WHAT IS AIR POLLUTION? 

Air pollution is a mix of gases, chemicals, dust, pollen, and mold. These all float in the air. Around 91% of the world’s population is in danger.  In other words, many people live in places where air quality is poor. For this reason, millions of people die each year. Overall, air pollution harms our health.  It is one of the major global causes of death. 

Together we’ll learn more about air quality and our health. Finally, we’ll consider what we can do to help. Let’s get started!

air pollution harms our health

Recent studies found nearly 8.8 million people die due to air pollution. Air pollution causes nearly 1 in 8 deaths. Both Indoor and outdoor air pollution are to blame. Overall, these sources of toxic air are a big health danger. Clearly, poor air quality is a major global health issue.  Worldwide this issue needs more of our attention. Overall, reducing this dangerous pollution can save the lives of people around the world.

The World Health Organization shows two types of air pollution:

Indoor Air Pollution
Firstly, exposure to indoor air pollutants can harm people’s health. Some examples include cancer, eye problems, and sickness related to breathing. Also, the risk of burns, poisonings, and other injuries also go up.

Dangerous Indoor Air Pollutants:

  • Smoke
  • Mold
  • Building materials like flooring, glue, and wood products
  • Home products like sprays and cleaners
  • Chemicals
  • Gases like radon

This type of pollution is largely made by:

  • Indoor fuels like wood and coal
  • Wasteful cooking
  • Cleaners
  • Chemicals like paint and varnish

Outdoor Air Pollution
Secondly, outdoor air pollutants can also harm people’s health. For example, these types of pollutants cause breathing problems. Common problems include asthma and reduced lung function.

Dangerous Outdoor Air Pollutants:

  • Particulate matter (small molecules of dust, dirt, soot, and smoke in the air)
  • Ground Level Ozone (the main ingredient in smog)
  • Nitrogen dioxide (primarily found in fertilizers)
  • Sulfur Dioxide (from the burning of fossil fuels)

This type of pollution is made by a number of human activities, including:

  • Fuel use from cars, trucks, and other vehicles
  • Heat and energy generation
  • Factories
  • Dust
  • Farming
  • Garage and waste

Both of these types of pollution contain a pollutant called particulate matter.

WHAT’S PARTICULATE MATTER?

Particulate matter is basically tiny particles found in the air. It can include things like dust, pollen, soot, and smoke. This type of matter is important. It’s a big part of air quality.

Basically, particulate matter is so small it affects many people. In fact, it’s worse than other types of air pollutants because it’s very easy for people to breathe. Therefore, these particles get stuck in the lungs. Finally, the particles can even get into our blood and cause serious health issues.

HOW BIG IS THE AIR POLLUTION PROBLEM?

“The risks from air pollution are now far greater than previously thought….Few risks have a greater impact on global health today than air pollution.” Dr. Maria Neira, Director of the World Health Organization’s Department for Public Health

In conclusion, scientists agree that more work is needed to improve air quality.

Air pollution is a global issue. Much of the global population is at risk.

People who live in developing countries have the highest risk.

  • Firstly, these people make up 82% of the world population.
  • Secondly, developing countries have fewer choices of clean fuels. They also lack the technology for cleaner ways to supply energy.
  • Thirdly, in most developing countries indoor fuel is animal waste or wood.
  • Finally, women and children find and burn the fuel. In other words, women and children are more at risk than men.

WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT REDUCING AIR POLLUTION?

Reducing air pollution makes a healthier world for everyone. For instance, cleaner transportation and better sources of power both reduce pollution. Another example is energy-efficient waste management.  All together these changes will improve health. Finally, these air-friendly changes decrease climate pollutants. Thus, creating healthy lifestyles.

People can fight air pollution with social media. Firstly, social media increases the voices of concerned people. This allows people who want change to be heard. Secondly, these people can also inspire others.  Together we can grow environmental discussions. Thirdly, social media is a way for everyone to learn that air pollution harms our health.

HOW CAN YOU HELP IMPROVE AIR QUALITY WHERE YOU LIVE?

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