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One of the concerns of the World Health Organization (WHO) is the risks to human health and the environment posed by exposure to carbon monoxide. As a result, the potential health effects of exposure have been addressed in extensive studies involving humans and a range of animal species. In response to multiple health concerns, quality standards have been recommended by WHO to address all regions of the world and provide uniform targets for air quality. In October 2006, Dr. Maria Neira, WHO’s director of public health and the environment, said, “By reducing pollution as set out in the Guidelines, we estimate that we can cut deaths by around 15%.” Efforts around the world have been directed toward measuring up to air quality standards as recommended by WHO.
However, many countries do not have regulations on air pollution, and consequently the national standards in relation to quality standards vary substantially. Do you know how your country or state stacks up against WHO’s air quality standards? Your assignment will be to compare differences you might find between your country’s or state’s standards and WHO’s standards.
To prepare for this Assignment:
- Review pp. 401 (Health Effects)–407 in Environmental Science 14th Edition. Also, review the WHO website on air pollution, located in the Learning Resources.
- On the Internet, locate the website for Mississippi or federal government, and find resources on your state’s or country’s air quality regualtions and standards.
- Consider the impacts of air quality on the environment, agriculture, the health of humans, and the costs of poor health.
- Reflect on how mandating a certain level of air quality improves the environment and the lives of humans.
- Using the WHO site and other sites in the Learning Resources, and other Internet sources as needed, identify the air quality standards recommended by WHO and by your state or country.
- Compose a 2–page essay in which you do the following:
- Explain why air quality is important for humans and the environment.
- Assess whether your country or state complies with the air quality standards recommend by WHO. Explain any differences you notice between the standards of WHO and those of your country or state.
- Comment on whether the WHO standards for pollution have been successful in reducing air pollution in your state or country. If not, what more should be done? If the standards are successful, do you foresee any need in the future to increase or decrease the standards?