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You can help fight global warming
Health advice
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It’s hard to know what is correct when experts on both sides are saying two different things.
A good example of this is the frequently discussed “greenhouse effect” many scientists say is responsible for global warming. The Earth has a natural greenhouse effect because of trace amounts of water and carbon dioxide that naturally occur.
What concerns people about the current greenhouse effect are the escalation processes these natural gases go through as a result of human activities, including deforestation, burning of fossil fuels and the absorption (or disruption) of gases that occur in the atmosphere, oceans and land.
These gases act like a blanket around the Earth, allowing the sun’s rays in to warm the Earth, but also preventing much of the heat from escaping. It is a bit like car windows on a sunny day. They allow the sun’s rays in to heat up the car, but prevent much of the heat from escaping.
If we didn’t have the harmony created by the greenhouse effect, life on this planet would probably not exist. Instead, the average temperature would be a cold -18 degrees Celsius, rather than the present 15 degrees Celsius.
In 1999 and 2000, Georgia’s air met current national standards for concentrations of all five pollutants, except ozone in metropolitan Atlanta.
Air quality for carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide were said to be either stable or improving, and Georgians were urged to act responsibly and do what they could to minimize our “footprint” on this planet.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the average home produces twice as much greenhouse-gas pollution as the average car. Because of emissions produced by power plants that generate electricity used to power modern homes, plus home emissions from such things as oil or gas fired furnaces, an average house releases 22,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually, compared to a typical car’s 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.
It is estimated the United States is responsible for about one-fifth of all human-produced greenhouse-gas emissions.
Everyone has seen smog, but did you realize there is actually a recipe for it? If you take nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs or hydrocarbons), cook them in sunlight and high outdoor temperatures and then combine that mixture with particulate matter and other pollutants, smog is formed.
While no one seriously believes you might be interested in baking up a batch of smog, environmentalists would like to encourage you to consider another recipe to reduce smog, improve air quality and become more energy efficient at home:
1. Replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent bulbs. If you replaced just four 100-watt incandescent bulbs that burn four or more hours a day with four 23-watt fluorescent bulbs, you’d get as much light and save at least 452 kilowatt-hours of electricity and $82 in three years.
2. When replacing appliances, buy energy efficient ones.
3. Turn off electric appliances when not in use. Don’t use the stand by option.
4. Fit individual thermostats to radiators and don’t heat rooms that aren’t used.
5. Insulate walls, lofts, hot water tanks and pipes.
6. Turn your heating and air conditioning down. Similarly, turn down water heating by a few degrees. Turn off heating and air conditioning when the house is unoccupied.
7. Wash full loads of clothes at a lower temperature. Modern machines and detergents are just as effective at lower temperatures. When possible, dry your clothes outdoors instead of in a tumble drier.
8. Wash only full loads in the dishwasher.
9. Use rechargeable batteries and don’t leave rechargers on for longer than needed. This includes mobile and cell-phones.
10. Boil only as much water in a kettle as you need.
11. Buy local, organic food where possible because there’s less transportation involved and the farming methods are more environmentally friendly.
12. Reduce, recycle and reuse as much as possible. Sign up with mail preferential services to stop junk mail.
13. Avoid buying products with excessive packaging.
14. Work from home when possible, car pool or use public transportation. If you must drive, buy an energy efficient vehicle.
15. Eat less meat and dairy produce, farming produces large quantities of greenhouse gases.
16. Use eco-friendly products.
17. Educate others.
Environmental health professionals are dedicated to protecting public health, protecting natural resources and helping citizens with environmental health concerns. Like teachers, policemen and firefighters, the services they provide to others would not be missed unless they were gone.
Environmental health specialists are responsible for well-water protection, sewage contamination prevention, restaurant inspections, food safety training to prevent food-borne illness, rabies prevention and animal bite response, lead exposure prevention, injury prevention through bike helmet and car seat promotion, and indoor air quality guidance to name a few.
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