How does air pollution affect our health?


Air pollution isn’t something most of us typically think about on a day to day basis. However, did you know it could be affecting your health?

The damage air pollution can have on our health has been widely reported in recent years. It was revealed recently that thousands of people die each year due to the effects of air pollution. So, how exactly does it impact our health? Below, you’ll discover some of the biggest issues air pollution can cause and how they can be rectified.

What is air pollution?

There are a number of pollutants in the air which can cause problems for our health. It is generated by industrial sites, vehicles and the reduction of woodland. There’s three main types of pollutants to be aware of including:

  • Nitrogen Dioxide, Ozone and Sulphur Dioxide
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Particles

The Nitrogen Dioxide and other gases can irritate the airways in high levels. Carbon Monoxide limits how much oxygen gets into the lungs, while particles can travel deep into the lungs causing issues for asthma sufferers. These are just some of the ways air pollution can affect the health.

Understanding its short-term health effects

Although experts claim air pollution levels in the UK are unlikely to rise to dangerous levels, it’s still worth being aware of the short-term health affects it’s having on the population.

One of the most common short-term issues is lung and heart problems. Adults and children who are suffering with problems such as asthma, may find air pollution exasperates these conditions. Coughing could become worse and breathing difficulties can arise. In cities where air pollution is more prominent, it can cause a sore or dry throat and sore eyes.

These are the main short-term health effects air pollution can have. So, what can be done to prevent levels becoming problematic?

How can we reduce air pollution?

There are numerous steps which can be taken to improve air pollution levels in the UK. Planting new trees in urban areas is a particularly effective idea. This would help to keep carbon dioxide levels down.

Businesses which produce a lot of air pollution can also take measures to reduce it. If the business is of an industrial scale a professional air pollution control company can help with this.

Congestion charges have also started to help in major towns and cities. Electric car zones are also being implemented, encouraging more drivers to switch to electric vehicles.

Overall, air pollution can have a significant negative impact on the health. The above are just some of the effects it can have, along with the ways it can be dealt with. At the moment, air pollution levels aren’t dangerously high. Therefore, it’s only likely you’ll experience minor health problems if any, caused by air pollution in the UK.

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