Urban Pollution and Waste Management
Urban pollution and waste management is a major problem in both the first and third worlds. The increases of major air pollutants in the atmosphere are causing damage to our waters and land. The increase of garbage and waste in urban areas, such as cities, are beginning to look like huge landfills, acid rain is causing forests and buildings to deteriorate, and finally ozone, which is caused from primarily transportation, is slowly suffocating the populations it affects. My area of the problem was the acid rain problem and how we are trying to solve it.
The first thing I will discuss is major air pollutants. Transport is the major source of air pollution because of its heavy dependence upon the combustion of fossil fuels, either in vehicles or at power stations. The major air pollutants are carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, sulfur oxides, lead, and suspended particulate matter. The most serious environmental issue pertaining to urban areas is that of air quality. The principal sources of air pollution in urban areas are derived from the combustion of fossil fuels for domestic heating, for power generation, in motor vehicles, in industrial processes and in the disposal of solid wastes by incineration. These atmospheric pollutants affect human health directly through inhalation, and indirectly through such exposure routes as drinking water and food contamination. Most traditional air pollutants directly affect respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Certain groups have an even greater risk to the effects of air pollution; the elderly, the young, and those weakened by debilitating ailments such as poor nutrition, which primarily falls in third world countries. There have been programs implemented to monitor air pollutants in cities such as UNEP and WHO since 1974. Data indicates that while cities in industrialized countries have made significant reductions in air pollution in the past few decades, rapidly growing third world cities pose serious threats to the millions of people who live in them. (EPA)
The rapid growths of urban areas have outpaced the ability of urban authorities to provide adequate facilities, such as the collection and disposal of household garbage. Some of the problem that are associated with the improper disposal of garbage include; a serious fire hazard, attraction of pests and disease carrying animals, creating health hazards, and local disposal by burning or dumping adds to pollution loads and clogs waterways, so increasing the dangers of flooding. Waste can take on many different forms: solid, liquid, gas, and energy in the form of heat or noise. The disposal of wastes usually falls into three different sources; air, oceans, and rivers. The disposal authorities are usually publicly owned and this common ownership has facilitated unregulated emissions of wastes. The two most commonly used options for waste disposal...