Air Pollution in Central Valley

Introduction

Pure air is a combination of gasses in different capacities. The biggest component is nitrogen with 78.09% followed by 20.95% of oxygen, 0.93% for Argon and 0.04% for carbon dioxide. In a balanced state of the air, the different compositions mix in the indicated measures to a state of equilibrium. Air pollution refers to any process that destabilizes the composition of air by increasing one of the elements or introducing a new constituent that makes the air harmful to living organisms. Farming is a huge economic activity in Central Valley. A combination of the agricultural activities and industrial processes contribute to air pollution from the gaseous emissions produced by the two sectors. Air pollution introduces chemical elements in the air making it unsuitable for living organisms. Gaseous emissions produced through agricultural activities, industrialization processes and emissions from the high number of vehicles are the leading causes of air pollution in the Central Valley.

Air Pollution from Agriculture

Agricultural activities are the leading causes of air pollution in Central Valley (Hohm and James 280). More than half of the people in the region earn a living from the agricultural lands or industrial processes connected to agriculture. The region is a fertile agricultural land supported by the rich soils in the valley. The productivity of the land is stable enough to support more than half of the country with food material. As much as the agricultural activities are beneficial to the region and country at large, the practices end up polluting the air by large rate. During the planting season, farmers use heavy machinery in and preparation. The farm machinery uses diesel as the primary source of power for tilling the land. Diesel combustion leads to the production of carbon dioxide which is an air pollutant in Central Valley.

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Apart from carbon dioxide production, tilling the land produces a lot of dust into the environment. The large pieces of land show that the preparation of the land has diverse air pollution due to dust production. Air pollution in Central Valley is a common occurrence, especially during the planting season. During the same preparation period, the farmers burn bushes and cuttings in anticipation of the planting season. Burning the bushes introduced a lot of foreign material in the air causing massive pollution. In 2002, agricultural activities added 4,600 tons of 2.5-microgram in the air composed of small matter leading to massive air pollution. Half of the country relies on plants products such as fruits and vegetables produced in Central Valley. Most of the plants planted in the city require constant spraying of insecticides to prevent them from attack by diseases.

Spraying large tracks of land with chemical pesticides pollute the air when some of the chemicals dissolve in the air. Therefore, agriculture supports the economy of the city but also pollutes the air immensely. The climate of Central Valley is favorable for farming (Cabrera, Ricardo and Jay 95). However, the region experiences other seasons of little rainfall and extensive periods of sunshine. During such times, the agricultural areas in Bakersfield, Fresno and Modesto remain bare. Wind action on the soil carries the loose soil combined with the chemical particles contaminating the air. The chemicals used in farming which resides in the loose soil, the burning of bushes and the dust produced while tilling the land are the primary causes of air pollution associated with agriculture in Central Valley. The combination of the factors makes the level of contamination extremely high.

Air Pollution from Industrial Activities

The second source of air pollution in Central Valley is industrial activity. Due to high agricultural activities, most companies in the region are food processing companies. Examples of the companies are Olam Food Processing in Modesto, Tomato Processing Plant and Fresno Bee Food Plant among others. The numbers of business are high to match the productivity of the region which presents a good business opportunity for food processing plants. The food processing industries use coal as the source of power. Burning the coal emits carbon dioxide as the by-product. Due to the high number of industries, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere is high resulting in air pollution.

Central Valley is one of the regions in the United States with a persistent problem with smog (Hohm and James 280). Smog forms from the combination of smoke, fog and other pollutants in the air. The smog pollutes the air by reducing visibility and introducing other elements in the air. Therefore, the gaseous emission from the industries accumulates into the air causing pollution. Other manufacturers use wood as the raw material. Timber usage as the source of power emits carbon dioxide. Apart from carbon dioxide, the industries release hydrocarbons that make the air unfit for human beings and other animals. The continued production in the companies and the constant supply of raw materials from the agricultural farms keeps the companies running and leads to increase of air pollution by the gaseous emissions from the companies.

Air Pollution from Domestic Activities

Further air pollution in Central Valley comes from vehicle emissions and domestic uses. The population of the region is very high. Currently, many people residing in Central Valley are approximately 6.5 million (Charalambous 120). The city has an ample supply of food and employment in the farms and food processing plants. Through their domestic activities, the population in the region pollutes the air. The domestic sources of air pollution include paints applied on the walls of the houses, domestic source of energy such as the use of charcoal for cooking and cleaning activities. Paints used on the walls contain hydrocarbon elements that emit irritating smells that pollute the air. The pollution occurs in an extensively since many homes apply the paint on their walls. Besides, the homes use firewood as a source of energy at home and charcoal.

Burning the charcoal, while cooking, emits carbon dioxide that introduces chemical elements into the atmosphere. Many homes use coal as the source of energy for homes. The extended usage of charcoal increases gaseous emissions polluting the air further through an accumulation of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere. Further, cleaning processes involving dusty environments raise dust into the air. The dust pollutes the air through suspension of dust particles into the air. In the Central Valley, half the population owns vehicles. During rush hour, traffic jam is evident in streets like adjacent to Roosevelt school. The traffic jam indicates the high number of vehicles and farm machinery in the region.

Most cars use petrol while a few use diesel. When fuel burns, it decomposes into carbon dioxide as the waste gaseous product (Mulvaney 40). The vehicles emit the gaseous by-product to the environment polluting the air. Due to the high number of vehicles, the rate of pollution is extremely high. A combination of the industrial products, agricultural effect, and domestic activities make air pollution a serious issue in the region. Air pollution eliminates stability of gasses in the atmosphere through the addition of chemical compounds that affect the balance. The combination dust particles and carbon dioxide from agricultural lands and industries respectively lead to air pollution in Central Valley. Other minor sources are domestic activities such as cooking using charcoal and cleaning processes, especially in dusty platforms.

Conclusion

Air pollution refers to the introduction of foreign elements in the air making it unfit for human use. Most of the air pollutants are soil particles and carbon dioxide produced by machinery and industrial activities in the region. Central Valley is an area with high agricultural activities. The region has large tracts of land which the local people use for farming. Preparation of the land for agriculture during the cultivation period involves burning of bushes and cuttings. The carbon dioxide and dust particles elevated into the air by the farm preparation processes lead to air pollution. Besides, the industries use fossil fuels as the source of energy. The fossil fuels and firewood burn to produce carbon dioxide that goes into the environment. The constant release of the gas into the environment leads to air pollution into the region. Lastly, domestic processes at homes are not any exceptional. Domestic activities such as painting the houses lead to usage of hydrocarbons that release chemical elements into the atmosphere leading to air pollution which is a massive issue at Central Valley.

 

Works Cited

Cabrera, Enrique, Ricardo Cobacho, and Jay R. Lund. Regional water system management : water conservation, water supply and system integration. Lisse Netherlands Exton, PA: A.A. Balkema, 2002. Print.

Charalambous, Andreas N. Transferable groundwater rights : integrating hydrogeology, law and economics. Oxfordshire, England New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.

Hohm, Charles F., and James A. Glynn. California’s social problems. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Pine Forge Press, 2002. Print.

Hohm, Charles F., and James A. Glynn. California’s social problems. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Pine Forge Press, 2002. Print.

Mulvaney, Dustin. Green energy : an A-to-Z guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2010. Print.