a. Research the impact of fossil fuel emissions from motor vehicles on human health in China. Summarize your findings. Correlate your findings from China’s fossil fuel emissions from motor vehicles to at least three different human health impacts. Explain your answer in maximum half of a page. Provide at least ONE reference. (3 points)
b. Based on 300 million motor vehicles, the Chinese would have to dispose of, or recycle, several hundred million tires per year. Evaluate human health and environmental impacts of discarded tires. Include FOUR different impacts. Explain your answer in maximum half
of page. Provide at least ONE reference. (3 points)
2. Globally, at least 260 rivers flow through two or more countries. Likewise, neither lake basins nor groundwater aquifers recognize national boundaries. Three-fifths of the world’s population lives in the
watersheds of international freshwater systems. No global doctrine governs the allocation and use of these international water bodies.
Do an Internet search for in total THREE examples of inter-national and intra-national water conflicts.
Summarize and explain your findings. Explain your answer in less than one page. Provide at least TWO references. (8 points)
Assignment 1, question 1a:
The impact of fossil fuel emissions from motor vehicles on human health in China is drastic. Automobiles emissions are a significant source of nitrogen oxides, benzene, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) (Saikawa et.al, 2011). Nitrogen oxides from engine exhaust can react with water to form nitric acid. Nitric acid can enter lung tissues and cause emphysema and bronchitis (Milman et.al, 2008). An increase in motor vehicles in China is elevating the levels of ozone in the troposphere since many of the car emissions (such as nitrogen oxides and the VOC’s) are precursors to ozone (Saikawa et.al, 2011). Ozone causes various illnesses such as chest pain and nausea. In addition, investigation of pedestrians’ exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOC) in Chinese urban streets, such as in Guangzhou, noted elevated level of benzene (Lirong et. Al, 2004). Benzene is a carcinogen that causes leukemia by reducing white and red blood cell production in the bone marrow (Lirong et. Al, 2004).
Furthermore, particulate matter from vehicular emissions in china are a health hazard. Vehicles emit fine particulate matter that can enter the lungs and cause cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses (Lirong et. Al, 2004). PM2.5 are in a high concentration in Chinese cities and are effecting the lung development of children (Lirong et. Al, 2004). In addition, vehicles are a major source of PAH, a VOC found in Chinese urban environments (Milman et.al, 2008). PAH is a carcinogen and a developmental toxin because it is a genetic mutagen that causes abnormalities in fetal growth (Milman et.al, 2008). Finally, carbon monoxide formed by burning fossil fuels is lethal. Hemoglobin in red blood cells has greater affinity for carbon monoxide than for oxygen. Therefore, inhaling carbon monoxide disrupts the transport of oxygen to the body, having lethal consequences.
Assignment 1, question 1b:
The act of discarding tires has many impacts on human health and the environment. Piled tires can absorb water and become a breeding place for mosquitos. This consequence encourages the development of vector borne diseases that can spread to the human population (Wolfe, 2015). In addition, tire mulch used in children playgrounds contains many hazardous chemicals. Tires contains lead (a neurotoxin), benzene (a carcinogen), carbon black (a carcinogen) and many other harmful chemicals (Birkholz, 2012). Children in contact with these chemicals are being subject to severe health impacts (Birkholz, 2012). Contaminants from tire shreds in garden and playground spaces such as lead and cadmium can also contaminate ground water, resulting in waterborne hazards (Birkholz, 2012). Furthermore, tires that end up in the landfills can contribute to the contamination of ground water. The steel liners in tires can rip the protective lining at the bottom of landfills allowing hazardous chemicals to contaminate the soil and eventually water sources (World Business Council, 2004). Another extremely negative impact of discarded tires is their ability to form fires that can persist for a long time. These fires continuously produce black smoke that have toxic chemicals such as cancer causing dioxins, small particulates, and heavy metals that remain in the air for weeks (World Business Council, 2004).
