Highway vehicles are a major contributor to air pollution in the U.S., producing 26-62% of key chemicals that cause smog and health problems.
Carbon monoxide (CO) - 62%
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) - 36%
Hydrocarbons - 26%
Air pollution can effect many body organs and systems in addition to the environment. The organization known as NAPE (National Association of Physicians for the Environment) was developed to work with national medical specialties, individual physicians as well as others in the field of medicine to deal with the impacts of environmental pollutants on the human body. NAPE is also invloved in global environmental issues such as the protection of biological diversity, something that is considered extremely important to our planet.
Air pollution is a mixture of natural and man-made substances in the air we breathe such as fine particles produced by the burning of fossil fuels, ground-level ozone, which is a reactive form of oxygen that is a primary component of urban smog, and noxious gases such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and chemical vapors. The health effects of air pollution have been reported in research studies over the past 30 years. These effects include respiratory diseases such as asthma, cardiovascular diseases, changes in lung function, and death. There is mounting evidence that exposure to air pollution has long-term effects on lung development in children.
Some water pollution actually starts as air pollution, which settles into waterways and oceans. Dirt can be a pollutant. Top soil or silt from fields or construction sites can run off into waterways, harming fish and wildlife habitats.
Eighty percent of pollution to the marine environment comes from the land. One of the biggest sources is called nonpoint source pollution, which occurs as a result of runoff. Nonpoint source pollution includes many small sources, like septic tanks, cars, trucks, and boats, plus larger sources, such as farms, ranches, and forest areas. Millions of motor vehicle engines drop small amounts of oil each day onto roads and parking lots. Much of this, too, makes its way to the sea.
Pollution also needs to be considered inside our homes, offices, and schools. Some of these pollutants can be created by indoor activities such as smoking and cooking. In the United States, we spend about 80-90% of our time inside buildings, and so our exposure to harmful indoor pollutants can be serious. It is therefore important to consider both indoor and outdoor air pollution.
Another type of pollution is the release of noxious gases, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and chemical vapors. These can take part in further chemical reactions once they are in the atmosphere, forming smog and acid rain.
Air pollution is the accumulation of hazardous substances into the atmosphere that danger human life and other living matter.
Land pollution is pollution of the Earth’s natural land surface by industrial, commercial, domestic and agricultural activities.