Air Pollution: Only One Breath Away

Air pollution is one of many forms of pollution that plagues us everyday; with every breath we take we are exposed to massive amounts of toxins. How did this happen? Who is responsible for this catastrophe? What is someone going to do about it? All of these are great questions and the responses are vast, but two things are for sure: we are a part of the problem and we can be a part of the solution.

Different Types, Same Affects

Air pollution does not stem from one source, so it may seem easier to blame the major corporations or the big cities, but everyday choices can make for air pollutants too. Of course, one could argue that the larger the source then the larger the risk but think this way for a moment; a concentrated amount of small sources can also create a big stink. A few creators of air pollution include:

Indoor – It is a misconception that the air inside of our homes is a lot cleaner then outsideafter all we are clean therefore our air must be. Not true. Cleaning agents, carpet fibers, second-hand smoke, mold, and poor ventilation are some creators of indoor pollution
Backyard Fun – Someone decides to have a backyard get together, so they get their gas-powered mower out to make the lawn nice, they fire up the charcoal to cook a few burgers, and to add some excitement they light a few fireworks. All three of these actions have caused poisons to be released into the air.
Big Business – There is no doubt that large factories and power plants cause large amounts of air pollution, but we have governmental rules in place to regulate that, right? Well, the answer to that depends upon the administration and upon whom you ask. There are conflicting reports about levels released and what has been released. It seems with each voted in government comes a new set of standards and those could change at any moment.

What Can The Common Man Do?

We may not be able to change the laws for all businesses in every place in the world, but there are things that can be done on a smaller scale that will have immense effects for the immediate world around you. A few steps that you can take are:

Reduce – Reduce the amount you use your personal air pollutant products. Everyone has to go to work and run errands, but if you carpool, take public transportation, or walk whenever possible then you will cut down on air pollution.
Invest – Invest a small amount of money to buy a more efficient stove and heating system. These two items produce indoor pollution and finding a more efficient alternative will reduce that and your energy usage.
Involvement – Get involved in the local politics that address air pollution in your area. Knowledge and getting the word out can make miracles happen.

Air pollution did not happen overnight and unfortunately we are dealing with many factors and not all them are properly regulated. Ignoring this problem will not make it go away, nor will relying that the next generation will make it better. There are things that can be done and should be done. Just ask yourself how you can help.