Pollution and its effects on living organisms

Air Pollution


Can living things survive in a polluted air environment? The question is controversial and it requires a great concern since the issue of air pollution has affected plants, animals, and humans. Generally, the air everybody uses to breath consists of oxygen and other essential gases. However, the gases may, in turn, mix with hazardous substances including chemicals into the environment thus polluting the air. For instance, the increased combustion of air fossils has been termed as the most common progressive change in the atmosphere since it is a human activity contributing to air pollution. One cannot escape air pollution since breathing is obvious and the contaminated air can affect the health of animals and individuals as it is not clean. Therefore, pollution remains a common problem for all animals, plants, and humans. People may think that they are healthy since they do healthy things including eating but the fact is that they might get affected by sicknesses such as allergies, cancer, and other dangerous infections which may lead to death.

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Defining pollution

What is air pollution? In a simple definition, it is the process in which air gets mixed with harmful substances and chemicals that contaminate it thus making it unclean and unsafe for breathing.  Anything that contaminates the air is known as a pollutant as it causes air pollution. The main pollutants include lead, chlorofluorocarbon, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other hazardous chemicals. All kinds of air pollutants can lead to several illnesses such as nerve damage, birth defects, respiratory diseases, and cancer. The other category of air pollutants is lead and it is a highly toxic metal which affects the living things when consumed. It is phased out of gasoline though it includes other sources such as lead batteries, paints, hair dye products, and water pipes.

There exist air pollutants such as car exhausts which emit poisonous gases such as volatile organic compounds and nitrogen dioxide and these belong to the class of products that are emitted during the burning of fuels. The same can be exhausted from power plants and factories as they produce pollutants similar to cars and automobile machines. Some of these pollutants include sulphur dioxide which is produced in paper production or combustion of coal in power plants. Also, the combustion of other fuels such as natural gas, wood or smelting of metal may release poisonous gases and chemicals that pollute the air. This is linked with the industrialization which occurs in the towns and cities. Therefore, air pollution is a diverse problem in the environment. It can be associated with the increased cases of traffic jam on the roads where each vehicle releases different poisonous gases other exhausts that are harmful to the living things.

Effects of pollution

The effect may arise in case the living things including the humans and animals breathe in the air within the environment. Due to the traffic jam, the people who have sprayed chemicals on their bodies increase the chances of spreading the toxic substances in the air thus damaging the ozone layer. Pesticides are other pollutants that mainly contaminate the air making it unhealthy for humans. Air is considered as the most vital component of the environment as it sustains the life of the living things on the earth. The statement implies that living things cannot survive without breathing since they take air from the atmosphere which makes them alive. Hence, 80% of the air people take daily is derived from the air. However, this air cannot be pure since it may mix with other gases and emissions thus becoming polluted. According to the World Health Organization, pollution of air is limited to a situation where the outdoor ambient atmosphere consists of harmful substances in the environment and this causes an imbalance in the quality of air. The main concern in the essay is discussing air pollution as one of the environmental issues in the United States based in the context of policy frameworks and economic ideas as well as the barriers that impact the policies.

Concept of air pollution

Air pollution is the most common environmental issue that many people in the state complain about. The main reason for the complaint is that it deters them from living a healthy life thus suffering from various diseases. This type of pollution is different from water pollution as it affects the overall atmosphere which in turn contaminates the air people, animals, and plants use to breathe. Therefore, this environmental issue remains a great concern in the world to enhance a healthy environment from living things.  The issue occurs when air pollutants such as chemicals, poisonous gases, and other hazards mix with air. In discussing air pollution, it is important to learn two main air pollutants that make the issue grow.

The first type of air pollutants is primary and the other is secondary. The primary air pollutants include the harmful chemicals which may enter into the air directly due to the influence of human activities or natural events. For instance, carbon that contains burnt substances can release carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which pollutes the air. When these gases enter into the atmosphere, they combine with the air people and other living organisms breathe thus influencing the biosphere.  The main primary air pollutants include nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulates, hydrocarbons, and the oxides of sulphur. These pollutants are fatal to the living things since they interfere with their health thus impacting their normal way of life. Mainly, these primary pollutants of air contribute to about 90%the global air pollution.

Out of the total primary air pollutants, transportation accounts over 46% in every year and this makes it remain the principal source of air pollution in the environment. On the other hand, carbon monoxide is regarded to be the major individual air pollutant in the state since it is very common in the atmosphere as automobile vehicles emit as they operate. The secondary air pollutants comprise of harmful chemicals that are produced and emitted into the air during chemical reactions between two or more components. The reaction may occur between the components of air and primary air pollutants. Consequently, the primary air pollutants may end up suffering chemical changes when in ultraviolet radiation, oxygen, and water thus forming secondary air pollutants. Hence, the reaction leads to the formation of secondary air pollutants such as SO3, sulfuric acid, carbonic acid, and other substances that are very harmful when released into the atmosphere. Since secondary air pollutants are pollutants like the primary air pollutants, they have a significant detrimental impact on crops, vegetation, soil, animals, and other materials. Therefore, the two types of air pollutants contribute to the overall concept of air pollution in the environment.

Economic frameworks for air pollution

When thinking about the issue of air pollution, it is important to consider the main economic frameworks that fall under it. The main economic frameworks are environmental and ecological concepts. Regarding air pollution, economic framework entails a set of decision rules that enable individuals to finance on the best solutions and guidelines that are required when making decisions. These decision rules are essential as they help in planning for what should be done to address the issue of air pollution in the state. The reason is that the issue has been very common in most of the parts of the world thus interfering with the normal way of life of individuals. Therefore, the economic framework that falls under air pollution requires people to think about the issue and derive rules and decisions that help in determining the best solutions. Doing so is crucial as it helps in minimizing the increased cases of air pollution thus creating a good environment for the people.

