Air pollution is not just a local concern but a growing regional, national and international concern. It involves identifying levels of dangerous pollutants and where they originate. Emissions need to be controlled. Effective legislation must be drafted, debated and passed . With the creation of such agencies as the E.P.A. which was responsible for implementing the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970 improvements abounded. Air Quality Standards were established and strictly followed.
Criteria for six pollutants were isolated and standards set. These were:. particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, lead and ozone. In setting the standards such matters as health considerations, environmental conditions, vegetation, esthetics, houses and monuments were discussed in depth. When standards were not met the section under scrutiny was designated a nonattainment area. Air quality is reviewed every five years. Should it be more often some ask.
A form of air pollution not mentioned yet is acid rain; a term used to cover acidic precipitation of all kinds including rain, snow, fog and dust particles. When pollutants get into the air, in particular sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, they produce acid rain which in turn has serious consequences for the biosystems on land and in water. Some subsequent problems are damaged leaves, compromised photosynthesis, waters so acidic they can no longer support fish or smaller organisms and marred recreational areas.
Air pollution is not going away any time soon and as of today there’s no Planet B.