How Air Pollution Affects Your Health
Pollution is an increasing concern, especially when constant innovation requires more resources. There are many types of pollution, each affecting the environment and the human body in a unique way.
What Is Air Pollution?
Air pollution refers to tiny particles that circulate in the air we breathe. These particles can affect individuals indoors and outdoors.
Many air pollutants can actively harm our health. Some of them include the following:
- Particles from coal and gas
- Tobacco smoke
- Household chemicals fumes
- Harmful gases like nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, etc.
- Particles from toxic building materials like lead
What Are Some Harmful Effects of Air Pollution?
Whether it’s short-term or long-term exposure, air pollution can pose many risks and even contribute to medical conditions. Some of these include:
Particles in the air can irritate the airways, causing them to swell and tighten up before they eventually cause breathing problems. While air pollution is not the primary cause of asthma, it does worsen its symptoms, especially when there’s high pollution on hot summer days.
2. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a group of conditions that cause breathing-related issues like emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Many of these diseases involve blocking the airways, thus making it difficult for the person to breathe.
COPD is usually common in people who experienced long-term exposure to air pollutants, like chronic smokers. Considering there is no cure for COPD, doctors advise that smokers who have yet to have these issues stop immediately.
3. Cardiovascular Disease.
Your lungs aren’t the only organs affected by air pollution. Prolonged exposure to harmful air pollutants can also affect your circulatory system. In a study posted on EPA.gov, researchers found that healthy individuals exposed to air pollution in the long term had accelerated cases of https://www.epa.gov/sciencematters/linking-air-pollution-and-heart-diseaseatherosclerosis—a condition in which plaque builds up inside your arteries, thus leading to issues in circulation.
What Can We Do?
Suppose you believe you are susceptible to any of these conditions. In that case, consider investing in portable air cleaners and HVAC filters. While these products cannot remove all pollutants indoors, it does help reduce their number.
In addition to these steps, if you are a long-term smoker, you may want to consider quitting as soon as possible. With secondhand smoke becoming an increasing concern, you can help reduce the risks to others by switching to another coping mechanism like chewing gum or using patches until you no longer need to rely on them.
If you want to go big,contact your local government about your area’s air pollution concerns. If you can make your voice heard, it will undoubtedly gain traction with your neighbors and friends.