Air Quality and Health

Air pollution reduces air quality and thus is a major risk to health.  Air pollution causes to a number of health concerns such as asthma, allergies, lung disease, anxiety and depression.  Babies, young children, teenagers, the elderly, pregnant women and people with preexisting respiratory medical conditions are especially vulnerable to air pollution.

The types and amount of air pollution you may breathe will vary by your location, the time of day, the temperature and the weather.

Some sources of air pollution are natural such as smoke from wildfires, pollen from plants, dander from pets, or spores from molds.  Many sources of air pollution are of our own making such as air pollution from burning coal, driving cars and trucks, and incinerating garbage.  We even pollute the air inside our homes we when smoke tobacco, burn wood or use candles.

When public health is protected by good air quality there are numerous economic co-benefits.  Beyond everyone’s desire to be able to breathe easy, these economic co-benefits support efforts to improve air quality.  Good air quality reduces healthcare bills for heart attack, stroke, asthma, lung cancer and respiratory illness hospitalizations or even premature deaths.  Some adverse health effects of air pollution are:

·         Asthma attacks
·         Wheezing and cough
·         Shortness of breath
·         Lung tissue swelling
·         Lung cancer
·         Cardiovascular harm
·         Susceptibility to infections
·         Premature death