Air Pollution: The Threat it Poses to Humans & the Environment
As the world’s population continues to grow, we are creating more and more pollution, specifically air pollution. Generally, pollution originates from waste. Air pollution is defined as the release of compounds, particles and gases into the air, and thus can be manmade or occur naturally. Manmade pollution is the main issues at hand and in the UK alone, air pollution takes the lives of nearly 36,000 people annually. London has some of the dirtiest air in all of Europe.
Air pollution is life threatening and detrimental to humans and the environment. It has been reported to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. While transport alone is reported to produce nearly a quarter of CO2 global energy, it is not just transport that we need to worry about. Rather, the most dangerous things we breathe in are barely visible to the human eye, and can easily penetrate the lungs and respiratory system. Air pollution has serious short-term and long-term consequences.
Air pollution has drastically effected the atmospheric environment. Black carbon, found in coals and diesel, when burnt is detrimental to the climate, warming it up. Sound familiar? Air pollution has played a crucial role in climate change. Researchers agree that black carbon is a big facilitator of climate change. Bottom line, air pollution is rooted in waste. The more waste we produce, the more prominent and threatening air pollution becomes.
This all sounds pretty discouraging, right? It is unfortunate, however we can combat this in sustainable ways!
There are a few great ideas in place already, like low and zero emission cars. In the last 4 years alone, people have been buying more electric cards. In fact, the number has increased by nearly 2600% in the UK alone! Additionally, Share the Road, has been implemented to fight climate change. The Netherlands and Norway have proposed to stop selling petrol and diesel based cards in general and have hopes to convert to electric cars by 2025. The UK could adopt this similar idea.
Additionally, an easy and effortless way we can combat the basic air pollution around us bringing lovely houseplants that take the harmful particles from the air, cleaning and cleansing our home air of impurities. Biking to work schemes have been introduced across companies. Walking and cycling more and instead of transport have been shown to drastically decrease air pollution.
We love the Healthy Air Campaign who are advocating for change to improve air quality. They have and continue to create dialogue to educate the public about the health impacts of air pollution and are fighting for laws to clean the air.
Fundamentally, it is crucial that we remain vigilant and informed about how waste is produced and how we can work to reduce it, thus in turn reducing pollution to protect ourselves and the environment.
Take aways: preventing pollution is possible and it is an essential aspect of sustainability. we can do our part by biking and walking more, reducing our transport footprints and so much more just by simply becoming educated about the threat air pollution / pollution poses against us and our environment.