Air pollution is a national problem. Due to the massive industrial establishments and various chemicals and substances that are used by man in his day to day activities, the air is populated with various chemicals and particulates emitted into the air causing the air pollution. In the US, Long Beach and Los Angeles, are among the most polluted regions. Majority of the industries in this area are dependent on diesel and other fuel powered machines, ships, vehicles, and trains that sustain its day to day operations. The ports of Long Beach is considered as one of the biggest sources that make the region considered as one of the most air polluted region. The American Lung Association release their annual air pollution rankings with Los Angeles as the region with the worst air pollution condition that violates the ozone health standards of the federal nation (Barboza).
Air pollution is a result of the human activities. In the case of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the most prevalent type of air pollution is the smog. Smog is a result of the emissions coming from the primary pollutants that include nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other reactive hydrocarbons that is comes from the activities of internal combustion engines. There are also the presence of secondary pollutants that includes the ozone and the other toxic compounds that are caused by the photochemical reactions Photochemical pertains to those that react with the heat and light coming from the sun. The smog that particularly happens in LA is characterized with clear, warm, and sunny weather conditions, with low visibility, causing eye irritations, and respiratory stress (AOS2). Ozone is an air pollutant that comes from pollutants coming from power plants and factories that react with sunlight. It is detrimental to the human health aggravating various respiratory illnesses such as asthma.
The air pollution that is existent in the Southern part of California specifically in Long Beach and Los Angeles has a long history. The intensive acceleration of the air pollution is particularly caused by the growing freight transport system. The system of transportation has grown significantly over the years causing a growing network of equipment and vehicles that transport consumer goods from different places. Recently, the major expansion projects that is specifically done in the port areas by the container terminals of the China Shipping is being investigated by the environmental laws of California (NRDC).
The movement of the goods from ports is the major industry at the Port of Long Beach. Basically, the air pollution sources come from the port related activities that has been growing from day to day. The quantity of ozone air pollutant is increasing in the region. There is an intersection of the local and national industries in the port that contribute to the emissions. Furthermore, the geographic features of the region with the lack of environmental implementations for the air quality standards have made the city as one of the most ozone-polluted one (Quintero).
The increase in the port activities at Long Beach greatly contributes to the increasing emissions of air pollutants in the air. The city has the busiest rail ways where the people in the area face risks of emissions from rail yards. The railroad system also lack cleaning up operations (NRDC). Vehicles are increasing as the demand for the movement of consumer goods is a top priority business operation in the day to day basis. The impact of the increase in the freight transportation is one of the environmental and health concern in California. Expansions of various shipping lines also create higher demand for diesel and fuel as the handling equipment and trucks increase.
The increase of the ozone air pollutant in the region of the Long Beach California is also worsened due to issues of climate change. There is a change in the pattern of the weather in the region where rain is lacking and there are days of drought. The lack of moisture in the air causes the emissions coming from the equipment and vehicles to be baked in sunlight turning them into ozone. Ozone is posing health risks to the humans exposed to them at the ground level. The issue of increasing ozone pollution is also a compounded problem from various aspects of the society that includes the pre-existing problems of health of the people in the area, the lack of opportunities in the economy, lack of insurance for the medication, highway proximities, and the continues non-monitoring in the factories and industries (Quintero).
The issue of air pollution in the Long Beach and Los Angeles is indeed very alarming. The economic activity in these regions has been set as priority while the environmental impact of such act has been set aside. There is a need for both the local and federal government to act upon this concern and look for policies that would set the air quality of the region back to normal. The government should be balanced in deciding the long term impact of the businesses operating in the area. Whereas the economic growth is vital for the nation, the environmental aspects should not be compromised. The health of the people in the area as well as the environmental impact especially the air should be the main consideration in pondering about the sustainable development of a nation.
“Air pollution is not just a nuisance or the haze we see on the horizon; it’s literally putting our health in danger”, as stated Bonnie Holmes of the American Lung Assn. (Barboza). Indeed, the issue of air pollution is not insignificant. Air is the most basic life requirement that has been given freely to man and the absence of which results to the annihilation of man. In the same way, the act of pollution in the air results to man endangering the lives of the humanity. It is important that the air that is being breathed by man every minute must be free from pollutants. Long Beach and Los Angeles may have gone a long way in terms in abating their issue with the air. However, intensive efforts are needed for their place to remain livable for now and for the next generations.
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Barboza, T. “L.A., Central Valley have worst air quality, American Lung Assn. says”. Los
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Quintero, A. “Dirty Air Continues to Hit Latinos Hard”. Huffpost Latino Voices. (2015). Web.
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