Air pollution kills more than 3 million people all around the world every year. It becomes an epidemic if left uncontrolled and causes severe health problems to the masses.
A Recent study released in a US journal stated that in 2017 air pollution lead to premature deaths of 3.45 million people worldwide. More than 20% deaths were linked to the air pollution, created at some other part of the world. Example, a significant number of deaths in the Republic of China were caused by the air pollution which was created in the USA and other Western countries and similarly China’s pollution contributed to the California’s smoke.
Air pollution can travel very long distances with the direction of winds. As we know, Jet streams(name of air currents) flowing in our atmosphere, cover the entire Earth. So it is very much evident that air pollution created at one corner of the world can surely get carried away and affect the nonindustrialized, any other location, far away.
Why is air pollution so harmful?
It is mainly due to PM 2.5. PM stands for particulate matter. It is a complex mixture of liquid droplets and small particles created when we burn gasoline in cars or when we fire of coal in thermal power plants for generating electricity. The number 2.5 refers to the size of particles i.e. 2.5 microns.
These microparticles can cause severe heart problems. as they can go deep into your lungs and some may even get into your bloodstream. So, long-term exposure to these microparticles can significantly affect your lungs and your heart.
There are numerous scientific studies that have linked the particle pollution exposure to severe health problems such as:
- Premature death of victim who is already suffering from heart and lung disease,
- Irregular Heartbeat,
- Nonfatal heart attacks,
- Increased breathing problems to asthma patient,
- Decrease in the lung efficiency,
- Increased respiratory problems such as irritation in the windpipe or difficulty in breathing,
- Added stress to heart and lungs, which then must work harder to supply the body with pure blood and enough oxygen respectively.
Note: Particulate matter pollution affects mostly the people with the previous history of Heart and lung problems.
- Airnow can help you monitor the air quality around you and protect your family from elevated PM level,
- Moreover, the particulate pollution can cause permanent damage to respiratory system,
- It may result in inflammatory injury: PM pollution results in high calcium concentrations in the body. This abnormal increase in calcium level leads to inflammatory reaction and result in inflammation and cell damage.
The overexposure to P.M pollution can be very fatal and can cause death.
Furthermore, other health impacts of specific air pollutants are:
- Tobacco smoke- is a major cause of ill health in smokers as it generates chemicals which are very harmful to human body.
- Smoking can cause burning sensation in eyes and nose, throat irritation, cancer, bronchitis, asthma and also decrease the lungs efficiency.
- Carbon monoxide gas combines with the hemoglobin and decreases the amount of oxygen supply to our blood.
- This gas can decrease of our focus and concentration,
- Slow down our reflexes,
- Make us confused, fatigued, lazy and sleepy.
Oxides of Nitrogen in the polluted air makes the children susceptible to respiratory diseases.
The long-term exposure to polluted air can have permanent health effects such as:
- Accelerated aging of lungs,
- Decreased lung efficiency,
- Fast aging of body and poor skin health,
- Increased risk of asthma, Bronchitis, and cancer.
- Shortening of lifespan.
Those who are more likely to get affected by air pollution are :
- People with the previous history of heart disease,
- People with lung disease,
- Outdoor workers,
- Paint factory workers,
- Children under 14 years of age,
- Athletes who exercise vigorously outdoors