How does air pollution affect health?

In this blog post, we will discuss “How does air pollution affect health?” Firstly, the article will cover the basics of air pollution. Secondly, it will emphasize the connection between human health and air pollution. In the end, the article will provide a detailed solution to reducing air pollution.

How does air pollution affect health?

Short-term and long-term exposure to air pollution can affect human health severely. This is because the inhalation of the chemical cocktail consisting of various airborne pollutants such as particulate matters, noxious gases and polyaromatic hydrocarbons can affect the human body internally and externally. The systems which get affected due to air pollution are as follows:

  • Respiratory system
  • Heart and circulatory system
  • Nervous system
  • Digestive system
  • Excretory system
  • Reproductive system
  • Skeletal system
  • Integumentary system
  • Immunity system

Let’s first look at the details of air pollution.

What is air pollution?

The introduction of harmful agents into the atmosphere is known as air pollution. The toxic agents are known as pollutants. These pollutants are derived from natural and human activities, and they can be chemical or biological.

Major pollutants present in the air are particulate matter (PM), ground-level ozone (O3), NO2, SO2, and CO. Air also has lead, allergens, bacteria, viruses and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Besides climate change, air pollution has become a significant environmental risk to human health. 

What is AQI, and what levels make it unhealthy?

Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has determined the air quality index (AQI) to know the air quality you inhale. The table given below will show how the air quality index looks like.

Air Quality Index (AQI)Levels of Health Concern
(When the AQI is in this range)(air quality conditions are)
0 to 50Good           
51 to 100Moderate
101 to 150Unhealthy for Sensitive group
151 to 200Unhealthy
201 to 300Very Unhealthy
301 to 500Hazardous

The primary purpose of AQI is to inform residents about the impact of local air quality on their health. The Environment Protection Agency calculates the AQI for five major pollutants: ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.

The meaning of the Air quality index as mentioned earlier categories are as follows:

Meaning
Air quality is considered satisfactory; air pollution is of little or no risk.
Air quality is acceptable; some pollutants present in the air might be dangerous for a minority of people who are very sensitive to air pollution.
Members of sensitive groups may get ill effects. However, the general public is likely not to get affected.
This air quality level can pose a threat to everyone. However, members of sensitive people may experience more severe effects.
Emergency level of air quality; Entire population might be affected
Health alert: Every person breathing such air quality may get serious health issues.

 Thus, it is clear that excluding the first two levels are relatively good to venture out and to do various outdoor activities. However, the last three levels will give you or other adverse effects by inhaling dirty air.

Now, let’s dive deep to know more about the effects of air pollution on health.

Connection of air pollution and the health

Since the stone age, humankind has always strived hard to achieve stability and comfort in their life. Finally, we succeeded, which led to the industrial revolution, followed by urbanization and much-needed changes in the lifestyle. However, in the process of progression, somewhere we left behind the great values of nature, we forgot the support and symbiotic existence of the environment.

While human inventions, no doubt, have always helped us to save our lives, it has also given birth to much inevitable stuff. One such thing is air pollution. Air pollution causes detrimental effects not only on the other counterparts in the environment but humans too. Poor air quality affects humans in all ways; it affects the water quality and develops food security. Besides, your money can also fly off in the air due to air pollution. Wonder how? Restoration of the damaged structures and hospital and medicine bills.

Air pollution affects you from head to toe. As mentioned earlier, it can harm your external and internal appearance. So let’s see how air pollution can affect us:

Respiratory system

Your respiratory system consists of organs and tissues that help you carry out the inhalation and exhalation process. These organs comprise your airways, lungs and blood vessels. These sponge-like lungs are responsible for absorbing a large amount of air that you breathe. In addition, they are in close contact with your blood vessels which carry out the function of oxygen transport to your whole body.

Your respiratory system is one of the systems to get majorly affected due to polluted air. When you inhale, you take in oxygen and other dangerous pollutants too. This system is vulnerable to air pollutants as it comprises a mucous membrane covering its internal surface.

