Impact of Air Pollution on Human Health

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Category:Air Pollution
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The quality of the air influences a lot in people lives. Living in an environment free of pollution supposes a better quality of life. In most cases we do not even know the way in which this pollution affects us.

According to the World Health Organization website, because air pollution, around 7 million people died (7 million premature death). The growth of our population, the way in which energy is consumed, transportation, the air-conditioned systems, and others cause the emission of gases that harm the human beings health.

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I think air pollution is a problem that every person needs to pay attention to, because this situation commits the integrity of the planet. I want to use this article as my foundation tool to know the importance of taking care of environment, mainly the air around us.

Air pollution has become one of the most critical problems in daily life and, in big cities. A study made by students at the Central Connecticut State University shows that Air pollution is considered the presence of one or more chemicals in the atmosphere in sufficient quantities and duration to cause harm to humans and their property (Air Pollution and Global 5)

An article published by Editors shows that The Industrial Revolution of the mid-19th century introduced new sources of air and water pollution ( Editors). Human beings have contributed to the alteration of the atmosphere’s content in a significant way. For that reason, we notice irregularities in the climate and public health today.

These phenomena are caused by two types of pollutants: gaseous, and solid in suspension. The gaseous are substances released into the atmosphere as vapors or light gases such as gasoline, natural gas and petroleum. These gases are protagonists of uncontrolled chemical reactions causing toxic fogs and acid rains. Some examples are carbon monoxide, chlorofluorocarbons, nitrogen oxides, etc. On the other hand, the solids in suspension are materials not affected by gravity. These components can deteriorate the quality of the air. Sometimes they are dark and big enough to see them in form of smoke. Examples of these are volcanic ash and aerosol sprays, which are damaging to the ozone layers. There is another classification -these pollutants can be natural (these come from environmental accidents in which the human hand is not the main factor), and artificial (these are caused by human actions).

Everyone understands air pollution is not good. The exposure in short and long term to pollutants produces serious effects in health. For example, people who complain about asthma face more risk to have an attack in days in which the ozone concentrations are higher. However, people who are exposed for many years to high concentrations of particulated matter have a raised probability of suffering cardiovascular diseases.

Based on the research Levy argues that

Ozone may also be associated with chronic, nonreversible health outcomes. Children who exercise outdoors in high-ozone areas have been shown to have increased risk of asthma development, demonstrating potential long-term effects of ozone exposure as well as the importance of breathing rate and time spent outdoors (because ozone levels indoors are low, given the reactivity of ozone). Ozone exposure has also been linked with decreased lung function in young adults who lived for long periods of time in cities with high ozone levels (Levy 2).

I agree with this argument, because the Ozone and many other substances affect us in a significant way to the human health. If we compare the levels of pollution a hundred years ago with the levels nowadays, we can notice that the indiscriminate use of technology and energy have affected the quality of life tremendously.

On the other hand, a study made in Cleveland in 2004 shows the negativity of carbon monoxide in health. Watson argues that Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced by the incomplete combustion of carbon-containing substances. It is poisonous at high concentrations and is responsible for many deaths worldwide (Indoor Air Quality 6).

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Service shows in an article published in 2007 that:

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and non-irritating, but potentially lethal gas produced by incomplete combustion of liquid, solid and gaseous fuels. CO may be produced from any furnace fired by fuel as well as from wood stoves, kerosene heaters, gas stoves and fireplaces. Other sources include emissions from motor vehicles, charcoal grills, and fuel powered yard equipment…. The effects of CO are related to the CO concentration in the air, the duration of the exposure, a person’s health status, and the activity level of the individual. Symptoms in order of increasing severity of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness on exertion, fatigue, palpitations, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing on exertion, mental confusion, rapid heartbeat, visual disturbance, and muscle twitch (Carbon Monoxide 1).

I another study, researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California show that there is a connection between air pollution and the increasing of delinquency or bad behavior in adolescents. The analysis shows exposure to various air pollutants causes inflammation in the brain. PM2. is particularly harmful to developing brains because it can damage brain structure and neural networks””(Juvenile Delinquency Could be a Result of Air Pollution: study 1).

Throughout the years, the government has created different laws and treaties to eradicate or at least stop the pollution levels. For example in the United States, air pollution has been an important problem for our presidents and those in congress as well. With the first law for pollution being enacted in 1963, the United States government has tried to deal with this problem since then.

An article from International Encyclopedia of Environmental Politics shows the progress of these laws that, even though they are not enough, at least government has been attempting to get better results. Frankland argues that in 90’s the main goal was to build on the existing regulatory infrastructure and to expand its scope in to new problem areas, such as atmospheric ozone (Frankland 1). These regulations could stop or delay the uncontrolled deterioration of the ozone layer hole. However, industrialized countries keep using these pollutant substances unconsciously.

According to Dewey, who wrote an article in 1998 about Air pollution, air pollution is a by-product of modern urban industrial culture, helped create America’s suburbs, -they flood contaminated air along with the other urban problems (Air Pollution 1).

Knowing this, we can say as a conclusion that we are living in a world that is causing us harm to our own lives and the worst thing is, we ourselves are proposing this problem. Big industries are the main factor because despite of this knowledge, they know air pollution is a big problem for society. They keep emitting these gases into the atmosphere. The education of the population is an important strategy because it is up to us make a change. We must to change our attitude and the way this information is transmitted to the youth because they are the future.

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Impact of Air Pollution on Human Health. (2019, Feb 27). Retrieved from