And over 6 million people die prematurely every year heart problems, strokes, diabetes, and respiratory ailments because of air pollution. More people have died from AIDS, TB, and malaria than have died from all three combined.
Minorities and low-income populations, as well as children and the elderly, persons with preexisting ailments, and those who are sick, are especially at risk from the negative health effects and economic consequences of air pollution exposure, such as lost workdays.
Research shows that long-term exposure to particular pollutants raises the risk of developing emphysema more than consuming a carton of smokes a day over time. Even the stock market has been shown to be affected by air pollution, according to recent studies.
It’s critical to gain a clearer picture of this lurking danger if we hope to devise effective countermeasures. Small particles, such as the ones below, make up what we commonly refer to as “air pollution.”
Dust, soot, and liquid droplets make up particulate matter (PM), which is a term used to describe these microscopic airborne particles. PM is mostly produced in cities by the combustion of fossil fuels in power plants, automobiles, other non-road transportation equipment, and industrial facilities. Dust, diesel exhaust, and secondary particle production from gases and vapours are further forms of pollution.
Nasal and lower respiratory tract health concerns have been linked to fine particulates (PM10, particles smaller than 10 microns in size). Untimely death from heart and lung illness, as well as cancer, can be caused by fine particles (PM2.5), which are particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in size that penetrate deep in the lungs. Children that are exposed to high levels of PM2.5 have been shown to have a reduced ability to learn.
The Colour Of Carbon Black
Particulate matter contains black carbon, a byproduct of fuel burning. Despite the fact that the majority of air pollution rules focus on PM2.5, black carbon exposure is a substantial health hazard. People who have had long-term exposure to black carbon are more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes. Additionally, black carbon has been linked to hypertension, asthma, COPD, bronchitis, and a number of cancers.
Oxides Of Nitrogen
The transportation industry is the primary source of NO and NO2 emissions. Sunlight converts NO to NO2 very quickly. Because of the high concentrations of NOx (a mixture of NO and NO2) created near highways, it is possible for people with asthma and bronchitis to acquire or worsen their conditions, as well as an increased risk of death.
The Ozone Layer
Ultraviolet radiation can be shielded from our bodies by ozone in the environment. Ground-level ozone (often referred to as “smog”), on the other hand, is a well-documented respiratory irritant. Volatile organic molecules and nitrogen oxides, which are both created when fossil fuels are burned, react in the atmosphere to form ozone. Toxic effects of short and long-term exposure to ozone include chest pain and coughing; obstructive pulmonary disease can result from long-term exposure. As a side effect, ozone exposure might exacerbate existing lung conditions.
A Gaseous Form Of Sulphur
SO2 is released into the atmosphere when sulfur-containing fossil fuels are burned. Sulfur-containing fuels are used in coal, metal extraction & smelting, ship motors, and heavy-duty diesel machinery. Sulfur dioxide irritates the eyes, exacerbates asthma, raises the risk of respiratory infections, and has negative effects on the heart. Sulfuric acid is formed when sulphur dioxide (SO2) reacts with water; this acid rain component is a known cause to deforestation.