Posts Tagged ‘Environmental Pollution’
As the global economy spirals into economic depression and fuel prices fluctuate wildly, many average Americans are starting to take notice of a need for change. The current administration was elected on a campaign of change, and we are hopeful that a greener, more sustainable source of fuel and power is truly an objective. The U.S. dependency on foreign oil is a source of many violent conflicts, and the pollution emitted by our heavy use of fossil fuels is contributing largely to global warming as well as environmental pollution that is impacting the health of our families. The capability to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels exists, as biofuels are a green and sustainable alternative, but their use has never been implemented on a large scale in the United States. Perhaps the new administration can recognize that this is about more than saving money or creating new jobs, and is the only way to create a sustainable future.
Usually a pioneer in new technologies, the United States is far behind when it comes to the use of biofuels. Much of Europe uses these biofuels, with many countries generating at least a quarter of their heat from this source. Sweden heats over thirty five percent of homes, businesses, and other buildings using biofuels and operates boilers that work at an astounding ninety percent efficiency. When considering the large strides taken by so many other nations, it is hard to comprehend why we have not taken similar measures.
Political motive aside, however, it is rapidly becoming common knowledge that we must wean ourselves from fossil fuels and biofuel is by far the most commonly accepted alternative. Safe, clean, and sustainable, biofuel can be used in existing systems with only minor alterations, making it a cheaper and more fluid transition for the millions of Americans who would need to upgrade automobiles and heating systems. The question is not whether we need to wean ourselves from this dependence, but rather how to go about making the change.
Many public transportation systems and college transport vehicles have already made the change to biofuel. While this is only a small step, it shows the public that biofuel is reliable and effective without causing need for fossil fuels. The consumer market, however, seems to be easier to convince than many in the energy production industry. Many facilities seem to ignore the concept altogether, even as emissions standards change in an attempt to create new methods of energy production. Tax incentives for consumers offer great encouragement in a struggling economy, but the idea is only sustainable if there is a constant and easily accessible source of biofuel in every area of the nation, presenting problems for early adopters of the new technology.
The attempted weaning of the United States from fossil fuels to biofuels will need to undergo a shift in its targets to be largely successful. While attempts to start with consumers and end users have been moderately successful, it is industrialists, businesses, and energy producers that must be encouraged to begin implementing the fuel en masse, creating a viable market and the consensus among consumers that the fuel will be available universally. When this is achieved, the consumer market will be much more receptive to a cheaper and cleaner source of fuel.
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AIR POLLUTION AND ENVIRONMENT
By Dr. Christabell Joseph, LL.M.,Ph.D (Law),
Assistant Professor, Hyderabad.
Ancient Indian thinkers emphasized the importance on the purity in air. They were eagerly conscious to convey the value of pure air. We find in the vedic literature at various places, this view of the sages revealed to them I their exalted state of meditation, which they expressed in the form in vedic sukts.
In the Sukta Vayu/air has been organized and recognized as a primary source of human life without the purity of which human life on earth is difficult. It shows that the process of Yajna and importance attached to Yajna in vedic literature recognizes beyond doubt the importance of pure air because at that Yajna was considered to be one of the best means to purify atmospheric pollution. Even today, the importance of Yajna is a fact self proved which clears the air pollutative elements.
The insight, knowledge and views of ancient thinkers may be utilized for removing air pollution in modern times because ideas are not limited by time and place. It seems the vedic sages knew the possibility of pollution of environment by the human agencies and therefore they pray that ,mankind should always strive to keep the environment free from pollution for the well being of mankind since pollution of environment can cause inconceivable miseries.
Environmental pollution has assumed serious proportion in modern times. Environmental problems in a country are related to the level of the economic development, availability of natural resources and lifestyle of the population. Poverty poses special problem for an over populated country with limited resources. In this paper an attempt, is made to highlight some problems cause by air pollution. In India most vehicles and industries are the main culprits for air pollution. But the main question is that inspite of the fact that we have legislation on protection of environment and over the years Supreme Court has also come out with laudable judgments which deal with the menace of environmental degradation, consequences and cure but the problem still remains unsolved.
AIR POLLUTION AND JUDICIAL RESPONSE
The Supreme Court has taken a very serious note on air pollution caused by vehicular remissions. In M.C. Mehta Vs. Union of India (1991) 2 SCC 137), concerning the high air pollution in Delhi caused by the number of petrol and Diesel vehicles in the city, the Delhi Administration was asked to furnish a list of prosecutions launched against heavy vehicles for causing pollutions and directed the installation of devices brought out by Nation Environment Engineering Institute to be in-built into every vehicle manufactured after April 1 1991.
