There is no doubt that nearly 99 percent of all atmospheric sulfur dioxide is as a result of human activities. The chief sources of sulfur dioxide are industrial processes, for instance, those employed in the production of sulfuric coal, gas, and oil (AGDE, 2005). Additionally, some mineral ores have sulfur as a component, and when they are purified, sulfur dioxide is produced in the process. Another significant source of sulfur dioxide is fuel combustion by motor vehicles (AGDE, 2005).
Looking at these sources, countries that do not process coal or sulfuric mineral ores like Canada suffer because of the sulfuric dioxide that is produced by its neighbor the USA that processes coal and sulfuric mineral ores. However, a significant percentage of sulfuric dioxide in Canada comes from fuel combustion by motor vehicles.
In order to solve the sulfuric dioxide pollution in Canada, there are both regional and national policies that ought to be implemented. Firstly, the Canadian government should implement national policies that will guide the nation in reducing sulfur dioxide emission. Examples include allowing the importation of oil and gas that has minute content of sulfur. Motor vehicles should also be custom made to emit less sulfur dioxide. Regionally, the Canadian government should compel the USA to adopt measures that would limit the pollution of Canadian air. For example, the sulfur dioxide that is produced in the industrial process should be tapped and recycled, without allowing it to evaporate into the atmosphere.
In addition, both the USA and Canada should work hand in hand in engineering alternative energy sources, and this is where chemistry comes in. In that case, the use of geothermal and solar energies ought to be tapped with the aim of further reducing the percentage of sulfur dioxide emitted in the atmosphere. For that matter, Canada’s sulfur dioxide pollution is partly because of its own making (motor vehicle emissions) and partly because of its neighbor (USA). However, if the proposed measures are taken, the quantity of sulfur dioxide emitted in the atmosphere will reduce significantly.
Australian Government Department of Environment. (AGDE, 2005). Sulfur dioxide (SO2). Retrieved from http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/publications/factsheet-sulfur- dioxide-so2