Polluted air: What’s it good for?! A better question would be: How can air pollution best be mitigated?
Besides the worldwide increase in pollution levels and the alarming rate at which those are increasing, it is of extreme import to also point out the rate of the rise in corresponding early deaths on account of the air nemesis – which, by the way, has been quite rapid. In 2000, the number of early deaths attributable to atmospheric poisoning was an estimated 800,000. In 2012, meanwhile, according to the World Health Organization, that number increased to somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 million – a 775 percent increase in 13 years.
With this in mind and especially with Air Quality Awareness Week 2014 fast approaching (kicking off Apr. 28th), this brings to the top of mind matters having to do with air quality regulation and awareness.
Importance of regulating air
Fundamentally speaking, a person would expect that subsequent to enacting air pollution regulations, laws, rules or legislation – take your pick – improvement in the quality of the air would follow. That would seem to me to be a reasonable assumption.
But, enactment of such laws alone is not always adequate. There must also be compliance. In order to ensure compliance, enforcement of said laws, etc. goes without saying, or one would think it would. And, as we all know, in this regard, a regime on this order is only as strong as its weakest link.
So, in looking at the full spectrum of conditions or ingredients in this mix, there is some element to this equation that is either sorely lacking or completely absent – one or the other. Either way, something’s amiss.
And, this is exactly where air awareness comes into play and can help in picking up the slack.
Air awareness support
Now on to the matter of air awareness. One example of support is Air Quality Awareness Week (AQAW). Such being a pointed reminder of that, there is much more to this than just being cognizant of the fact, meaning, just to know that such a thing exists, obviously, is of limited value. Moving beyond the recognition part, it is important the following message be driven home: and that is, to never lose sight of the reason for AQAW’s existence; this, of course, being polluted air and how damaging, harmful or hazardous this can be and oftentimes is.
That said, this is also a call to action as in encouraging participation in terms of getting on board or getting with the program, if you like, if having not done so already.
In recognition of this five-day “atmosphere-attention-focusing-and-attention-grabbing-vehicle,” so to speak, beginning Mon., Apr. 28th and ending Fri., May 2nd, numerous pollution-reduction activities are planned. For more information, see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Upcoming State and Local Air Quality Awareness Week Activities” page as well as the EPA’s main AQAW overview page.
Moreover, as it happens, Michaela Fyfe, a commenter to the “Air Awareness Week, Earth Day and more planet-helping ideas” post offers several suggestions for air improvement.
– Alan Kandel