Impacts of Air Pollution on Children’s Health in USA

Introduction

Many illnesses that are widespread in the United States can be explained by human-induced environmental problems (Suwanwaiphatthana, Ruangdej, & Turner-Henson 2010, p. 26).

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Main body

Air pollution problem in the United States

Emissions

There have been considerable reductions in the emission of such substances as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, lead, particulate matter, and so forth (Environmental Protection Agency 2010), which can be considered a significant improvement.

Bad Quality of Air

Overall, more than 60 percent of the American population lives in areas in which the quality of air does not meet the federal standards (Sethi 2013). Typically, urban areas have a greater pollution rate than rural ones.

Population is in Danger

More than 138 million people including children live in the communities affected by particles or ozone pollution (American Lung Association 2015). The number is drastic and, therefore, requires urgent measures to be taken.

Causes

Growing number of vehicles

Typically, an individual can identify several factors that contribute to air pollution. It is necessary to speak about the growing number of vehicles owned by American citizens. There were 424 cars per every 1000 people in 2010 (Garrett 2014). These vehicles can emit such substances as carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and various precursors of ozone (Natural Resources Defense Council 1997).

Industrial Activities in Asian Countries

Additionally, the environment of the country is also affected by the industrial activities in Asian countries, especially China. In this case, much attention should be paid to the black carbon pollution that influences the Pacific coast (Sutter 2012).

Power plants

The dwellers of the non-urban regions are often located near massive power plants (Chu 2013). As a result, health rates of the local population drop greatly, since the residents of these areas are subjected to the effects of CO2 emissions on a regular basis (Sethi 2013).

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Effects of air pollution

Children Are More Responsive to Pollutants

Unlike adults, children have narrower airways; moreover, their lungs are still developing (Natural Resources Defense Council, 1997). In turn, they are usually more responsive to pollutants in the air.

Risk of Bronchitis and Pneumonia

Furthermore, researchers speak about the dangerous effects of nitrogen dioxide that increase the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia (Suwanwaiphatthana et al. 2010). Although small amounts of the subject matter are formed naturally, burning fossil fuels increases its rates.

Respiratory Allergies and Death of Infants

Apart from the issue mentioned above, air pollution leads to various respiratory allergies that considerably impair the lives of children (Parker, Akinbami, & Woodruff 2009). It is also necessary to consider such a risk as to the death of infants (Sow 2006).

Risk for Low-Income Population

Certainly, researchers note that they cannot always prove “causal” relations between air pollution and various illnesses (Schwartz 2004). One should also keep in mind that children living in impoverished communities are more likely to suffer from the effects of environmental pollution.

Possible Solutions and Their Effects: Analysis:

Use of Renewable Energy

Society should try to make more extensive use of renewable energy that can be critical for reducing air emissions (Miller &Spoolman 2011). The approach in question will allow for addressing the issue of children’s health by targeting the root causes of the problem. Particularly, the problem of pollution will be solved partially due to the introduction of the sustainability principle into resource management (Miller &Spoolman 2011).

Additional Incentives

The task of policy-makers is to provide additional incentives for using these technologies (Foster, Gutierrez, & Kumar 2009). Moreover, they should concentrate on monitoring the quality of air in different parts of the United States. Apart from that, it is vital to investigate every case of industrial air pollution because this practice can lead to better environmental protection in at-risk neighborhoods.

Higher Environmental Standards

Furthermore, policy-makers should adopt higher environmental standards that should be met by manufacturing companies (Miller &Spoolman 2011).

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Evaluation of the solution

Beneficial

The proposed solution regarding the use of renewable energy is beneficial because it can remove a broad range of factors that can contribute to the pollution of the air. Leading executives of companies may argue that new environmental standards will undermine their operations (Miller &Spoolman 2011).

Possible Issues to Address

While the concept of using renewable energy is quite reasonable, producing it is quite complicated (Foster et al. 2009), both technically and economically. The costs taken may be higher than the actual value of the energy produced. Therefore, the solution can be deemed as plausible, yet quite flawed and requiring further consideration.

Conclusion

The presence of dangerous substances in the air causes many respiratory diseases (Suwanwaiphatthana et al. 2010). Additionally, there are various pollutants that can increase the risk of allergies (Parker, Akinbami, & Woodruff 2009). To address the problem, it is necessary to focus on the adoption of renewable energy technologies (Miller &Spoolman 2011).

Reference List

American Lung Association 2015, State of the air. Web.

Chu, J 2013, Study: air pollution causes 200,000 early deaths each year in the U. S. Web.

Environmental Protection Agency 2010, Our nation’s air. Web.

Foster, A, Gutierrez, E & Kumar, N 2009, ‘Voluntary compliance, pollution levels, and infant mortality in México’, American Economic Review, vol. 99 no. 2, pp. 191-197. Web.

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Garrett, M 2014, Encyclopedia of transportation: social science and policy, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, California.

Miller, G & Spoolman, G 2011, Living in the environment: principles, connections, and solutions, Cengage Learning, Stamford, Connecticut.

Natural Resources Defense Council 1997, Our children at risk. Web.

Parker, J, Akinbami, L & Woodruff, T 2009, ‘Air pollution and childhood respiratory allergies in the United States’, Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 117 no. 1, pp. 140-147.

Schwartz, J 2004, ‘Air Pollution and Children’s Health’, Pediatric, vol. 113 no. 3, pp. 1037 -1043. Web.

Sethi, R 2013, Air pollution: sources, prevention and health effects, Nova Science Publishers, New York.

Sow, M 2006, The effects of air pollution on infant health: an empirical evaluation of Georgia. Web.

Sutter, R 2012, Chinese foreign relations: power and policy since the Cold War, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, New York.

Suwanwaiphatthana, W, Ruangdej, K & Turner-Henson, S 2010, ‘Outdoor air pollution and children’s health’, Pediatric Nursing, vol. 36 no. 1, pp. 25-32.

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