Air Pollution has been a major problem in most of the developing and developed countries. The problem has intensified with the increase in population and advancement in the world. The effects of air pollution can be seen largely on human health and the surrounding environment too.
Stressed lifestyles combined with the problem of pollution can increase various health issues like respiratory, cardiovascular, reduced life spans, etc. Identify the causes of air pollution. This will help us to understand ways of reducing air pollution and saving our health and our planet! So let us see the causes of air pollution-
Causes Of Air Pollution
The burning of Fossil Fuel: Combustion of fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and other factory combustibles causes emission of sulfur dioxide. Pollutants emitted from cars, trucks, and other vehicle is also one of the major causes of air pollution. We may rely on these to fulfill our daily needs of commuting. But the harsh truth is that their overuse does more harm than good.
Exhaust from Factories and Industries: As the countries progress, the number of factories and industries increases. However, many industries like the manufacturing release gigantic amounts of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and chemicals into the air. This leads to deterioration of the air quality and hazardous health effects.
Agricultural activities: Yet another harmful by-product of agricultural activities is ammonia. It is one of the most hazardous gases and has various ill effects on the health and the environment. Also, the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers for agricultural activities leads to the release of harmful chemicals in the air.
Having seen the major causes of air pollution, let us understand other important aspects- the effects of air pollution. Knowing the effects of air pollution will lead to awareness about health hazards. This will encourage us to undertake activities to curb it.
Read about: Understanding Air Pollution At Workplace
Effects Of Air Pollution On Lungs
Effect on Respiratory System: The effects of air pollution has been on a rise at a really alarming rate. It affects human health to a great extent, beyond what we can imagine! Air pollution can lead to biochemical and physiological changes, breathing difficulty, cough, aggravation of respiratory and cardiac disorders and much more. Ignoring these effects can result in extreme health conditions and may also lead to premature deaths.
Effects on Cardiovascular System: Polluted air contains many harmful substances that are absorbed by blood along with oxygen. This can affect the cardiovascular system and cause structural damages like necrosis degenerative and inflammatory reactions. Some pollutants also affect the contractility of the heart. The damage can be serious which may cause a fatal arrhythmia.
Air pollution effects are not limited to human health alone. A direct cause and effect relationship is global warming. This is a direct effect of increased temperatures worldwide, an increase in sea levels, and displacement of habitat. Acid rain is also caused due to air pollution. This harmful acidic rain causes the loss to humans, animal, and crops too.
Read about: 10 Things to do for Healthy Lungs
How To Reduce Air Pollution?
While looking at the man-made contributions towards air pollution, a major factor is smoke that we create. This smoke is a result of factories, vehicles, furnaces and many such factors. Thus, we as humans need to take the onus of reducing these emissions in every possible way. Following are some ways in which we can reduce air pollution-
- Use public mode of transport
- Use energy efficient devices
- Emphasis on using clean energy resources like solar powered devices and so on
- Reduce, Reuse and recycle
We have to take the necessary steps to curb pollution. It is also important to take some measure to protect our lungs from the polluted air. There are some things that we can inculcate in our daily lives to keep our lungs safe and healthy.
Avoid morning walks: Exercising is sure a good thing, but not while you breathe in toxic air. People who walk/jog in the wee hours of the morning should wait till the smog settles. Such activities should be shifted to evening hours, which is a safer option, also you can read more about How to Keep Safe in This Deadly Smog.
Using face masks: Use N95/99 face mask to protect your lung against dirty air.
Purifying Plants: Bring home some air purifying indoor plants that work towards cleansing the air. Plants like Aloe Vera, Ivy and Spider plants are known as air purifiers. Keeping these plants at your home and offices will help to purify the air and minimize pollution indoors.
Ventilation: Keep the air recirculating by fixing chimneys in the kitchen and exhaust fans in the bathrooms. This ensures that air is constantly circulating and recirculating and pollution is minimized.
Take Steam: Take steam of eucalyptus oil internally. It helps to relax your air-passage and remove harmful particles from the body.
The cause and effects of air pollution are majorly a result of human activities. And hence, the responsibility of reducing them also rests on us. By taking the necessary preventive measures we can make the planet a better place for ourselves and the natural inhabitants.