Environmental Pollution Issues: Living "With" the Earth
It seems not a day goes by without a news report about environmental pollution in one form or another. Beijing is well-known for its shockingly poor air quality. As a result, last year saw highways closed and flights canceled due to diminished visibility. Other cities try to cope with trash mountains — Mexico City recently shut down its Bordo Poniente landfill, the largest in the world, due to its encroaching on human habitation and seepage into the local aquifer. But authorities failed to make adequate alternative arrangements, compounding the disposal problem.
Pollution of the entire earth’s water supply is evident in the fact that there is not a clean river anywhere on the planet and in the fact of frequent catastrophic oil well and oil tanker spills, not to mention huge oceanic garbage patches of floating plastic microfibers. The problem of seaborne plastic pollution is growing alarmingly each year.
Plastic is not readily biodegradable and is swallowed by marine life, thus entering the food chain. The concern is that the chemical composition of acrylic, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyamide and polyester may be harmful to marine life and human life once ingested.
If that were not enough, now we’re told that Americans, who spend 90 percent of their time indoors, are subject to sufficient air pollution from carpets, paint, wood products, cleaning products, computers, etc., to pose a serious health threat.
And there are more pollution issues to concern us: