Air pollution has been linked to many health problems including asthma, heart disease, lung cancer, and even premature death. According to the World Health Organization , air pollution causes approximately 7 million deaths each year worldwide.
In addition, WHO estimates that air pollution contributes to over 4% of global disability adjusted life years , which means that air pollution costs the world economy billions of dollars every year.
In order to reduce these numbers, governments are implementing policies to mitigate air pollution. These policies include reducing emissions from vehicles, factories, power plants, and other sources. However, there is still a lot of work to be done in this area.
For example, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , only about half of all states have implemented any kind of regulation on vehicle exhaust. The EPA also found that some states were not enforcing existing regulations.
A study published in the journal Nature Communications showed that people who live near roads with heavy traffic tend to have higher levels of air pollutants in their blood. This suggests that living near busy roads may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
A similar study was conducted by researchers at Harvard University, who found that children whose schools are located close to major roadways had increased rates of respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
The effects of air pollution can be especially harmful for children because they breathe more than adults, they spend more time outdoors and play closer to streets and highways. Children’s lungs are still developing, making them particularly vulnerable to the effects of air pollution.
There is no safe level of exposure to air pollution. Even small amounts of air pollution can cause serious health problems. Therefore, it is important to protect yourself and your family from air pollution.
If you live or travel near busy roads, consider moving away. If you cannot move, try to minimize your exposure to traffic fumes by staying indoors when possible.