Essay on Air Pollution Prevention in Philadelphia

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Philadelphia is not an exception to this problem of air pollution, which is the case in heavily developed cities around the world. The Health Department, Air Management Services (AMS) and local pollution control agencies are under surveillance to remove the danger. Statistics reveal that there were 177 positive days in 2015, an average of 172 and 16 poor days, of which 14 were due to ozone and two were due to PM2.5 (Public Health Department, 2015). AMS champions the preservation of National Environmental Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in Philadelphia, as well as the protection of residents’ welfare by minimizing air toxins and noise. ASM also implements environmental protection regulations; permits constructions which adhere to air protective standards; sustaining national air sampling and frequent monitoring of the city’s air; pollutant inspection; and servicing pollution complaints.

Air Monitoring Network

Criteria pollutants constantly measured by a network of 12 found all over the country (Public Health Department, 2015). Their measurements are done in real time as the pollution occurs. The main reasons why for carrying out the measurements are: attaining long-term targets on pollution reduction, inform the citizens of the nature of their air and ensuring the United States Environmental Protection Agency standards safe guide. After data collection from the measurements, the samples are taken to the lads for quality assurance since from them we get accurate information. Instruments used in the process are frequently upgraded thus making them more reliable as the time goes. For quality assurance; automatic and manual calibrations come to action, and information achieved occasionally is reviewed by experts. Information from the above operations is tabulated annually to give the Annual Air Quality Index, and from the table, a city has the capacity of knowing their trend in pollution prevention. The Clean Air Act also enforces the primary ambient air quality standards for the vulnerable population which consist of the asthmatics, the old, and the children (Public Health Department, 2015).

National Toxics Assessment (NATA) has the burden of finding cancer risk or noncancerous toxics by toxics monitoring expansion, updating the system with new pollutants, national and local-scale modeling improvement, research on effects of various pollutants on citizens’ health and assessment tools development. Results from the evaluation are key in strategy establishment, finding out which pollutant to prioritize in eliminating. Steps involved in 2011 include; inventory filling, finding the concentration of toxins in the states, determining the exposure of the population to the community and forecasting on the dangers which the population is likely to face if the emissions continue. Results from the assessment show that there is a downward trend in the concentration of the harmful gases across the states. Urban areas are more prone to pollution as compared to the rural area, cancer activating toxins are acetaldehyde, benzene, and formaldehyde while those that are non-cancerous are acrolein, chlorine and diesel PM. It also shows that cancer risks are mainly of the secondary formation and mobile sources contribute primarily to the non-cancer hazards. In general cancer risk is at 40 in a million.

Protecting yourself and the environment

Although we have organizations that encourage environmental protection citizens also have an obligation of taking care of their health; by making sure we do not pollute the air around us. Some of the few steps which we should take include; avoiding overfilling car gas tanks, tuning up car engines and proper tire pressure maintenance, driving within recommended speeds and smooth driving, minimise drag as well as avoiding rough roads (American Lung Association, 2017). Using alternative means of transport, e.g., bikes, mass transit or even walking to work. Reduce use of oil-based paints on our buildings and equipment painting. Energy conservation also contributes a great deal in environment protection. We also have the obligation of reporting any incidence that exposes our environment to pollution. Informing others about the importance of having a healthy environment and demanding enforcement of good standards by the government is also our duty. Promotion of green energy in our homes will also help in promoting the same.

Twenty eight neighborhoods in Philadelphia have scored poorly according to the results from The American Lung Association, particularly for smog pollution. It comes second among all the states for facing chronic air pollution challenges. The young and the old health has become endangered due to this persistent problem. In general air pollution reduces life expectancy, increases asthma attacks and increases hospital visits from the citizens. Lung is the organ which is mainly affected by this pollution which reduces their function thus increasing the risk of illness. The main challenge at the moment is the fluctuating levels of pollutants throughout the year, this differences have extremes whose effect even during safe days. If the extreme emissions are curbed them Philadelphia can control its pollution as soon as possible.


Philadelphia has managed to reduce the pollution problem due to the energy and resources it incurred to see that the citizens reside in safe homes. They came up with organizations and enforced the national bodies in the process. Their success also was attained since they focused on all forms of pollutions starting from air pollution which is the major one all the way to the safe land use (Environment Protection Agency, 2008). They as well had goals set which were to be attained within the specified time, which they worked towards always and provided reports frequently to the city authorities for assessment.


American Lung Association. (2017). STATE OF THE AIR 2017. American Lung Association, 70-100.

Environment Protection Agency. (2008). EPA CARE Project. PhiladelPhia: Philadelphia Clean Air Council.

Public Health Department. (2015). Philadelphia’s Air Quality Report. City of Philadelphia, Public health, Philadelphia.

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