Environment plays an important role in the existence of diverse life on earth. Why a healthy environment is important for human beings and all other living things, It is vital because all living things are dependent upon the natural resources available in the environment. Environmental issues are not only the problem of one country but with the rapid development and increase in global population, both developed and developing nations are bearing the threatening impacts of various environmental issues.
The United States of America, being the most developed country in the world is also facing and suffering from various environmental issues. According to the latest (2020) Environmental Performance Index, the U.S. ranks 24th out of 180 countries on environmental health and ecosystem vitality, which shows the U.S.A has poor waste management and an insufficient water resource system. The U.S.A is the third-largest nation and its increasing population constantly keeps pressure on its all environmental mediums (air, water, soil, and land) and thus air pollution, water pollution, and land pollution are the most dangerous environmental issues faced by Americans which affects them.
The environmental issues mentioned below are common and dangerous issues. Therefore, to highlight the adverse impacts of these issues is important to understand how their effects can cause serious health issues and deteriorate the healthy environment, in this regard the country must resolve these issues.
1. Air pollution
The air we breathe must be clean and healthy. According to the American Lung Association 2021 latest research, four out of ten people in America breathe polluted air and 61% of them are people of color. As compared to the 2019 report, it seems to be a slight improvement in air quality in 2021, and the number of people affected by air pollution declined from 150 million to 135 million. The main sources of air pollution causing emissions are emitted by transportation, industries, wildfires, and power plants.
California is the country’s most polluted city, and Los Angeles is the city having the worst ozone pollution. Bakersfield, Visalia, and Fresno are on the top list for smog and soot pollution, soot pollution is fatal and more hazardous to health than smog-causing more premature deaths and lung cancer.
Air pollution control equipment and solutions:
Air pollutants are generated by both stationary and mobile sources. The most common air pollutants control equipment and devices for stationary sources are venturi scrubbers, air filters, cyclones, electrostatic precipitators, incinerators, and biofilters.
2. Water pollution
Water is the basic necessity for all life on the earth. Water pollution is a global issue and is the top environmental concern in America, climate change impacts and the rising population in the United States are leading the water resources towards scarcity. The uncontrolled human activities such as, agricultural runoff which contains nitrates and other chemicals from synthetic fertilizers and animal waste containing antibiotics and heavy metals (zinc and copper) pollute surface water. Industrial activities like mining, fossil fuel burning, and wastewater treatment with other activities like leaking sewers, landfill leakage, hazardous waste, and radioactive sources contaminate groundwater sources.
According to the research conducted by Consumer reports and Guardian, alarming levels of heavy metals (arsenic and lead) and PFAS (Polyfluoroalkyl) chemicals were found in the samples of drinking water taken across the United States. (Source: Consumer reports)
Water pollution control equipment and solutions:
The most common and best working equipment for industrial wastewater treatment are Ultrafiltration systems, Reverse osmosis system, Paper bed filters, and Vacuum filtration. Heavy metals are mainly naturally occurring elements having high density and toxicity with harmful impacts on health, therefore specific instruments are designed to filter these harmful metals. The best performing equipment effectively working on heavy metals are Kinetic Degradation Filters (KDF), Ion Exchange Resin Filters, and Reverse Osmosis Filters mostly used to filter the drinking tap water.
3. Land and Soil Pollution
Land is the source that produces natural resources and commodities including minerals, vegetables, livestock, and timber. In America, Various types of waste are generated which pollute lands, such as direct dumping of waste, garbage, and other hazardous solid waste produced by households, commercial and industrial activities. According to EPA reports in 2014, 258 million tons of solid waste was produced by Americans. Urbanization and industrial construction cause large amounts of deforestation which ultimately alter the natural land structure, and as a result forest area is losing its natural ecosystem by further contributing to land pollution. Activities responsible for land pollution are the cause of soil, water, and air pollution, and also cause the extinction of species, habitat shifting, and wildfires.
Soil contains various natural nutrients essential to support life. Due to human activities and the usage of various compounds and fertilizers (pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides) in the environment soil is losing its rich nutrients while polluting the soil.
Land pollution control and solutions:
Prevention is better than cure, therefore taking preventive measures the impacts can be reduced and controlled. Usage of too many harmful fertilizers and chemicals in agriculture highly affects the soil and contributes to land pollution, to reduce the environmental impacts farmers should switch towards manure. Reforestation is the sustainable approach towards rehabilitation of the damaged area, plantation helps to bind the soil which helps to protect land contamination and ultimately prevents soil erosion and flooding.
There are many things in our daily life activities which we can Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to mitigate and control land and soil pollution.