Concern about the long-term death toll of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster has sharply heightened anxiety concerning the pollution of the atmosphere by radiation. But atmospheric pollution has long been a major problem facing all nations of the world, and its causes and effects are more wide-ranging than is generally realized. Rapid urban and industrial growth has resulted in vast quantities of diverse waste products being released into the atmosphere, with the consequence that pollution now threatens the health and well-being of people everywhere, and has caused widespread damage to both the natural and the built environment. In this book, Derek Elsom looks at the nature of pollution problems ranging from localized photochemical smogs, through transfrontier problems such as acid rain and the transport of toxic chemicals and ionizing radiation over long distances, to the global issues of stratospheric ozone depletion and the build-up of carbon dioxide. Having outlined the scope of the atmospheric pollution problem and examined the sources and effects of pollutants, Dr Elsom goes on to discuss possible strategies for tackling the problem.
He analyzes control policies from around the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and China, and compares the effectiveness of the many different approaches adopted by capitalist and socialist states and developed and developing countries. The book ends with an appraisal of international collaboration and an assessments of future prospects.