Where does air pollution come from?
According to data compiled from around the world by the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals Report, there are more humans living in metropolitan areas than ever before; about 50% or half of the entire human population lives in urban areas. This means that most of us living in the city are exposed to a greater amount of air pollution; mainly due to emissions from fossil-burning automobiles.
But even the serenity of the peaceful countryside can be covered with a blanket of air pollution.
For example, another common form of air pollution can come from forest fires. The smoke from forest fires can put anyone at risk, even when the fires are dozens of miles away.
Risks & Symptoms
You may not even notice it at all when you first step out the door, until you’re stuck in the middle of it. Some people will notice it harder to breathe and may have a few coughs. When you exercise your body is naturally going to seek more oxygen, and it does this by taking in deeper breaths and this can accelerate the symptoms. Those who suffer from conditions such as heart disease, asthma or other respiratory illnesses are at a significant risk. These people may notice symptoms sooner than people more healthy.
Remember this: Even if you are completely healthy, or you are simply engaging in a relatively dormant activity such as slow-pace walking, air pollution can still affect you.
Is Air Pollution Damaging to Your Health?
In most cases, the negative effects of air pollution wear off, and usually by the end of the night the affects will completely disappear. People with chronic illnesses, as those mentioned above may have to limit their outdoor activity. Death has even been to blame on very high amounts of air pollution, although in the US air pollution does not usually reach such drastically dangerous highs.
Small children are at significant risk as they can develop bronchitis and earaches as a result of air pollution.
Avoid Air Pollution
Air pollution levels tend to flux similar to weather patterns. Your local news outlets, such as newspapers, TV and radio stations release Air Quality Index (AQI) reports. Before going out, always check the AQI.
Air Quality Index Values Chart
You can use these simple steps to avoid air pollution. But if you have a heart or lung condition, then you should consult with your doctor about other ways to stay protected!
Have fun! And stay safe!