According to the chart we find that the number of commercial/transport vehicles are;
a. More than 25 years old 5,718
b. Between 24 and 25 years old 954
c. Between 23 and 24 years old 635
d. Between 22 and 23 years old 524
e. Between 21 and 22 years old 748
f. Between 20 and 21 years old 770
Therefore, the total numbers of vehicles which are more than 20 years old are 9,349. These vehicles are all commercial vehicles which have been registered and on which road tax has been paid. The count of vehicles which are more than 15 years but less than 20 years old are:
a. Between 17 to 19 years 3,200
b. Between 15 to 16 years 4,962
The court further held that (a) all commercial/transport vehicles which are more than 20 years old shall be phased out and not permitted to ply in the National Capital Territory, Delhi after 2nd October, 1998: (b) all such commercial/transport vehicles which are 17 to 19 years old shall not be permitted to ply after 15th November, 1988. This order shall apply to all commercial/transport vehicles whether registered in the National capital territory, Delhi or outside which are more than the stipulated age.
All these directions which are given by the Supreme Court for the prevention of air pollution in urban areas are well doing. But real question is how to enforce and implement the directions? What is the role of state and NGO’s in preventing pollution, preventing the safe, clean and healthy environment?
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“DANGER OF INDOOR AIR POLLUTION IN OUR HOMES AND OFFICES”
Many times we are not aware of the air impurities that linger in our homes and offices. The question is how dangerous is the indoor air we breathe?
In the last several years, the Environmental Protection Agency has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.
Good ventilation is important. There are signs that can indicate your home may not have enough ventilation: moisture condensation on windows or walls, smelly or stuffy air, dirty central heating and air cooling equipment, and areas where books, shoes, or other items become moldy. To detect odors in your home, step outside for a few minutes, and then upon reentering your home, note whether odors are noticeable.
There are 5 main pollutants active in your home or office that you should be aware of, and do something about. They are: mildew, cooking odors, pets, tobacco smoke and heating and air conditioning filter vents. Let’s look at each active air pollutants, its source, and its remedy.
Mildew is a big contributor in indoor air pollution. Mildew spores will grow anywhere there is moisture. You will find it in carpets, upholstery, a damp wall and bathroom. Mildews release disease-causing toxins. As it grows it spreads bacteria, which become airborne that causes health problems, such as allergies.
Cooking odors, are a combination of steam, oils and smoke. It is easy for these odors to travel around the house, and cling to walls and furniture. Soon the odors will age.
It can be a buffet for insects, like cockroaches. The cooking odors can be diminished by proper ventilation and clean oven air filters.
Pet odors are the most offensive odors in a house. Dogs rubbing their backs on the carpet, or sleeping near or on a sofa will leave their body oils and dander. Male cats marking their territory with pungent urine scent. These pet odors are hidden deep in your carpet and upholstery that will attract fleas, dust mites and lice, and creates a health hazard. Health experts claim that many health problems that children have come from playing on dirty carpets. It can cause allergies and rashes.
To remedy this problem, have your carpets vacuumed at least 3 times a week. For deep cleaning of your carpet, have a professional carpet cleaner do the job. Your carpet will be fresh and clean, which will reduce many health problems.
Tobacco smoke is one of the unhealthy indoor air pollutes in homes and offices. The smoker is inhaling a complex mixture of over 4,000 compounds, more than 40 of which are known to cause cancer. Tobacco smoke lingers on for days. It has the nature to cling on fabrics and walls. I have seen darkened walls at homes and apartments of people who smoked. The unhealthy fact is that nicotine and carbon monoxide are present in the sticky oily residue tobacco leaves behind on fabrics and walls.
Heating and air conditioning filters, are culprits, which cause unhealthy indoor air pollution in homes and offices.
Mechanical ventilation systems in large buildings are designed and operated not only to heat and cool the air, but also to draw in and circulate outdoor air. Inadequate ventilation can occur if the air supply is blocked in such a way that outdoor air does not actually reach the breathing zone of building occupants. Improperly located air intake vents can also bring in air contaminated with automobile and truck exhaust, fumes from dumpstors, or air vented from restrooms. These air vents can also become a breeder for bacteria, mold and mildew. These toxins are airborne making it unhealthy in working and living environments.
To insure your safety and those around you, invest in a good air cleaner. Air cleaners with a HEPA filter removes 99.9% of tobacco smoke, pollens, bacteria, harmful fibers, allergens and pollutants. There are many types and sizes of air cleaners on the market, ranging from relatively inexpensive tabletop models to sophisticated and expensive whole-house systems.
Indoor air pollution can be reduced, and make your home or office a healthy environment for your family and co -workers.