Air Pollution is the contamination of the atmosphere by gaseous, liquid, or solid wastes or by products that can endanger human health and the health and welfare of plants and animals, or can attack materials, reduce visibility, or produce undesirable odors. For example: air pollution can contaminate and kill many crops on a farm, it may also prevent them from ever growing on that land again. If the farms had no healthy food to sell to us then people could die from poisoning. And if people start dying, the economy is affected negatively.
Among air pollutants let out by natural sources, only the radioactive gas radon is recognized as a major health threat. A by-product of the radioactive decay of uranium minerals in some kinds of rock, radon seeps into the basements of homes built on these rocks. According to recent estimates by the U.S. government, 20 percent of the homes in the U.S. have radon concentrations that are high enough to pose a risk of lung cancer. Lung cancer could cause deaths, and like I said before people dying is not good for the economy.
Each year countries that have many factories generate billions of tons of pollutants. The level is usually given in terms of atmospheric concentrations or, for gases in terms of parts per million, that is number of pollutant molecules per million air molecules. Lots come from directly identifiable sources like sulfur dioxide, for example, comes from electric power plants burning coal or oil. Others are formed through the action of sunlight on previously let out radioactive materials. For example, ozone, a dangerous pollutant in it is smog, smog is produced by the interaction of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides under the influence of sunlight. Ozone has also caused serious crop damage. On the other hand, the discovery in the 1980s that air pollutants like fluorocarbons are causing a hole in the ozone. The ozone is a protective layer that protects us from UV lights and much more.
In developing countries, air pollution is often higher than it is in the worlds most over populated cities. In these developing countries, garbage collection is not available and drainage is usually not to good, this creates the perfect conditions for insects and other diseases. In some countries, the poor often face health risks related to economic growth. Studies have shown that hazardous waste sites or polluting factories are indeed concentrated in low income or minority areas. For example, urban slums may be located near major roads, factories or dumpsites, exposing residents to higher levels of air pollution.
The global economy is growing. Although the developed countries account for a majority of the share of this wealth, economic growth in developing countries has been very large. The liberalization of both trade and investment across borders has helped start this economic growth. Such economic growth creates resource and opportunities for making the quality of living conditions better, which is needed to good health. In some developing countries, continued population growth and poverty have slowed down economic and social progress. The most rapid population growth rates are concentrated in the poorest regions. The positive economic and social results of industrial growth have been accompanied by a couple of environmental reductions as well as growing threats to health. As part of this growth, industrial wastes are growing in quantity and becoming more varied, more toxic and more difficult to get rid of.
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