Poverty and Pollution Essay
Based on the given case study, it can efficiently be said that the issue of environmental pollution would have a devastating and disastrous impact on the impoverished and underdeveloped regions of Brazil. The valley of death comes under the same classification. It is imperative to take measures to mitigate the increasing environmental pollution. After careful and comprehensive analysis of the case study, it is clear a majority of the individuals residing in the valley of death of Brazil have developed various diseases due to heavy pollution in the area.A large number of industrial plants functioning in the valley have polluted the environment and the atmosphere with harmful chemicals such as benzene. Benzene has proven to be very detrimental to the health of human beings. It is a carcinogen, and upon intake, for extended periods of time or in large quantities it causes the development of cancers. The disastrous effects of these chemicals can be efficiently gauged by examining the white blood cell count of the workers in the factories which is very low concerning the desirable count. Such a small count can result in them developing leukemia. Moreover, the rate of mortality of the adolescents is about ten percent more than the average rates in the other parts of Brazil. It is a very bleak picture as almost 13,000 of the total 40,000 people living in the Cubatao municipality have been diagnosed with diseases affecting the respiratory system.
In my opinion, such a devastating health situation cannot be merely resolved by pollution permits. Permits are not a viable solution to the problem of environmental pollution in the underdeveloped regions of Brazil. These pollution permits may prove to be nothing for the massive manufacturing factories. The owners may choose to ignore the rules stated by these licenses completely. Also, it is also possible that the manufacturers only adhere to the regulations that are beneficial to them and disregard the ones that could have a potential negative impact on their businesses.
On the other hand, some people also argue in favor of issuing pollution permits by stating that these permits would establish clear rules and regulations regarding the allowable limits of pollution. The permits would form rules about the volume as well as the type of environmental pollution within the prescribed limits depending on the demographics of the region of the valley of death.
In my opinion, after reading about the severe health and environmental crisis of the area, incentive programs would prove to be a beneficial way to get manufacturers to work on resolving pollution problems. The people residing in the locality rely on these factories for employment and they understand that in the absence of these plants they could not afford to live. If the plants are given incentives that are aimed at stopping pollution, then the people and the environment will greatly benefit.
I also think that the costs of the pollution outweigh the benefits by a considerable margin. The medical issues that result from the contamination prove to be very costly to the residents. Also, the lack of natural resources, like fresh water, ends up being very expensive for the residents of the area, because these resources have to be imported.
Therefore, according to my thinking, a combination of both the measures, i.e., incentive programs along with the pollution permits would be a more effective approach to resolving the pollution problems. Incentives can help make the manufacturers willingly follow the rules of the pollution permits. Moreover, another significant advantage of the combination of both strategies might be a motivation of the manufacturers to shift their businesses to another area that is much less densely populated than the valley of death.
However, whichever strategy is chosen, some affirmative step must be taken to resolve the issue, as it is a severe problem. The situation will only worsen if adequate actions are not considered to reduce the high volumes of environmental pollution posing critical health risks to the population.