Basic Facts about Air Pollution

Air: a vital element for life

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Air is a gaseous mixture which has no color, odor or taste. It is mainly comprised of around 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and other gases (such as hydrogen, argon, neon, helium and carbon dioxide).

It envelops the terrestrial globe to form the earth’s atmosphere. It’s a vital element for all living beings. Clean and high quality air enhance the quality and lifespan of those living things, otherwise, it creates many detrimental factors that can affect human health.

Causes of Air Pollution

Indeed, the rapid growth of industries has brought significant convenience and improvements to human life. But on the other hand, chemical and poisonous emissions from industrial production and products contaminate the air, posing threats to living organisms when they are exposed to this polluted air. The sky is full of thick smog, nasty exhaust, particulate matter and other chemicals from industrial chimneys, automobiles and operating devices. All these elements have dangerous effects on human health. Air pollution is created by radon, chlorofluorocarbons, chemicals, vehicular emission, mold spores, dust, and so forth. Most people often worry about outdoor air when talking about air pollution. When in fact, multiple forms of air pollution occur indoors. What’s more, indoor air pollution, to some extent, is more directly dangerous to human health and can affect us more, because the majority of our time is spent indoors.

Indoor Air Pollution

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Many cases in North America, show that air pollution within office buildings has reached an alarming level causing a lot of health issues. Though cigarette smoking has been banned in most workplaces, biological contaminants still frequently appear. The ventilation system office buildings use, can circulate the indoor air, but also render unwanted carbon monoxide exceeding safe levels. Most older buildings in the world were made with fossil flax, formaldehyde and lead which can cause big problems, as those three materials emit dangerous chemicals that can be life-threatening. These chemical pollutants can cause many diseases, especially affecting the development of children’s brains. Most people have experienced or are experiencing such air pollution. And sensitive people are more likely to have a severe reaction to all kinds of contaminants.

Consequences of Air Pollution

Exposure to polluted air offers a way for air pollutants to enter our body either through our respiratory system or our skin. But polluted food (vegetables and fruits) can also absorb contaminants, which enter our bodies when we eat them. Air pollutants that have entered our stomach tracts can affect lungs, blood vessels, digestive systems and skin, causing many serious issues (including cancers, heart attacks, asthma and chronic bronchitis, etc.). Some highly populated areas should also pay more attention to general air pollution. For example, polluted air can lead to miscarriages in pregnant women. And maternal exposure to air pollution over a long period of time, may restrict or damage the development of fetus. The consequences of air pollution on health could be slight or serious,  depending on all of these circumstances.

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