Air pollution in San Diego

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Human activities impact both positively and negatively to the environment. Human beings impact on the ecosystem, therefore, something that is carried out by human beings and gives the impact to the ecosystem. Some of the most common human activities that pollute the ecosystem are the cutting down of trees and forests, waste dumping, and the cars that are giving out the greenhouse gasses. All these activities are dangerous to the environment and lead to land degradation. Some of the negative ways that the activities of human beings impact on the are the over hunting of animals, pollution, waste dumping, industrial gasses, overfishing, and energy use. There are different types of pollution (Beelen, 788). Some of them are air pollution, water pollution, and land pollution. All of them are dangerous to the environment, and there is a great need to control them in the environment. In the recent past, the government of nearly all countries has been putting on all the effects. Air pollution is very dangerous and may end up destroying a lot of lives, not only for human beings but both domesticated and wild animals and also for plants. Air pollution also has negative impacts on a lot of resources in a country. This paper will look into the issue of air pollution in San Diego.

When examining the quality of air across the United States, San Diego is steadily cleaner. However, it is not clean to the required levels as there are still a lot of activities that pollute the air. This explains the reason why San Diego air has been ranked the nation’s eight cities that had a grade F because the public is still exposed to the relatively huge amount of air pollution and other types of pollution. A lot of the air pollution that is experienced at San Diego comes from the local roads and the freeways.  These roads are usually congested with trucks and cars, some of which are then in a bad state that releases the greenhouse gasses that are very dangerous and pollutes the air. Also, the ships that are using the ports of San Diego also play a role in the creation of smog as do the cars that serve the nation’s huge agricultural industry. The city also gets some smog from Mexico and the greater Los Angeles. The ranking of San Diego to indicate that it is got a grade of F is a reminder to every occupant of     San Diego that despite the fact that the air has been getting better in the city, San Diego is still experiencing a lot of unhealthful air das that impact on the people that suffer from lung problems such as asthma. This is a great worry to the people residing in the town, the authorities and the organization. A collective effort is required to help clean up the air so that a conducive environment that is free from air pollution can be achieved in San Diego. During the mid-1990s, the city of San Diego ozone levels were in the unhealthful range of an average of 60 days a year (Loomis, 1262). However, due to the efforts that the government has been putting in place, the figure has been able to drop to 29.5.Studies show that the average number of days that experiences unhealthful short-term particulates has reduced from 13 to 9. This is a great effort in the nation, and it shows its desire to continue bringing down the average to a lower figure (Raaschou-Nielsen, et al. 820). The particulate figure In San Diego fluctuates. It rose in years such as 2007 where the San Diego County suffered devastating wildfires that assisted in spreading the particulate in the atmosphere. The worst scenarios of the ozone pollution are usually experienced during the summer, the period where the smog is accelerated by the heat and sunlight. Furthermore, the onshore winds normally bring about some of the worst pockets of air pollution to form at the base of local mountains.

Causes of air pollution in San Diego

There have been various talks on the causes of climate change in San Diego. The debates are also along the lines of carbon emissions, global warming, and the climate action plan. Most of the people that are living in San Diego are not satisfied with public transportation. Most of the people in San Diego prefer to own their cars as that is their style of life (Mo, et 300). However, this is not across the board. Most of the people in San Diego who use public cars to carry out their activities are quite satisfied.  It should be noted however that San Diego has not attained the level of efficiency of public transportation compared to cities such as San Francisco, New York City, Berlin and other major cities.

Public transportation and other means of transportation, in general, is a major cause of air pollution in San Diego. The people who also purchase their private cars are also a cause of air pollution. A good percentage of these cars are not serviced frequently as they should. The bottom line is that there are emissions of gasses that are dangerous to the environment. An increase in the cars means that there is an increase in the total amount of the greenhouse gasses that are released into the air. In this way, the level of air pollution goes up (Zauscher, et al. 7644). A lot of studies that have been conducted have shown that the on and off-road diesel-fuelled vehicles, trucks, cars, locomotives, buses, aircraft and ships give a lot of emissions in the air.

