Air pollution can be defined as the presence of one or more contaminants like dust, mist, smoke, and colour in the atmosphere that are injurious human beings, plants, and animals.
Rapid industrialization, fast urbanization, Rapid growth in population, increase in vehicles on the roads and Activities of human beings have disturbed the natural balance of the atmosphere.
Air pollution is often measured on the values of particulate matter of size less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) and particulate matter of size less than 10 micrometers (PM10) and hazardous gases.
Here’s why you should worry about Air pollution
PM2.5 reduces visibility and causes the air to appear hazy when the levels are elevated. It is the most harmful air pollutant and can lead to respiratory diseases, lung cancer, and heart attacks.
Did You Know Delhi has the highest number of PM2.5 in the entire world?
2. Air pollution reduces your life expectancy.
According to research, inhaling air pollution can reduce your life by 1-2 years. However, if you are living in a polluted city, air pollution can reduce almost 6 years from your life.
Air pollution contains very small dust particles. The human nose is unable to stop these small dust particles from entering our body while breathing. So these particles will enter in our body while breathing and causes lung diseases, heart diseases, etc.
3. More people die due to Air pollution than HIV
Air pollution causes many premature deaths. In India, Uttar Pradesh has the most number of premature deaths. Premature deaths due to exposure to PM2.5 in UP is almost 86,000. Maharashtra in 2nd on the list of premature deaths because of air pollution.
The deaths due to air pollution cause India to lose over $640 billion per year. This amount is double than what we spend on our health care.
4. Air pollution is the major reason for school absenteeism
Children have the lesser lung capacity and smaller physical size. This means that they are most affected by air pollution.
Children with respiratory problems such as asthma could be absent either because the pollution causes an asthma attack, or because their parents keep the child at home in order to avoid pollution exposure. This is the major reason for school absenteeism.
5. The great smog of London caused more than 8000 deaths
Air pollution has caused many tragedies in the past. The great smog of London is one of them. In 1952 the London smog took almost 8000 lives. Most of them were children and elderly people. It lasted from Friday 5th December to Tuesday 9th December 1952, and then it dispersed quickly after a change of weather.
With visibility reduced to just a few yards, effects of the smog included major disruption to public transport, emergency services, and outdoor sports events.
6. Traffic police have a major risk of lung cancer or asthma.
The gas emitted by vehicles has the most amount of PM2.5. So traffic police and people living near high traffic have a major risk of getting affected by air pollution.
In China, 70% of air pollution in Chinese cities is caused by tailpipes. And due to this during a traffic jam, the air around the road becomes almost 5 times dangerous than normal.
7. Indoor Air pollution is worse than outdoor air pollution
Indoor air pollution is almost 5 times more harmful than outdoor air pollution. The World Health Organization (WHO) agreed, reporting that almost 3% of the global burden of disease is due to poor indoor air quality. We spend almost 90% of our lives indoors and indoor pollutants cause the rising incidence of autism, allergies, and toxin load.
Indoor air pollutants are the combination of outdoor air pollutants and tobacco smoke, the gases created by cooking, heating, etc. In some cases, the indoor air pollutants are found 100 times more harmful than outdoor air pollutants.
We need to get cautious about our atmosphere before it is too late. Air pollution is a global problem and it can only be solved through a global approach and collaborative efforts.
Know What You Breathe and take suggestive measures to reduce air pollution.