The Air That I Breathe

Many changes are coming about and one in particular is very important; air pollution. Air pollution in Michigan is becoming an increasingly larger hazard as the air we breathe to live is becoming the very thing that is making people sick and in some cases, even causing death. As more pollution, from the increasing number of cars, factories and other sources, is generated and reacts with sunlight and increasing heat, this creates more ozone smog. As temperatures rise from increasing pollution this smog gets worse and worse and the temperature, as of now, doesn’t show signs of decreasing (http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/climate-change-michigan.pdf). Also the increasing CO2 emissions cause plants to release more pollens into the air making allergens worse and also ragweed. Ragweed is actually extremely common in Michigan along with ozone smog. People with allergies, asthma and other respiratory health issues face the most serious threats as the number of “bad air days” increases allergy related problems increase and asthma related problems increase resulting in more hospital visits and even death. Roughly 23 million Americans suffer from asthma. However, even people without allergies and asthma are grossly affected by the poor air quality just by being outside and breathing in the air can cause a “sun burn” on a person’s lungs causing lung damage.

Air quality needs to be improved, if it doesn’t temperatures will continue to rise and air quality will become worse, doing more damage to our lungs. Nearing the end of this century the air quality will be far poorer and temperatures will be higher, and the elderly being a group that is greatly affected by these two factors, many should be concerned as our generation will be the elderly by that time and will be suffering the severe health costs.

So far eleven of the United States have begun steps towards increasing air quality. Michigan is one of these eleven who have begun measures of increased surveillance of air quality changes and increased communications with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the EPA and other organizations to start to stop any increased damage to the air quality in Michigan and in general. It’s great to know that Michigan is one the states head lining this attempt to reduce poor air quality, but more can be done, and is being done, by increasing the use of fuel efficient vehicles. The United States is one of the lucky few who has a vast array of technologies and these can help to reduce the climate change and slow it if we just used the technology. Using the knowledge and abilities we have many jobs would be created to build more wind turbines and other efficient ways to make electricity and eventually efficient way to make everything without much pollution or any. The technology is there, just the push to use it isn’t, but once we open that door good things will come and humans can breathe a sigh of relief and do so without sun burning their lungs or having a severe asthma attack.

  • Jeremy Sutton

Sources:

http://www.nrdc.org/health/climate/airpollution.asp#methods

http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/climate-change-michigan.pdf

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/climatechange/extremeweather_more.htm

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2 responses

  1. I really like the topic you chose because not only does it affect Michigan, but it affects all states. I’m from California, and back home the smog is absolutely disgusting. When I sit on the beach and look at the horizon I see this dark yellow fog that just sits there constantly, and it’s SO gross to know that is the air that I am breathing. It’s disturbing too because breathing all of those pollutants is really unhealthy. The generations before ours didn’t have this big of a problem with air pollution, so I think in a few years we’re going to see a lot more people that have respiratory health problems.
    I think it’s awesome that Michigan is one of the 11 states to monitor the air quality because it’s so important to have the air be as clean as possible.

    Jessica Smith

  2. I thought your topic and information was very well organized and backed up. Your last paragraph that acknowledges the mitigation and polices for pollution, displays a good strategy and interesting information. I liked that you included the fact that eleven states are increasing surveillance of air quality changes, I was not aware of those measures being taken against pollution and that it is also being applied in Michigan.
    Hannah DeZeeuw

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