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Demands on Water and Air

     Brown Smog Over Phoenix, Arizona Smog is caused by industrial and vehicle pollution. It is compounded by temperature inversions, which cause the air pollution to be kept in a particular area for extended periods. Continued exposure to smog can result in respiratory problems, eye irritation, and even death.Phototake NYC/Eric Kamp

     The erosion problems described above are aggravating a growing world water problem. Expanding human populations need irrigation systems and water for industry; this is so depleting underground aquifers that salt water is intruding into them along coastal areas of the United States, Israel, Syria, and the Arabian Gulf states. In inland areas, porous rocks and sediments are compacting when drained of water, causing surface subsidence problems; this subsidence is already a serious problem in Texas, Florida, and California.

     The world is also experiencing a steady decline in water quality and availability. Human beings already use 55 per cent of available freshwater run-off. This level of consumption will be an increasing problem as the population rises. About 75 per cent of the world’s rural population and 20 per cent of its urban population have no ready access to uncontaminated water. In many regions, water supplies are contaminated with toxic chemicals and nitrates. Waterborne disease debilitates one third of humanity and kills 10 million people a year.

     During the 1980s and early 1990s, some industrialized countries improved air quality by reducing particulate matter and toxic chemicals, such as lead, but emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxides, the precursors of acid deposition, still remain. Massive air pollution occurs over much of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. As much as 15 per cent of the former Soviet Union is so badly polluted that there are significant and widespread threats to human health, agriculture, and biotas.

 

 

Tomorrow morning when you get up to take a nice deep breath, It will make you feel rotten.

~Citizens for Clean Air, Inc. (New York )