Control Air Pollution: Ways to Protect Yourself This Festive Season!
An unclear, hazy sky, small particulate matter-infested air, and breath becoming labored. All tell-tale main reasons for pollution. World is struggling to find complete control measures of air pollution. Air, a precondition to health and nature's gift to mankind, unwillingly becomes an ally to pose serious health threats.
Pollution is a reality, identified as the greatest environmental health hazard and acknowledged as the fourth largest cause of death world-wide. It is believed that almost 90% to 95% of the World's population breathes unsafe air, with India and China being the front runners in this unwanted list. The World Health Organization keeps coming up with innovative and scientific ways to control pollution and its harmful effects.
What is Air Pollution?
Air Pollution is expressed in terms of Particulate Matter (PM), and is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets fused with a function of complex reactions of chemicals, with nitrogen oxide and sulphur di-oxide being the most dangerous polluting chemicals. Asbestos also figures significantly in this list.
Particulate matter is calibrated as PM 2.5 and PM 10. These figures signify the fineness of the particulate matter, therefore, PM 2.5 being finer, becomes more dangerous with its inherent ability of deeper penetration.
Air pollution causes, effects, and prevention is an ongoing topic, which is worrying global leaders since it has its effects on global warming and melting of polar ice.
Here are air pollution reasons differentiated into two categories as Indoor Pollution and Outdoor Pollution and the factors leading to it.
1. Indoor Pollution, a strong cause of air pollution!
It is mainly caused mainly by wood and charcoal employed for cooking, as they remain the most affordable mediums. Therefore, there is no surprise that the dangers of pollution and especially indoor pollution are more heavily skewed towards the poorer nations, where approximately 2 million deaths are reported annually on account of indoor pollution.
2. Outdoor pollution, One of the biggest air pollution reasons!
It is a combination of multiple factors such as rampant urbanization and industrialisation, where advisories from environment monitoring bodies are ignored and safety measures compromised. Crop burning, burning of solid fuel, smoke-stacks, and biomass contribute as the other prominent factors.
There has been a spike in flu cases with sudden climate change and pollution. Itchy or sore throat, scratchy throat, throat irritation, throat infection, pain, whooping cough, cold, etc., appear as the most common ailments.
Irritation in the eyes and allergies follow in this hierarchy. But among the more serious ones are asthma aggravation, bronchial asthma, breathlessness, chest constriction, heart disease, and serious damage to the respiratory system. It causes upper respiratory tract infections and further exposure to pollutants could lead to lung cancer. Children with their tendency to remain outdoor and the elderly with low immunity levels stand at greater risk.
Cutting on coal consumption, saving energy, enforcing strict tobacco-control regulations, and imposition of severe penalties on factors leading to outdoor pollution are the most recommended air pollution prevention. In this, following Air Quality Index notifications, which are a uniform color-coded index for reporting and daily fore-casting of the quality of air from good to unhealthy to hazardous need attention.
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