Air pollution is getting severe every year, leading to many health risks.
Air pollution occurs due to smoking, automobile combustion, heavy factory exhausts, pesticide use in agriculture, etc.
This exposure leads to diseases and disorders over time. The pollutants in the air lead to diseases like
|Carbon-monoxide||Automobile exhaust, burning of coal, etc.||The Oxygen carrying capacity of Red Blood cells decreases|
|Hydrogen sulfide||From chemical industries, oil refineries, etc.||Eye irritation, throat burning, and sense of vomiting.|
|Nitrogen dioxide||Produced from petrol-based automobiles, industrial combustion||The ciliary function in the respiratory tract lining is inhibited, leading accumulation of pollutants in the lungs.|
|Sulfur dioxide||It is released from fertilizer industries and explosives.||It affects the lungs and decreases their function. It can irritate the respiratory tract and aggravate breathing disorders.|
|Hydrogen cyanide||It is released from furnaces, metallic paintings, chemical industries, etc.||It is released from fertilizer industries, and explosives.|
|Ammonia||It affects the nervous system leading to disturbance in vision and headache.||Causes damage to the respiratory system.|
|Air suspended particles||These are released as smoke, ash due to the combustion of biomass, major industries,||They can aggravate respiratory diseases like COPD, asthma, eyes.|
Diseases caused by air pollution can be mostly related to organs of the body exposed to the air, like lungs, skin, eyes, and also the brain, due to high dependency on oxygen supply.
They are further differentiated as short-term and long-term disease conditions.
Short-term effects cause diseases like
Eye allergies, nasal allergies like sinusitis, throat infection or inflammations, etc.
Long-term effects cause
Skin infection & problems: Air pollution due to dust contamination is the major factor for the growth and formation of acne, scabies, dandruff, fungal infection, etc.
This problem is seen in young children and, to some extent, in adults working in areas of high dust pollution like iron, bauxite, and other mining industries.
Air pollution, especially dust pollution, is the cause of pimples and other skin rashes.
The dust particles block the skin pores and lead to pimples.
♦ Bronchial asthma trigger: Air contaminated with seasonal pollen is the prime reason for asthmatic attacks in susceptible victims.
It also exaggerates infections like bronchitis and pneumonia in already infected individuals.
♦ Bronchitis, COPD, etc.: The phlegm formation is profuse due to pollution, making the accumulation of infectious microbes easier and further destruction of lung tissue linings. The alveolar tissue so damaged is difficult to be repaired, and the victim’s lung capacity to inhale and expire air is reduced. This causes gasping situations and is especially troublesome if it happens during cold winters or in elderly people suffering from COPD, asthma, and other lung diseases.
♦ Lung cancer: Some reports by NIH indicate that smoke from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels is responsible for increased rates of lung cancer.
Air pollution is also said to cause ANEMIA, INFERTILITY, and KIDNEY problems also.
Brain problems: The brain requires a high amount of energy. Hence there is a high demand for oxygen supply. And 20% of the oxygenated blood from the heart is directly supplied to the brain to meet these needs. Decreased oxygen content in the air leads to inadequate energy supply to the brain. This lack of energy leads to loss of memory, as shown by some scientific studies.
There is also the risk of headaches, depression, anxiety, etc.
Some studies show that exposure to air pollution increases the chances of brain inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease.