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Water and Air Pollution Analysis

According to the Phoenix Laboratory of U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air pollution is responsible for affecting respiratory function resulting in premature deaths. Phoenix is susceptible to umpteen preexisting respiratory or cardiovascular conditions and asthmatics to 9. 7% of its population, which consists mostly of elderly people aged 65 and above. (Koenig et al, 2000) According to the latest Phoenix report, over 79%, of the county’s residents are at high risk for respiratory complications due to air quality which includes asthma, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

(Eastwood, Jan2006) For decades, Phoenix is suffering from the threat of “Brown layer” which starts surrounding the entire Phoenix with sunset. This “brown shield” is composed of carbon and nitrogen, which is considered as a dangerous air pollutant, and when combined with other gases Water and air pollution visibility problems have been tremendously increasing in Phoenix since 1990. The main reasons behind this refer to the photochemical smog attributed to local industrial and urban pollution during warm months.

The problem of regional haze also contributes in making the pollution situation progressively worse. This is caused by long-range transport of pollutants from a variety of large and small sources undergoing chemical and photochemical transformations in the presence of abundant sunlight, warm temperatures, high relative humidities, and stagnant high-pressure systems. Most optically active components of such hazes are sulfate aerosols. The visibility reduction in pristine mountain areas of scenic beauty has been of greatest concern to public as well as regulatory agencies.

In particular, open vistas in national parks have to be protected against the long-range transports of pollution. As far as the hygiene is concerned, given sufficient time and distance, an impacted stream or river might cleanse itself. Water pollution can be alleviated by making metals attempt to settle from the moving water as minute crystalline precipitates, or more likely, adsorb onto suspended sediments, including other suspended precipitates.

Combine this natural diminution with inflows from uncontaminated tributaries and you have the basis for the grizzled polluter’s adage, According to Stiller, (2000) “Dilution is the solution to pollution”. (Stiller, 2000, p. 97) Nonetheless, AMD is amenable to some control. Pyrite-bearing materials can be moved, and engineered solutions can be implemented to isolate them from water and oxygen. This is possible both with waste rock and mill tailings. Until the past decade or two, such practices were not part of a mine’s normal functioning and minerals processing operations.

But today, under the watchful and encouraging eye of modern state regulatory agencies, industry frequently incorporates methods of isolating the most pyritic materials and sealing them against water or oxygen in order to keep the environment aloof from pollution. (Stiller, 2000, p. 97) Water based natural systems integrate environmental values into human activities. Humans need to use natural resources for their sustenance, and humans know how to use resources to enhance and improve their lives.

On the other hand, when these system affects from pollution it is difficult to imagine that humans will not continue to develop and use natural resources to generate as benefit, rather the polluted values are responsible for the decay produced by human generated pollution. If we come to understand that more human benefit can result from a river operated and used differently from the way it is presently used, surely we will find a way to change our uses of that river. The twenty first century economic development, including water development, must occur in a manner that minimizes or avoids environmental losses.

The effects of polluted water particularly ground water problem in Phoenix on public health may fall into one of three categories: (1) acute waterborne disease due to pathogenic organisms; (2) poisoning or other acute responses due to chemical contaminants; (3) chronic long-term effects. The impact of groundwater contamination on human health is difficult to quantify accurately. Pathogenic contaminants have caused outbreaks of disease. Chemical contaminants have caused acute public health effects such as poisoning.

It is impossible to assess, in quantitative terms, the national risk of drinking contaminated groundwater due to the lack of comprehensive national surveys on the extent of groundwater contamination and the lack of knowledge of effects of many contaminants in low concentrations. (Ford et al, 1987, p. 114) One of the major difficulties confronted by Phoenix is that water contamination occurs underground, out of sight. The sources of pollution are not easily observed, nor is the effect of pollution often seen until irreversible damage has occurred.

There are no obvious warning signals such as fish kills, discoloration, or stench that are often early indicators of surface-water pollution. Where contamination affects pumping wells, such indicators may occur, although many commonly found contaminants are both colorless and odorless, which makes detection difficult. They occur in concentrations that, if ingested, may cause long-term chronic illness, rather than acute poisoning. Many chemicals now found in groundwater have not been tested for their effects on human health.

The tangible effects of groundwater contamination usually come to light long after the incident causing the contamination has occurred. The long time lag between occurrence and detection is a major problem of which Phoenix Government is looking forward to resolve by creating various awareness programs of waste disposal practices among the population. Besides the Government is creating measures to treat and burn the disposal, which is the bone of contention of water-polluted areas.

References & Bibliography

Arya S. Pal, (1999) Air Pollution, Meteorology and Dispersion: Oxford University Press: New York. Eastwood, Jan2006 Accessed from <http://phoenix. about. com/od/weather/a/browncloud. htm> Ford Emily, Patrick Ruth & Quarles John, (1987) Groundwater Contamination in the United States: University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia Koenig Q. Jane, Larson V. Timothy, Mar. F Therese & Norris A. Gary (2000). Associations between Air Pollution and Mortality in Phoenix, 1995-1997 In: Environmental Health Perspectives. Vol: 108: 4. p: 347 Stiller David, (2000) Wounding the West: Montana, Mining, and the Environment: University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln, NE

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