Assignment 1, question 2:
Many conflicts arise between nations due to the scarcity of freshwater. All nation rely on water, whether it be for drinking, economic development and stability or other reasons. The conflicts between Egypt/Ethiopia and Syria/Turkey are examples of inter-national water conflicts, while the tensions between Israel/Palestine and other Arab nations are examples of both inter-national and intra-national water conflicts.
The tension between Egypt and Ethiopia stems from Ethiopia’s decision to build a large dam in the Nile River. The Nile passes through ten countries, however, the legislation governing water distribution gives the greatest portion of the River to Egypt, a country that is downstream (Pearce, 2015). Since Egypt is greatly dependent on the Nile River, all countries crossed by the river signed an agreement that allows Egypt to have control over any project in the Nile (El-Fadel et.al, 2003). This agreement has caused conflicts between Egypt and Ethiopia when Ethiopia began building a large hydroelectric power producing dam in 2011 (Pearce, 2015). Egypt fears that the dam will reduce the amount of water flow to Egypt, drastically effecting its population and development (Pearce, 2015). To Egypt, the river is vital for survival, while to Ethiopia, the new dam is vital for its economic development.
A similar conflict aroused between Syria and Turkey, but over the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. These rivers originate in Turkey and are especially important to Iraq and Syria. Dams along the rivers installed by Turkey have reduced the quantity and quality of water flowing downstream to these countries (Çarkoğlu et.al, 2001). The hydro political tension between Syria and Turkey almost caused a war when Syria supported PKK’s campaigns against the Turkish government, consequentially driving Turkey to support Israel (Çarkoğlu et.al, 2001).
In addition, the mountain aquifer under the West bank and Israel is the most important water source shared between these regions (El-Houry, 2010). The aquifer is also a main reason for the intra-national water conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians living on the same land. Israel is very dependent on the aquifers below the territories it occupied. It exploited these water resources by severely restricting Palestinian consumption, leading to water shortages in many homes (El-Houry, 2010). There has been many protests by Palestinians for equal distribution of water resources, however, Palestinian communities whose water are under Israeli control continue to experience low supply (El-Houry, 2010). Israeli’s worries over the water resources have also lead to the country’s decision to attack its Arab neighbors.
These conflicts are only some of the consequences of a lack of a global legislation controlling the use and distribution of international waters. Intra-national and inter-national water conflicts are a serious issue that is on the rise as fresh water sources become scarcer.
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Assessment of Tire Crumb for Use in Public Playgrounds. Journal of Air and Waste Management Association, 53(7), 903-907. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10473289.2003.10466221
Çarkoğlu, A., & Mine Eder. (2001). Domestic Concerns and the Water Conflict over the
Euphrates-Tigris River Basin. Middle Eastern Studies, 37(1), 41–71. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4284138
El-Fadel, M., El-Sayegh, Y., El-Fadl, K., Khorbotly, D. (2003). The Nile River Basin: A case
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Lirong, Z., Xinming, W., Qiusheng, H. , Hao, W., Guoying, S., Chan, L.Y., . . . Blakec, D.R.
(2004). Exposure to hazardous volatile organic compounds, PM10 and CO while walking along streets in urban Guangzhou, China. ELSEVIER, 38 (36), 6177–6184. Retrieved from http://ps.uci.edu/~rowlandblake/publications/240.pdf
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China. Gateway, 122 (3), 620-628. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2007-3143
Pearce. F. On the River Nile, a Move to Avert a Conflict Over Water. (2015). Encironment360.
Saikawa, E., Kurokawa, J., Takigawa, M., Borkwn-Kleefeld, D.L., Horowitz, L. W., Ohara, T.
(2011). The impact of China’s vehicle emissions on regional air quality in 2000 and 2020: a scenario analysis. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 11, 9465-9484. doi: 10.5194/acp-11-9465-2011
Wolfe, R. (2015). Discarded Tires and Mosquitoes: A Quality of Life and Public Health Perspective.
Energy and Environmental Protection. Retrieved from http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.productstewardship.us/resource/resmgr/Meeting_Materials/CTDEEP_Tires_Mosquitoes_2015.pdf
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Burning Cement Kilns. World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Retrieved from http://www.wbcsdcement.org/pdf/tf5/health.pdf