Pollution is the induction of harmful material or by-products discharged into the earth’s environment. Pollution is one of the foremost problems in America and the world today. Pollution damages the environment and human health. Pollution has caused a multitude of problems ranging from healthcare issues like lung cancer to the current problem of the green house effect. Pollution is everywhere and humankind persists on living with this problem. What rational is behind this faulty persistence?Automobiles are unquestionably the leading source of pollutants being emitted into the environment. Noise pollution being emitted by automobiles is substantial. (Markarewicz & Kokowski, 2007). Another effect automobiles have on the environment is the heat it generates. The heat emitted is unpleasant to be around.
The worse pollutant being emitted from automobiles is the exhaust. The noxious vapors emitted are a by-product of the engines combustion. These noxious vapors can slowly decline lung health, which can cause lung cancer, and destroy the earth’s atmosphere. (Weir, 2002). The vapors are tremendously toxic to human health. Over a million Americans live in regions where the air quality is unsafe to breath. Automobiles emit most of the earth’s pollutant particulates. Particulate pollution is known to cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. (Altose, 2001). With this knowledge why would humankind continue to drive these environmental time bombs? Some would answer that automobiles are progress, but most drive for the convenience.
Another cause of pollutions is the waste produced by post-consumer markets. Americans throw away tons of recyclable waste every year that ends up in landfills. Even though projects are in place to prevent the amount of recyclable waste from going to landfills, millions of recyclable products still get dumped in them. (Fagiano, 1992). These products do not bio degrade and can stay buried for hundreds of years. Americans continue to consume, throw away and consume more for the purpose of convenience. As products are used or get old, people throw it out instead of trying to recycle. When people buy products that are over packed they are basically buying trash. People should look for products they can use over again and are not over packed with non recyclable products like Styrofoam.
Another cause of pollution is dumping of toxic waste into the world’s rivers, lakes and oceans. Although this is not common practice today it still happens. These types of occurrences are rare and may not be of concern in society, but this way of thinking can be dangerous. Each time toxic waste is dumped into waterways unspeakable consequences can happen. Human death and natural environmental destruction have transpired as a result of illegal dumping. Dumping toxic waste contaminates drinking water and the soil. (Thorson, 2005). Toxic dumping causes whole communities to move to different places, not able to return for centuries. These toxins dumped by industries can be so concentrated that one barrel can destroy and entire waterways ecosystem. (Dodge, 2007).
Industries not only dump toxins into the waterways, they also dump hot water. Dumping hot water can cause algae overgrowth that can blanket the surface of lakes, ponds or bay areas. The algae blanket covers light that is needed for healthy plant and nutrient growth. This growth feeds aquatic life that lives in the waterways. Pollutants can cause bacteria growth and disease. Water pollutants do not only come from industries. Pollutant also comes from surface runoffs. When it rains, water washes away toxins from fertilizers that feed lawns, oils from driveways and streets. (Thorson, 2007). These toxins also end up in rivers, lakes and oceans.
Pollution can be solved, but the cleanup process is long and can take years to implement. Americans can do their part to help save earth’s environment. Instead of driving an automobile every day people should consider carpooling, taking the bus or riding a bike. Doing this once or twice a week could reduce carbon foot printing on the environment, saving 1600 pounds of greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere each year and saving the earth’s atmosphere in years to come. (EPA, 2009).
Americans could become better recyclers by taking time to sort trash out and recycling products that can be recycled. Recycling can reduce waste in landfills by 170,000 tons per year leaving room in the landfills for real garbage that has no other use. (King County, 2009). People must pay attention how products are packaged and avoid products that harm the environment. The Americans people can do their part by voicing their opinions at the polls and calling their Congress person to support greener alternatives that would create a better world for future generations to live in.
Altose, Larry, (2001) Health effects from Automobile Emissions, Washington State Department of Ecology, retrieved July 9, 2009. 00-02-008 p. 1-2 http://www.ecy.wa.gov/pubs/0002008.pdfDodge, John, (2007) Puget Sound struggles against tide of toxins, The Olympian, retrieved July 10, 2009 http://www.earthhopenetwork.net/puget_sound_struggles_against_tide_toxinsFagiano, David, (1992), Cutting waste at the source, Management Review, 81(6) p. 1 – 4, retrieved July 10, 2009 from EBSCO database, Apollo Library http://web.eboscohost.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.comKing County Solid Waste Division (2009) Zero Waste. EPA, retrieved August 1, 2009 from http://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/wdidwMarkarewicz, R,; Kokowski, P. (2007), Prediction of noise changes due to traffic speed control, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 122(4) p. 2074-81, retrieved July 9, 2009 from EBSCO database, Apollo Libraryhttp://web.eboscohost.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.comUnited States Environmental Protection Agency, (2009) Earth day tips to save energy, retrieved July 15, 2009. http://www.epa.gov/earthday/tips-saveenergy.htmThorson, R M., (2005). It all runs down hill: [STATEWIDE Edition], Hartford Courant, p. A11, Retrieved July 10, 2009, from PROQUEST database Apollo Library http://proquest.umi.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.comWeir, Erica, (2002) EPA links diesel exhaust, lung cancer, CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal, 167(7) p. 795, retrieved July 11, 2009 from EBSCO database, Apollo Library http://web.eboscohost.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com