A Sample Essay About Pollution in the US
The United States is responsible for up to 30% of the world’s waste. In fact, the country is often regarded as the planet’s biggest polluter alongside China. So, it’s quite clear that the U.S.A has its fair share of pollution, but to which extent?
The contamination of the air you breathe in is, without a doubt, a worrisome matter. Studies show that 60% of the American population lives in areas with dangerous amounts of air pollution. This causes their health to be affected in negative ways. Every 1 out of 10 children in the U.S suffer from asthma, a respiratory problem caused by air pollution. Cardiovascular diseases, which are often caused by inhaling pollutants in the air, claim one American life every 40 seconds.
When it comes to world rankings, the United States of America is 2nd place in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, and 9th place in terms of greenhouse gases.
Every year, the country disposes of 750,000 pounds of plastic by throwing it into the ocean. Needless to say, this has deadly effects on not only humans, but animals. Around 100,000 turtles and sea birds are killed annually by choking on plastic. Plastic also absorbs toxins such as mercury and lead, so when consumed by animals, those toxins entire the food chain.
Industries that dump their waste into water bodies without treatment help contribute to America’s pollution. In fact, 40% of America’s lakes are so polluted, that fishing and swimming in them are forbidden. Water supplies become contaminated with dangerous chemicals such as arsenic, which can cause diabetes, strokes, and heart diseases. The more terrifying fact is that 49 million Americans are supplied with water that contains illegal concentrations of pollutants. This can help spread typhoid, cholera, and dysentery.
110 million tons of solid waste is placed into landfills in America on an annual basis, making the country one of the world’s largest contributors to landfill waste. A common method of disposing of such waste is by burning it. This doesn’t help, as it releases carbon dioxide and other dangerous gases into the air.
Solid waste such as mercury and lead left behind by industrial activities and mining can cause chronic skin diseases and birth defects. Such waste also spoils land that can otherwise be used for farming. In fact, the U.S.A is losing fertile soil at a rate of 17 times more than it can recover.
The facts speak for themselves: the United States and its population are deeply affected by the pollution it generates. This is why efforts made by environmental agencies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency are so important, as they help minimize the amount of pollutants produced, and work to prevent their dangerous affects.