Air Pollution: Everything You Need to Know
What is Air Pollution?
Causes of Air Pollution
How to protect Health
What is Air Pollution?
Air pollution refers to the release of pollutants into the air – substances that are harmful to human health and the world in general. According to the World Health Organization, 7 million people die yearly from air pollution. Today, nine out of ten people inhale more air pollution than recommended by the World Health Organization and people in middle-income countries suffer the most. In the United States, the Clean Air Act of 1970 empowered the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protects the public health by regulating the release of these hazardous substances.
Air pollution is one of the biggest threats to environmental health. We know what we see when it races through the city, sweeping dust from many highways or lighting a fire from a small chimney. Some air pollutants are invisible but have a strong odor.
It is a significant threat to global health and development. All air pollution kills more than 6.5 million people worldwide every year, and this number has increased over the past 20 years.
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Causes of Air Pollution
“Most air pollution comes from the use and production of energy,” said John Work, director of the Clean Air Project, part of NRDC’s Climate and Clean Energy Program. “The burning of fossil fuels releases gases and chemicals into the atmosphere. And in a highly destructive feedback loop, air pollution not only contributes to climate change but also exacerbates it.”
Air pollution in the form of carbon dioxide and methane is increasing. The Earth’s temperature,” he said. “Another form of air pollution, smog, is exacerbated by the increased heat generated by high temperatures (Greenhouse Gases) and high UV rays. Climate change also increases the production of allergenic air pollutants such as mold. (Increase in bad weather and flooding) and polluting (because the pollution season is longer).
Kim Knowlton, senior scientist and associate director of the NRDC Science Center, said: A future that meets pollution standards that protect health. ”
An example of how air pollutants affect the environment and people’s lives is a detailed explanation of the combined effect of the melting of the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, increasing air pollution as icebergs grow and collect pollutants from the current environment.
As glaciers melt, pollutants from different eras are released into the atmosphere, increasing and accelerating the effects of air pollution. Pollutants reflect the space in which they are stored; Had they not melted, they could have recorded the history of human interaction with the environment. But global warming threatens to accelerate environmental pollution and health risks
Smog and Soot
These are the two types of air pollution. Smog (also known as tropospheric ozone) is produced when gases from burning fossil fuels react with sunlight. Dust (also called particles) consists of airborne particles of chemicals, soil, smoke, dust, or allergens – in gas or solid form. Sources of smoke and ash are similar. Walker Says “Both come from cars and trucks, factories, power plants, boilers, equipment, basically anything that burns fossil fuels like coal, gas or natural gas,”
Smoke can irritate the eyes and nose and damage the lungs, especially in children, the elderly, and those who work or exercise outdoors. This is even worse for people with asthma or allergies: these added pollutants can make your symptoms and colds worse. Airborne particles, whether gaseous or solid, are very dangerous because they can penetrate the lungs and bloodstream and exacerbate lung diseases, cause heart attacks, and even premature death.
In 2020, T.H. The Harvard Chan National Institute of Health found that areas with more toxic pollution had higher death rates from COVID-19 than areas with slightly lower levels of pollution, pointing to a link between antibiotics and chronic particle mortality and addressing issues of environmental justice. . . . .
Because roads and contaminated sites are traditionally located in or near poor neighborhoods and communities of color, the people within them have already felt the effects of this pollution, the areas are disproportionately affected. In 2019, the Association of Concerned Scientists found that Asian Americans suffer from constipation on average 34% more than other Americans. For blacks, the exposure rate was 24 percent higher; for Hispanics, it is 23 percent.
Hazardous Air Pollutants
Some air pollutants pose serious health risks, and sometimes even small amounts can be fatal. Around 200 of these are regulated by law; some of the most common are mercury, lead, dioxin, and benzene. “There are also significant emissions when the gas or char is combusted, incinerated, or—in the case of benzene—added to gasoline.” Classified by the EPA as a carcinogen, benzene is a short-term eye irritant and can cause skin and lung irritation.
And long-term blood disorders Dioxins are mainly found in food and in small amounts in the air. They can affect the liver in the short term and weaken the immune system, nerves, and endocrine, and reproductive functions. The central nervous system of Mercury is attacked by it. Lead in high doses can damage children’s brains and kidneys, and even minimal exposure can affect children’s intelligence and learning abilities.
When the Earth’s heat gets trapped in the atmosphere, it heats up with greenhouse gases, causing the symptoms of climate change: rising sea levels, extreme weather, the spread of heat-related deaths and diseases. In 2018, carbon dioxide was responsible for 81% of greenhouse gas emissions, while methane accounted for 10%. “Carbon dioxide comes from the combustion of fossil fuels, while methane comes from fossil fuels and industrial processes, such as oil and gas refining,
” Valka says. “We also insisted on producing more carbon dioxide and methane is very potent. Another type of greenhouse gas, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), can hold a thousand times more heat than carbon dioxide. ….
In October 2016, more than 140 countries agreed to reduce the use of these chemicals in air conditioners and refrigerators and to develop plant-based alternatives over time. Despite President Trump’s reluctance to sign the agreement, two groups of senators have rejected his 2020 argument, which would require the US to cut HFC emissions by 85% by 2035. HFCs will emit more than 80 billion tons of CO2 over the next 35 years.
Pollen and mold
The atmosphere also contains dust and decay products from trees, shrubs, and grasses, which are increasing with climate change and can be harmful to health. Although they are irregular and not directly related to human activities, they can be considered a form of air pollution. ” Water Pollution causes discomfort in the environment. Knowlton said. Exposure to mold can cause asthma attacks or allergic reactions, and some molds can produce toxic substances that are harmful to everyone.
Dust allergies are on the rise due to climate change. “Laboratory and field studies have shown that plants that produce pollen, especially ragweed, grow and produce more pollen when carbon dioxide levels rise,” Knowlton said. “Climate change is increasing the pollen season, and some studies show that ragweed pollen itself may be the most dangerous
Air pollution is currently the most common cause of premature death worldwide. According to the latest Global Air report – which summarizes the latest scientific data on air pollution worldwide – 4.5 million people will die in 2019 from outdoor air pollution and another 2.2 million from indoor air pollution.
“Despite progress made in reducing the number of deaths from air pollution, India and China, the world’s two most populous countries, still bear the greatest disease burden,” said Vijay Lamaye, a scientist at the NRDC Science Center. “This report is a stark reminder that if we don’t reduce carbon pollution, the climate problem will lead to an air pollution problem.
How to Protect Health
“You can limit the amount of time spent by the child outside By watching the news about weather hazards,” Walk said. Ozone levels are usually low in the morning.
Stay away from busy streets when exercising outdoors. Then wash the clothes to remove the particles.
The air may be clean, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t polluted. Check out tools like Air. Now, the EPA’s air pollution monitor. If the air quality is bad, close the windows and stay indoors.
If you live or work in a wildfire danger zone, avoid creating hazardous smoke as much as possible. Consider wearing masks if the going gets tough.
Apply sunscreen. When UV light penetrates the depleted ozone layer, it can damage the skin and cause skin cancer.