2 Top Environmental Issues in North Carolina: 20 Solutions

Both the environment and human health can be harmed by air pollution. Even if you cannot see or smell air pollution, it can still be harmful to you.

Additionally, it can harm plants and wildlife, create a haze that obstructs views of the countryside, and worsen climate change and water pollution.

Lung and respiratory irritation from air pollution can also have a negative impact on the heart.

Air pollution can aggravate asthma, start asthma attacks, or already have an asthmatic.

On days with “poor air,” even healthy persons may find it difficult to breathe deeply and may endure lung tissue damage.

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Repeated injury, particularly in infancy, can permanently lower lung function.

A hazardous cardiac condition called arrhythmias and heart attacks have been related to particle pollution, a type of air pollution.

In this article, we quickly take a look at some of the environmental issues in North Carolina and suggested solutions.

Environmental Issues in North Carolina

The two main causes of poor air quality in North Carolina are particle pollution and ground-level ozone, which is the primary component of “smog”.

Both pollutants are primarily brought on by emissions from cars, trucks, and the coal-fired power plants that generate the majority of our nation’s electricity.

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Our air could get worse as our population rises, harming our health and lowering our quality of life, even with cleaner cars and other new technology.

The good news is that we can all breathe easier by making a few small adjustments to our everyday routines.


Now, you might picture the ozone layer, which shields us from UV radiation, when you hear the word “ozone.” This is wonderful, but when ozone is present at ground level, it’s terrible.

When the scorching sun and air pollution from power plants and automobiles mix, ground-level ozone is produced. This kind of ozone might irritate your lungs and make you feel out of breath. Additionally, it can irritate your throat and eyes.

Children, those with asthma and other respiratory conditions, as well as those who work or exercise hard outside, are sensitive populations who should avoid breathing ozone. Coughing, sore throats, chest pain, shallow breathing, and asthma attacks are all signs of ozone exposure.

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According to some research, asthma emergency department visits have gone up by up to 36% on days with high ozone levels.

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Ozone levels that are too high can harm the leaves on trees and crops, slowing growth and lowering agricultural yields. According to the U.S. EPA, ground-level ozone damaged crops countrywide in 1995 for a total of $2.7 billion. Ozone can also damage rubber, paint, and other materials prematurely.

Summertime is when ozone is most problematic because of the increased heat and sunlight. Ozone concentrations also change every day.

The afternoon, when temperatures are higher, is typically when ozone levels reach their highest.

At night, they begin to decline. However, in the highlands, ozone levels can continue to be high at heights exceeding 4,000 feet both during the day and at night.

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Limiting outdoor work and exercise in the late afternoon on days with high ozone levels will help you avoid unhealthful ozone exposure.

By working and exercising outside before noon, you can reduce your exposure to ozone as the levels are often significantly lower in the morning.

Ozone is typically not a concern indoors because air conditioners and household items filter it out.


There are various sources of particle contamination. Power plants, industrial activities, automobile tailpipes, woodstoves, and wildfires are sources of fine particles (2.5 micrometers in diameter and less).

Road dust, certain agricultural practices, and crushing and grinding processes are the sources of coarse particles (between 2.5 and 10 micrometers).

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The health effects of particle pollution include coughing, wheezing, decreased lung function, asthma attacks, heart attacks, and strokes. It is connected to early death as well.

Even while it’s wise to keep an eye on local air quality, some folks can be more vulnerable to particle pollution.

  • People with cardiovascular disease are among them (diseases of the heart and blood vessels).

  • Those suffering from respiratory conditions including asthma and COPD.

  • Adolescents and children.

  • Older people.

  • Obesity or diabetes may raise risk, according to research.

  • Precautions should be taken by new moms and pregnant mothers to safeguard the health of their unborn children.

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Take easy measures to lower your exposure on days when the AQI forecast indicates it will be unhealthy:

  • Opt for a less taxing activity.

  • Shorten your time spent outside.

  • Rearrange your plans.

  • Reduce your time spent near busy highways.

If the structure lacks a robust filtration system, particle levels can be high indoors. When they are high outdoors. Do the following to keep indoor particle levels lower:

  • Put an end to tobacco smoke.

  • Use fireplaces and wood stoves less frequently.

  • Utilize air cleaners and filters with particle reduction capabilities.

  • Avoid burning candles.

Solutions to Environmental Issues in North Carolina

You can do the following things to lessen air pollution:

  • Conserve energy everywhere you are—at work, at home, etc.

  • When possible, carpool, take the bus, bike, or walk there.

  • Where available, think about buying portable fuel containers marked “spill-proof.”

  • Keep the engines of your car, boat, and other vehicles tuned.
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  • Make sure your tires are inflated appropriately.

  • Whenever possible, use paints and cleaning supplies that are safe for the environment.

  • Compost or mulch your yard debris.

  • Think about switching to gas logs from wood.

Take Extra Care to Reduce Pollution on Days with High Ozone Expectations:

  • Use public transportation or share a ride to work for a greener commute.

  • Combine tasks to cut down on trips. When you can, walk to your errands.

  • Keep your car from idling for too long.

