Pollution And Prevention Essay

1193 words - 5 pages

I would like you to try to visualize our future on this planet. Imagine the dark clouds hanging over every town. The oceans swallowing our coasts, and deserts eating up our heartland. All of these things are caused by pollution, and that's what's in store for us if we don't change our ways.There are many forms of pollution, but most of them can be divided into two groups: air and water pollution. Air pollution is one of the more obvious forms of pollution. It is caused by the traffic that clogs the roadways, the burning of garbage, and the release of toxic gases into the air by industries. Every year millions of tons of gases and particulates are poured into the atmosphere. Normally, small amounts of particulates would dissipate in the air, but we constantly overload it. Every time some sort of fuel is burned, a pollutant is released into the air in forms ranging from colorless, odorless, yet poisonous gases to the thick, black, smog, which hangs over our cities.The burning and deforestation of the Earth's forest is also contributing to the problem. Every year, the clearing of forests released 1 billion tons of CO2. Throughout its history the earth has lost over 2/3 of its original forest area. This year, we're fighting the fires in Southeast Asia and the Amazon River Valley. The World Wildlife Federation has recently released a special report on the effects of the fires. So far this year almost two million acres in Southeast Asia have burned. There is an average of 599 fires a day, and according to CNN correspondent Margaret Lowrie, "the Brazilian fires have increased by 28% this year alone."Not only are the massive amounts of smoke being added to the air causing a problem, but also we are destroying our most effective method of fighting air pollution. As the WWF's Francis Sullivan said, "We like to think of the Amazon as the global air conditioner. It cools and cleans the planet and rejuvenates oxygen levels in the atmosphere."There are many dramatic effects of air pollution. One is the health problem it causes people. The gases in the air irritate eyes and lungs. Particulates settle in the lungs and worsen asthma and bronchitis. It has been proven that particulates cause cancer, emphysema, and pneumonia.Another effect of air pollution is acid rain. Acid rain is made up primarily of nitric and sulfuric acids which fall to Earth as rain and snow. Acid rain has killed off many of North America's lakes and rivers. It can also erode many metals and stones. It has been responsible for the destruction of many historic buildings and works of art.Another equally serious form of pollution is water pollution. It is steadily reducing the amount of clean, fresh water that is necessary for life. Water pollution mainly comes from industrial plants, farms, and sewage systems. When too much waste is dumped into a body of water, the aerobic bacteria that would naturally break it down into less toxic substances are overwhelmed. The energy to break down waste...

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