Last Updated on 03/23/2023 by Sophia
Environmental Advocacy Presentation
Observing Earth day is crucial because it constantly reminds us that the earth is delicate,
and every person must be involved in protecting it. Earth as our planet is unsafe from human
activities such as chemical waste production in industries. Chemicals pollute the air and other
aspects of the environment, making it unsafe for humans to continue their daily lives normally.
When the air is polluted, humans can develop lung cancer and asthma, which are very dangerous
and expensive diseases (Nationwide Air Filter Company, 2018). Celebrating earth day
communicates that we should continue encouraging environmental awareness and keep perpetual
reminders that we should protect the earth every day (earthday.org, 2020). Public awareness and
scientific research of environmental concerns have led to the development of laws and policies to
protect the environment. Such a law is the Clean Air Act developed to reduce air pollution,
reduce the ozone layer's depletion, and promote public health.
The Clean Air Act
The federal government developed the Clean Air Act (CAA) as a federal law to control
air pollution, which was the major contributor to an environmental issue. Massive concerns from
individuals, the public, government institutions, profit organizations, and non-profit
organizations raised concerns about air pollution leading to the idea of such an act and law. The
CAA accorded the Environmental Protection Agency the ability to fight air pollution and devise
regulations for industries and facilities prone to the production of gases and chemicals that
polluted the environment (US EPA, 2018). The industries and facilities are required to modulate
the amount of pollutants they produce to safe levels and clean the air. Businesses were required
to carry out a risk management plan for dealing with hazardous substances that they were
responsible for. Also, states were mandated to enforce the CAA so that their air can be safe and
be at the same safe-level as other states. The world was gaining a reduction in air pollutants, and
the ozone layer started to recover.
The environmental issue that led to the development of the CAA was the destruction of
the ozone layer. The ozone layer is the part of the atmosphere that protects the earth from
harmful ultraviolet light from the sun. Destruction of the ozone layer by air pollutants such as
sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and lead causes the ultraviolet light from the
sun to penetrate the earth and therefore causing negative effects mostly on public health. The
negative effects include diseases such as eye cataracts, skin cancers (Nationwide Air Filter
Company, 2018) and also limit plant growth and therefore reducing agricultural productivity
(UCAR, 2020). When people are infected by diseases and agricultural produce is reduced, the
world experiences hanger, starvation, drought, diseases, economic breakdown, and eventually,
the quality of living becomes chaotic.
Causes of Air Pollution
Air pollution that leads to the destruction of the ozone layer and unsafe air for breathing
is caused by several factors, including the burning of fossil fuel (Mackenzie, 2016). In the
industrial revolution era, industries used to burn coal and wood as sources of energy that
produced a huge amount of carbon into the air. The carbon print in the atmosphere increased, and
eventually, it became a problem due to increased concertation of greenhouse gases and
deforestation. Other causes of air pollution are agricultural activities such as cutting down trees
to plant cash crops spraying a chemical in the agricultural lands. Also, exhaust from factories
produces harmful gases (Conserve Energy Future, 2017). Mining operations in mining areas also
contribute significantly to air pollution and indoor pollution from sprays and aerosols.
Effects of Air Pollution on the Environment and People
Conserve Energy Future (2017) states that there is around 7 million death globally due to
air pollution both outdoors and indoors. The major effects in public health are increased stroke
cases, heart diseases, lung cancer, acute respiratory diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and
asthma. Regionally, there are more than 300,000 deaths in the US, about 500,000 in Europe and
Eastern Mediterranean region each, about one million in African, and 2 million in East Asia and
Pacific regions each. Environmental effects include acid rain, haze, animals' death due to
diseases and reproductive failure, ozone depletion, and global warming. For instance, the rivers,
pods, soils, and lakes in Massachusetts have been immensely damaged by acid rain
(Commonwealth of Massachusetts, n.d.).
How Economic, Personal Lifestyle Are Related To Air Pollution
Economic activities such as mining, industrial activities, agriculture, factories, and
transport system are activities that produce greenhouse gasses such as sulfur dioxide, carbon
monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and lead, which are major contributors to air pollution. Personal
lifestyle and behaviors that contribute to air pollution are smoking, use of wood as a source of
fire, using aerosols and sprays which have harmful chemicals, burning plastic waste
uncontrollably, cutting down trees, hazardous painting, and failure to create awareness about air
pollution and ways to control it (Chan et al., 2019).
Role of Individuals, Communities and the Government
Individual governments and communities have played an important role in addressing air
pollution. Individuals have adjusted their lifestyles in such a way they do not use materials and
chemical that are harmful to the environment. Also, individuals and communities have
emphasized the government through rallies and peaceful demonstrations against facilities that
produce hazardous waste without proper risk- management plans. Individuals and communities
create awareness about air pollution leading to the development of preventative knowledge by
the general public. Scientific researchers have also conducted a research program aimed at
reducing and controlling air pollution and have come with ways to solve this issue and have
recommended it to the government and relevant institutions. The government has played an
important role in creating the CAA, followed by all states amid efforts to curb air pollution
Impacts of the CAA, Benefits, and Consequences
Companies and individuals in violation of the CAA faced strict consequences such as 15
years jail term and $250,000 fines for individuals and $500,000 for companies (Holst, 2019). The
CAA has reduced the level of pollution and has also improved the health of American workers
and citizens. There are few deaths due to air pollution and few diseases related to air pollution.
Al factories are now responsibly managing their waste chemical so that it will not pollute the air
and environment. Air pollutants were reduced by 68%, and a total of 160 were avoided in the
US. Agricultural produce has also become stable through controlled farming practices and
reduced deforestation. Animals have also regained reproductive abilities due to the presence of
Chan, T.-C., Hu, T.-H., Chu, Y.-H., & Hwang, J.-S. (2019). Assessing the effects of personal
behaviors and environmental exposure on asthma episodes: a diary-based approach. BMC
Pulmonary Medicine, 19(1), 231. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12890-019-0998-0
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (n.d.). Health & Environmental Effects of Air Pollution
Health Effects. https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/08/vl/health-and-env-effects-
Conserve Energy Future. (2017, December 23). Causes, Effects and Solutions of Air Pollution –
Conserve Energy Future. Conserve Energy Future. https://www.conserve-energy-
earthday.org. (2020). Earth Day 2020 | Earth Day. Earth Day. https://www.earthday.org/earth-
Holst, A. (2019). Clean Air Act | History & Effects. In Encyclopædia Britannica.
Mackenzie, J. (2016, November 1). Air Pollution: Everything You Need to Know. NRDC.
Nationwide Air Filter Company. (2018, February 9). Diseases Caused By Air Pollution – Risk
Factors and Control Methods. Air Filters for Clean Air.
UCAR. (2020). Effects of Air Pollution | UCAR Center for Science Education. Scied.Ucar.Edu.
US EPA. (2018, August 15). Summary of the Clean Air Act | US EPA. US EPA.
Washam, C. (2011). Separating People from Pollution: Individual and Community Interventions
to Mitigate Health Effects of Air Pollutants. Environmental Health Perspectives, 119(1).