Full version Speech On Air Pollution

Speech On Air Pollution

This print version free essay Speech On Air Pollution.

Category: Social Issues

Autor: reviewessays 06 November 2010

Words: 715 | Pages: 3

The topic I have chosen for today is something we all take for granted…the air. Most of us hardly ever think about it. It’s just something we take for granted. But the air we breathe carries pollutants that can be bad for our health. People with sensitivities, like those who have asthma, or the elderly, and also athletes are especially vulnerable to unhealthy levels of air pollution.

There are many kinds of air pollution. The ones I want to talk about are the ozone, acid rain, carbon monoxide and toxic air contaminants. Ozone is formed when hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide react in sunlight. Therefore, ozone is at its peak during hot summer days. Exposure to high levels of ozone can have serious consequences on your health. It can cause respiratory disease, loss of pulmonary elasticity, and premature aging of our lungs. Next, is acid rain, which occurs in the atmosphere in the form of sulfur and nitrogen oxide. These pollutants can have serious damaging affects on aquatic, forest and wildlife ecosystems, as well as deterioration of buildings. Carbon monoxide is another form of pollution. It reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. If a human is exposed to higher levels, it can cause chest pains, angina attacks or even death.

Coal-burning power plants and motor vehicles are among the largest contributors to air pollution. Around 70% of the carbon monoxide found in the Northeast comes from cars. They also are the biggest source of hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions which help form ozone. Acid rain deposits are found in fossil fuels emitted from utility and industrial sources. The power plants that were built before the 1977 Clean Air Act did not have to comply because they were supposed to be phased out eventually. Many are still operating today, releasing much more pollution than modern plants. 97 percent of the acid rain and haze-causing sulfur dioxide, 85 percent of the ozone smog-causing nitrogen oxide, and 99 percent of the toxic mercury pollution come from the utility sector.

Unfortunately, these pollutants can be carried in the atmosphere by weather systems. Thus, they can travel for hundreds of miles causing damage as they go. Acid deposits in the soil can have devastating affects in the forest. It gradually causes the loss of plant nutrients, calcium and magnesium. This leads to dying off of trees in the forest. Also, acid deposits in lakes and streams have led to a drop in fish production. Mercury is another source of pollution which can be harmful to humans and wildlife. It comes from the emissions of coal-burning power plants and is deposited into the air and water. This chemical damages the nervous system, and has a detrimental affect on reproduction and prenatal development.

Greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane, absorb energy radiated by the Earth and then send it back into our atmosphere as heat. This is called the greenhouse effect. During the last century, with the increased use of fuels, the levels of these gases have increased dramatically. The result has been an increase in the Earth’s temperature causing ice masses to melt and sea levels to rise. Coastal flooding in some areas and droughts in others have affected plant and animal life. Changes in climates have also occurred which affects wildlife and ecosystems.

In my opinion, air pollution can and is having a devastating affect on the entire planet. We have already seen some of its affects. Forests are shrinking, some types of exotic plant and wildlife have become endangered or even extinct. We all need to work together to make sure that regulations are upheld. We must become the watchdogs and enforcers so that air pollution does not win and rob us of our future generations. Here in the Northeast, states are working together to find ways to reduce pollution. They have established programs to regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Federal standards, such as the 1970’s Clean Air Act, have been implemented which states must comply with.