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Environmental Science

Pollution in New York

A person is healthy if he is living in the fresh and clean air. On the other hand, polluted air badly affects the lives of people. There have also been deaths reported as a result of air pollution (Krewski). There are different sources of air pollution. Urban areas are more responsible for their activities that are adding pollution to the healthy air (Civerolo). Urban areas consume more energy in the form of an increase in transportation and air conditioning systems.

All these activities are a source of harmful effects to people’s health as a result of the destruction of the environment. Moreover, air pollution is the source of climate change, and with the increase in the amount of ozone, different ailments are increasing in number and intensity (Colls). With air pollution, people are suffering from lung disease along with different heart conditions as well as stroke (Greenburg). The duration of these diseases increases as there is more and more polluted air in which they live. In other words, when there is less rain and more heat, the duration of pollution increases, and so does the case with health issues. Breathing in polluted air results in an increased risk of asthma along with other respiratory diseases. Also, air pollutants are typically carcinogens as a result of cancer in people. Respiratory inflammation is common in people who spend most of their time in an environment that contains ozone. This condition is the same for New York and Los Angeles as a result of high levels of air pollution (Moretti, Enrico, and Neidell). This paper will discuss in detail the effects of air pollution and the role of climate and the environment in determining the health of the New York and Los Angeles population, along with a discussion of solutions to air pollution, including awareness as the major remedy.

New York is famous for its high level of air pollution, and in spite of major developments over the last decade, air pollution in New York City is continuously a major environmental risk. At the same time, improving any city’s air quality is not an easy task as it involves the removal of different types of air pollutants that have accumulated from millions of sources. There are different measures that are being taken at different levels in order to reduce air pollution in New York City. For this purpose, plans can be made at the individual as well as at the national level. In 1930, in the Meuse Valley of Belgium, there were 6,000 persons who got sick, and nearly 60% died (Greenburg). In 1948, there were 6,000 persons who were sick, and 20 % of people died (Greenburg). In these incidences, the intensity of air pollution was so forceful that it caused deaths and spread diseases among the exposed population. Moreover, in 1953, in New York City, there was an enormous increase in the concentration of sulfur dioxide compared to previous days. As a result of this abrupt increase in the amount of sulfur, people reported eye irritation and coughing. The quantity of sulfur can be reduced as a result of less use of motor vehicles and power plants along with less use of heating fuel. As a result of these pollutants expelled into the air, there are numerous New Yorkers who are suffering from the incapacitating and lethal effects of air pollution.

Climate change results in an increase in temperatures, changes in precipitation, and increased sea levels (Ebi, Kristie, and McGregor). Thus, climate changes have an effect on the concentration of air pollutants in numerous ways. When there are changes in climate, then changes in temperatures along with muddiness and humidity are also seen in major cities of the world, including New York and Los Angeles. Air pollution in high concentrations is dangerous for people. There are millions of Americans who are living in high enough concentrations of smog. In this air pollution, there are toxic pollutants present that present serious health issues (Patrick). Toxic pollutants result in eye and nose irritation as well as throat irritation. There is panting along with coughing and chest tightness, which results in breathing difficulties. There is also an increased risk of heart attack as a result of exposure to a number of air pollutants for a long period of time (Patrick). All human populations are equally susceptible, but children, older adults, and people who are on the go outdoors especially become the prey of any disease as a result of constant exposure to air pollutants such as ground-level ozone.

Along with New York, another major city that expels many thousands of tons of contamination into the atmosphere daily is Los Angeles (Littman, Fred, and Magill). This has resulted in people eye-irritating and plant-damaging in that city. The possible cause of this can be smog, which is both gaseous and particulate contaminants, and people must not come into contact with this. Smog in Los Angeles is the worst in the country as a result of different factors. These include topography, as Los Angeles is surrounded by comparatively high mountains, which makes it easy for smog to form in the city. Also, there is a principal on-shore breeze. This is hot land, subsequently, the cool ocean water that results in the on-shore breeze, which is a source of the thrust of the air inland in the direction of the mountains. Another major reason for smog in the LA region is the presence of a large population in that area. Anthropogenic emissions are huge as a result of this huge population living there.

It can be concluded that environmental quality has a direct bang on an individual’s health status. It is a large determinant of the quality of life, and if there is an environmental issue, it directly impacts people’s health. Air pollution must be considered as a main environmental threat to people’s health. If people are continuously exposed to air pollutants, then this results in premature death, respiratory diseases, cancer, and different heart diseases (Ritz). Different steps can be taken to reduce the health risks, and these include individual behavior with respect to the air population, along with the ability of public health and safety systems to tackle air pollution in the specified area.

Elevating the awareness of air pollution among people can be an effective strategy for overcoming the issue of air pollution in both cities, Los Angeles and New York. The awareness can be raised at both local and government levels in order to initiate different policies and plans. Numerous plans are being implemented in these cities, but there is still a requirement for large-scale planning and control of pollution for the sake of public health in that area. AQMD was established to control air pollution, and it has also created numerous regulations that can control air pollution. Under AQMD, local governments are required to execute their own laws to address the issues of air pollution in major cities. However, efforts are still needed to control air pollution on a large scale as this issue is getting severe with the passage of time (Vitale). Moreover, addressing the issue of ozone pollution is debatably more demanding, as local and regional action is required for this issue to be effectively addressed. This also gets worse as a result of climate change. Thus, meaningful efforts are needed to address the issue and save the lives of both cities.

Works Cited

Colls, Jeremy Air pollution: an introduction (1st ed). E & FN Spon, London; New York, 1997.

Civerolo, Kevin, et al. “Estimating the effects of increased urbanization on surface meteorology and ozone concentrations in the New York City metropolitan region.” Atmospheric Environment 41.9 (2007): 1803-1818.

Ebi, Kristie L., and Glenn McGregor. “Climate change, tropospheric ozone and particulate matter, and health impacts.” Environmental health perspectives 116.11 (2008): 1449.

Greenburg, Leonard, et al. “Report of an air pollution incident in New York City, November 1953.” Public Health Reports77.1 (1962): 7. Kheirbek, Iyad, et al. “Air pollution and the health of New Yorkers: The impact of fine particles and Ozone.” Environmental protection (2011).

Krewski, Daniel, et al. Extended follow-up and spatial analysis of the American Cancer Society study linking particulate air pollution and mortality. No. 140. Boston, MA: Health Effects Institute, 2009.

Littman, Fred E., and P. L. Magill. “Some unique aspects of air pollution in Los Angeles.” Air Repair 3.1 (1953): 29-34.

Moretti, Enrico, and Matthew Neidell. “Pollution, health, and avoidance behavior evidence from the ports of Los Angeles.” Journal of Human Resources 46.1 (2011): 154-175.

Patrick, D. L., et al. “Health & environmental effects of air pollution.” (2015).

Ritz, Beate, et al. “Ambient air pollution and preterm birth in the environment and pregnancy outcomes study at the University of California, Los Angeles.” American journal of epidemiology 166.9 (2007): 1045-1052.

Vitale, Alex S. City of Disorder: How the quality of life campaign transformed New York politics. NYU Press, 2008.

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