Contaminants such as ground-level ozone, metals and free radicals can damage cells of your lung tissue. For example, ozone can affect the air sac of your lungs, which are responsible for the exchange process of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Poor air quality also affects your airway tissues. The bio-activation enzymes present in these tissues transform organic pollutants into reactive metabolites. This process can be responsible for lung injuries, neuro-behavioural disorders and even breast cancer.

Particle pollution can cause inflammatory responses to your respiratory system. Therefore, such a type of pollution can be responsible for pulmonary inflammation.

Airway inflammation also affects your response to the irritants such as cold air, dust, dirt and allergens. These actions may cause impairment of lung function. This is the particular reason why there are rising cases of asthma worldwide. Coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and sore throat are other effects on the respiratory system.    

Cardiovascular system

The second-most system affected due to air pollution is your cardiovascular system. This is because the airborne pollutants, along with oxygen, gets easily absorbed into the bloodstream. As a result, such polluted bloodstream circulates in the body.

The US EPA has reported that extended contact with the fine particulate pollution has augmented the risk of hospitalization for heart conditions and mortality. The reason for most of the urbanized pollution is vehicular traffic. Vehicular pollution contains various contaminants which have negatively impacted heart health. Another study done by Chuang et al. in 2007 has positively correlated traffic pollution with subclinical effects such as inflammation, oxidative stress and autonomic nervous system balance.

The British Heart Foundation has also orderly explained the effect of air pollution on the heart and circulatory system. As per the research, particulate matter can dissolve in your bloodstream when your nose inhales filthy air. As a result, the pollutants-infused blood will start circulating in your body. These toxic agents can firstly damage the inside walls of your blood vessels. As a result, the blood can become narrower and rigid.

Secondly, dissolved pollutants can restrict the movement of your blood vessels. Such restriction of blood movement can increase your blood pressure and add pressure to your heart. The US EPA also further inputted that exposure to particulate matter and nitrogen oxides can age the blood vessels prematurely.

The other effect of the extremely high levels of air pollution is increased chances of blood clots.

Additionally, the upsurge levels of hazardous contaminants can affect the normal electrical functioning of your heart, and thus it can cause abnormal heart rhythms. In worst cases, small changes in the biology of the heart can cause a risk of heart failure. The British Heart Foundation further explained that people with existing heart and circulatory conditions are at increased risk of heart attacks and stroke.

While air pollution can bring small changes in blood pressure and other blood parameters, prolonged exposure to particulate pollution can cause acute coronary syndrome, heart failure, ischemic stroke and cardiovascular mortality. Medical researchers also noticed that cases of arrhythmias increase with a surge in air pollution levels.

Nervous system

The polluted air you breathe in can affect your nervous system badly; air pollution has also taken a toll on mental well-being. It can directly affect your central nervous system (CNS). Air pollution also causes conditions such as neuroinflammation and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Such processes affect multiple CNS pathways.

Neuroscience research has observed that when children and older citizens are exposed to polluted air, they exhibit signs of cognitive dysfunctions. There has also been a rise in the cases of stroke incidences and mortalities in recent years. This situation is all because of the degrading air surrounding you. Air pollution is also linked to severe signs of neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Neuroinflammatory studies have also suggested that pollutants such as ground-level ozone and PM2.5 can significantly damage the neurovascular unit of humans. One shocking outcome from research done in 2014 by Jackson showed that the Eastern winds of Israel, which generally carries a heavy concentration of particulate matter, can generate psychotic exacerbations of schizophrenia and suicide attempts in people who already had schizophrenia.

The brain health of children is affected the most. The researchers in the University of Michigan’s School of Natural resources and Environment have studied that air pollution can also affect children’s academic performance. Children exposed to high air pollution can develop autism, AHDHD, lower IQ and other neurobehavioral problems. Recent studies also suggested that poor air quality can affect children’s academic performance. In addition, air pollution can lead to memory loss in kids. In the older population, air pollution can accelerate ageing. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention states that 1 in 5 Americans experience mental illness every year.

Digestive and Excretory System

Inhaled polluted air can create problems in your digestive and excretory systems too. In addition, air pollution can cause gut inflammation causing damage to good bacteria or gut microbiomes. These gut microbiomes are very sensitive to the quality of the air you breathe in. Thus, poor air quality may not make you feel “light and fresh” every morning.

