Urbanization has not only affected our lifestyle, but also our natural environment. The quick and uncensored development in industries and vehicles alongside broad deforestation have brought about an extreme increase in air contamination.
Cities are more exposed to air pollution compared to rural areas. The polluted air seriously affects the health of individuals and mostly causes lung, respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Despite the consciousness, pollution levels have not decreased either. For people of all ages, these high levels of air pollution cause serious breathing problems. Our own actions are gone have left us deprived of the fundamental need, clear air to breathe.
The effect caused by air pollution, however, is not linear. The reactions to air pollutants vary from person to person based on the type of agent to which the person is exposed and the degree of exposure, the person's existing health conditions, immunity as well as genetic factor.
The most common and therefore the most health impact of pollution is determined within the kind of respiration (breathing) problems affecting the respiratory system of our body. Some of the common respiration problems are asthma, allergies, and chronic sinusitis.
How does air pollution affect you?
The small particles or pollutants which might be suspended in the air due to air pollution enter deep into the lungs, affecting the respiratory tract, initiating a vast inflammatory reaction, impaired mucociliary clearance and growth of both in childhood as well as illnesses of adults. As a result, pollutants won't without delay motive asthma however the dysfunctioning damages the lungs to lead to allergies.
In more than one way, air pollutants affect our health. It may be from simple to serious health conditions, from biochemical and physiological to breathing problems, cough and aggravation of respiratory and heart diseases. In particular, air quality affects the health of our lungs and the whole respiratory system. The air is made up not only of oxygen but also of other substances such as pollutants which can be harmful to our health.
Some of the ways in which air pollution impact our health are:
Increase in air pollution level can irritate respiratory problem by damaging the cells.
Exposure to air pollution over a period of time results in life-threatening health problems such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and even cancer.
Adds stress to the lungs, making them function harder to provide oxygen to the body. Long- term exposure to air pollution can affect the lungs permanently by accelerating their ageing, reduce their functional capacity and result in loss of lung capacity.
Lungs are designed to absorb huge portions of air whilst being in close contact with the bloodstream and help in the movement of oxygen. While the air pollutants are absorbed with the aid of the lungs, causing severe breathing issues as they affect the flow of oxygen within the body as well as the quality of oxygen.
As our respiratory system consists of a mucous membrane that protects the system's inner surface. This membrane is specifically sensitive to air pollutants.
Researchers have often pointed out that air pollution reduces lifespan due to particulate matter in the air.
Ozone and other similar pollutants, such as metals and free radicals, cause irritation in breathing, trigger asthma, and even cause problems with the lungs and heart.