Air pollution and how it can affect our lives

By: Fatima Mohamud & Sumaya Noor

What exactly is air pollution?

Air pollution refers to pollutants being let out into the atmosphere. It’s often talked about in the news but not taken as seriously as it should be. It can affect people of all ages, animals and the earth itself. About. 4.2 million people die per year because of outdoor air pollution, and about 3.8 million die from inside polluted substances according to the World Health Organization. 9 out of 10 people breathe air that is very unhealthy per day, and it’s become so normalized that it’s hard to tell, and our bodies have adjusted to it.

Air pollution can also get into our systems other ways than breathing. Air pollutants can enter you through your skin. Gaseous pollutants can deeply penetrate the respiratory system and absorb wet tissue. Some countries are more prone to air pollution such as Japan, South Korea, and others. When the air becomes too unsafe to breathe in, these countries usually take precautions and mandate you wear a mask to protect yourself.

How can air pollution affect your health?

Air pollution is responsible for many diseases and life threatening illnesses that happen to thousands of people per year. These consist of: stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, leukemia, asthma attacks etc.

People with breathing problems are very vulnerable to air pollution as it can become difficult for them to breathe. Pollution can severely affect your life and the way your body functions, however distancing yourself from these sources can help.

Air pollution can also affect animals such as your pets, farm animals and almost extinct ones.

It can also affect the way you eat; if you have an appetite or if the food you’re eating is actually healthy.

Where does air pollution come from?

As many people know, air pollution comes from places like factories, essential to society and everywhere in life, it also has its downsides because of health issues. Factories often emit gasses and chemicals such as carbon dioxide, methane, and other particles unsafe to consume.

Cars also let out pollution too, they let out nitrogen dioxide which is extremely unhealthy to breathe although we use our cars everyday. Vehicles are also one of the main reasons air pollution is becoming such a big deal, as they can also affect temperatures and weather.

Air pollution is usually fossil fuels, which fuels our cars, heats our homes, and factories. Taking these all into account, you can imagine how much gas are releasing into the atmosphere.

How does air pollution affect the environment?

The most common pollution to affect the environment are fossil fuels. These are burned and release gasses and chemicals directly into the atmosphere.

Smog is a common pollution that is a mixture of smoke and fog and is most common in less developed large counties or cities.

Air pollutants can also directly contaminate bodies of water, affecting aquatic life and our drinking water.

When pollutants contaminate soil, it can kill crops, young trees and plants. Farmers would deal with stunted growth of their crops.

Another example of how air pollution affects our environment is global warming; a huge issue created by pollution that is rapidly affecting earth. Global warming is the rise of temperatures around the world’s air and oceans. Carbon dioxide is a gas emitted into the air by burning fossil fuels, which powers our cars, planes, and heat our homes. But the excessive use of these fuels is the biggest reason for global warming, and if we don’t stop or find a solution we could be facing a dangerous future for the entire globe.

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