The control of air pollution lies within the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Division (APPCD) of the National Risk Management Research Laboratory. Involving research and development of air pollution prevention, while it also controls advanced technologies for electric power plants, sources for greenhouse gases, key industries, and incinerators.
The APPCD is in the International clean technology developmental project division which is a major aspect for the control of air pollution, while maintaining a close relationship with industry, academia, trade, and professional organizations. A large area, it offers a very large umbrella over the average home in the United States, which produces more than 12 tons of CO2 a year with electricity, water, and heating alone. With over 103 million homes in our country, that brings up 1,236,000,000 tons for the United States amount of CO2 annually.
The control of air pollution is concentrated in the APPCD within these main areas—air topics, ozone, global climate change, fine particles, indoor Aair quality–with engineers, administrative professionals and scientists doing the researching and management. There are also six branches within the APPCD for the control of air pollution:
• Administrative Operations Staff
• Air Pollution Technology Branch
• Atmospheric Protection Branch
• Emissions Characterization and Prevention Branch
• Indoor Environment Management Branch
• Technical Services Branch
Research plays a big picture within the APPCD, a major characterization of air pollution sources in addition to the verification of innovative technology performances. The working processes involve a variety of ways to achieve the control of air pollution—research that is in house, interagency agreements with many other federal governmental entities, cooperative agreements with non-profit organizations and academia groups, along with contracts with for-profit companies and environmental consultants.
Key facts for the control of air pollution through the World Health Organization:
• Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health and is estimated to cause approximately 2 million premature deaths worldwide per year.
• Exposure to air pollutants is largely beyond the control of individuals and requires action by public authorities at the national, regional and even international levels.
• The WHO Air quality guidelines represent the most widely agreed and up-to-date assessment of health effects of air pollution, recommending targets for air quality at which the health risks are significantly reduced.
• By reducing particulate matter (PM10) pollution from 70 to 20 micrograms per cubic metre, we can cut air quality related deaths by around 15%.
• By reducing air pollution levels, we can help countries reduce the global burden of disease from respiratory infections, heart disease, and lung cancer.
• The WHO guidelines provide interim targets for countries that still have very high levels of air pollution to encourage the gradual cutting down of emissions. These interim targets are: a maximum of three days a year with up to 150 micrograms of PM10 per cubic metre (for short term peaks of air pollution), and 70 micrograms per cubic metre for long term exposures to PM10.
• More than half of the burden from air pollution on human health is borne by people in developing countries. In many cities, the average annual levels of PM10(the main source of which is the burning of fossil fuels) exceed 70 micrograms per cubic metre. The guidelines say that, to prevent ill health, those levels should be lower than 20 micrograms per cubic metre.