Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health
Introduction to Air Pollution
Air pollution is a common ecological health danger. Some types of air pollution cannot be seen, but its pungent smell alerts the human being. When the National Ambient Air Quality Standards were established in 1970, air pollution has been considered mainly as a danger to respiratory health. But over the next periods, as air contamination research progressed, public health concern expanded to involve cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and reproductive, neurological, and immune system disorders. Air pollution exposure is linked with oxidative stress and inflammation in human cells, which may put down a foundation for long-lasting diseases and malignancy. In 2013, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO) categorized air pollution as a human being poison.
Air pollution is a combination of dangerous elements from both man-made and biological causes. Vehicle discharges, fuel oils and natural gas to heat residences, by-products of industrial and power generation, predominantly coal-fueled power plants, and odours from chemical products are the main causes of human-made air pollution. Nature releases dangerous and risky substances into the atmosphere, such as smoke from wildfires, which are frequently triggered by citizens; ash and fumes from volcanic explosions; and gases, like methane, which are produced after rotting organic material in soils.
Traffic-related air pollution (TRAP)
It is emitted from a motor vehicle, and it is the most identifiable type of air pollution which comprises a maximum of the elements of human-made airborne pollution such as ground-level ozone, numerous forms of carbon, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and fine particulate matter.
It is an atmospheric gas which is habitually known as smog when present at ground level. It is formed when chemicals and other impurities are released by automobiles, power plants, industrial containers, processing plant, and other sources chemically react in the presence of sunlight.
This pollution includes carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur oxides which are elements of motor vehicle discharges and results of industrial procedures.
Particulate matter (PM)
It consists of chemicals such as sulfates, carbon, or mineral dust. Vehicle, industrial radiations from fossil fuel combustion, cigarette smoke, all include Particulate Matter and can be breathed in deeply into lung muscle and cause severe health complications. In the United States, Particulate Matter usually accounts for most health effects due to air pollution.
Volatile organic compounds (VOC)
It vaporizes at room temperature, therefore, named as volatile. They are so-called organic because they include carbon and are caused by paints, cleaning materials, insect repellent, several furnishings, and yet craft items like glue. Gasoline and organic gas are the main sources of VOCs, which are released through combustion.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
They are organic compounds that contain carbon and hydrogen. They are known to be pervasive in the atmosphere. Many industrial processes, such as iron, steel, and latex product manufacturing, as well as power generation, produce Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons as a by-product and are also found in particulate matter.
Impact of Air Contamination On Health
- Air pollution can affect lung growth and expansion as well as involved in the progress of pulmonary emphysema, asthma, and other respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Particulate Matter and nitrogen oxide are linked to chronic bronchitis.
- Fine particulate matter can harm and damages the function of the blood vessel and progresses the calcification in arteries.
- Several studies created a connection among short-term everyday exposure through postmenopausal female to nitrogen oxide and increase the chance of hemorrhagic stroke.
- Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution can cause the lowered level of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) which sometimes known as good cholesterol, may expand the risk for cardiovascular disease.
- According to a research report, exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution can also rise a pregnant female danger for hazardousfluctuations in blood pressure, known as hypertensive ailments, which are a prominent source of pre-term birth, low birth mass, and parental and fetal sickness and mortality.
- A large survey and analysis of other than 57,000 women found living near major streets may increase a woman’s danger for breast cancer.
- Study also reveals that toxic products especially methylene chloride which is mainly used in aerosol substances and paint removers are also correlated with increased chances f breast cancer in females.
- Work-related exposure to benzene, which is an industrial chemical and element of gasoline, can trigger leukaemia. It is associated with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
- A detailed study in between 2000-2016, found a relationship between lung cancer prevalence and expanded dependence on coal for energy production.
Air pollution may affect every person’s health; however, some groups may be affected more. People who live in urban areas are majorly affected by airborne pollution.
Several studies show that air-pollution creates a long-term effect on children’s respiratory health. Among its findings:
- Higher air pollution stages rise short-term respiratory diseases, which can lead to more school absences.
- Children who usually play outdoor games and sports and even lives in high ozone areas are more prone to develop asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
- Children who are lives near busy streets are at increased risk for asthma.
- Children with asthma who were subjected to high levels of air toxins were more prone to develop bronchitis warning sign.
- Living in districts with higher toxic waste and greater pollution levels can trigger lung damage.
- Prenatal exposure to particulate matter was linked with low birth weight
- Women subjected to high levels of fine particulate matter during pregnancy, mainly in the third trimester, may have up to twice the risk of having an autistic child.
- Second and third-trimester exposure to Particulate Matter 2.5 could raise the probability of those families having high blood pressure in early life.
- Women who are exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, or nitrogen dioxide during their first 8 weeks of gestation are more prone to have an infant with neural tube defects.
- Air pollution is associated with an increased risk of developing neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease and other dementias.
- Long-term exposure to TRAP may lead to physical disabilities in older adults.
- Particulate Matter can cause memory problems and Alzheimer’s usually among women above 65 years of age.