|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Air pollution Healthcare policy Public health|
Millions of people in America live in areas of high air pollution. The levels of air pollution in the affected areas are so high that they cause acute public health effects. One of the respiratory diseases that have been an issue among most Americans living in the air polluted areas is a cancer of the lungs. The Americans that are most exposed to air pollution are those living in low-income areas. Low-income families and African Americans are the most vulnerable groups owing to their work which is mostly in the industrial areas (Kurt et al., 2016). Low-income families also stay close to industrial air pollution sources and freeways. In this paper, the analysis focuses on air pollution as an environmental issue and how policies can be put to measure to control asthma and cancer of the lungs as public health concerns. The targeted people are African Americans living in low-income areas since they are the group affected by air pollution more than any other group in America. Even though APHA believes the right to clean air is a basic right, the enforcement of clean air policy has remained a challenge. The U.S environmental agency has aggressively addressed localized exposure to hazardous pollutants, but their endeavors are not yet successful.
Under the clean air policy, the United States has made substantial progress in reducing air pollutants. The target of the Act is to reduce air pollution that especially threatens public health by not only damaging crops but also infecting Americans with a disease like cancer and asthma (Veremchuk et al., 2016). Even with all this progress, poor air quality and exposure to air pollutants remain a challenge in many urban areas. These urban areas remain to represent significant health risks that many Americans are in. Low-income and minority populations like African Americans suffer disproportionately from air pollution risk. There is every need to discover more progress in implementing the clean air Act as a means of saving the population from public health diseases scare like cancer and asthma.
Suggestions for addressing the Current Health Policy
Exposures to the highest levels of air pollution occur in urban areas. As a suggestion, the environmental protection agency should start analyzing ozone level pollution and its effect. Several adverse pains have been associated with ozone layer pollution (Almoguera et al., 2017). Centers for disease control confirmed cases of ozone layer inflaming the airways then it becomes a cause of chest pains, whizzing, coughing, lung disease, and cancer (Almoguera et al., 2017). All the mentioned diseases might because of premature death contributed to by air pollution.
Steps Required for Initiating Policy
There are three important steps needed in implementing the ozone focus policy. The first step is increasing awareness to the public and the practitioners on the risk that urban environments cause low-income areas (Nagy et al., 2019). African Americans living in polluted areas should be informed about the effects of air pollution on their health. This step could also include more representations of low-income African Americans populations in abatement programs that solve their economic problems and can help them move to cleaner environments. This step limits barriers for them to receive medical care programs.
The second step involves research. There is very limited federal research concerning environmental justice. It is difficult to estimate the extent of the ozone problem without carrying out proper research. This policy research is carried out on the effects of air toxins on the African American population in the urban places concerning the ozone layer. Apart from just focusing on asthma and cancer of the lungs, the research should also include safe areas within the county that can be allowed to harbor different populations.
The last step of the policy is implemented. After the research, the findings can be used by the involved stakeholder to implement the policy thereby reducing the number of populations affected by urban areas ozone layer. The stakeholders can also create a special unit to handle asthma and cancer cases for African Americans living in these populated areas.
Necessary Stakeholder and Funding
Air pollution does not recognize international boundaries. Any stakeholders from the international community wishing to fund the research program should be included. Funds from industrialized regions should be solicited since they are the highest producers of pollutants to the world.
Other stakeholders include the world health organization. Public health concerns are not limited to the United States government alone (To et al., 2016). The World Health Organization can come in their contribution to help reduce the premature deaths caused by lung cancer and asthma due to people coming into contact with air pollutants.
The increase in the recommended funding can also be done by the United States Government. The United States government reduced the budget of EPA in the year 2010 to 2016 and the effects of lung cancer and asthma on African American communities increased (To et al., 2016). It reflects that there were a lot of reductions in key initiatives aimed at implementing and enforcing clean air policy. The government through EPA should take control.
If clean air strategies and public outreach programs are to be successful all these groups have to collaborate. A range of public and private organizations should help and be essential in implementing the needs of the local community group. A wide spectrum of American businesses can defend the policy but it has to be done
The Impact on the health care delivery system is that it deals with lesser cases of lung cancer and asthma. Although African Americans with asthma rarely visit healthcare institutions with this policy most of them will respond to treatment.
The policy demands the involvement of the government and local communities to promote clean air through various activities. These activities revolve around conserving energy both at home and at work. The government through its legislative arms should support amendments and policies that lead to clean air.
Almoguera, B., Vazquez, L., Mentch, F., Connolly, J., Pacheco, J. A., Sundaresan, A. S., Carrell, D. S. (2017). Identification of four novel loci in asthma in European American and African American populations. American journal of Respiratory and critical care medicine, 195(4), 456-463.
Kurt, O. K., Zhang, J., & Pinkerton, K. E. (2016). Pulmonary health effects of air pollution. Current opinion in pulmonary medicine, 22(2), 138.
Nagy, M. R., McGlumphy, K. C., Dopp, R., Lewis, T. C., & Hasson, R. E. (2019). Association between asthma, obesity, and health behaviors in African American youth. Journal of Asthma, 1-11.
To, T., Zhu, J., Larsen, K., Simatovic, J., Feldman, L., Ryckman, K., ... & Villeneuve, P. J. (2016). Progression from asthma to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Is air pollution a risk factor?. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 194(4), 429-438.
Veremchuk, L. V., Yankova, V. I., Vitkina, T. I., Nazarenko, A. V., & Golokhvast, K. S. (2016). Urban air pollution, climate and its impact on asthma morbidity. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 6(1), 76-79.
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