainability strategies and solutions that have been started by several organizations, governments, firms and civic groups.

An example is the emphasis on use of solar energy as opposed to use of coal. Clean Air Acts was also established to safeguard the atmosphere against pollutants (Goss, 2004).

By making electric vehicles, pollution that occurs from gasoline powered vehicles can be reduced. Scientists and car makers have joined hands so as to establish how they can make cars that are powered by batteries or that use air to run (Turner, 1994). So far, these cars have not yet been released into the market as they are still being worked on. If these cars are released, then they will play a great role in prevention of atmospheric pollution.

Several attempts at reducing atmospheric pollution have been made. The Clean Air Acts was effectual for a short while. The Act illegalized the use of a number of polluting matters. However, this did not work since people did not adhere to it. Use of solar energy is another solution that has been tried.

This type of power is excellent because it is a substitute energy source to petroleum and other fossil fuels that contaminate the atmosphere. The only limitation to use of solar energy is that it is very expensive. However, it is broadly used universally.
Another effectual way of reducing air pollution would be the making of electric vehicles. The employment of these electric vehicles would entirely lessen the amount of pollution in the atmosphere caused by gasoline motorized vehicles.

These vehicles can be run on batteries as a replacement for gasoline and other fuels. Although solar cars appear to be very pragmatic, they would be very costly to build up. The major variation amid solar and electrical power is that solar vehicles would be more costly to construct. The potential of creating a cost efficient electric vehicle is to a large extent more sensible than creating a cost efficient solar vehicle.

By creating ecologically secure and reasonably priced electric vehicles, the extent of pollution due to gasoline powered cars would lessen. Devoid of making these adjustments, the world will go on to heat up at a yearly rate of more than two degrees, which will lead to the melting of ice caps (Holland & Reid, 1965). In case this takes place, the water will mount up to 200 feet, down pouring a large portion of the earth.

The world’s ecosystem can be compared to a web. It is extremely delicate and relies on all of its strings to uphold stableness. If the atmosphere is polluted it interrupts the web by making a discrepancy.

Sustainability Plan

My plan for reducing atmospheric pollution in my community is to build up an education plan on atmospheric pollution reduction activities and their importance, schedule a presentation day and time, invite community participants, and research on the effects of air pollution.

First, I will research on the roots, effects and potential ways of reducing air pollution. The research will incorporate the short term and long term impacts of the types of energy that are frequently used by the society members, explore the various alternative sources of energy, and note human actions that can lessen atmospheric pollution.

Next I will schedule a day when I can present a brief report on the findings of the research to the community. I will also educate the community members on possible ways of reducing air pollution with an aim of ensuring that each member in the society is conversant with the role that he or she can play in reducing atmospheric pollution. Some of these roles could include: recycling materials, reducing the use of non-reusable paper products, utilizing firewood efficiently, and using forest products economically. I will also work together with media owners to ensure that they publicize my reports on causes, effects and way of reducing air pollution.

Since most members in my community work during the day, I will schedule most activities to take place in the evenings. The mitigation process will be ongoing.

Required Government, Societal, and Global Support

Owners of factories and businesses can play a great role in reducing atmospheric pollution, since most air pollutants results from manufacturing industries.

The government must also initiate policies aimed at regulating the amounts of hydrocarbons emitted in the atmosphere, especially by industries. The industries can regulate the amounts of hydrocarbons released in the atmosphere by purchasing relevant equipment.

The government should pass a regulation on use of such equipment within businesses and factories. Such equipment should satisfy all these four conditions: have an ionizing radiation, have a flame burner and have an acceptor that contacts the waste gases in crosscurrents. Like other laws, if a single condition is absent then the business or factory should be heavily fined. In such a case, the government can order the business or factory to satisfy the lacking condition in a fortnight, failure to which will lead to closure.

It is important that our governments take action right away. By doing so, the owners of factories and businesses will come to terms with the impacts of atmospheric pollution that they cause. All this will be aimed at preventing or reducing chances of causing harm to others by way of atmospheric pollution. This will consequently benefit a country in that billions of money used on health problems posed by atmospheric pollution will be saved.

Benefits and Challenges for My plan

If the community supports my plan, there will be reduced levels of atmospheric pollution. However, since the practicability of my plan relies on the will of the people, if the people do not see sense in it then it will definitely not be effective.

Another challenge is that most members in my community belong to the working class. Thus, the only time that I can reach them is during evenings, when they could be tired as well.


Environmental Protection Agency (2011). Air pollution: basic Information. Retrieved on 22nd July 2011 from

Goss, C.H., Newsom, S., Jonathan S. & Kaufman, J. (2004). Effect of ambient air pollution on pulmonary exacerbations and lung function in cystic fibrosis. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 169 (7), 816–821.

Holland, W. & Reid, D. (1965).The urban factor in chronic bronchitis. New York: Oxford University Press

Sunyer, J. (2001). Urban air pollution and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a review. European Respiratory Journal, 17, 1024–1033

Turner, D.B. (1994). Workbook of atmospheric dispersion estimates: an introduction to dispersion modelling. 2nd ed. London: Sage


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