  • When it’s cooler in the evening, fill up your automobile.

  • Set air conditioners to no lower than 78 degrees to save energy.

  • Put off or wait until later in the day any lawn and gardening tasks that require gasoline-powered equipment.

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Take these Extra Steps to Reduce Pollution on Days with Expected High Particle Levels:

  • Reduce the number of car journeys you make.

  • Reduce or stop using wood stoves and fireplaces.

  • Do not burn rubbish, leaves, or other items.

  • Use electric or battery-powered lawn and garden tools instead.

What Causes The Most Pollution in North Carolina?

Ground-level ozone, the primary component of “smog,” and PM2.5 and PM10 particle pollution are North Carolina’s two major air quality issues. Both pollutants are primarily brought on by emissions from cars and electricity-generating coal-burning power plants.

What is the #1 Cause of Water Pollution In NC?

According to the N.C. Division of Water Quality, polluted storm water runoff, also known as nonpoint source pollution, is the leading cause of water pollution in North Carolina.

Is North Carolina a Clean State?

According to a recent research on air quality, North Carolina is one of the least polluted cities in the nation. According to a survey published by the American Lung Association, Wilmington was among the locations with the fewest dangerous airborne particles.

How Clean Is NC Tap Water?

The federal Environmental Protection Agency, which now sets statutory limits on 94 contaminants in drinking water, regulates the water that exits most North Carolina faucets. Even bottled water commonly contains trace quantities of pollutants, according to the EPA.

What is the Most Common Natural Disaster in North Carolina?

Although North Carolina experiences its fair share of natural catastrophes, hurricanes and floods are the most frequent. Hurricanes and floods can disrupt water and food supplies, result in property damage, disease, and even result in fatalities.

What Human Activities Pollute Lakes in North Carolina?

  • Excess fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides from residential and agricultural regions are some of these contaminants.
  • Hazardous chemicals and grease from energy generation and urban runoff;
  • Eroding streambanks, agriculture and forest areas, and sediment from poorly managed building sites.

What is the Environment Like in North Carolina?

The state of North Carolina experiences hot summers and mildly chilly winters. Due to its varied topography, which includes the Appalachian Mountains in the west, the Piedmont plateau in the center, and the Coastal Plain in the east, it exhibits significant regional climate diversity.

Is There A Lot Of Water in North Carolina?

In the past, North Carolina was thought of as a state with plenty of water. But due to a combination of the state’s rapid population increase, the drought, and aquifer erosion in recent years, the state has experienced water shortages.

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How is North Carolina Affected by Climate Change?

Changes in North Carolina include floods, drought, and higher temperatures, as well as changes in the coast line and the frequency of strong storms. The effects of climate change are particularly harmful to rural areas.

Which Currently Threatens Most of The Ecosystems of North Carolina?

Parks and forests, greenways, gardens, and endangered animals are all seriously threatened by invasive plants.

What is North Carolina Doing for Climate Change?

North Carolina reaffirmed its dedication to audacious climate action and environmental justice in January 2022. In his Executive Order No. 246 (EO 246), Governor Cooper set science-based objectives for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including a reduction of 50% by 2030 and a target of zero emissions by 2050.

Why is North Carolina Considered as The Most Ecologically Unique in The Southeast of the US?

Due to the presence of sub-tropical, temperate, and boreal environments within its boundaries, North Carolina is the state in the Southeast with the most biological diversity.

Despite the state’s temperate latitudes, the Applachian Mountains and the Gulf Stream have an impact on the temperature, which in turn affects the animals and vegetation (flora) (fauna).

Is Living in NC Worth It?

Living in North Carolina is a dream because of the state’s flourishing business climate, affordable cost of living, and stunning scenery. North Carolina is the ninth-largest state in the US with a population of over 10 million, and it is still expanding.

Where is the Cleanest Water in North Carolina?

The most valuable resources in the community are Lake Auman and the dam that supports it. The lake is the second-cleanest in the region and the clearest in all of North Carolina.

Why is there Black Sand in North Carolina?

Black sand patches can occasionally be spotted, especially after storms. These swaths of heavy mineral sand that high-energy waves and strong winds uncover and shift in layers are what give North Carolina beaches their dark spots; they are not volcanic in origin.

Is there any Fresh Water in North Carolina?

Lake Mattamuskeet (30,000 acres), Scuppernong Lake (16,600 acres), Lake Waccamaw (8,938 acres), Alligator Lake (6,000 acres), and Pungo Lake (2,700 acres) are the five largest natural freshwater lakes in North Carolina.

Is Water in NC hard?

According to USGS water hardness measurements, North Carolina’s average water hardness is soft at 46 PPM. The water hardness in Raleigh, the state capital, is 40 PPM, which is regarded as soft.

Where Does North Carolina Get Its Water?

The E.M. Johnson Water Treatment Plant treats the majority of Raleigh’s drinking water, which is sourced from the Falls Lake Reservoir in northern Wake County. Lake Benson in Garner, North Carolina, which receives treatment at the Dempsey E. Benton Water Treatment Plant, serves as Raleigh’s secondary water source.

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