Air pollution refers to the contamination of the air by a variety of harmful substances that not only affect the environment but also cause health complications. Considering that human beings breathe around two gallons of air per minute, this is something we cannot take for granted. Although air pollution occurs naturally, people generally worsen the condition.
Air Pollution Facts
- Air pollution reduces people’e average lifespan by between one and two years.
- About 2.4 million people die every year due to air pollution. In the U.S. alone, about four percent of all deaths are related to the condition.
- More than half of the air pollution-related deaths are due to indoor air pollution, which is generally caused by poor ventilation, leading to the accumulation of pollutants.
- More people die from complications related to air pollution than automobile accidents. In California alone, 25,000 people die per year and related medical expenses amount to about $200 million.
- Automobiles are the worst causes of human-caused air pollution.
- Riding bicycles and walking do not only provide good exercises but also help to reduce air pollution. However, jogging around traffic reduces the flow of blood to the heart, which may trigger cardiac arrhythmia or heart attack.
- Those living in large cities face more risk than those within Chernobyl’s radioactive zone. Vehicle emissions account for 95 percent carbon monoxide pollution in large U.S. cities.
- More than 80 percent of PPM10, a substance that damages the lungs, comes from road traffic.
- Air pollution around major cities can be seen clearly from space. However, remember that not every harmful substance that pollutes the air can be seen.
- The worst single air pollution case in the U.S. happened in 1948 in Donora, Pennsylvania, when 20 people perished and more than 7,000 were injured.
- The London Great Smog in 1952 led to the death of 4,000 people in six days. In total, about 8000 people died within a couple of months.
- Strong perfume may be as harmful as cigarette smoke.
- The most vulnerable groups include children, the elderly and those suffering from respiratory diseases.
- It is estimated that about six million people will die every year due to air pollution by 2050.
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Air pollution has serious environmental, health and economic impacts. Fortunately, every person can play a part in combating the problem.