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Which Pollution is Most Dangerous?

Image of vehicles stuck in traffic block which signifies harmful emissions.

Which Pollution is Most Dangerous?

Do you know that environmental pollution is a broad term that encompasses different variants? However, intensifying human activities and a rapidly expanding population are the primary causes of pollution.

Environmental pollution has different types, which include: air, water, radiation, light, thermal soil and noise pollution. The question is, which pollution is the most dangerous to human life and why?

Generally, pollutants are classified based on their impact on the environment, which could be long term or short term. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), Air pollution is more dangerous than the other pollution types.

How Air Pollution Destroys Human Health

Air pollution caused more premature deaths in 2019 than in past decades globally—a recent study by the WHO has revealed that 9 out of 10 people breathe contaminated air.

The world was getting hotter and crowded each day. Unfortunately, this means we may breathe polluted air for a long time.

No matter how hard you try, you can hardly escape air pollution. Even the rich are affected because it’s around us.

Most times, our body defenses cannot withstand these microscopic pollutants that slip through thin air into our bodies. They contaminate the circulatory and respiratory organs, causing damage to the lungs and brain.

What Causes Air Pollution?

Most air pollutants cannot be seen, but smelling chemicals like ammonia and Hydrogen sulfide may create awareness easily.

Generally, air pollution is classified by its sources:

Stationary: these are mostly pollutants from oil refineries, power plants, factories and industrial facilities.

Mobile: many carbon monoxide emissions are from buses, cars, tricycles, trains and trucks.

Area: they include poultry, farms, bush burning, and wood burning fireplaces. Livestock produces waste that pollutes the air, like ammonia and methane. The latter causes ground-level ozone that triggers respiratory illnesses like asthma.

Natural: the air polluted during heavy wind, volcano eruption, wildfires, and a hurricane is mind-blowing. When these happen, sand and dust travel thousands of miles carrying harmful elements that cause lung cancer in the long run.

What Are the Various Types of Air Pollution

Air pollution is of two major types: outdoor (ambient) and indoor (household) pollution.

Indoor pollution is easily caused by burning fuel like wood, kerosene or coal in poorly ventilated areas or from carbon generated by vehicles on the road.

Both indoor and outdoor air pollution could contribute to each other when air is moved from inside to outside a building.

Air Pollution: Who is Affected?

The poor are usually the hard hit by air pollution. This is because of their socio-economic status and high exposure to air pollutants in the environment.

Despite these, specific populations are at higher risks of health challenges due to exposure to polluted air.

  • Young children and infants
  • The elderly (65 years and older)

People who :

  • Have cardiovascular and lung disease
  • Exercise or work outdoors
  • Live in poor neighborhoods
  • Spend so much time in traffic or at bus stops
  • work in industrial facilities
  • smoke cigarettes or marijuana or exposed to second-hand smoke
Air pollution is dangerous but could be significantly reduced if carbon emissions and the burning of chemicals are averted or controlled, thus implementing Air Security. Secondly, you could experience less exposure if you avoid highly polluted places and improve your indoor air quality.

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