Air Pollution

Air Pollution Affect Human Health

Every year, there are 7 million people die because of air pollution. Although many natural phenomena, such as volcanoes, fire, and so on, release the pollutant in the atmosphere, human activities are the main reason to result air pollution. 

Since the industrial revolution, the environment has become different from before. According to the WHO's study, it is air pollution that results major reason of death and disease. Some professionals analyzed short-term exposure in air pollution on mortality. They found the daily mortality has a connection with the level of air pollution. There are about 4.2 million premature deaths. WHO's study shows 29% of those die from lung cancer, 17% of those die from acute lower respiratory infection, 24% of those die from stroke, 25% of those die from ischemic heart disease and 43% of those die from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. (Data from WHO) There are some pollutants in the atmosphere, such as particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, heavy metal, and ozone, that can damage human's health. There are a variety of pollutants in the earth. This pollution is not only damaging our environment but also harming people's heath. Air pollution affects human respiratory system, and cardiovascular system.

Respiratory System

The quality of the air affects human health of respiratory system. The air includes not only oxygen but also many pollutants. The respiratory system is highly irritated by these pollutants. Plenty of studies show that air pollution can harm a human respiratory system. Lungs play an important role in the respiratory system. They are used to absorbing air and promoted air delivery. According to World Health Organization(WHO) statistics, when people are exposed to air pollution, it increases twice as much risk of pneumonia and other acute lower respiratory tract infections.

On Adult's Respiratory System

In 1991, the Swiss Cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung Diseases in Adults (SAPALDIA) indicated long-term exposure in air pollution has strong connection with adult's respiratory symptoms. This study focused on 18 to 60-year-old adults at eight study sites in Switzerland. This study considered testers for never, former, and current smokers. Tester's age, body mass index, gender, parental asthma, parental atopy, low education, and foreign citizenship were controlled by the researchers. In 2002, they did further study. This study wanted to know the effect on human respiratory system when people exposed in traffic pollution. The researchers controlled testers for socioeconomic and exposure and health-related factor. They also controlled testers living in different distance of the main streets in traffic pollution. This study wanted to know the effect on human respiratory system when people lived in air pollution area. Traffic pollution is the reason of air pollution. Because of the development of traffic, the air pollution is becoming worse and worse. This study indicated it increased the rate of respiratory health effects because of nearing the main streets in traffic pollution. (SAPALDIA Team, 2006) In 2008, there was a research surveying 9488 Rome residents. This research analyzed 25 to 59-year-old Rome residents who lived near air pollution area. The researchers found the residents were easy to suffer respiratory disease because they lived more approaching high air pollution area. This research pointed out that the respiratory disease especially rhinitis has high connection with air pollution. (Cesaroni, Badaloni, Porta, Forastiere, and Perucci, 2008) Hence, we know even though people do not smoke, they still infect respiratory disease because of air pollution.

