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In the recent past, air pollution in the US has significantly reduced. This has been due to limitless efforts such as adopting the Clean Air Act. The public is protected from the exposure to hazardous airborne contaminants through Environmental Protection Agency. In this way, human life has protection, and the citizens of the United States build the economy successfully without the risk of exposure to dangerous fumes. This essay critically focuses on the efforts made by the US in an attempt to counter air pollution. Programs and processes that lead to the reduction of air pollution have also been exhaustively analyzed. The essay also discusses the possible ways to reduce air pollution even to lower levels.
Programs and Processes that Caused Reduction of Air Pollution
The Clean Air Act amendment of 1970 was the principal tool that led to the reduction of air pollution in the United States. This legislation extended the mandate of the Federal Government. This achievement has been made possible by requiring comprehensive state and federal regulations regarding industrial pollution. It also authorized the expansion of the federal enforcement authority. In this way, people who were carelessly emitting dangerous fumes in their industries were tamed (Godish, 1997). This act also created other programs to counter air pollution in the 1970 amendment. These programs include the National Ambient Air Quality Standards whose creation was aimed at preventing six air pollutants. These pollutants are hydrocarbons, nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide, particulate matter, photochemical oxidants, and carbon monoxide. It entailed the incorporation of chemical processes to industries so that they could treat these fumes and make them harmless to living things.
Possible Remedy and Indirect Benefits
It is possible to curtail the level of air pollution in the United States to a lower level than it is currently. This can be achieved by reducing the rate of the gases considered as the key pollutants in the 1970 Clean Air Amendment Act. For instance, to prevent the emissions of Carbon monoxide by vehicle engines into the air, something should be done. Perhaps, catalytic converters should be fixed in motor vehicle exhaust pipes. Catalytic converters change the chemical composition of gases exhausted by car engines. This occurs as a result of re-arranging the atoms from which the gas is made. A catalytic converter has the ability to turn poisonous carbon monoxide into unharmful carbon dioxide. This occurs in the form of an oxidation reaction in the catalytic converter (Arnold, 2005). There is oxygen addition into the carbon monoxide that converts it to carbon dioxide. Another way to prevent pollution of Nitrogen dioxide is through the use of coal and residual fuels as energy sources. It is a cost-effective means of reducing Nitrogen dioxide emissions in the air when the fuel used to provide energy contains less nitrogen compounds. When the use of natural gases is considered to provide energy, 60% less nitrogen dioxide is produced.
The reduction of these industrial and mobile emissions has indirect advantages. These advantages positively contribute to the growth of the US economy. For example, since people do not suffer from diseases associated with air pollution such as cancer, they provide a healthy and energetic labor force which is extremely influential in economic growth (Jacobson, 2012). Also, these attempts to reduce the air pollution become functionally necessary, because they preserve the ozone layer. The ozone layer prevents living things from harmful effects of ultra violet rays of the Sun. Therefore, less pollution means less chances of exposure to the ozone layer.
From the foregoing, it is undoubtedly clear and vivid that pollution and its long-term effects have been reduced by the Clean Air Act. This has resulted in a major boost of the US economy. A lot of scientific ideas about plans and methods to counter air pollution should be encouraged in the United States. This will take the world to enormous heights in terms of industrial revolution without putting human life at stake.