Karen Madsen, a gastroenterological scientist from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, also explained that the gastrointestinal tract suffers from air pollution and the lungs. She further stated that fine particulate pollution is cleared from the respiratory tract by mucous, but they all make their way to the gut, and it disturbs its health.

Studies in the medical field have observed that air pollution exposure can interrupt the gut barrier’s protective abilities, just like genetic mutations. Therefore, researchers attempted to link polluted air and diarrhoea by establishing the statistical data of world demography suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases.  These analyses revealed that there were more cases of IBD in developed nations. One of the investigations has deduced that the highest chances of IBD were in Europe and North America. In contrast, there is a steady rise in these diseases in newly industrialized countries of Africa, Asia and South America. Thus, these residents suffer from chronic diarrhea.

Some recent pieces of evidence show that breathing in soot may disrupt the immune system and develop gut inflammation. Further, it makes the gut more permeable and changes the functioning of good, normal bacteria. As a result, such pollutants may aggravate diarrhea and other gut-related diseases.

According to the American Lung Association, more than 44 million people are exposed to exceeding federal health standard levels of fine particles in the US. In 2002, a medical study of hospital admissions in Wisconsin revealed that high air pollution emissions were related to 40% of bowel disease hospitalizations. The study addressed carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxide, volatile organic compounds and fine particulate matter. Infection of the gastrointestinal tract due to polluted air can also cause a risk of obesity and diabetes.

Reproductive system

Air pollution is responsible for varied hormonal fluctuations in your body. Multiple studies in medicine have concluded that air pollution affects the fertility rate. Unfortunately, it also leads to birth complications, infant congenital disabilities and stillbirths.

It has also been reported that semen and sperm quality gets severely affected due to air pollution. Exposure to high dioxin levels can disrupt the healthy growth of the womb and lead to spermiograms in males.

Skeletal and Integumentary System

Air pollution not only affects your organs and tissues but also affects your skeleton. Bones in your body can get brittle. Radioactive pollution also affects your bones and joints. Pollution can cause swelling of bone joints and even bone cancer.

Skin also acts as a giant sponge that absorbs all the toxins. As a result, it can lead to age spots, chronic skin inflammation, ageing, pimples, acne and psoriasis. Air pollution also has a direct impact on hair health. If you live in any region having poor air quality, you can experience hair fall. In addition, air pollution can affect scalp health and hair follicles.

Immune system

As mentioned earlier, bad air quality affects every cell of the body. As a result, our immunity system gets compromised. The immune system helps you deal with the environment efficiently. However, disturbances in the environment such as air pollution can negatively impact your immunity. This can result in more susceptibility to contracting infectious diseases. Your immune system is made up of specific and non-specific mechanisms which helps an organism to distinguish between alien particles and beneficial ones. These strange nasty particles are then thrown away from your body.

Now, the air you breathe not only consist of oxygen but also other contaminants such as particulates, ground-level ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, soot, black carbon and what, not all. They all originate from human activities such as transportation, industries, combustion of fossil fuels, wildfires, etc.

Your immune system comprises diverse immune cells such as macrophages, dendritic cells, neutrophils and lymphocytes. These air contaminants disturb the functioning of the above-explained cells. Air pollution specifically intensifies T helper lymphocyte type 2 (Th2) and type 17 (Th 17) adaptive immune response. Additionally, the inhaled air also affects the whole immune system, like the neonate and gastrointestinal tract.

As per the Circulation Research Journal of the Ohio State University, prolonged exposure to elevated air pollution can cause cardio-respiratory ailments. In addition, inhalation of filthy air can cause the release of white blood cells into the bloodstream and can result in inflammation. Besides, the presence of fine particulate matter creates an imbalance in the immune system.

The molecules which are present in the cells start reacting when they are exposed to particulate matter pollution. Thus, these molecules from the immune cells start altering their structure and activate toll-like receptor 4, known as (TLR4). TLR4 classifies the particular characteristics of pathogens and activates the white blood cells.

