Air pollution is a complex and violent cycle. Its toxic effects are worsened by increased temperatures.
Higher temperatures in turn increase the risk of uncontrolled wildfires and the use of energy (think of air conditioners).
Both can release greenhouse gases that further drive climate change.
Which increases temperatures and feeds other extreme weather around the globe.
In the U.S, Air pollution has improved quite a bit since 1970.
However, some air pollutant levels have risen in the last few years, and air pollution continues to have serious ongoing health issues, both nationally and globally.
Studies over the years have shown that increased outdoor air levels of fine particulate matter result to increase in hospitalizations for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other serious health problems. Both long-term exposure and short-term exposure seem to matter.
A study published this year at global models of pollution levels and risk assessments of the world population over 14 years.
It ties fossil fuel combustion alone to nearly nine million premature deaths worldwide in 2018 — that’s one in five deaths — including more than 350,000 in the US. Most of these deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes.
Anyone who is elderly, young, or pregnant, and anyone with underlying diseases such as a heart or a lung condition.
Furthermore, residents of low-income, which are located near industrial sites or high-traffic areas, are mainly affected.
What can you do to reduce the harms of pollution?
Use the air quality index (AQI) as a guide to help you.
The EPA developed the (AQI) to measure the air quality. You can track it specifically where you live at AirNow.
When the (AQI) is in the unhealthy zones, Try to avoid going outdoor activities, especially near traffic areas. Stay indoors and close the windows while using A.C and fans when it’s hot, If possible, to keep you from getting overheated. Or, when you go outside, wear a mask, cloth masks and surgical masks may help with larger particles, but only certain masks like N95s will filter fine particles.
It also helps to change your clothes upon your return home.
Be thoughtful about transportation.
Think about healthier alternatives to driving whenever you can. If you have the chance, buy local products to reduce your reliance on worldwide shipping and transit, Both of which contribute to air pollution. And, when driving, avoid idling your vehicle, which is predicted to waste three billion gallons of fuel and emit 30 million tones of the key greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the United States each year.
Change out your gas stove.
When it is time for a new stove, choose induction or electric stoves over gas stoves. Induction cooktops not only avert indoor pollution, but also use the least amount of energy.
Consider using air purifiers.
Although they do not remove all pollutants, they can improve indoor air quality.
Choose an air purifier that has a high clean air delivery rate (CADR) matched for the size of your room.
Changing your air conditioner and air purifier filters regularly will improve your air quality and reduce energy use.
Promote clean, renewable energy.
Taking steps to reduce fossil fuel has double benefit of climate change and air pollution, Ultimately working toward a sustainable future with a healthier planet and a healthier you.
Whether it’s opting for a 100 % renewable energy plan or voting for leaders who priorities renewable energy, taking steps to reduce fossil fuel use has the double benefit of combating climate change and air pollution, ultimately working toward a sustainable future with a healthier planet and a healthier you.