Area sources such as smoke from wood burning are also a major contribution to the pollution. Burning of woods results in smoke that goes up in the air and pollutes the environment. The smokes are very dangerous because when they get into the air and mix with the moisture as well as some ions that are found in the air, the air becomes polluted and thus the impacts of the air pollution to the environment are experienced (Seinfeld, 88).

The fumes and gasses that are released from factories in San Diego is also a major cause of air pollution. There has been a huge industrial growth in San Diego. People are setting up manufacturing and processing companies. These companies in their operation, release harmful gasses into the air when they go up, they pollute the air. The air becomes unconducive even more when the gasses mix with the atmospheric future. It becomes a major cause of acidic rain. Another major cause of air pollution in San Diego is the smog that is released both in the San Diego port and in the air basin of San Diego.

Consequences of air pollution in San Diego

Just in any place, the impacts of air pollution remain the same. Air pollution in San Diego has brought negative impacts to the health of the occupants of the city as well as the environment. Air pollution is dangerous to the occupants of San Diego when it accumulates in the air in relatively high concentrations. The higher concentration can be regarding smog, toxic pollutants, particle pollution and all these have a major health concern to the people. When the residents are exposed to very high amounts of the air pollutants, they may experience coughing, wheezing, chest tightness as well as breathing difficulties. Also, they will have irritation of the nose, eyes, and throat and the higher risk of getting a heart attack. Another major effect that the air pollution has caused to the people that are living in San Diego is the worsening and cause of lung heart problems such as asthma (Lelieveld, 368). When people are exposed to these air pollutants, and they inhale them, their lungs get affected with the pollutants which make them vulnerable to respiratory diseases. Besides this, studies have been able to prove that long-term exposure to the air pollutants results in damage of the immune, neurological, respiratory systems and reproductive systems and also causes cancer.

Besides the health effects that air pollution brings about, it also causes a lot of harm to the environment. Acid rain is caused as a result of air pollution. When the air pollutants get to mix with rainwater, acid rain is formed (Volk, 74). Acid rain is dangerous to human lives. It also causes corrosion of plants and rooftops. Other environmental effects include haze and eutrophication.

Recommendations on how to stop the air pollution in San Diego

The quality of air in San Diego is wanting, and there is a need to push for better air conditions that will ensure everybody has an ample working environment and is free from any risk related to that of air pollution or any other kind of pollution. The first recommendation is that San Diego should support clean air investments through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Through this, there will be a great reduction in the amount of greenhouse gas that is emitted in the air for pollution. Secondly, there should be an increase in zero-emission fuels and vehicles which are inclusive of the passenger vehicles as well as the freight. It will help to have clean air that has no pollutants. Thirdly, San Diego should put a lot of effort into reducing the climate pollutants such as the black carbon and methane. This can be achieved when there are very strict measures that are put in place to help stop people from using such pollutants.  Fourthly, there should be coordination efforts to help with the cross-border pollution that affects the air that is in San Diego. Lastly, San Diego should pan on healthier communities that are focusing on biking, walking, transit and zero-emission transportation options. It is no doubt that when these recommendations are put in place by the authorities in San Diego, the quality of air will greatly improve. Strict laws with very tough consequences when broken should be applied to help discourage any person from engaging in any activity of air pollution.

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  1. Beelen, Rob, et al. “Effects of long-term exposure to air pollution on natural-cause mortality: an analysis of 22 European cohorts within the multicentre ESCAPE project.” The Lancet 383.9919 (2014): 785-795.
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  4. Mo, Weiwei, Ranran Wang, and Julie B. Zimmerman. “Energy–water nexus analysis of enhanced water supply scenarios: a regional comparison of Tampa bay, Florida, and San Diego, California.” Environmental science & technology 48.10 (2014): 5883-5891.
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  6. Seinfeld, John H., and Spyros N. Pandis. Atmospheric chemistry and physics: from air pollution to climate change. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.
  7. Stern, Arthur C., ed. Fundamentals of air pollution. Elsevier, 2014.
  8. Volk, Heather E., et al. “Traffic-related air pollution, particulate matter, and autism.” JAMA psychiatry 70.1 (2013): 71-77.
  9. Zauscher, Melanie D., et al. “Air quality impact and physicochemical aging of biomass burning aerosols during the 2007 San Diego wildfires.” Environ. Sci. Technol 47.14 (2013): 7633-7643.
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