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Paper Example on Sustainability Problem in New York

3 pages
671 words
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
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New York City is the largest in America and the most diverse city. While the town appeared to suffer social, political and fiscal stress, it has emerged to be the safest city in the United States. Because of complexity and diversity of the town, it delivers a high quality of life for its residents. According to Reitze & Environmental Law Institute, (2005), air pollution is one of the sustainability problems affecting this city. This paper discusses the leading causes of air pollution and why it has become a sustainability problem.

Air pollution has remained to be an environmental challenge and life threat to New York City residents. The most significant causes of poor air quality in the city are emissions from vehicles and industries (New York, 1958). Vehicles exhaust tiny toxic particles which contribute to hazardous air pollution. Manufacturing industries in the city release the massive amount of organic compound, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide gases into the air affecting the quality of air.

Quality of life is determined by living in a pollution free environment. Air pollution has become a sustainable problem because it affects both human health and natural environment. The physiological and physical wellbeing if affected by the kind of air we are exposed to (McCormac, 1971). Long-term exposure to polluted air does not only cause damage to the respiratory system but also create severe conditions such as cancer and heart disease. For example, exposure to Sulfur Dioxide, and Nitrogen Oxide irritates the airways of lungs and causes lung diseases. Carbon monoxide, on the other hand, prevents up taking of oxygen by blood, reducing the supply of oxygen to the heart causing heart diseases (McCormac, 1971). Ozone depletion is another environmental impact of air pollution in New York. The industrial growth in the city has led to increasing amount of chlorofluorocarbon release into the atmosphere which damages the ozone layer allowing the UV radiations to reach into the Earth's surface. Such radiations adversely damage plant life and reduce growth (McCormac, 1971)

To deal with negative consequences of air pollution, the World Health Organization and Climate and Clean Air Coalition together with other agencies brought into board Breathe life initiative which aims at mobilizing individuals and cities to protect plants along with our health from the severe implication of air pollution (Steven, 2014). Following closely to the program's objective, before 2030 the number of deaths from air pollution will have been reduced by half. Also improving transport system together with the treatment of air from industries before release into the environment will significantly help curb air pollution.

The proposed solutions have not been effective in ending air pollution problem because the Fundamental trade-off is not between economic development and environmental protection (Farrauto, Gulati & Heck, 2013). Nations tend to give more attention to economic prosperity at the expense of the environment. The government may not have an efficient mechanism to deliver Breathe life initiative program but setting the rules and regulations are straightforward. The nation also considers the incentive for trading off long terms benefits for short-term gains. Despite exploration of policies designed to reduce air pollution, no rule expresses a nation's value to preserve the environment (Lowe, Lewis & Atkins, 1982).

In conclusion, the trade-off between environmental protection and economic prosperity has become a technology force which encourages the modernization of infrastructures and industries to grow polluter free. Investing in environmentally friendly technologies will enable the business to become more efficient in the global economy. Clean air attracts investors, customers, and tourists.


Farrauto, R. J., Gulati, S. T., & Heck, R. M. (2013). Catalytic air pollution control: Commercial technology. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Lowe, J. F., Lewis, D., & Atkins, M. (1982). Total environmental control: The economics of cross-media pollution transfers. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

McCormac, B. M. (1971). Introduction to the Scientific Study of Atmospheric Pollution. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

New York (State). (1958). A review of air pollution in New York State. Albany, N.Y.: The Board.

Reitze, A. W., & Environmental Law Institute. (2005). Stationary source air pollution law. Washington, D.C: Environmental Law Institute.

Steven, (2014). Understanding Environmental Policy. Columbia University Press

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