Why Does Cleaner Air Matter?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2012 seven million people died as a result of various diseases caused by exposure to air pollution. Pollution cannot always be sensed by sight or smell, yet it is often in the air. The more active we are outdoors, the more exposed we are, breathing pollutants into our lungs.
Air pollution is extremely detrimental to:
- Asthma and other respiratory disease sufferers
- Heart disease patients
- Stroke victims
- Cancer patients
- Pregnant women
Dust, tobacco smoke, insect droppings, wood smoke, smog, sulfur dioxide (SOx), and nitrogen oxide (NOx) are all air pollutants that trigger asthma, as described by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Exposure to air pollution can have an effect on pregnant women and their infants can be born premature, underweight, or with birth defects. This exposure also increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes, as found by the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.
Indoor air pollutants, such as VOCs from household products, can also increase the risk of respiratory conditions, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and neurologic, cognitive, motor, and visual problems (Air Quality Sciences, Inc., 2008).
See Air Trends by the EPA at http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/