Further, Drew. A. Glencross et al. studied air pollution and its effect on the immune system. They noted that air pollutants could create concern in vitro anti-microbial and regulatory immune responses. Their study also highlighted that pollutants could trigger inflammatory cytokine release from the epithelium and macrophages. They also further explained that the inhaled pollutants directly generate cellular signalling pathways. The toxic agents also increased Th2 immune response. 

Epidemiologists have found out that the immune system of children and pregnant women can be significantly compromised due to long term exposure to air pollution. One publication known as the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology of 2010 issues states the very same.

The study published in this journal stated that they examined around 181 children with and without asthma in the California cities of Fresno and Palo Alto. Researchers selected Fresno city kids as this city is known for poor air quality, Palo Alto has comparatively lower air pollution. The researchers found that exposure to high levels of air pollution had suppressed the immunity system’s regulatory T cells (Treg). As a result, it lowered the level of Treg function. These reduced levels of Treg cells were distinctly linked to asthma symptoms and decreased lung capacity.

The study also revealed that pregnant women smoking cigarettes caused a potential threat to the fetus development; the smoke can cause molecular changes. The research finally concluded that sources such as vehicle exhaust, industrial emissions, polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) from the combustion of fossil fuels were responsible for weakening the immune system.

Well, this is what happens when you breathe in polluted air. Unfortunately, the effects sound too severe and problematic. But, not to worry, you can avoid all these issues by following some simple steps. So let’s look ahead to see what it is.

What can I do to protect myself from air pollution?

I will elaborate on some of the measures to protect yourself from air pollution.

Personal Hygiene

You can also fight the effects of air pollution by maintaining personal hygiene:

  • You can cut your nails short to avoid the accumulation of dirt. 
  • You can also practice mouth gargling after coming home to free your mouth from unwanted guests.
  • You can also brush twice a day to keep airborne infections at bay.
  • You can also take steam therapy at home to cleanse your lungs.

Quit Smoking

Smoking cigarettes, hookahs (shisha), electric vape or any other types of cigars are not at all suitable for your health. It’s best to stop smoking. Active and passive smoking provides the direct entry of harmful pollutants into your body. This causes the risk to your respiration and other organs dependent on it. 

Physical Exercise 

Physical activities have many benefits to your body. It not only improves your stamina and immunity levels but also helps to increase your lung capacity. Yoga, sanas, swimming, running, cycling, brisk walking and dancing are some of the best forms of exercise to improve your health.

Breathing Exercise 

The majority of people in the world don’t breathe properly. However, correct breathing techniques can keep illnesses due to air pollution at bay. A pranayama is a form of yoga asana which helps to improve breathing methods and lung functionality.

Some of the pranayama types that help you fight air pollution are Kapalbhati, Anulom Vilom, Chandra Nadi, Surya Nadi and Bhastrika. It is strongly recommended to learn this art of breath from a well-certified yoga trainer. 

You can also increase your lung muscles by simply taking a deep breath and holding it for a count of 10. Then, slowly breathe out the air. If you can keep your breath for a longer time, then you have good lungs health.

Good diet 

Always go for a well-balanced diet to remain fit and strong. Consistent eating of junk and fast food will increase the risk of obesity and other diseases. In addition, such people are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of air pollution. Instead, add more fresh veggies and fruits to your diet. Also, you can consume less meat to minimise carbon footprints.

You can also add anti-inflammatory foods as these types of food help to cleanse your lungs effectively. Anti-inflammatory foods which I recommend are: 

Immunity booster drinks

You can do your immunity booster drinks by using readily available items in your kitchen. Immunity booster drinks help to cleanse your lungs. Some of the DIY immunity booster drinks are as follows:

  • Take a glass of warm white milk. Add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder to it. Also, add two strands of saffron to it. Drink it at night before sleeping. You will get good sleep, and you will be relieved from chest congestion. 
  • Boil water by adding half cinnamon stick. Drink the spice-infused water once a day. Your sinuses would be cleared up. 
  • Buy an excellent green tea. Prepare a green tea by following the packet instructions. Have it whenever you feel irritation in your throat. 
  • Take some crushed 1 or 2 peppercorns, a half-inch of a blade of lemongrass and 1 inch of grated ginger and half a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Add everything in one glass of boiling water and reduce it to half a glass. Drink two tablespoons of this spice-infused warm water every after three hours. Adding honey is optional. 
  • You can also drink warm water and add honey if you want. Honey helps to relieve throat irritation.

