Losing Health

Ozone Pollution affects the air we breathe in everyday, worsening the air pollution problem. The warmer temperatures begin to “create conditions conductive to smog formation and lead air to stagnate, keeping dirty air from leaving a given area.”(Worland Time 2018) Climate change is not only affecting the increasing temperatures on the planet but it is also negatively affecting people’s health. These increasing temperatures causing climate change are worsening the air pollution across countries, contributing to a range of health problems from asthma to premature death. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide are causing global warming, not only harming the planet but us as well. “Fossil fuel pollutants can also generate of solid particles and liquid droplets in the atmosphere that can enter your lungs and even your bloodstream.” That is called particulate matter, which can aggravate asthma, decrease lung function and increase your risk of cardiovascular events such as strokes, according to a study published last year in The Lancet. That same study estimated that over 8 million people die early due to air pollution every year.(Azad 2018)

 

The decision of not taking care of our world has its consequences; air pollution affects everyone around the world in many ways. An article written on The Guardian News, includes the personal stories of readers and how their cities are affected by air pollution. The air pollution is Poland is in very poor conditions. “Poland has done nothing to reduce used car imports, promote renewable energy, protect green areas or rationalise precaution levels.” In Nigeria, located in Africa, “Residents of Port Harcourt became aware of a black substance falling from the sky last November. Authorities said an investigation was going to be carried out but not much happened until late January and early February when this pollution became unbearable.” The government doesn’t really get involved with global warming issues until they are at a point where it cannot be handled no longer. This shows that as a community, people need to speak up and ask their government to help control global warming problems because it affects health tremendously. The air pollution in Columbia, “is visible here on most days. You can taste it in the air. I believe it’s caused by low-quality diesel, and the high number of motor vehicles. There is no rail system and freight is transported by road. Heavy vehicles emit a thick, black exhaust that is frightening to see and lingers in the air.” (Perry 2017) Now for someone that that may think, “Oh I don’t live there that shouldn’t worry me”, even if you may not live in a polluted area or a you live in a healthy part of the world, the continuity of fossil fuels that get released into the air affect the air quality even more, decreasing your chances of really being in a healthy condition.

 

Human health is affected by climate change in different ways. An increase in disease carrying insects, like mosquitos and ticks. The hot and humid climate caused by global warming create the perfect temperatures for these insects to begin breeding rapidly. The warm temperatures put us at risk for vector borne diseases that are then transmitted by them. For example the West Nile virus are spread by mosquitoes. Even the slightest rise in temperatures is associated with an increase in mental health issues, according to a study published this year that surveyed nearly 2 million US residents. The research, in the journal PNAS, looked at individual cities and found that warming of just 1 degree over five years was linked to a 2% increase in mental health issues. As study published by Nature Climate Change found that a rise of 1 degree Celsius in monthly temperatures correlated with a 0.68% increase in the United States suicide rate. Using that data, researchers estimate that climate change could be linked to over 14,000 suicides by 2050.(Azad 2018) Global warming has many factors connected to it.

 

There are many ways that air pollution can be reduced and in the long run, hopefully prevented. Energy conservation is an important factor, reducing the amount on electricity with lights we use, can help. Driving to school or work or wherever releases air emissions affecting the quality of the air. Ride your bike to work or school once in a while, to help reduce air pollution. One of the biggest ways you could help prevent air pollution and overall global warming is by educating yourself about it. Spreading the truth and the research done by scientists is a key factor when talking to someone about what you can do to help stop climate change and help improve our health and the health of future generations to come.

 

Citations:

Worland, Justin. “How Climate Change Is Affecting Your Health Right Now.” Time, Time, 19 Apr. 2018, time.com/5245779/climate-change-air-pollution-health/#ob-player.

Azad, Arman. “How Climate Change Will Affect Your Health.” CNN, Cable News Network, 12 Oct. 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/10/12/health/climate-change-health-effects/index.html.

readers, Guardian, and Francesca Perry. “’You Can Taste It in the Air’: Your Stories of Life in Polluted Cities.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 16 Feb. 2017, www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/16/taste-air-pollution-smog-your-stories-life-polluted-cities.

“How Healthy Is the Air You Breathe?” American Lung Association, www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/sota/key-findings/.

 

Bibliography:

http://time.com/5245779/climate-change-air-pollution-health/#ob-player

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/12/health/climate-change-health-effects/index.html

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/16/taste-air-pollution-smog-your-stories-life-polluted-cities

https://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/sota/key-findings/

https://www.pnas.org/content/115/43/10953


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