On Children's Respiratory System

Not only adults but also children are affected by air pollution. We can know more and more children infect respiratory disease. Air pollution in children is more serious than in adult. Because children's respiratory systems do not completely develop, when children inhale the same amount of pollutants as adults, they suffer more serious effect. An increase respiratory neonatal mortality because of the high level of air pollution. Pollutants has been proved to enlarge allergen, enlarge the risk of worsening asthma and reduce lung function. Pollutants also affect the growth of children's respiratory system. Furthermore, pollutants enter embryo body though the mother. (2007, Salvi) According to this book called 'EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION ON CHILDREN'S HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT', particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone in air pollution affect children's respiratory systems. In this book, the author provided much research to prove these pollutants affect children's respiratory systems. Some research showed particulate matter causes more serious effects on asthmatics. A part of this research furthermore showed it causes significant disadvantage effects on lung function. Some research showed long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide affects prevalence, incidence of asthma, allergic rhinitis or atopic eczema. Therefore, we can conclude that asthma diagnoses and symptoms have high connections with asthmatics. Nitrogen dioxide in respiratory causes bronchitis and cough. This research showed nitrogen dioxide reduce the function of lung. Although there is no obvious research for negative influence of long-term exposure to ozone on the prevalence and incidence of asthma, some research shows ozone affect the function of lung. One large study showed asthma children living in high ozone concentrations area increase the rate of incidence. Therefore, we can conclude air pollution results effects on children's respiratory systems. It also affects embryo though the maternal inheritance.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the number one cancer of death. Although smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer, numerous studies prove outdoor air we absorb such as, emission from the vehicle and industrial sources, can cause lung cancer. Every year, there are above 200,000 people death because of lung cancer in air pollution. Large size of particle pollutants affect human's health, but puny size of particle pollutants is more harmful. Larger one can be defensed by our natural defenses such as tears, sneeze, and cough. However, puny one cannot be defensed by these natural defenses. These harmful particle pollutants will enter our body and damage our health. WHO said particulate matter in the air causes lung cancer in 2013. There was an 8-year-old girl who was diagnosed with lung cancer in the same year. She was the youngest person with lung cancer. Her doctor claimed she suffered from lung cancer because of air pollution. In the same year, International Agency for Research on Cancer identified air pollution is the reason of the lung cancer. This agency found tiny dust-like particles called particulate matter, or PM, are the key of air pollution. The tiniest particulate matter is less than 2.5 millionths of a meter across, called PM2.5. It causes the lung cancer. It increases the risk of suffering lung cancer when people expose in high level of PM2.5. (American Lung Association, 2016) Some research in the United States, Europe, and Asia shows air pollution has high connection with air pollution. One American research in 2009 is about 5% male and 3% female with cancer who have connection with air pollution between 1970 and 1994. Another research about the urban air pollution in Europe shows the risk of suffering lung cancer is probably higher. It is up to 10.7% people with lung cancer who expose in air pollution. (GRANT, 2009) 

Why Air Pollution is Bad For Your Health

Air pollution is when toxic substances such as particulates and natural particles are presented in the world's atmosphere, the phenomenon of pollution is activated, and these toxic substances are called air pollutants. 

These pollutants may exist in the form of concrete wastes, liquid droplets or gas. Together, any component that gets introduced into the air which may have harmful effects on the people and the environment is a direct component to the cases of pollution. Waste burning is undoubtedly aggravating the existing scenario of pollution. More than 40 percent of the world's waste is burnt at such fires, emitting gas and molecules that will considerably impact human well-being and climate change, as calculated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The main cause of this problem is the use of hazardous chemicals in industrial processes. The most common type of toxic chemicals are, led, cadmium, and arsenic which are found in many industrial products. They have been linked to cancer, heart disease and stroke. These chemicals are most used to make steel, glass and other materials. What are the health risks associated with both indoor and outdoor air pollution and what can be done about it?

Pollution is defined as the addition of several dangerous chemicals, particulate matter, harmful substances and natural organisms into the world’s Air. There are several factors causing pollution. According to the survey conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, it has been discovered that business contamination accounts for about 50% of the pollution in the United States. There are many important ecological implications and health hazards associated with industrial pollution. Indoor pollution and bad urban air quality are named as two of the world's worst harmful contamination issues at the 2008 Blacksmith Institute world's worst Polluted space study. ( According to the 2014 World Health organization study, pollution in 2012 had the deaths of near 7 million people worldwide (WHO.) The assessment roughly echoed by one from the International life office. (New York moment.)

Human actions pollute environmental media (gas, water or earth). All human business, rural, activity, and national activities are capable of presenting “contaminants” to the environment, thereby negatively affecting the atmospheric gas, food and land. That impacted media may subsequently represent risks (material or physical) to humans, wildlife and plants. Physical gas and water pollution are caused by physical events, either temporary or constant. The contamination taken by these natural causes is minimal as compared to human generated reasons. “volcanic gases like sulfur dioxide can cause global cooling, while volcanic carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, has the potential to promote global warming. isolated regions may take the seepage of some harmful gas like Radon or CO2 etc. resulting to pollution” (USGS.) These gases can be dangerous for human health and for animals. They cause a lot of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and many others which are harmful to human beings. It is important to note that there are no known ways of preventing this problem, but we can try our best to reduce the amount of pollution in our environment.

