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Has Pollution Taken Over the Earth?

Air pollution has become a very controversial and urgent topic in the past few decades. What we know now is that indoor air pollution and outdoor air pollution is dangerous and extremely hard to reverse. It has the potential to destroy the natural environment and cause harm to humans, animals, and food crops. Pollution is produced through both manufactured activity and organic processes. According to the 2014 WHO report, air pollution killed 7 million people worldwide in 2012.

There is a long list of natural and man-made pollutants with scientific names that kill our ozone layer, but the majority of the problem is concentrated in highly populated urban cities. Emissions from cars and buses, landfills, power plants, and factories include some of the largest contributors to our pollution problem. Governments have begun restricting the allowable air pollution permitted from large businesses by putting regulations and standards in place. Many global and country-specific acts warn against failing to abide by protocol with hefty fines.

You might think that the under-developed countries would suffer least from all types of pollution because of their lack of infrastructure, but this is a fallacy. Under developed countries actually face major pollution problems, due to their lack of environmental education and lack of alternatives. For example, Singapore is suffering from smoke pollution due to Indonesia’s forest burning practice.

Though there are some places in the world where people choose to wear masks while walking down city streets, there are still beautiful locations on our planet that are nearly pristine when it comes to pollution. Though our Earth as a whole has been feeling the repercussions of global warming effects, there are indeed places where you can breathe without thinking about lung disease, cardiovascular problems, wheezing, and developing asthma. According to an article written by BBC News, the Southern Hemisphere as a whole has cleaner air than the Northern Hemisphere. With that, they deem the South Pole as the place with the cleanest air on the Earth.

As stated earlier, air pollution affects humans, animals, food crops, and the natural environment. This includes land and eventually, water supply. The Mississippi River Delta, for example, lacks oxygen in the water, creating a “dead zone”. This is caused by pollution brought to land. There are countries who lack fresh water completely. BBC news deems Canada’s northern lakes as the safest bodies of freshwater on the planet, along with rivers in the Arctic and Antarctic. As a rule of thumb, the least populated areas tend to be the least polluted. Rain forests, therefore, are pretty clean in respect the rest of the world.

Oceans, however, are an exception to this rule. While there are many spots in the deep blue that very few people have ever explored, the ocean currents cause waste to move to those isolated areas. Oceans contain human-made waste like cans, bottles, fishing gear, and even whole dumping grounds in some locations. So, the answer is that there are no places on the Earth that can claim to be free of pollution. Though some spots may be cleaner than others, our actions have reactions and spread rapidly around the World.

References

Nuwer, Rachel. “Future – Are There Any Pollution-free Places Left on Earth?” BBC. BBC, 04 Nov. 2014. Web. 27 June 2017.

“Air Pollution.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 27 June 2017. Web. 27 June 2017.

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