Discuss about the Air Pollution Effects on Health People of Australia.
This paper analyzes the information available on the health effects that air pollution has had on the people of Australia. Air pollution is a major environmental concern world over. Statistics from UNEP, 2015 indicates that air pollution is the major environmental concern today with air pollution accounting to more than 130,000 deaths worldwide in the year 2015. According to information from the Department of health in Australia, more than 2,000 Australians lost their lives in the year 2016 as a result of air pollution related illnesses (Environment.gov.au, 2017). This indicates the significance of this health issue and the reason why I choose it as the subject of my analysis in this paper.
Air pollution has become an environmental issue in Australia over the last years because of a variety of reasons. One of these reasons is that the cases of environmental related illnesses have been on the rise in the previous few years. According to World Health Organization (WHO, 2017) out of every 10 premature deaths, one is associated with exposure to air pollution. This has affected tremendously the lives of many people in Australia especially young mothers and couples. The numbers of still births in Australia as a result of air related complications have risen in the year 2017 with more than 800 still births being attributed to air pollution related complications (Peel, 2011).
Air pollution has also contributed to high number of deaths in Australia resulting from cardiovascular diseases and other diseases that affect people depending on the quality of air they breathe. A report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development indicates that between the year 2014 and 2015, the number of deaths in Australia as a result of dangerous air pollution has risen from 1700 people to more than 2,500 people (Cormack, 2015). The most common of these pollutants include gases, chemicals, and airborne particles such as dust and pollen. Chemical gases released into the environment especially by manufacturing industry have been a major contributor of air contamination in Australia. Information from the Australian environment and energy department indicate that gases from manufacturing industry account for more than 70% of the entire pollution in the country (Ewald, 2015). Australia is a highly industrialized nation and therefore many of its manufacturing processes contribute to air pollution. Despite the fact that Australia is one of the countries with the cleanest air in the world in comparison with others, the pollution from industrial gases has been on the rise in the previous two years (Adams and Setterfield, 2013). This can be attributed to an increase in the number of industries in the country and the expansion of the economy over this period. This statistics indicate that despite the many measures that have been taken by the Australian government and other nongovernmental organizations, a lot still needs to be done to curb air pollution (Patrick, 2017).
Air pollution has resulted to an increase in cases of Asthma in Australia. Although asthma is not directly caused by air pollution, in some cases they can be triggered by massive air pollution. The number of people suffering from asthma has been observed to be very high especially for people living around areas with factories and industry with many emissions. The cases have also been seen to be high among people living in towns where pollution from dust particles and emissions from vehicles is high compared to people living in rural areas. The number has risen over the past two years with cases of asthma that can be related to air pollution increasing from 3,470 in the year 2015 to 4,200 in the year 2017 (Eh.org.au, 2017).
The issue of air pollution especially through emission of dangerous gases has been widely discussed in the media. The issue has received widespread media coverage over the past two years. The major newspapers in the country have carried stories discussing the effects that industrial gases have had on the health of individuals. The Australian carried a story in the beginning of 2017 analyzing and discussing the adherence of industries to the environmental policies and standards set by both the Australian government and the Commonwealth countries. The newspaper discusses the statistics which indicate an increase in air pollution as a result of manufacturing and the effects that it has had on the health of humans. The daily telegraph on 12th of Sep 2015 also carried an opinion piece detailing the environment risk discussed above and the progress that the country has made in preventing air pollution (Brown, 2015). Various television channels also have programs that focus on the environmental risk and concerns identified in this paper.
Over the course of the last two years, various stakeholders have taken measures and steps to ensure that air pollution in Australia is reduced significantly. One of the major stakeholders in this issue is the Australia`s ministry of environment. In December 2015, the minister of environment launched the National Clean Air agreement. The agreement was meant to ensure that communities enjoy clean and fresh air. The agreement was also meant to address the effects that air pollution has on human health and the environment. The agreement has been implemented over the last two years. A mid-term review of the agreement shows that the agreement has been majorly successful. The report indicates that more than 60 % of the issues discussed in the agreement have been put into practice and are working towards achieving the objectives of the agreement (Environment.gov.au, 2017).
The government of Australia has also established the National Environment Protection measure which has been able to provide a common goal for environment standards in the country. The body has been able to collect information relating to air pollution in Australia and provide the way forward to help achieve set objectives. NEPM is also mandated with implementing legislation that have been passed concerning air pollution as well as come up with policies and programs that will reduce air pollution (Bae, 2012).
Manufacturers also have a huge role to play in air pollution prevention. These play the biggest role in controlling air pollution since they are the biggest contributors to air pollution. The manufacturers have to ensure that they implement the policies and programs that have been established by the government. By adhering to these standards and policies, the manufactures and other industry players will be able to reduce the levels of industrial gas emissions in the country and hence reducing the health effects of air pollution. The industries and factories also play a role of creating awareness among the members of the community around them on the importance of minimizing air pollution.
The community itself has played a role in ensuring air pollution is minimized in the areas where they live. Every person in the community needs to be sensitive of the environment around them and avoid actions or activities that may contribute to air pollution. The members of community also form groups that educate people on the importance of environmental conservation and the effect that air pollution has on the health of an individual. Community actions such as planting of trees to help reduce pollution from dust have contributed positively towards minimizing air pollution.
It is important to communicate to the various stakeholders on the risks of the environmental issue discussed in the above topics. Different stakeholders play different roles in relation to this issue and therefore it is important that a message is tailor made to communicate effectively to each group of stakeholders.
To communicate with government agencies and departments associated with this issue, it is important to engage people in charge of these agencies. This will help to come up with programs that will facilitate coordination of activities and team work between the various stakeholders. Organizing forums where government officers in charge of the environment are invited will help to communicate to them effectively. The message to be communicated to the government is on the new environmental concerns arising in different parts of the country.
The strategy that should be used to communicate to manufacturers and industries is that of writing to them and organizing training their employees on ways of reducing air pollution in their work environment. The message should be about informing them of the risks associated with air pollution and informing them of the direct and indirect effects that their industries are having on the health of community.
To communicate with members of the community, I would organize them into small groups where the risks associated with the issue discussed above would be communicated to them. The groups would make it easy to spread awareness on the risks discussed above. The message to be communicated to the community members is on the ways of reducing air pollution and ways in which it affects their health.
Australia has not been able to make a significance step towards reducing air pollution. Statistics indicate that despite the programs and policies that the government has put in place, air pollution has increased in the last two years. The risk of premature births in the country as well as cases of diseases associated with air pollution have increased and hence making it an issue of concern. Some of the stakeholders on this issue include the government, the community itself, industries, and the nongovernmental organizations. It is important to communicate effectively to all the stakeholders in order to ensure harmonious working relations between these stakeholders so as to reduce the risks associated with this issue.
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