Though industrial air pollution is big in developed countries, it’s almost worse in developing countries because some manufactures move their industrial operations to unregulated countries so they don’t have to implement expensive measures to not release toxins into the air and water. This article mostly addresses the problems in the U.S.
The problem of industrial air pollution is one that most people assume has been taken care of since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970, but it is still a large problem that can have a huge impact upon the environment and the health of the citizens. The Clean Air Act did cause some progress in decreasing air pollution that is released by industrial sources, but it did not completely solve the problem. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that approximately 120 million American citizens live in cities where the air is made unhealthy by industrial air pollution.
What are some of the industries that cause air pollution? The most severe offender is electric power plants. They release many different pollutants into the air, including mercury, carbon dioxide, sulfur oxide, and nitrogen oxides. In fact, electric power plants release up to 40-percent of the carbon dioxide in the air, 67-percent of the sulfur dioxide, 25-percent of the nitrogen oxides, and 33-percent of the mercury that is found in the air. There are other sources of industrial air pollution, including manufacturing plants, municipal waste incinerators, etc., but the electric power plants are by far the largest releasers of air pollution.
Does industrial air pollution cause health problems? Yes. People who live in cities have an increased incidence of breathing problems, including asthma. In cities where sulfur dioxide is a problem, the sulfur particles can be breathed into the lungs, causing respiratory distress and even early death. Pediatricians have found that the incidence of asthma and allergies in infants and children has greatly increased over the last ten years and this is due to many different forms of pollution, including industrial air pollution. Other health problems that are associated with air pollution include wheezing, cardiac conditions, coughing, and more. That is why it is essential to learn more about the different types of air pollution, including industrial air pollution.
This is not just a problem in the United States. In fact, it is even worse in some parts of the world, due to the fact that they have not taken governmental measures to monitor air pollution in a timely manner or at all. Many countries are just now realizing the affect that industries have on the quality of their air and this makes it difficult to make changes in a quick manner.
What can be done about industrial air pollution? More stringent regulations need to be put into place to monitor and limit the amount of pollution that can be released into the air. Much more research needs to be done to help find ways to keep from releasing the pollution at all. By supporting environmental groups and politicians who care about the air, you can help to make a difference in the United States and around the world.