Why Is Air Pollution A Threat To Health


Why Is Air Pollution A Threat To Health

Do you know that air pollution causes 7 million deaths globally each year? And air pollution is currently regarded as the most significant environmental health hazard. Heart disease, asthma, pulmonary disorders, and cancer are just a few problems that air pollution promotes and causes. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has categorized particulate matter, a significant component of outdoor air pollution, as a human carcinogen.

According to the W.H.O's most recent estimations, air pollution exposure is a more significant risk factor than previously believed for severe non-communicable diseases. The most critical factor in the environmental burden of disease is air pollution.

The primary contaminants that influence health

Ozone, nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx), and particulate matter (PM 2.5) are the pollutants of most significant concern since they deeply contaminate the lungs and have an impact on the circulatory and respiratory systems. Health consequences are influenced by both the length and extent of the exposure.

Almost everyone in the European region is impacted by air pollution. And more than 90% of residents are exposed to yearly outdoor fine particulate matter levels that exceed World Health Organization air quality limits.

Research is revealing increasing connections between many major diseases among people of different ages and air quality, raising concerns about the influence of air pollution on human health. Common diseases from air pollution are neurodevelopment, diabetes, low-weight birth, pre-term birth, etc.

Who is the most impacted by air pollution?

Everyone's health is impacted by air pollution, although some groups may suffer greater effects. Air pollution affects nearly 9 out of 10 people residing in cities worldwide.

One of the most remarkable studies investigating the long-term impacts of air pollution on children's respiratory health is the Children's Health Study at the University of Southern California, financed by the NIEHS. Among the many conclusions are the following:

  • Short-term pulmonary infections are more common at increased air pollution levels, resulting in increased absences from school.
  • Asthma is far more likely to occur in kids who participate in various outdoor sports and live in areas with high ozone levels.
  • Children who live near busy roadways have a higher chance of developing asthma.
  • Asthmatic children were more likely to experience bronchitis when exposed to high air pollution concentrations.
  • Lung damage might result from residing in areas with greater pollution levels.

Steps to protect your health

  • Always check the MPCA Air Quality Index and sign up for alerts and air quality forecasts to be informed whenever the air is unsafe.
  • Save yourself when driving by closing your windows during traffic and turning on the ventilator system's recirculation mode to prevent inhaling exhaust fumes. In particular, avoid driving on roads frequently traversed by diesel cars.
  • Avoid breathing in pollutants by avoiding exposure to tobacco smoking, wood smoke, car exhaust, and other forms of airborne particles. In addition, stop engaging in lengthy outdoor activity near busy roads or on days with poor air quality.


Air pollution is considered one of the most dangerous environmental hazards. And it is indispensable to take all the safety measures to protect yourself from diseases due to bad air.