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#58 Air Pollution

#58 Air Pollution

Are you aware that air pollution kills an estimated 7 million people annually? Or, that over 40% of Americans are currently at risk of disease and premature death, due to air pollution? Air pollution has been shown to have detrimental effects to human health and the health of our environment. By reducing air pollution levels, we can reduce the instances of disease -from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer – as well as respiratory diseases.

Our Air is Toxic:

Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulates, or biological materials into our atmosphere which causes discomfort, disease, or death to humans, damages other vital living organisms – such as food crops – and destroys our natural environment. Air pollution has been a concern over the last decade as it is hard to escape. Air pollution is closely linked to climate change through fossil fuel combustion. As our planet continues to increase in temperature – and our population grows rapidly – the air we breathe will only become more polluted. Take a look at these facts on air pollution.

Air Pollution Facts:

  • 92% of the world’s population lives in places with polluted air.  
  • Over 80% of urban residents are exposed to air pollution exceeding the World Health Organization’s limits.  
  • 1 in 9 deaths worldwide are attributed to air pollution.  
  • Household air pollution kills 4 million people a year.
  • Worldwide, up to 14% of children aged from 5-18 years have asthma at least partially related to air pollution.
  • Air pollution is the number one cause of acid rain.
  • Studies show that air toxics are contributing to birth defects, reproductive failure and disease in animals.
  • Smog caused from air pollution has a detrimental effect on dolphins – causing them to suffer from black lung disease.
  • 111 million people in the US live in counties that do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
  • According to the EPA, levels of indoor air pollution are typically far worse than outdoor air pollution levels.
Air Pollution out of smokestacks

How can I make an impact:

Action 1: Global Goodness

  • Reduce your drive time. The reduction in transportation emissions can help reduce the amount of GHG emissions you are releasing. Catch up with a friend or coworker by carpooling, or give public transportation a try.   
  • Conserve energy. Whether it is at home, work, school – or anywhere you frequent – use mindfulness in your energy consumption.  

Action 2: Planet Protector

  • All of Action 1
  • Educate others.  Let people know the realities of air pollution so that they can take responsibility for their own health and reduce their own impact.  
  • Avoid burning foliage, grass, leaves and other materials are harmful to the air.  
  • Get energy efficient appliances. Always look for the Energy Star label when purchasing

Action 3: Earth Angel

  • All of Action 1 & 2
  • Lobby Congress for strict regulations on air quality.  
  • Read about the Paris Agreement.

Facts References: 

https://www.who.int/airpollution/en/
https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/08/vl/health-and-env-effects-air-pollutions.pdf
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/pollution/
https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/various-air-pollution-facts.php
https://www.epa.gov/iaq-schools/why-indoor-air-quality-important-schools

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