It should be asked more frequently than it has been by those who advocate and applaud these shifts in environmental policy. The book is a very timely and useful comparative analysis of the NAFTA signatories' regulatory capabilities--one that will probably become a common reference work. Try our Search Tips. Though extreme care is practiced in that industry, the potential for disaster suggested by incidents such as those at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl pose a lingering specter of public mistrust. Worldwide publicity has been intense on those disasters.
International catastrophes such as the wreck of the Amoco Cadiz oil tanker off the coast of Brittany in and the Bhopal disaster in have demonstrated the universality of such events and the scale on which efforts to address them needed to engage. The borderless nature of atmosphere and oceans inevitably resulted in the implication of pollution on a planetary level with the issue of global warming. Though their effects remain somewhat less well understood owing to a lack of experimental data, they have been detected in various ecological habitats far removed from industrial activity such as the Arctic, demonstrating diffusion and bioaccumulation after only a relatively brief period of widespread use.
A much more recently discovered problem is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch , a huge concentration of plastics, chemical sludge and other debris which has been collected into a large area of the Pacific Ocean by the North Pacific Gyre. This is a less well known pollution problem than the others described above, but nonetheless has multiple and serious consequences such as increasing wildlife mortality, the spread of invasive species and human ingestion of toxic chemicals.
Organizations such as 5 Gyres have researched the pollution and, along with artists like Marina DeBris , are working toward publicizing the issue. Pollution introduced by light at night is becoming a global problem, more severe in urban centres, but nonetheless contaminating also large territories, far away from towns. Growing evidence of local and global pollution and an increasingly informed public over time have given rise to environmentalism and the environmental movement , which generally seek to limit human impact on the environment.
The major forms of pollution are listed below along with the particular contaminant relevant to each of them:. A pollutant is a waste material that pollutes air, water, or soil. Three factors determine the severity of a pollutant: Pollution has a cost. A manufacturing activity that causes air pollution is an example of a negative externality in production. Because responsibility or consequence for self-directed action lies partly outside the self, an element of externalization is involved.
If there are external benefits, such as in public safety , less of the good may be produced than would be the case if the producer were to receive payment for the external benefits to others. However, goods and services that involve negative externalities in production, such as those that produce pollution, tend to be over-produced and underpriced since the externality is not being priced into the market.
Pollution can also create costs for the firms producing the pollution. Sometimes firms choose, or are forced by regulation, to reduce the amount of pollution that they are producing. The associated costs of doing this are called abatement costs, or marginal abatement costs if measured by each additional unit. Society derives some indirect utility from pollution, otherwise there would be no incentive to pollute. This utility comes from the consumption of goods and services that create pollution. Therefore, it is important that policymakers attempt to balance these indirect benefits with the costs of pollution in order to achieve an efficient outcome.
It is possible to use environmental economics to determine which level of pollution is deemed the social optimum. At this point the damage of one extra unit of pollution to society, the marginal cost of pollution, is exactly equal to the marginal benefit of consuming one more unit of the good or service. In markets with pollution, or other negative externalities in production, the free market equilibrium will not account for the costs of pollution on society. If the social costs of pollution are higher than the private costs incurred by the firm, then the true supply curve will be higher.
The point at which the social marginal cost and market demand intersect gives the socially optimal level of pollution. At this point, the quantity will be lower and the price will be higher in comparison to the free market equilibrium.source site
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This model can be used as a basis to evaluate different methods of internalizing the externality. Some examples include tariffs , a carbon tax and cap and trade systems. Air pollution comes from both natural and human-made anthropogenic sources. However, globally human-made pollutants from combustion, construction, mining, agriculture and warfare are increasingly significant in the air pollution equation.
Motor vehicle emissions are one of the leading causes of air pollution. Principal stationary pollution sources include chemical plants , coal-fired power plants , oil refineries ,  petrochemical plants, nuclear waste disposal activity, incinerators, large livestock farms dairy cows, pigs, poultry, etc. Agricultural air pollution comes from contemporary practices which include clear felling and burning of natural vegetation as well as spraying of pesticides and herbicides .
About million metric tons of hazardous wastes are generated each year. In February , a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC , representing the work of 2, scientists, economists, and policymakers from more than countries, said that humans have been the primary cause of global warming since Humans have ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the consequences of global warming, a major climate report concluded.
