What are the bad effects of air pollution? There is a lot of talk about the environment and going green. There is also a lot of talk about the carbon footprint that each person leaves behind. The smaller your footprint is, the more you are doing to help protect the environment for generations to come. Yet, understanding what the bad effects of air pollution are is essential. After all, how can you make a difference in the environment if you do not know what air pollution causes?
The bad effects of air pollution affect many people from all walks of life. At the most risk are young children and the elderly. Those that have compromised immune systems, chronic illness or an unhealthy lifestyle are also at a higher risk level. However, it is important to note that poor air quality affects everyone even if you are completely fit in every other way. The amount of damage that air pollution causes is based on how much exposure you have both in terms of the types of chemicals you breath in, the amounts, and the length of the exposure. The higher these numbers are, the more detrimental they are for you.
Some of the short-term effects of air pollution are significant. For example, if you enter a city that has a heavy haze of smog over it, chances are good you will start to feel some change in your body. You may experience irritations to the eyes, to your throat and your nose. In addition, if that exposure lasts for more than a few minutes, you may have upper respiratory infections that lead to illnesses such as pneumonia. Increased exposure can also head to frequent headaches and allergic reactions in some people.
There are also long term bad effects of air pollution to take note of. For these situations, individuals have been exposed to air pollution over a number of days, weeks or months, or longer. Long term effects including lung cancer, heart disease, chronic respiratory problems including asthma and breathing difficulties. In some cases, there is even damage to the brain, kidneys, liver and other parts of your body.
Perhaps the worst of all facts about the bad effects of air pollution is the sad reality that each year, more than 500,000 people die prematurely in the United States because of their repeated exposure to air pollution. By simply improving the quality of air and reducing the bad effects of air pollution, people can live longer lives, often of better quality, too. The risks are heavy and they affect virtually everyone.