Air pollution impacts on ecosystems, and health effects on living organisms

Air pollution is an environmental concern for many reasons, ranging from climate conditions, impacts on ecosystems, and health effects on living organisms. The article below describe a link between air pollution and human mortality. Air pollution is linked to increased cardiovascular and respiratory disease and subsequently to increased occurrences of stroke, heart attack, and diabetes.

Air pollution causes 8.8 million extra early deaths a year

Other sectors and businesses in the United States have also been linked to these health outcomes, notably the cigarette industry, the sugar industry, and the “fast food” industry. When the health problems associated with eating fast food, drinking soda, eating sugary snacks, and smoking became well known, society pushed back through education, restrictions, and increased consumer choices. Should a similar response be waged on the various sources of air pollution such as industrial plants, power plants (energy), and automobiles? Smoking kills people so it has been restricted. Eating junk kills people so it has been restricted through education and more healthy food options. Air pollution kills people so how should we respond?

Discuss whether you think air pollution should be treated in the same manner – as a health menace. Be sure to address:

If air pollution was treated as a health menace would that lead to more effective air quality changes?
Would you support changes to air quality even if those changes were expensive to you personally? Would you be accepting of a higher energy bill or a more expensive car? Do you eat healthier food, even if it costs more?
Make an initial post responding to the above prompt. Follow this with a response to a classmate in a manner that furthers the discussion. For example, if you agree with their post, explain why you agree and offer further support of their comments. If you disagree, explain why you disagree and provide an opposing perspective or ask further questions. Above all, maintain respect.


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