The world as we know it has changed drastically over the years. With the advent of technological and industrial advancement, life has become much easier, however, not without its share of negative consequences. One such consequence is that the quality of the air we breathe has deteriorated considerably- mainly as a result of human activity. Is this an acceptable price to pay for development? This report seeks to identify the main industrial sources of air pollution in Trinidad and Tobago, describe the nature Of the pollutants released by these sources and the likely impact that they will have on the environment.
It will also outline a suitable strategy for control of these pollutants, inclusive of physical, managerial and legislative approaches. What is air pollution? Air pollution is the contamination of the atmosphere by gaseous, liquid or solid wastes or by-products that can endanger human health, the health and welfare of plants, animals and the environment, or can reduce visibility or produce undesirable odors. What makes the topic of air pollution such a sensitive en is that unlike other forms of pollution, for example water pollution, it cannot just simply be cleaned up. Measures can be put in place to minimize the volume of harmful emissions, but once out there, nothing can be done to get the quality of air back to its original state. Added to this is the fact that air pollution can have adverse short-term and long-term health effects on individuals, as well as, destroy the environment. According to the State of the Environment Report 2000…….. “Most of these compounds affect human health and many target the respiratory tract.
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Other affected organs/ systems include the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, the nervous system, kidneys, cardiovascular and reproductive systems and the numerous other toxic effects produced by volatile organic compounds. On the other hand, ozone depleting substances and greenhouse gases are not directly toxic to human beings but affect the atmospheric processes required for life on earth. Ozone depleting substances impair the formation of ozone, decreasing stratospheric ozone levels. This results in an increase in the transmittance of ultraviolet radiation and an increase in skin cancers and cataracts in people.