Urban air pollution is a problem for not only people in the region but also for everyone on the planet. Air doesn’t stay in one place, it moves around dramatically, carried by the winds. So even though geography can impact air pollution in an area, the activities of everyone near and far can also impact it. Urban air pollution is everyone’s problem.
If you live in an urban area, chances are that you have seen the affects of air pollution first-hand. Urban air pollution is the cause of many environmental impacts, including smog and acid rain, but there are other effects on the people that are living in these conditions that are far-reaching as well. These effects can include asthma, respiratory problems, cancer, and possibly even death. The thing to remember is that there are many things involved in creating urban air pollution. By knowing about the contributing factors, you can help do your part in decreasing air pollution in your urban environment.
The location of the city or urban area can have an effect on the air pollution. Some cities, like Los Angeles, Denver, Manila, and Mexico City, are located in a depression or bowl-like area — surrounded on all sides by mountains or hills. This causes the pollutants to get trapped, unless the wind is just right, exacerbating the air pollution problem because the pollution can’t dissipate.
This combination of influences causes some very high pollution days in these cities, which is hard on people and the environment. With nature working against the problem, people have to work harder to decrease the amount of pollutants and particulates in the air, decreasing the problem for the inhabitants and visitors.
The pollutants come from several different sources including power plants, industry, traffic, and man’s activities. Controlling the power plants and industry’s pollution requires stricter regulations by the government, as well as support from the citizens. Traffic pollution can be something that all of us can definitely work on reducing. People can uses mass transit, carpool, walk, ride a bike, drive a more environmentally friendly car, and drive less by combining errands more.. People can also chooses to buy locally grown foods and locally produced products, thereby reducing the amount of transportation required to get items to market. It will take changes in our mind sets, but the changes can be well worth the impact that you can make on the environment on an ongoing basis.
Other contributions to urban air pollution are electricity generation, heating by burning fossil fuels and plant or animal material. Dirt and ash blown in from other areas contributes to urban air pollution too, and that’s not something we have much control over, but it’s still a factor.
Urban air pollution is a significant problem all around the world. By accepting this fact as reality and learning more about your part in it, you can begin to make changes in your life, your mindset, and your little corner of the world. Consider what you can do to help decrease the air pollution. Future generations will thank you for it.