But to change the climate, the transition from fossil fuels like coal and oil needs to occur within decades, according to the final report this year from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC. Some of the more common soil contaminants are chlorinated hydrocarbons CFH , heavy metals such as chromium , cadmium —found in rechargeable batteries , and lead —found in lead paint , aviation fuel and still in some countries, gasoline , MTBE , zinc , arsenic and benzene.
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In a series of press reports culminating in a book called Fateful Harvest unveiled a widespread practice of recycling industrial byproducts into fertilizer, resulting in the contamination of the soil with various metals. Ordinary municipal landfills are the source of many chemical substances entering the soil environment and often groundwater , emanating from the wide variety of refuse accepted, especially substances illegally discarded there, or from pre landfills that may have been subject to little control in the U.
There have also been some unusual releases of polychlorinated dibenzodioxins , commonly called dioxins for simplicity, such as TCDD. Pollution can also be the consequence of a natural disaster. For example, hurricanes often involve water contamination from sewage, and petrochemical spills from ruptured boats or automobiles. Larger scale and environmental damage is not uncommon when coastal oil rigs or refineries are involved.
Some sources of pollution, such as nuclear power plants or oil tankers , can produce widespread and potentially hazardous releases when accidents occur. In the case of noise pollution the dominant source class is the motor vehicle , producing about ninety percent of all unwanted noise worldwide. Adverse air quality can kill many organisms including humans.
Ozone pollution can cause respiratory disease , cardiovascular disease , throat inflammation, chest pain, and congestion. Water pollution causes approximately 14, deaths per day, mostly due to contamination of drinking water by untreated sewage in developing countries. An estimated million Indians have no access to a proper toilet,   Over ten million people in India fell ill with waterborne illnesses in , and 1, people died, most of them children.
Oil spills can cause skin irritations and rashes.
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Noise pollution induces hearing loss , high blood pressure , stress , and sleep disturbance. Mercury has been linked to developmental deficits in children and neurologic symptoms. Older people are majorly exposed to diseases induced by air pollution. Those with heart or lung disorders are at additional risk. Children and infants are also at serious risk. Lead and other heavy metals have been shown to cause neurological problems.
Chemical and radioactive substances can cause cancer and as well as birth defects. An October study by the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health found that global pollution, specifically toxic air, water, soils and workplaces, kill nine million people annually, which is triple the number of deaths caused by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, and 15 times higher than deaths caused by wars and other forms of human violence.
Pollution has been found to be present widely in the environment. There are a number of effects of this:. This web site includes links to databases, bibliographies, tutorials, and other scientific and consumer-oriented resources. Ridding Moldova of Toxic Chemicals. Kazakhstan Kamenogorsk Environmental Remediation.
Montenegro Industrial Waste Management. You have clicked on a link to a page that is not part of the beta version of the new worldbank. Will you take two minutes to complete a brief survey that will help us to improve our website? Thank you for agreeing to provide feedback on the new version of worldbank. Thank you for participating in this survey! Your feedback is very helpful to us as we work to improve the site functionality on worldbank. Working for a World Free of Poverty. Understanding Poverty Topics Environment. Reducing Pollution April 5, Tweet Share Share LinkedIn.
Context Industrialization and urbanization have intensified environmental health risks and pollution, especially in developing countries. Strategy The World Bank Group works with developing countries and development partners to reduce pollution, implement proper waste management, improve water and air quality, and promote clean development for healthier lives and better economic opportunity.
The Bank provides technical assistance, financing and knowledge products that cover: Results Air pollution In Bangladesh, the Bank is helping to modernize brick kilns to reduce air pollution, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and increase productivity. Absheron Lakes Cleanup and Rehabilitation Brazil: Metro Manila Flood Management Togo: Urban Infrastructure Project Vietnam: Coastal Cities Sustainable Environment Project Integrated Waste Management and Remediation of Hazardous Waste Sites In Zambia , a Bank loan is assisting the government to reduce environmental health risks to the local population in critically polluted mining areas in Chingola, Kabwe, Kitwe, and Mufulira municipalities, including lead exposure in Kabwe municipality.
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Related International Management of the Environment: Pollution Control in North America
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