When discussing the main economic frameworks of air pollution, there are a variety of constructs which ought to be considered. They include decentralized decision-making, epic governance and funding, lean budgets and job sequencing. Considering these constructs is helpful as it initiates the alignment of the decision rules that describe the mission and financial constraints of air pollution. Also, budget consideration is important as it drives the program’s portfolio and any other trade-offs that impact a specific solution to the issue.

On the basis of the economic framework of air pollution, the environmental framework is vital to discuss the assessment method required in analyzing the entire problem in the state. The evaluation is done by considering the scale, type, location, and the duration required when developing the solutions for air pollution. The main idea is to enable the proposed solution, maintenance practice, and the operations to meet the environmental values of the issue. Environmental framework for air pollution has various objectives that revolve around the economic issue. The main objective is enhancing the protection of the values of the environment during the development of the project thus creating ecological and conducive health for people and other living things. Also, the framework is useful during the identification of appropriate environmental management for the project that involves determining the best approaches to reduce air pollution. Hence, it is essential to consider the financial cost which involves the resources needed when making decision rules that resolve the issue.

The implementation of the environmental framework to the issue can help in addressing uncertainty regarding the potential effects of air pollution on living things. It also helps in identifying the constraints of air pollution as they might interfere with the health of individuals since they are very sensitive to environmental values. With the framework, it becomes easy to derive the most cost-effective environmental management control methods needed in identifying the pollution constraints. As a result, the framework helps in establishing the guidelines that enable the project team to come up with strategies that reduce the increased cases of air pollution in the state.

Other than an environmental framework, the ecological concept also exists but it is mainly concerned with the interrelationships among living organisms in their surroundings. Basically, the ecological framework follows the concept of economic factors that concern the issue of air pollution in relation to the way living organisms interact in a polluted environment. Moreover, principles and concepts of ecology are required to enable the social workers to focus on the reciprocal relationships and the environment where pollutants exist. The main idea is evaluating the extent to which the pollution will spread as well as the costs to be incurred in resolving the issue. The best resolution approach requires the need to come up with cost-effective strategies and decision principles that enable project experts to examine the issue of pollution. The analysis can involve introducing policy practices that help in considering the issue of air pollution as a health problem in an ecological context. The reason is that air pollution is becoming a great issue in the world and a failure to resolve can affect the normal life of living things thus interfering with their breathing process.

Policies of air pollution

There are laws and regulations that address the issue of air pollution though they may vary from one state to another. The purpose of coming up with these policies is to ensure that the air people breathe is clean and safe because good and quality air is important to the environment, quality life, and health. The issue of air pollution in the world has highly spread and there is a great need to set policies that address the issue. These laws and policies are designed for the need to minimize the problem thus protecting the health of plants, animals, and humans within the environment. The reason is that these living things may come into contact with air pollutants within the environment. Generally, policies and laws that govern the issue of air pollution can be categorized as either legislative or government conventions that address the emission of air pollutants in the air. These laws are based on the initiatives that the national, regional or local levels of the state.

The first policy is based on the legislation that the government of the United States. The purpose of the legislation is to address the way air pollutants from emissions should be reduced instead of spreading in the entire environment. The government of the state has set up legislation and laws that require individuals to create a safe environment. This involves minimizing the burning of chemicals that emit poisonous gases into the atmosphere. The reason is that some of the chemicals emit hazardous gases when burnt and this may interfere with the health of living things particularly human beings. There are also energy efficiency policies that are needed in addressing the issue. The main concern is enhancing the quality of air through its benefits. This is made efficient by ensuring that the energy sources that are run are integrated with potential filtration chimneys that can help in filtering any excess pollutants emitted into the atmosphere. This policy helps in reducing the high extent to which air pollution has spread in the world. According to the WHO, air pollution is a major problem in the world and introducing pollution control and management practices and policies can minimize it. Regarding the pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency plays a great role in establishing a program that reduces the issue. The Act works in conjunction with the national pollution prevention policy that mainly focuses on the need to reduce any form of air pollution in the states.

Barriers to air pollution policies

The implementation of air pollution policies can be affected by various barriers thus preventing any opportunities from arising. These barriers are grouped into two: local institutional barriers and the sociocultural and behavioral barriers. To start with the local institutional barriers, they comprise of the institutional factors that impact the implementation of national environmental policies at the local level. One of these barriers is the challenges of having a good policy instrument and planning system. Other include the political and economic incentives that reduce the local implementers from initiating the implementation the air pollution policies. As a result, these barriers reduce the ability of the state from having effective pollution control approaches. Unscientific targets due to lack of enough funds is another institutional barrier where most of the policies fail to meet the set targets as far as minimizing pollution is concerned due to lack of technology and equipment that helps in preventing air pollution.

Under the sociocultural and behavioral barriers, the main concern is the factors that affect the implementation of policies to air pollution. These factors help in understanding the actions of individuals as influenced by environmental aspects of air pollution. These factors include attitudes and subjective normative orientation which make the policy implementers unable to employ the policies and laws.


Environmental air pollution is one of the known issues in the United States and the globe. It is caused by substances known as pollutants which, in turn, get into contact with the air thus contaminating it. As a result, the air becomes unclean and unsafe for breathing as it contains poisonous gases and chemicals that might interfere with the living things. Human activities are the main causes of air pollution. Due to the increased extent in the spread of the issue, there is a great need to overcome and control air pollution. The reason is that there are numerous environmental concerns about the issue. Moreover, it is important to restore ecological balance within the environment to keep the air clean and fit. In reducing air pollution, it is good to encourage other people to stop any activities that impose air pollution. Also, government policies

and regulations ought to be addressed to control and minimize air pollution.


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