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Health & Fitness

HEALTH ISSUES CAUSED BY AIR POLLUTION

World Environment Day is celebrated every year globally on June 5th. This year the theme is “Beat the Air Pollution – caring for our planet is vital for our survival.

Air pollution has become a national emergency as it is killing one lakh children under the age of five in India every year and is responsible for 12.5 per cent of all deaths in the country, according to a study released on the World Environment Day.HEALTH ISSUES CAUSED BY AIR POLLUTION

The main causes for air pollution are discharges from industries, exhaust from vehicles, burning of fossil fuels, mining and agricultural activities. Natural Causes include forest fires, volcanic eruptions, and wind erosion.

According to WHO, Worldwide ambient air pollution accounts for:

  • 29% of all deaths and disease from lung cancer
  • 17% of all deaths and disease from acute lower respiratory infection
  • 24% of all deaths from stroke
  • 25% of all deaths and disease from ischaemic heart disease
  • 43% of all deaths and disease from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Those most susceptible to severe health problems from air pollution are:

  • Individuals with heart disease, coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure
  • Individuals with lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Pregnant women
  • Outdoor workers
  • Older adults and the elderly
  • Children under age 14
  • Athletes who exercise vigorously outdoors

Here are the health risks that polluted air can cause:

  • Aggravated cardiovascular and respiratory illness
  • Added stress to heart and lungs, which must work harder to supply the body with oxygen
  • Damaged cells in the respiratory system
  • Premature death 
  • Asthma attacks
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Developmental damage 
  • Susceptibility to infections
  • Worsened COPD symptoms
  • Lung tissue swelling and irritation 
  • Low infant birth weight
  • Wheezing, coughing and shortness of breathHEALTH ISSUES CAUSED BY AIR POLLUTION

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