Use Mask

Mask can prevent you from inhaling the polluted air. You would be able to work in contaminated areas without any fear of allergy infections and stress. 

Masks I recommend

Name Why I recommend it
BASE CAMP CROSSDUST MASKEAPI Filter Technology & Advanced NanotechnologyUser FriendlyMore Durable Six layers face maskFilter materials of the dust mask: Double-Layer Melt-blown with Electrostatic Adsorption Performance, Activated carbon, Non-woven Polypropylene
NIOSH approved N95 maskFour layers mask Flexible nose pad, dual strapsDisposable maskEasy to breathe
BASE CAMP Reusable Cloth Face MaskThree layers mask; 100% cotton Skin-friendly and breathablePocket to add additional filterReusable Mask

How can I individually reduce air pollution?

You can always try your level best to minimise air pollution. The following are the methods to reduce air pollution at an individual level.

Plant Trees

Encourage tree plantation drives amongst the communities. You can be a green saviour of your region. Trees are the natural air purifiers of the environment, and it supplies us with clean air.

Municipal councils or the local authorities can develop urban forests to increase the green cover of the locality. They can also plan to create vertical green walls to improve oxygen levels of the region naturally. But don’t forget to plant only indigenous trees. 

Human/ religious celebrations in eco-friendly ways 

Nowadays, many couples celebrate gender (of their baby) revealing parties by bursting firecrackers. But, unfortunately, these firecrackers can transform into massive wildfires if they are burst near trees.

Thus, you can celebrate such celebrations by planting trees in your nearby barren land. Bursting firecrackers on any religious, festive or personal occasion are only going to harm your loved ones. 

You can also celebrate Christmas by not cutting Christmas Trees. Instead, you can buy artificial ones and use them in the coming years too.

Discourage Plastic

Single-use plastic has been one of the major concerns in the environment. Plastic pollution indirectly contributes to the degradation of air quality. Plastic, when burned, releases various toxic gases such as dioxins into the air.

Encourage alternative use of the plastic product. For example, you can wear a cloth bag for shopping. You can also carry your travel cutlery set to a restaurant. Additionally, you can take your water bottle instead of purchasing a packaged drinking water bottle every time.

Use of public transportation 

Increase the use of public transport to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion. You can also try carpooling or the cab sharing option. Then, you can also use bicycles instead of scooters. Lastly, you can always opt for walking a shorter distance. 

Alternative use of fossil fuel

It would be best to try switching to other fuel alternatives. For example, don’t use wood for the fireplace. Instead, you can wear multiple layers of clothes for warmth. In this way, you can conserve energy. Additionally, you can also install solar panels on house roofs to convert solar energy into electricity. 

You can also buy electric and hybrid vehicles to minimise tailpipe emissions. Finally, propose or discuss a plan with your mayor or any relevant local authority to promote your region’s renewable energy sector.

Reduction of personal carbon footprints

You can also keep a check on your carbon footprints. For example, you can delete unwanted photos, videos or emails from clouds and email boxes as and when possible. Unfortunately, this unwanted stuff takes a lot of energy, which indirectly contributes to air pollution.

You can also switch off the lights and electrical appliances of the vacant rooms. Try buying local products instead of imported ones. Be vocal about them. You can also discover your own country rather than travelling to different ones.

Create Awareness

Air pollution is unpredictable; air pollution in your vicinity can affect people living in Asia and vice-a-versa. However, you can create public awareness about air pollution amongst your community by teaching and interacting with your kids about the importance of good air. 

Educate youth by telling them the ill effects of poor air quality. Then, let your country’s future know that they deserve a better place to live!

How can the local authorities improve the air quality of your region?

