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Airing Out the Truths of Air Pollution
The World Health Organization defines air pollution as a “contamination of the indoor or outdoor environment by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere.”
Air pollution is a major environmental health concern of developed and developing countries. Indoor air pollution is responsible for 2 million premature deaths in developing countries, and urban outdoor air pollution is responsible for 1.3 million deaths worldwide, per year. Half of pollution-related deaths are due to pneumonia in children, under five years of age.
According to the Smithsonian, “Scientists found that exposure to higher concentrations of fine particulate air pollution correlated with an accelerated thickening of the arteries. Conversely, reductions in air pollution were linked with a slower progression of arterial thickening. Such a thickening or hardening of the arteries can eventually block the flow of blood to the head, resulting in stroke, or to the heart, causing heart attack.”
Breathing in air pollution can increase the risk of early death, heart attacks, strokes and ER visits. Furthermore, breathing air from polluted, metropolitan cities can reduce your life expectancy by 2-3 years! The lower the levels of air pollution in a city, the better respiratory and cardiovascular health of a population.
Recent research presented by the Coalition for Clean Air claims that driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic can result in “pollutants..seep[ing] into your car, making the air you breathe inside your car up to 10 times more polluted than typical city air.”
Cleaner air between 2000- 2007 is thought to have added four months on to the average person’s life; unfortunately more than 131.8 million people live in counties that receive an “F” for either ozone and/or particle pollution. Ozone and particle pollution is linked to increased risk of lower birth weight in newborns. Health impacts from diesel pollution exposure, such as premature death, heart disease, asthma and bronchitis cost an estimated $22 billion, statewide. 90 per cent of all cancer risks associated with air pollution are caused by transportation sources such as cars; trucks; buses; ships and trains.
**Cutting air pollution through various, go-green environmental solutions can prevent at least 230,000 deaths and save $2 trillion annually by 2020. **If you wish to make a long-term, ecological difference, consider a degree in environmental science. DistanceLearning.org offers the flexibility of remote-course options that are tailored to your schedule and career ambitions. A world of difference can start today at www.DistanceLearning.org!**