Presidential Scholars Theses (1990 – 2006)


Open Access Presidential Scholars Thesis

First Advisor

David May


Air--Pollution--Physiological effect; Respiratory organs--Diseases;


This report centers around one of today's most prominent environmental issues-- air pollution. First, the major pollutants are defined and explained. Chloroflourocarbons, ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and suspended particulate matter all receive attention.

Next, air pollution's effect on the Earth is explained. The "greenhouse effect", global warming, acid rain, and ozone depletion all have an enormous impact on Earth's climate and atmosphere.

The report proceeds on to discuss options for controlling and so lving the air pollution problem. Se+ective catalytic reduction, noncatalytic reduction, tradeable permits-- these three processes are examples of large scale attempts at controlling air pollution. Shorter-lived chloroflourocarbons, renewable resources, and alternative fuel sources may help to approach an actual solution to the pollution problem.

The respiratory system's reactions to air pollution are considered next. The mechanics of breathing are explained first. Carbon monoxide's and ozone's effects on the pulmonary system are examined individually. Asthma and lung cancer are explored next , without specifying given pollutants.

Finally, a political approach to the problem is examined. One national and three international policies and plans are discussed: The U.S. Clean Air Act revisions, 1990, the Montreal Protocol, 1987, the Large Combustion Plant Directive, 1988, and the United Nations proposal for 1992 .

Date of Award



Department of Biology

Presidential Scholar Designation

A paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation Presidential Scholar


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (30 pages)

Date Digital



©1992 Jennifer Randall





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