Air pollution is currently the biggest environmental threat to our health. Power plant emissions are responsible for up to 52,000 deaths in the US every year due to the pollution they cause. Air pollution also causes numerous health problems, especially lung issues, and has been linked to the development and exacerbation of asthma and COPD. Air pollution can seem unavoidable when living in the modern world, surrounded by factories pumping out emissions and transport contributing massively to air pollution. However, there are some changes you can make in your everyday life to reduce how much you contribute and to help clean the air around you.
The Cause Of Air Pollution
Air pollution is directly caused by our use of electricity, fuels and transportation. Much of this is from burning fossil fuels to produce the power we want for electricity and cars. It’s indirectly caused by purchasing goods that need to travel a large distance, such as food from different countries, instead of opting for local produce. Certain pollutants have a stronger link to human health concerns, including particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide. Particulate matter are extremely small particles made up of hundreds of chemicals that are breathed in and can harm the lungs and heart. They are emitted from places like construction sites, unpaved roads and fires.
Air Pollution’s Effect On Health
The Healthy People 2000 report estimates that in the US alone each year air pollution costs $40-50 billion in health care costs. People with asthma are having more than 100 million days of restricted activity due to their asthma being exacerbated by the air. The World Health Organization says that outdoor air pollution is responsible for 25% of deaths and disease from lung cancer, 17% of deaths and disease from acute lower respiratory infection and 16% of deaths from strokes. Due to air pollution being caused by human activity, all of these deaths and illnesses from air pollution are preventable.
What We Can Do About Air Pollution
More than half of Americans live in places with unhealthy air, with Pennsylvania high up on the list. Ozone, or smog, was one thought of as an urban air problem, but it’s since been found that communities downwind of major cities are facing the repercussions of high ozone levels. There are some steps you can take to improve your local air quality, including removing trash from your home. As trash decomposes it gives off a smell and airborne particles are released which can be breathed in, resulting in infections, diseases and lung damage, depending on the waste. The Lionville dumpster rental service can easily take away trash and junk in commercial or domestic settings and dispose of it safely and in ways that meet legal requirements.
There is no avoiding air pollution in the modern world, but there are steps you can take to reduce how much pollution you contribute and to help clean the air you breathe. It’s vital that everyone does their part as the effects of polluted air don’t discriminate and can cause multiple illnesses and premature death, all which is preventable.