Submitted by: Timothy Lee
Infected by lung cancer and wheezing from asthma, the individuals affected by polluted air face disastrous and severe health consequences. Historically, cardiovascular diseases are the #1 cause of death throughout the world, accounting for approximately 31% of deaths worldwide in 2012. The risk of lung cancer, one of the most common causes of death associated with cancer throughout the world, emphasizes the importance of clean air to both good health and a positive living environment.
One can only live three minutes without air, one of the most important resources that allows for life on Earth. Yet, every single day we are poisoning it more and more. Air is essential to our daily lives; we breathe in life-giving oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide — but also the pollutants. Cigarette smoke, car emissions, chemicals from factories, and large amounts of particulate are some of the numerous pollutants that plague the air. At high quantities, these pollutants can severely affect one’s health. Air circulates around the world, and polluted air will affect the global air quality.
While you may not notice the effects of poor air now, with good air comes 6 key health benefits. Namely, these include benefits in digestion, blood pressure, heart rate, happiness, immunity strength, energy, a sharper mind, but most importantly, lung health. According to the American National Institutes of Health, “the average life expectancy increased by 0.35 years for every 10 microgram per meter decrease in PM 2.5 concentration”.
There are several simple solutions to indoor air problems. One lesser known way to combat pollution is to stop the use of air fresheners, since they are chemical based. Another is to wash dirty clothes immediately because they can harbor bacteria and dust which could further decrease the quality of indoor air. Pets are also a prominent source of indoor pollution, which is because bacteria, dirt, as well as chemicals can cling onto pets. Washing your pet periodically can help solve this problem. An alternative solution is an investment in an air purifier. This type of device is highly effective because they are designed to clean the air. By employing one of these methods, one can easily improve the air they breathe at home.
Health is important in life, and the the quality of the air is a big part in ensuring it. By making little changes at home, such as washing clothes more frequently or by cleaning up after oneself, air quality could be improved. Starting from our own homes, we can improve the air we breathe. If we were all to strive for air quality improvements starting from home, we’d have a cleaner environment and a healthier society.