You can always observe the changes happening in your surrounding nature. If you experience bad air quality or any activities producing air pollution, you can always concern relevant local authorities or the mayor.

Here are some methods which local authorities can do.

Proper disposal of waste 

Improper solid waste management of an area is an invitation to many diseases and infections. In addition, burning solid waste in public can cause air pollution, although such practices are rare in the US. 

The wastes are mainly disposed of in the engineered landfills and recycled before final disposal to landfills and waste incinerators. 

In addition, waste incinerators help to convert waste into energy.

However, many researchers have claimed that gasification technology or waste-to-energy technology may release harmful gaseous contaminants. Thus, it is necessary that waste collectors rigorously segregate the waste before sending it to waste incinerators. 

The best solution is to minimise waste at a personal level. Statistically, 70% of the waste generated can be recycled effectively. Thus, strive to recycle your waste at a personal level as much as possible.

Reducing air pollution from agriculture

Stubble burning is still practised in some parts of the US. This event contributes to the degradation of air. Local authorities can help farmers convert this waste into cattle fodder or be transformed into pellets as fuel. In addition, farmers should stop the usage of harmful pesticides or fertilisers to decrease air pollution.

How can I reduce indoor air pollution?

Maintaining household or indoor hygiene

You can decrease poor air quality by adequately maintaining indoor hygiene. For example, you can frequently clean your cupboards and open decks to avoid an accumulation of dust particles. You can then vacuum your carpets and sofas at least twice a week. 

Make sure your doggies and cats are well-groomed. Use chimneys and exhaust fans in kitchens. You can also install an exhaust fan in washrooms. Always make sure you are keeping your house well ventilated. 

Keep doors and windows open when possible. Maintain the health of electric appliances such as heaters, humidifiers, AC, fans, air ducts and so on at regular intervals of the year. Avoid overuse of strong perfumes or strong scented candles indoors. You can additionally use indoor plants to make your indoors more lively and fresh.

Indoor plants

Indoor plants do the same work as outdoor ones- they help to purify indoor air naturally. These indoor plants are also easy to maintain.

The indoor plants which I recommend are as follows: 

Air purifiers

Air purifiers help to improve indoor air quality. The risk of getting air pollution-related diseases decreases due to the use of air purifiers. Air purifiers having good HEPA filters do an adequate job of filtering pollutants.

Air Purifiers I recommend are as follows:

NameWhy I recommend it
Blueair Pro XL Air Purifier99.7% of airborne pollutants such as mould, allergens, smoke particles and pollens are captured. 
AIRMEGA 400SReduction of 99.97% of particulates of 0.3 microns. Also responsible for reducing more than 99% of VOCs, NH3 and CH3CHO.Washable and permanent pre-filters are available 
Blueair Pure 121Includes 3-part filtration system. Captures 99% of common airborne PM 2.5 pollutants such as allergens, odours, smoke, mould spores, dust mites and pet dander.An activated carbon filter removes common odours caused by smoke, pets, and gases (VOCs) and smoke caused by wildfires.

Humidifiers

The humidity levels in the office should be maintained between 30 and 50% in the office. This range helps to keep dust mites, mould and other allergens under control. In addition, when AC or heater makes the air in the room dry, humidifiers can maintain correct humidity levels.

Humidifiers I recommend

Name Why I recommend it
Amazon Basics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier 4 litre of tank capacityAuto shut-off feature and 12 or 24-hour timer settingsIt can be used in both seasons
MOVTIP HumidifierPortable Mini-humidifier500 ml capacity, still produces longer mistsEasy to operate
LEVOIT HumidifierIt can be used for both seasons6 litres of capacity Easy to clean and has a remote control

Dehumidifiers 

Dehumidifiers also work similarly to humidifiers. It controls the high levels of humidity in the office.

Dehumidifiers I recommend

Name Why I recommend it
Pro Breeze DehumidifierCan extract 50 pints of moisture a dayEnergy-saving auto-off systemBuilt-in Humidity sensor
HOmeLabs DehumidifierEliminates moistness, odour controllerEasy to cleanRemovable water tank
TCL Portable Dehumidifier20 pints of moisture removed per dayIt can be operated at low temperatures tooEasy to maintain

Other FAQs about Air Quality that you may be interested in.

