Hazardous substances are everywhere around us, even in the air we breathe. The industrial era introduced many benefits into the human lives but, on the other hand, it polluted our environment with many kinds of gases, droplets and particles. The air is polluted in both the city and the country, only the sources of pollution differ from one place to another. In the city, vehicles are the main sources of pollution while in the country, the agricultural industry the causes air pollution.
Health effects of air pollution
Air pollution affects human health with both short-term and long-term effects. Ground level ozone is the major source of pollution in most urban parts of the world. It is created by interaction of engine and fuel gasses in the air. Young children and elderly population are much more sensitive to the hazardous effects of air pollution.
Short-term health problems caused by air pollution are irritation to the eyes, characteristic sensation of burning eyes, irritation to the nose and throat, and upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The symptoms may also include headaches, nausea, and allergic reactions. Short-term air pollution also worsen aggravate the conditions of patients with asthma and emphysema.
Long-term health problems caused by air pollution usually include chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, damage to the brain, nerves, liver, and kidneys. Prolonged exposure to polluted air may aggravate many medical conditions in the elderly population. Combined with bad life habits, such as smoking, continuous exposure to air pollutants may even be fatal. It is also estimated that only in the United States, half of a million people prematurely every year as a result of smoking cigarettes.
Heart and lung diseases
Here is a list of heart and lung diseases that may result from exposure to air pollution.
Minor lung diseases that include sore throat, stuffy and runny nose and eye irritation.
Lung infections, which include croup, bronchitis and pneumonia.
Asthma, characterized by shortness of the breath, coughing or wheezing or whistling in the chest. Asthma is often triggered by a by a sensitivity to non-allergic types of pollutants present in the air such as smog.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking is responsible for almost 80% of all these diseases. Symptoms are usually cough, production of mucous and shortness of breath.
Lung cancer is the most common fatal cancer in humans. It is usually caused by smoking but air pollution may also affect the development of this disease.
Coronary artery disease is the blockage of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. Heart failure, resulting from severe coronary heart disease and heart-rhythm problems.