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Breathing in polluted air can be very bad for our health. Long-term exposure to air pollution has been associated with diseases of the heart and lungs, cancers and other health problems. That’s why it’s important for us to monitor air pollution.
Many scientific studies have shown that breathing air pollution, specifically airborne particulate matter (PM), increases your risk of several health problems. This is because larger particles can irritate the lungs and smaller particles can cause inflammation that affects other organs. Scientists have found that breathing PM causes heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Other scientific studies show that people who breathe more PM are more likely to develop lung cancer, lower respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and a number of problems during pregnancy and birth, such as low birth weight and premature delivery. Every year, new studies suggest that PM could increase the risk of more diseases.
Air pollution leads people to be exposed to fine particles in polluted air that penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system, causing diseases including stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections.
Air pollution is the major driver of chronic diseases and premature mortality in humans leading to 7 million deaths annually. Last year alone around 1.6 million deaths in India and 42000 in Nepal is attributed to air pollution.
Globally 9 out of 10 people breathe air that does not meet WHO air quality guidelines that mean they are breathing polluted air. However, poor air quality is pervasive in developing countries ted air. However, poor air quality is pervasive in developing countries.
South Asia is considered as the hotspot for air pollution globally. India, Nepal, Niger, Qatar, Nigeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Cameroon, Bangladesh and Pakistan are the top counties with the highest population-weighted annual average PM2.5 (fine particles smaller than 2.5 microns) exposures in 2019. According to the IQ index, 27 out of 30 most polluted cities lie in South Asia.
Air pollution reduces life expectancy on average by 6.2 years in Bangladesh, 5.2 years in India, 4.7 years in Nepal, and 2.7 years in Pakistan.
Just like humans, animals also face some devastating effects of air pollution. Toxic chemicals present in the air can force wildlife species to move to a new place and change their habitat. The toxic pollutants deposit over the surface of the water and can also affect sea animals.
Air pollution and the release of gasses into the atmosphere can have many negative effects on the environment . Global warming - One type of air pollution is the addition of carbon dioxide gas into the air. Some scientists believe that releasing too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is one of the causes of global warming. This upsets the balance of the carbon cycle.