Despite the provisional solutions initiated in order to solve environmental matters, indelible consequences linger and will impair the health of civilians presently and in the future. As time progresses and the effects become more prevalent, one may question ways in which pollution can be reduced to limit its impact on public health. In the future, physicians, epidemiologists (those who study disease within a population), and exposure scientists (those who study synthetic, natural, and biological agents in the environment), must collaborate effectively in order to protect individuals from unfavorable health complications (Landrigan).
Although past research has led to recent advancements in pollution, future investigations will introduce solutions in hopes that the insidious effects of pollution on public health and the environment will be answered, as well as further experimented. Essentially, improvements are illustrated when referring to the general public’s knowledge of pollution because there is a strong foundation when it comes to historical research. Dr. Pamela Das, senior executive editor of The Lancet, a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal, and Richard Horton, University of Birmingham graduate and editor-in-chief of The Lancet, express their concerns for the contaminated environment within the past century, attributing it to industrialization, urbanization, and globalization.
Portrayed by Barbara Mantel, holder of a Bachelor’s degree in history and economics, her scholarly work illustrates that during the mid 19th Century, U.S. factories were powered by steam engines running on coal, used to generate electricity. Although these occurrences led to greater productivity and extensive technological advancements, many of the enhancements were succeeded by illnesses including cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, and asthma, exemplified by a peer-reviewed, academic journal published by the Public Library of Science (Pimpin et al.). This is because the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, led and continue to lead to toxic amounts of carbon dioxide emission and other pollutants in the air (Mantel). Similarly, Philip Landrigan, creator of The Lancet Commission, established to express pollution and health risks after merging ideas between
The Lancet, the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, states that pollution caused by industrial discharge, such as nonrenewable fuel emission and toxic chemicals, has increased in the past one hundred years and will continue to in rapidly expanding countries. Because of these historical findings, the State News Service, a Board of Directors, entailing journalism professionals, faculty and students of Michigan State University and the EPA, claims there will be a need for supplemental physicians due to a rise in hospital and emergency room admissions for heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory issues in the future (“Air Pollution: Current”; “Air Pollution Reduces”). In addition to public health, the environment is heavily affected by pollution.
Exemplified clearly by Jill U. Adams, a science journalist and academic journal contributor, the world will have a massive predicament if pollution’s effects continue to worsen. In the near future, if air, water, and chemical pollution, to list a few, are not addressed, there will be severe consequences. This is because toxic gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrogen dioxide will lead to environmental changes such as drought and climate shifts (Adams; Pimpin). As a result, there will be dramatic effects on food supply.
This includes decreases in crop yields due to temperature variations, as well as soil erosion leading to reliance on agronomists, or crop production experts, and less farmland available to grow much-needed produce. Nevertheless, the scare amount of food supplied to civilians will be encompassed by pollutants that are simply unhealthy for all living species. Currently, Adams claims pollution kills over three million civilians per year, supported by the States News Service exemplifying that life expectancy is down 1.8 years due to air pollution.
Based on these findings, lifespans are going to continue to decrease as times progress and globally, populations will decrease drastically. Inclusively, revealed in “Pollution and Global Health-An Agenda for Prevention”, by Philip Landrigan, pollution has and will continue to ravage the earth’s ecosystem and endanger the continuity of the human species. Regardless of the many efforts to reverse the repercussions of pollution, long-term consequences damage the health of many. With help from organizations that have attempted to coordinate with federal agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to illustrate its importance on the world in which civilians live.
The EPA, an objective, official association run by the United States government, conveys the vast issues surrounding pollution within the world, specifically the United States. Presently, pollution in the U.S. far surpasses air quality standards for many common pollutants, displayed by doctor and epidemiologist Laura Pimpin, and many others. These pollutants include fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, found not only in toxic fertilizers, but the air society breathes (Pimpin et al.). Because of these uncontrolled amounts of pollution in the air, it is no surprise that there are more than 88,000 deaths per year in the United States due to fine particulate matter air pollution exposure (“Your Heart”). Unfortunately,
The Lancet Commission states that the US Government’s Environmental Protection Agency is failing to established ancillary environmental regulations for the future (Das and Horton). If agencies, such as the EPA, receive more financial backing, however, they can regulate an abundant amount of laws and baselines for states to follow. Decreasing the amount of air pollution in the environment by receiving proper funding is key because there are major assets at stake, such as quality of life, if the circumstances are not altered for future generations (Pimpin et al.). Beyond the past and present, future methods of prevention will make pollution more easily detectable and avertable.
Due to the extensive effects, innovators, scientists, and environmental organizations must be vigilant in order to determine solutions for this epidemic. Encompassed in the article “Your Heart Hates Air Pollution; Portable Filters Could Help.”, medical experts and exposure scientists like Robert Brook, a cardiovascular specialist at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center, state that designers have created an inexpensive, portable air purifier used indoors that is powerful enough to accumulate an exceptional portion of the extremely small particles and remove them from the air. Additionally,
The Journal of the American Medical Association found that three days of using a low-cost air purifier in a home decreased fine particulate matter exposure by forty percent (qtd. in “Your”). Although the experiment was conducted in an area that met with the air particulate standards, results are still promising in heavily polluted locations, as well. Furthermore, to combat pollution outdoors, International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health professionals, such as Mawutor Nyarku, share that mobile phones are the most logical choice for exposure monitoring because people carry them virtually everywhere.
After laboratory and safety evaluations were conducted, researchers found that the phone could be useful as an alarm in very high concentrations outdoors in order to detect unsafe emissions, shown in their scholarly work. Definitively, low-cost air purifiers could be used indoors while mobile devices could be used outdoors, leading to cleaner air and more knowledge on a specific area (Nyarku et al.; ‘Your heart”). Additionally, to hinder pollution further, environmentalists desire cleaner, natural gases and zero-emissions solar and wind power to do away with coal-fired electricity plants by 2030 (Mantel). Conclusively, with less particulate matter, air purifiers can put a civilian at a lower risk of becoming ill or developing cancer because research links this toxic air directly to the two (Pimpin et al.; “Your Heart”).
Pollution is clearly preventable if these precautions are taken seriously. Advancements in pollution can be obtained because there is a sufficient amount of information, government-led programs, and environmentally-friendly technologies. Although future research supports decreasing survival rates if a massive transformation is not made, equipment that is currently in the beginning phases, such as screening and monitoring devices, can be the answer. The public should continue examination for unregulated particulate matter with contemporary equipment until pollution is a story of the past.
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