How does pollution affect our weather?

How does air pollution harm the environment?

How does air pollution cause asthma?

Conclusion

In this blog post, we discussed “How does air pollution affect health?” Firstly, the article covered the basics of air pollution. Secondly, it emphasized the connection between human health and air pollution. In the end, the article provided a detailed solution to reducing air pollution.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How does air pollution affect health?

What are the famous effects of air pollution on humans?

The famous effects of air pollution on humans are asthma, lungs disorders, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, low birth weight, heart diseases and improper fetal growth.

What are the symptoms of poor air quality?

The symptoms of poor air quality are as follows:

  • Wheezing, sneezing and coughing
  • Dryness and irritation of nose, throat, eyes and skin
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Tiredness
  • Insomnia
  • Sinusitis
  • Sore throat

How does air pollution affect the lungs?

Air pollutants present in the air can be harmful and toxic. When they are inhaled, they can irritate your lungs. This may cause chest congestion and irritation, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Prolonged exposure to air pollution can cause lung diseases such as lung cancer.

How does indoor air pollution affect human health?

Indoor air pollution can cause redness, dryness and irritation of the eyes. In addition, it can make you cough or sneeze frequently. Sometimes, you may feel dizzy and get headaches. These symptoms can further make you feel sluggish and irritated.

Which of our organs is mostly affected by air pollution?

Your heart and lungs are most affected due to air pollution. The harmful effects of air pollution can give you breathing problems and can disturb the proper functioning of the heart and circulatory system. Air pollution can cause asthma, heart attacks and strokes.

Who is most affected by air pollution?

The groups which are most affected by air pollution are as follows:

  • Elderly residents
  • Children
  • Women
  • People of colour
  • Economically backward section of the society
  • Pregnant women
  • People having a medical history

References

Anand, A., n.d. Skeletal System – Health Effects of Pollution – By Ajai Anand. [online] Pollution-affecting-us.weebly.com. Available at http://pollution-affecting-us.weebly.com/skeletal-system1.html

Babadjouni, R., Hodis, D., Radwanski, R., Durazo, R., Patel, A., Liu, Q. and Mack, W., 2017. Clinical effects of air pollution on the central nervous system; a review. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 43, pp.16-24.

Carrington, D., McMullan, L., Blight, G., Roberts, S. and Hulley-Jones, F., 2021. Revealed: air pollution may be damaging ‘every organ in the body. [online] the Guardian. Available at https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2019/may/17/air-pollution-may-be-damaging-every-organ-and-cell-in-the-body-finds-global-review 

McGraw, P., Kandel, A. and Smit, J., 2014. Air pollution, digestive tract disorders and the connection between them. [online] Air Quality Matters. Available at https://alankandel.scienceblog.com/2014/02/26/air-pollution-digestive-tract-disorders-and-the-connection-between-them/ 

Romer Skincare. 2021. How does air pollution affect your skin, and what you can do about it? – Romer Skincare. [online] Available at https://www.romerskincare.com/how-does-air-pollution-affect-your-skin-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/

Steff, R., 2009. Air Pollution Affects Respiratory and Cardiovascular System. [online] Disabled World. Available at https://www.disabled-world.com/health/respiratory/air-pollutants.php 

Taft, N., 2019. How air pollution impacts our brains. [online] Fuel Freedom Foundation. Available at https://www.fuelfreedom.org/air-pollution-brain-impact/

US EPA. 2021. Particle Pollution and Cardiovascular Effects | US EPA. [online] Available at https://www.epa.gov/pmcourse/particle-pollution-and-cardiovascular-effects#:~:text=%20Exposure%20to%20inhaled%20fine%20particles%20appears%20to,effects%20on%20the%20autonomic%20nervous%20system.%20More%20

US EPA. 2021. Particle Pollution and Respiratory Effects | US EPA. [online] Available at https://www.epa.gov/particle-pollution-and-your-patients-health/health-effects-pm-patients-lung-disease

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