Every year 200,000 to 570,000 people die from outdoor pollution alone. This is about .4
- 1.1 percent of the annual death tolls. Pollution is one of the biggest world problems
today. It takes its toll on many, while others just get passed over and aren’t affected at all.
But we don’t know who will be passed over and who’s life will be taken next. So we
must be prepared with knowledge about what we are doing to ourselves. Pollution is a
world problem because it affects wildlife all over the globe, it affects our lives indoor and
outdoors, and it is causing enough trouble that we have jobs to help prevent more

In the Exxon Valdez crash of 1989, 240,000 barrels (11 million gallons) of oil
were spilled into the pacific ocean near Bligh Reef. This was the biggest spill in U.S.
history, and the affects on the wildlife would be one of the greatest also. After four days
of the oil being in the ocean the slick had reached out to be a 40 mile patch with fingers
shooting out stretching the already very large oil slick. This was demolishing the already
hurt marine life in the area. The slick ended up to cover over 1,000 miles of ocean. This
killed hundreds of thousands of fish and marine birds. Also, it killed thousands of otters.

Many types of pollution are found in the world today. There are a couple that
affect us the most. First, there is indoor pollution. Many people spend large portions of
time indoors. As much as 80-90% of their lives. We work, eat, study, drink and sleep
indoors where air circulation may be restricted for these reasons. Some experts feel that
more people suffer from the effects of indoor pollution than outdoor pollution. There are
many sources of indoor air pollution. Tobacco smoke, cooking and heating appliances,
and vapors from building materials, paints, furniture etc., cause pollution inside buildings.
Radon is a natural radioactive gas released from the earth, and it can be found
concentrated in basements in some parts of the United States. Pollution exposure at home
and work is often greater than outdoors,. It is estimated that indoor air pollutants are
25-62% greater than outside levels and can cause serious health problem. Some short
term affects of indoor pollution, such as radon, are: irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat.
Also, it is possible to contract upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and
pneumonia. Also headaches, nausea and allergic reactions. Also, it can aggravate
allergies and asthma. Some long term effects of indoor pollution are: chronic respiratory
disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys.
It is estimated that every year half a million people die prematurely from smoking
cigarettes. Which is another form of indoor
pollution.(www.lbl.gov/education/ELSI/pollution-indoor.html) Also, there is a problem
with outdoor air. For more than a century, severe air pollution incidents in cities such as
London have shown that breathing dirty air can be dangerous and, at times, deadly. In
1880, 2,200 Londoners died in one such incident when coal smoke from heating and
industry combined to form a toxic smog of sulfur dioxide gas and airborne combustion
particles. the health impacts of urban air pollution seems likely to be greater than outdoor
air pollution. Especially in some of the rapidly developing countries where pollution levels
are higher. The World Bank has estimated that exposure to particulate levels exceeding
the WHO health standard accounts for roughly 2 to 5 percent of all deaths in urban areas
in the developing world. However the mortality rates alone do not capture the huge toll
of illness and disability that exposure to air pollution brings on a global level. Health
effects span a wide range of severity from coughing and bronchitis to heart disease and
lung cancer. Air pollution in developing world cities is responsible for some 50 million
cases per year of chronic coughing in children under 14 years of age. However, this can
affect adults too. (www.wri.org/wr-98-99/airpoll.htm)

A few people have shown their feelings about this problem of pollution through
poems and songs. This is a song written about pollution by Tom Lehrer, on his album
“That Was The Year That Was.” The song, not surprisingly, is called Pollution.



Time was when an American about to go abroad would be warned by his friends or the
guide books not to drink the water. But times have changed, and now a foreigner coming
to this country might be givin this advice:

If you visit an American