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Atlanta's Air Pollution

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by

Heather Glazebrook

on 7 September 2014

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Transcript of Atlanta's Air Pollution

- Atlanta is the capital city of the state of Georgia. It has a population of over 420 000 people making it one of the most populated cities in the U.S.

- In fact, the greater Atlanta metropolitan area with a population of just under 5,300,000 people is the 9th largest metropolitan area in the U.S.

- It is ranked as the 6th largest city in the U.S. and the 15th largest city worldwide when measured in terms of economic output.
The Basics
- The threat stems from the current state of air pollution in Atlanta; the future now seems uncertain and increasingly gloomy.

- Atlanta's air is filled with various substances that cause serious harm to its people, its environment and its economy.

-These pollutants are mainly composed of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxides, carbon dioxides and particulate matter all emitted from Atlanta's vehicles.

- According to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Atlanta is the
second most air polluted city in the U.S.
due to the mileage covered by vehicles found within the city.
The Threat
- As of August 21, 2010 Atlanta had 34 days of smog.

- This compares poorly to the national average. It only ranked second to Los Angeles which had a few more days of smog within the same year.

- Air pollution in Atlanta is also caused by it's electric plants which are mainly fueled by fossils.

- Air pollution negatively affects the health of the people of Atlanta, their environment and their economic well-being.
Where does Atlanta Rank?
Where Now?
Atlanta's Air Pollution
1) Health Complications

- Air pollution has been scientifically proven to bring about or enhance the following medical conditions; asthma, bronchitis, strokes and heart disease.

-The high level of air pollution makes the people of Atlanta extremely vulnerable to these adverse medical conditions.

- It is important to note that air pollution has been known to reduce the capacity of human lungs by as much as 20%.

- Other medical conditions that can arise include birth defects and a weakened immune system.
Dangers of Air Pollution
Dangers of Air Pollution
2) Impact on the Environment

- Air pollution in Atlanta is contributing to increased levels of ground level ozone popularly termed as smog.

- This smog has reduced visibility of Atlanta's skyline ; The skyline has been been replaced with soot, dust and other opaque particles.

-This is not only an unpleasant experience but such conditions are harmful to the bird and other wildlife population within the Atlanta metropolitan area.

- The electric plants which use coal as the fossil fuel to generate energy for use in Atlanta have huge coal ash ponds which they use to store waste emitted during the generation process.

- This coal ash dumps pose a serious environmental threat. They contain toxic material that leak into the ground, find their way to natural water systems.

-This leaked waste contaminates the water systems. The ripple effect of this contamination is the endangerment of the surrounding ecosystem.
Dangers of Air Pollution
3) Effects on the economy

- The effects of air pollution on the economy of Atlanta are less pronounced as compared to the health and environmental effects.

-These effects include; increased medical bills for families, reduced capacity to work by the Atlanta labor force due to increases in the number of medical conditions and the unnecessary costs of restoring Atlanta's environment after it has been polluted.

Air pollution should simply have been avoided in Atlanta, families would have spent less on healthcare, they would then have had more income and therefore consumer spending would have increased.
- Given the dangers that lie ahead it is imperative for the people of Atlanta to devise ways and means of reducing the level of pollution that they are exposed to.

-Concrete measures need to be taken by the state of Georgia to ensure proper regulation of coal ash dumps in and around Atlanta in addition to taking steps towards embracing embrace alternative energy.

Atlanta which has been termed as the fastest sprawling city in recorded history by the Atlanta Journal Constitution also needs to reduce the number of vehicles on its roads.

-This will ease traffic congestion and reduce green house gas emissions. It will also help to reduce the amount of smog the city is exposed to.

- The population of Atlanta is set to grow to about 40% by the year 2030.
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