In the last few years, our world has been grappling with issues relating to Global Warming and Climate Change. Governments, world leaders, and international institutions are pushing for higher levels of regulations to improve emissions and control air pollution.
Scientists, medical experts, and doctors believe that air pollution can have disastrous effects on the human body. They can cause harmful diseases, lower life spans, and thwart development indexes in different parts of the world.
Air pollution is defined as the presence of chemical components in the air. These air particles that form pollutants can exist in all three forms. In other words, air pollutants can be in solid, liquid, and gaseous forms.
In this resource article, we are going to evaluate some of the harmful effects of air pollution on the human body. For a more detailed analysis of how air pollution is detrimental to human health, read this blog post.
Major Sources and Causes of Air Pollution in our atmosphere
According to leading experts, sources of air pollution can be divided under two broadheads-
1. Man-made Sources of Air Pollution-
You see the smoke billowing out from the chimneys of industrial units? That is air pollution. Many people fail to realize that even the smoke that comes from cigarettes is a form of air pollution. The obvious ones that we on a daily basis is the smoke coming from vehicles on the roads. In technical terms, sources of man-made pollution are referred to as anthropogenic.
2. Natural Sources of Air Pollution-
Global warming has given rise to climactic changes that are creating natural disasters. Forest fires and volcano eruptions can be classified as natural sources of pollution. In recent years, wildfires have ravaged major sections of North America, Australia, and more recently, Central Asia. These wildfires have burnt out hectares upon hectares of forest lands and biodiversity.
In developing and underdeveloped countries of the world, indoor air pollution is also a severe cause for concern. Cooking in these countries is done by burning, coal, wood, and other flammable articles within the household. Their ingestion can be very dangerous.
Health Effects of Air Pollution on the Human Body
The most important thing that you need to know about the effects of air pollution on the human body is that it is dangerous. We have tried to divide the health effects into two major categories-
1. Short Term Health Effects of Air Pollution-
If you have been exposed to severe air pollution on the busy highway, your eyes will start to water and feel irritated. You might also start having bronchitis or pneumonia as well.
You will start experiencing your throat itch, along with your skin as well. Many individuals that have been exposed to severe levels of air pollution experience a high level of nausea, dizziness, and crippling headaches.
In developed and developing countries of the world where air pollution takes place at an uncontrollable level, these are some issues that a majority of the population faces on an everyday basis.
2. Long Term Health Effects of Air Pollution-
Human beings that have encountered, live, and work around high levels of air pollution start experiencing respiratory troubles and problems.
Frequent coughing becomes a part and parcel of one’s life. In most instances, this can lead to serious lung cancer, give birth to heart disease as well as affect other organs of the body like the kidneys, brain, liver, and so on.
Many scientific studies have also found that air pollution affects newborn birth and development. It also terribly weakens the human immune system and impairs its natural ability to fight diseases and infections.
The Bottom Line
If you think that air pollution is not a serious cause that is contributing to Global warming or Climate Change, think again. Data reveals that more than 2.5 million deaths are reported because of air pollution every year.
While there is increasing awareness of the need to go electric or start using sustainable sources of energy, a lot needs to be done. Governments and world leaders are still unwilling to commit to cutting emissions and following environmental norms and protocols.
Can you use the comments section to share your personal experiences with air pollution? What can normal human beings do in their everyday lives to cut down on air pollution? Let us know in the comments section below.