Human beings can live without water and food for some time, but they cannot live without the air. However, every person should know that he/she often breathes contaminated air that makes him/her sick. Air pollution brings irreversible damages to wildlife, trees, and plants. In addition to the affected environment and nature, the presence of harmful or poisonous elements in the atmosphere has an adverse effect on buildings, cities, parks, and monuments. As a global-scale serious issue, air contamination matters since hazardous biological materials and harmful chemical substances continue to pollute atmosphere, and, therefore, urgent and immediate measures need to be taken in order to breathe clean air thus saving human lives.
Particularly in the urban areas human activity has been identified as the main cause of air pollution. There is a great need for industry, transport, and energy production in order to support the livelihood of a large population. However, no one should forget that these activities release poisonous chemicals in the air. Heating, waste burning, toxics, smoking at home, cars, and fires are the direct results of industrial and human practices. Skolnik suggests that every person and enterprise should be aware of this burden in order to diminish effects caused by air pollution (155).
Natural events also contaminate the atmosphere. Forest fires, dust, volcanic gas, and biodegradation emit nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxides negatively affecting air quality. Numerous chemical reactions that take place in the sunlight produce most of the ozone. According to Tabin, up to 15 percent of it comes from the stratosphere (74). The quality of indoor air is also damaged. It directly affects the state of health and comfort of individuals, whether they are at home or work. Volatile organic compounds with high vapor pressure, biomass burning, ozone, radon, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and molds are among the most widespread pollutants within and around various buildings. In order to improve air quality at home and work, it is necessary to control sources of pollution, diminish their effects, and ensure filtration and ventilation.
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There are numerous useful things that every person and enterprise can do in order to make the air cleaner. It is important to preserve energy since wood, diesel, electricity, as well as gasoline usage significantly pollute the atmosphere. Those, who are concerned with making the air cleaner, point to the fact that it is necessary for the vehicle owners to execute car maintenance regularly and, in general, comply with the environmental laws. If a person burns gasoline, then he/she is responsible for the production of carbon dioxide that is directly linked to the climatic changes in the whole world. The opponents are unlikely to change their habits and will continue acting in the same way. Enterprises, which are concerned only with getting profit, never think about the harm they bring to the environment using gas-powered tools and its consequences until they personally face them. The activity of Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of Clean Air Act have insignificantly changed the way business functions and people work. In some cases, they have helped, in others, failed.
Therefore, instead of riding a motorcycle or driving a car, one can walk or ride a bike. People should give preference to the public transport and reduce travelling by personal vehicles if possible. Moreover, it is vital to avoid using equipment powered by gas, burning leaves and trash. Therefore, sanctions for indifferent people should be tightened. If everyone makes personal contribution to reducing air contamination, the environment and atmosphere will eventually benefit.
The disclosure of environmental information and active participation of individuals concerned are the basis of enforcement, regulations, and comprehensive policy that will eventually improve outcomes (Doern 215). No one criticizes this important recommendation since everybody recognizes the importance of issue resolution. Moreover, people want to breathe the clean air and lead a healthy lifestyle. That is why they should possess necessary environmental information in order to be aware of the current situation and all potential hazards. People are unanimous in admitting the necessity to change a life for better immediately, and disclosure of environmental data is the first step toward success and recognition of the air pollution issue.
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It is vital to urge the competent authorities to tighten sanctions and penalties for violators, strengthen principles, and clarify the need for the community’s observance of the law and separate amendments. Moreover, it is necessary to add a provision to the legislation that will allow carrying out the trial in the interest of public regarding violators of environmental laws. It is also important to introduce comprehensive, stringent emission standards in the catering industry and control their implementation. While working on the strict environmental guidelines, specific emphasis should be made on human health as a core of the policy.
Joint efforts and close cooperation are vital in order to resolve such environmental issue as polluted air. In addition, every person and enterprise should efficiently use energy, non-fossil sources of energy, and environmentally sound technologies and ensure strict control of release of air contaminants. It is crucially important that the world countries continue to focus on enforcement, realization and compliance with laws since these challenges have hindered the development of an adequate policy of environmental protection for a long time. Miller and Cross point to the fact that individuals, who consciously violate the legislation, may be subjected to strict criminal fines up to $1 million (586). Violators of the American Air Act can get imprisonment for over two years. It is also important to impose higher fines for building projects without permission in order to prevent illegal construction of facilities.
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Air pollution is deservedly described as one of the most serious issues of the modern times. Atmosphere contamination threatens human health as well environment. Toxic contaminants and chemical elements that generate “bad” ozone and acid rain bring significant damages to lakes, wildlife, crops, trees, water, fish, and aquatic life in general. The socio-economic effects of air pollution are also significant. Commercial forest and agricultural crop yields must be reduced as well. The countries lose billions of dollars annually. Moreover, contaminants lead to serious illnesses in humans, lost days and time. Therefore, the government and public should pay attention to environmental challenges and work on urgent effective measures to eliminate air pollution. Despite the fact that some countries have already introduced green energy, investing in solar, renewable, and wind energy, they still need to realize many initiatives and develop a comprehensive policy in order to finally resolve the issue of air contamination.
The reason why not all initiatives had been realized is that contamination is a tricky issue. Nobody owns water and air and not every person really recognizes the dire consequences of inaction. In reality, it is not easy to establish a complex system of accountability for the protection of natural resources. Moreover, it is difficult to disclose all necessary information since not all enterprises report how their industry pollutes the environment. It is almost impossible to force all people quit using gas-powered equipment. The human will to change life for better is required. Otherwise, nothing can be changed. Processes that take place in the global and small scales differ in their nature. It is also unclear who will pay for damages caused to the environment. The competent authorities, government, and concerned individuals should bear own share of responsibility, do everything possible to change life of people and planet for better, and be ready for radical changes in order to prosper.