What is air pollution and what do you think of when you hear the term air pollution? Do you think of smoggy skies, or even the greenhouse effect? Are you surprised to learn that there are more than one hundred different types of air pollution? The Environmental Protection Agency has compiled a list of over 100 pollutants that can be found in the air we breathe on a daily basis! If you want to learn more about these pollutants and how they affect our lives, read on. If not, feel free to skip this article and find one more relevant to your interests.
What Is Air Pollution
There are five main types of air pollution: ozone, particulate matter, ground-level ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. When we breathe in these particles they can cause various health problems. Breathing in too much air pollution also increases your risk of cancer.
The most common pollutants are nitrogen dioxide (NO), ground-level ozone (O3) and particulate matter that’s smaller than 10 micrometers. If you’re near a forest fire or in an area where there’s heavy industry, you may be exposed to large amounts of particulate matter that’s smaller than 2.5 micrometers.
These small particles can penetrate deep into your lungs and enter your bloodstream. This can cause breathing problems, heart disease and even lung cancer. Ozone is another type of pollutant that causes respiratory issues when it’s inhaled at high levels. Ground-level ozone forms when NO reacts with volatile organic compounds (VOC).
VOCs are emitted by cars, industrial processes like oil refining and gasoline production as well as paint fumes, cleaning products and solvents. Sulfur dioxide emissions come from coal power plants or industrial facilities like oil refineries; it causes respiratory issues when inhaled at high levels but isn’t considered to be carcinogenic for humans unless it’s breathed in at very high concentrations over long periods of time.
In general, if you live in a city, have asthma or other breathing conditions then you’re more likely to experience negative effects from air pollution. Children and older adults are also at higher risk for developing complications related to exposure. In general, if you live in a city, have asthma or other breathing conditions then you’re more likely to experience negative effects from air pollution.
Children and older adults are also at higher risk for developing complications related to exposure. People who smoke are also more susceptible to illness due to poor air quality. Your risk of developing illnesses like bronchitis, pneumonia and tuberculosis increase significantly if you’re exposed to poor air quality on a regular basis. However, there are steps you can take on an individual level to help reduce your exposure:
Stay indoors when possible; try not to exercise outside during peak hours or times when there’s likely be a lot of traffic. Don’t use scented candles indoors as they add additional chemicals and particles into the air already being circulated throughout your home/office building.
The Causes Of Air Pollution
The cause of air pollution varies depending on what kind you’re talking about. It’s estimated that one-third of air pollution in China comes from vehicles. Another third comes from factories and power plants while another third comes from home cooking—cooking with wood, coal or trash, which create particulate matter when they burn.
The problem with all three types is that they release small particles into the air, which get lodged deep in people’s lungs and pose serious health risks over time. They also get breathed in by animals, who then pass them on to us via meat and dairy products. And speaking of meat… In 2015, a study found that 60 percent of cows tested positive for airborne infectious bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. Those bacteria live on farm surfaces, so every time you touch something like a door handle or faucet handle at a slaughterhouse, you could be picking up harmful bacteria.
That’s why it’s important to wash your hands after touching anything that has come into contact with raw meat. Bottom line: There are many different sources of air pollution but they all have one thing in common: They are bad for our health. If we want clean air, we need to work together as a community and push for stricter laws against polluters.
The Effects Of Air Pollution
Our lungs play a vital role in our overall health, but air pollution is making them work harder than they should. In fact, research has linked exposure to air pollution to increased incidence of heart and lung disease, asthma attacks and other serious conditions. Here are some of its effects: –
Asthma: If you have asthma or are susceptible to respiratory problems such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), you may be at greater risk of developing complications if exposed to high levels of air pollution.
– Lung Cancer: Long-term exposure to particles emitted from vehicles and industry has been linked with an increased incidence of lung cancer in humans; even a one percent increase in airborne carcinogens can affect your chances. – Heart Disease: Nitrogen dioxide and ozone irritate the lining of your lungs, which can lead to inflammation that increases your risk for cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke.
– Premature Births: Babies born to mothers who were exposed to higher levels of air pollutants during pregnancy are more likely to develop lower birth weights. Exposure also increases their chance of being born prematurely by 40 percent!