A variety of measures has been undertaken or proposed and instituted to curb the effects of air pollution. Solving the air pollution problem requires joint effort and takes different ways from one region to another. For example, it primarily requires behavior change and institutionalization of measures that can considerably ameliorate the situation in the short-term and the long-term. Ordinarily, the solutions to air pollution have focused on establishing a mix of technological solutions, regulations and policies, and encouraging behavioral change.
The leading sources of air pollution are power plants, factories, and vehicles. They constantly emit fumes and gaseous waste into the atmosphere. In power plants and manufacturing industries, electrostatic smoke precipitators that use static electricity to trap soot and dust from the gaseous waste leaving the smokestacks is a significant technological cleaning measure which can be used to control air pollution.
Flue-gas desulfurization (FGD), commonly referred to as scrubbing, is as well another means of providing a technical solution to Sulfur Oxide emissions. Scrubbing is a process that chemically eliminates the sulfur oxide gasses leaving the smokestacks. Power plans can also be retrofitted with carbon capturing technologies that trap emitted carbon dioxide.
Vehicles with gasoline powered engines are fitted with catalytic converters on the exhaust pipe to reduce the exhaust gas emissions. Constant improvements to gasoline that combusts cleaner and production of more energy efficient cars have been an additional strategy for reducing vehicle emissions. All these processes and methods are called emission reduction strategies.
Some national and state or international policies can be used to control air pollution. Legislation and regulations always offer a fantastic measure for tackling the air pollution menace. Many cities and countries that were once heavily polluted have substantially attained clean air mainly due to the institutionalization of anti-pollution laws.
In England, for instance, following the 1952 smog tragedy that claimed thousands of lives in London, the government launched its Clean Air Act of 1956 which placed limits on burning coal and required industries to build higher smokestacks. In the United States, a series of Clean Air Acts have been passed to curb air pollution.
International cooperation and organizations such as the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN), and environmental programs have also devised clean air acts and directives to reduce air pollution. Examples include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Air Acts. A number of states and governing actions or policies can also be undertaken to reduce emissions. Quality air control protocols and standards such as the installation of pollution control devices or buying emission allowance can be used effectively as execution strategies for reducing the adverse effects of air pollution.
Natural gas, fuel cells, and batteries can as well substitute the use of fossil fuels as cleaner energy sources. Still, it is important to evaluate correctly some of these alternative energy sources because aside from their benefits, some of them come with different environmental and economic costs. Essentially, investing more in renewable and sustainable energy sources reduces pollution at the same time protects the future.