Pollution in China and other nations of Asia is a serious environmental issue. Smog, induced by communication and particularly burning coal, causes pulmonary and eye diseases. But recent research shows that it might still be able to initiate geological catastrophes. (Bressan, David.) in addition, pollution in the atmosphere has been linked with the development of asthma. According to the world health organizations, the number of deaths caused by air pollution is estimated to be between 10 million and 20 percent of all deaths worldwide. The main cause for air pollution is human activities such as burning of fossil fuels, which are responsible for the depletion of ozone layer. In fact, the amount of carbon dioxide released into earth's atmosphere is increasing every year. This increase in carbon dioxide cannot be stopped because it is a greenhouse gas that traps heat from the sun. As a result, global warming is causing more damage to the environment than any other factor. This is because humans have become so dependent on these gases.

The World Health organization estimated at 2014 that each year pollution causes the untimely killing of some 7 million people worldwide. (WHO.) India has the highest dying rate because of pollution. India likewise gets more deaths from asthma than any other country according to the World Health organization. In December 2013 pollution was calculated to destroy 500,000 people in Taiwan every year. There is the constructive correlation between pneumonia-related deaths and pollution from motor transport emissions. It is also possible that pollution can be caused by human activities such as burning fossil fuels or using natural resources. However, the most important factor for reducing pollution is to reduce its use and consumption. Pollution is a problem that affects all aspects of life.

Some people, when they think of pollution, they will most likely think of smog and automobile emissions. That is what is called outside pollution, but it is more harmful when it turns into indoor pollution. Indoor pollution occurs when certain air pollutants from molecules and gas pollute the atmosphere of indoor areas. These air pollutants may cause respiratory diseases. Removing these air pollutants will improve the quality of the interior air. “Exposure to pollution is associated with the increasing population of cities, but people who live in rural areas are also at risk. Burning solid fuels indoors makes the air inside a home dangerous to breathe. Globally, one in three people face unsafe air both indoors and outside. Air pollution is now the fourth leading cause of death worldwide, weighing in just below smoking, and the top environmental health risk. Pollution contributed to an estimated 6 million deaths in 2017.” (Detrick, H). Indoor air pollution is pollution of the atmosphere in the interior environment. Indoor pollution is often the result of chemical, natural, or even physical pollution of indoor air, and is frequently distributed throughout the house by filthy or old ductwork. Indoor pollution is the air level concern for both technical and residential buildings. When indoor air becomes contaminated with contaminants of any kind, it will bring severe health implications for any inhabitants or people who regularly find this place. It can also cause serious health problems such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and other respiratory illnesses and death. Indoor air pollution is a major problem in our homes and offices because it causes many health risks to our bodies and minds. Indoor air pollution is caused by: Dust mites, mold spores, and other harmful chemicals that are found in the air.

According to Talha Burka indoor air pollution is a big issue and can cause many health issues especially in young children whose respiratory systems are not as strong as adults. Burka says, “According to WHO, 2 million people die as a result of the smoke generated by open fires or crude stoves within their homes every year. In those places where the use of solid fuels prevails, however, these conditions rarely apply, and the consequences can be severe. [...] research into the subject began recently and is far from comprehensive.” She writes that indoor fires can cause severe respiratory issues when stoves are not properly cleaned. Burka then writes, “More than 900 000 people die from pneumonia caused by indoor air pollution every year. 500 million households worldwide-roughly 3 billion people-rely on solid fuels, such as wood, animal dung, or coal, for cooking and heating. These fuels are usually burned in a rudimentary stove, or in a traditional open fire. It need not be a problem, at least in terms of health. But only assuming the fuel is completely combusted-wood must be dry, and the stove must work efficiently-and there is plenty of ventilation, a spacious chimney, or a sizeable window. In those places where the use of solid fuels prevails, however, these conditions rarely apply, and the consequences can be severe.”


Air pollution, both indoor and outdoor, is harmful to human, animal and plant life and should be taken seriously. I interviewed My mother, Donna Jones, for my research because she has tried to learn as much about it to try and keep it from happening in her home. She had a friend whose daughter now has severe respiratory issues because she lived in a house with poor ventilation. My mother said, “indoor air pollution is scary because you don’t know if there is something wrong with the air you are breathing and it could kill you before you realize something is wrong.” while there isn’t anything we can really do about the natural causes of air pollution we can do something about the manmade pollution and indoor pollution.