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Air Pollution Should Be Taken More Seriously - With A Free Essay Review



E. Blake; Professor Laffont; April 13, 2012

Air Pollution should be taken more seriously

Air pollution is constantly affecting the earth in ways that are both visible and invisible. Humans tend to forget how harmful air pollution is. Therefore, they are less attentive about the future consequences such as, health problems, global warming, damages of natural habitats and the eco-system being demolished. Limited amount of effort is being put into making it better for the Earth, and for living organism to survive. Air pollution is caused by two main sources. The primary source, which is from human activities such as, smog being released, toxic chemicals being exposed to the air, emission from vehicles. And the secondary sources that are natural sources like volcanic eruptions, pollen dispersal, and accumulation of waste in dumps, etc. Air is vital to the earth, without good air, it will be hard to sustain life. No one wants to see the earth swept away over a situation that could have been avoided. The less attention we put towards it, the greater the future consequences.

The health effects of air pollution are skin cancer, asthma, bronchitis, etc. When pollutants are exposed to the atmosphere, it causes the ozone layer to become thinner. The thinner the ozone becomes, the hotter it gets. This heat from the sun can lead to a mass increase of skin cancer. Taking in contaminated air aggravates the throat and make it difficult to breath. If good air is not supplied to the lung, the aftermath can result to bronchitis or asthma. Many people suffer from bronchitis and asthma today because of the bad air they inhale. Air pollution also triggers health problems that already exist such as respiratory disease and can lead to death. It plays a major role in global warming. “Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is the main pollutant that is warming Earth. Though living things emit carbon dioxide when they breathe, carbon dioxide is widely considered to be a pollutant when associated with cars, planes, power plants, and other human activities that involve the burning of fossil fuels such as gasoline and natural gas. In the past 150 years, such activities have pumped enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to raise its levels higher than they have been for hundreds of thousands of years” (National Geographic).

The Primary sources of air pollution are the toxic chemicals such as, lead, mercury, and carbon monoxide. Most people know that lead is a harmful pollutant. Children are very susceptible to the health effects of ingested lead.” Lead can be found in water, food, soil, and in air pollution. Children are not the only ones affected by lead. Lead gets deposited on leaves and grass where animals ingest it, and it builds up in their system” (The Good Air lady). Mercury exist by nature on the earth’s crust. When exposed in the air, it resolves in the bodies of water and create mass extinction of living organisms in the aquatic life. When humans consume food like fish, their bodies are disclosed to mercury and can cause harm to the kidney, heart, lungs and immune system. According to EPA, Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas emitted from combustion processes. Nationally and, particularly in urban areas, the majority of CO emissions to ambient air come from mobile sources. CO can cause harmful health effects by reducing oxygen delivery to the body's organs (like the heart and brain) and tissues. At extremely high levels, CO can cause death. Given that these toxic chemicals are very harmful to the health of human, the existence of animals, wildlife and the bodies of water.

There are several effective ways to improve the air and avoiding air pollution. Clean up dirty power plants. The power plants are by far one of the most effective pollutant. If the Government ensure that these power plants are maintained, that would be big step towards making air pollution less of an issue. Another way to improve the air is by strengthen the ozone standards.” The [American] Lung Association urges the EPA to adopt a much tighter, more protective national air quality standard for ozone, set at 60 parts per billion. The EPA is currently considering strengthening the standard adopted in March 2008, which they now believe was not strong enough to protect health against the widespread harm from ozone smog. The 2008 decision set 75 ppb [parts per billion] as the standard, despite the unanimous recommendations of EPA's official science advisors that such a level would allow too much ozone to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. The American Lung Association challenged the 2008 decision in court, along with several states, public health and environmental groups. In January 2010, the EPA proposed a range for the new standard that met the earlier recommendations of the expert panel and the nation's leading public health organizations. EPA will announce the decision on the new standard in August 2010, clean up the existing fleet of dirty diesel vehicles and heavy equipment, and clean up harmful emissions from tailpipes in cars. EPA needs to set new pollution standards for cars and automobile fuels to reduce nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and particle pollution emissions and Strengthen the particle pollution standards” ( American Lung Association).

Air pollution effects are taking a big toll on the ozone and the environment. If the issue continues to be ignored, the higher the risk of surviving on Earth will become. “The ozone layer protects life on Earth by blocking harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. The “ozone hole” is a severe depletion of the ozone layer high above Antarctica, so these regions may have received more ultraviolet light than usual” (Earth Observatory). According to EPA, Each day, air pollution causes thousands of illnesses leading to lost days at work and school. Air pollution also reduces agricultural crop and commercial forest yields by billions of dollars each year. Congress should pass bills that will help people pay closer attention to air pollution. If this is done, the issue cannot be avoided.

Work Cited

"Air Pollution Continues to Be a Serious Problem." State of the Air 2010. American Lung Association. 5-9. Rpt. in Pollution. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2011. Opposing Viewpoints. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 24 Apr. 2012.

“Why Should You Be Concerned About Air Pollution?” The Plain English Guide To Clean Air Act. United States Environmental Protection Agency. March 06, 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2012.

National Geographic Society. “Air Pollution comes from many sources.” National Geographic Society. 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2012.

“Lead In Air Pollution.” The Good Air Lady. 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2012

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ESSAY REVIEW

1. You rely on your title to communicate the argument of your essay. You should also make your argument explicit in the essay itself, preferably, when writing a research paper like this, in the form of a thesis in the opening paragraph.

2. The argument of your essay, that air pollution should be taken more seriously, relies too much on unsupported assertions or assumptions. Let's look at the following claim from your opening paragraph: "Limited amount of effort is being put into making it better for the Earth, and for living organism[s] to survive." Now the wording here is a bit awkward (the word "it" for instance has no obvious referent) but I've little doubt that you mean to claim that limited effort is being put into solving the problem of air pollution. That's a very important claim for your essay because, if you want to argue that air pollution "should be taken more seriously," you really need to demonstrate that it not being taken seriously enough right now. The essay, however, does not do that. It doesn't demonstrate the scope of existing efforts to address air pollution and so it obviously also doesn't demonstrate that those efforts are insufficient.

I chose that claim from your first paragraph as an example because it is a crucial claim for your essay, but you make claims throughout the essay that are unsupported by evidence. As a rule of thumb, only include claims whose truth you can demonstrate with supporting evidence or reasons. (An exception is made for claims that are considered common knowledge.)

3. When you do introduce evidence, you tend to use it in place of developing your own argument. You do this for instance when you cite a long passage from an American Lung Association study at the end of your penultimate paragraph. That quotation is too long and its relevance is not clear enough.. It introduces claims that are unrelated to anything else in your essay (you talk elsewhere about holes in the ozone layer but that is a completely different problem from the problem of ozone smog mentioned in the quotation). You don't introduce the quotation or explain its context or analyse it or explain its significance for your argument. Those would all be good things to do with evidence that you present in an essay like this, but the most important thing to do is to clarify exactly how the evidence you present helps to support your argument. If you offer evidence in support of the claim that our society is not doing enough to tackle air pollution, for instance, then usually you need to explain how the evidence shows that we are not doing enough.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: lizzyblake
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