Air pollution is the eerie black cloud coming out of diesel gensets behind 100% power backups we enjoy. It’s the haze that casts its net over our cities every other day. It’s the gas chamber that lacs of cars create when they idle in long traffic jams on the way to work and back.
The air around us is a heady cocktail of potent pollutants like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide etc. Top it up with contaminants in building materials, paints, furnishings, furniture made of certain pressed wood products, central heating and cooling devices, improper ventilation etc.
Air pollution is not going away anywhere. And health effects of air pollution are galore. So let’s stay aware and take as much care as we can.
- Air Pollution affects children the worst As per WHO, the special vulnerability of children to exposure to air pollution is related to several differences between children and adults. The ongoing process of lung growth and development, incomplete metabolic systems, high rates of infection by respiratory pathogens and activity patterns specific to children can lead to higher exposure to air pollution and higher doses of pollutants reaching the lungs. It’s strongly recommended that children’s current exposure to air pollutants be reduced, particularly in regard to traffic-related pollutants.
- People who are already ill, are more severely impacted
- You are right. Watery Eyes and Asthma top the list. Adverse effects of air pollution can start with minor symptoms such as watery eyes, coughing and wheezing. It can cause breathing difficulties during exercise and outdoor activities. Pollutants we breathe can cause serious damage to our respiratory tract. It can cause new cases of asthma, worsen a pre-existing respiratory illness and leads to development of chronic illnesses such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease), emphysema and lung cancer. The risk depends on the current health status, the type of pollutant and length and frequency of exposure to polluted air.
- PM10 is among the worst culprits PM affects more people than any other pollutant. Exposure to small particulate matter of 10 microns or less in diameter also known as PM10 is associated with cardiovascular and respiratory disease and cancers
- Most pollutants are beyond our control Most sources of outdoor air pollution are well beyond the control of individuals and demand action by cities, as well as national and international policymakers in sector like transport, energy waste management, buildings and agriculture.
Some no regret moves to cope with air pollution
- Improve ventilation in homes, schools and the working environment
- Eliminate or reduce tobacco smoking indoors.
- Prohibit smoking in public buildings.
- Improve the quality of air in our immediate surroundings adopt a tree
- Adopt a tree