As a capitalist nation, we are constantly seeking to foster the growth of our economy and overall development. Our industrious nature has led to an industrial presence that makes the burning of fossil fuels our pinnacle source of energy, and a requirement for fueling our economic stability. Power plants and all other industrial sites employing smokestacks, have had an incredible impact on the capability of our economy, yet they have been effective at more than just energy production. Through the burning of fossil fuels, the rise of industry has generated the epiphany of air quality control. Industrial air emissions have been and continue to be a pervasive threat to our nation's health that cannot be justified by their economic benefits. Much of our industry is characterized by an enormous dependence on combustion-related energy sources. Paper product manufacturing, for example, rely heavily on the smokestack design for effectiveness. Power plants are the model representation of converting fossil fuel energy resources into electricity on a large scale.
[...] 21st century environment and air quality influences on asthma.” Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine. Jan 1999: Vol No pg 21. “Milestones in Air Pollution History.” American Lung Association of California. Oakland: Mar 2005.
[...] The Air Quality Control Act was the first step in the United States' battle to ensure all Americans equal health and environmental protection from air pollution. One of the EPA's most influential accomplishments has been to illustrate the specific components of air pollution. Their guidelines have provided a clear avenue in which to focus and quantify pollution efforts. Of most importance are the EPA's six criteria air pollutants, selected for their dynamic effects on environment and health. Probably the most consistently prevalent is carbon monoxide released from the burning of oil, gas and coal, with automobile exhaust being its prime facilitator. [...]
[...] health effects of fossil fuel derived particles.” Disease in Childhood. 2002: Vol 86, No pg 79-83. Legator, Marvin, et al. “Health Effects from Chronic Low-level exposure to hydrogen sulfide.” Environmental Health. Mar/Apr 2001: Vol 56, Iss pg 123-131. Levy, Jonathon I., et al. Importance of Population Susceptibility for Air Pollution Risk Assessment: A Case Study of Power Plants near Washington, D.C.” Environmental Health Perspectives. Dec 2002: Vol 110, No 12. Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health. Boston: 2002. Linn, William S. [...]
[...] The EPA has paid consistent attention to the upkeep of the CAA, but the state of air quality today portrays how industrial sources have failed to make changes that match the EPA's efforts, and their failures are directly linked to imperative health consequences. Although collectively the United States is falling short of EPA standards, certain states are doing remarkably better than others. The reality of air quality in Texas is a case study that exemplifies EPA avoidance and loopholes. Texas has pollution policy that defies the EPA's objectives, sacrificing environmental health for economic growth, and the consequences of their tactics have had negative effects on their air quality and population's health. [...]
[...] Although the EPA's goals were appropriate, they were also extremely ambitious, and their original CAA timeline was revised in 1977, allotting more time for areas with more serious air quality issues to comply. Yet despite the delay, the CAA's focus was successful at reducing emissions, especially from industrial sources. In 1970, for example, industry contributed to 60% of the total SOx emissions (22). Although the economy became increasing more dependent on coal energy use after 1970, due to the force of the EPA's determination, SOx emissions actually decreased by 58% by 1990 (22). [...]
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