The purpose of this paper is to discuss the sources of air pollution, the types of pollution in our atmosphere, the effects of this pollution on humans, animals and vegetation, the methods of controlling pollution tried thus far, and regulation enacted to control the pollution that plagues many of our major cities and rural areas.
The major source of air pollution in the United States is the automobile. Gasoline vapors account for much of the poison spewed into the air. Included in this category are many thousands of businesses serving the automotive industry, from gas stations to car-repair shops. Despite the enactment of many laws governing auto emissions, cars are the number of polluters, providing about 55 percent of the smog. Much of the other 45 percent of pollution comes from oil refineries and power utilities. Chemical company plants are responsible for a great many poisonous chemicals entering the atmosphere, as are high-technology plants, such as those located in California's Silicon Valley. However, in this industrial age, even small businesses such as bakeries and dry cleaners contribute to the problem, as well as individuals using paint, ink and dye products.
In Los Angeles alone it has been estimated that in addition to automobiles, more than 60,000 stationary emission points contribute to the problem. This is in addition to the eight million automobiles and truck in Los Angeles basin (Brown, 1987).
Pesticides sprayed into the air by farm growers and other toxic chemicals used in the manufacturing sector are also a large part of the problem. An especially large part of the pollution
dilemma is the business of wood products, such as lumber yards,
paper mills and the like. One estimate states that 5 billion
pounds of unseen synthetic pollutants are sprayed into the air of the United States each year (Begley, 1988, p. 46-48). In fact, there are so many businesses, industries and consumer products involved i...