Health Impact On Children And AdultsPosted by: | Posted on: February 11, 2014
Most people will think of impacts of air pollution in the form of directly inhaling dangerous chemicals. Truth is though, that this is only one way that chemicals can harm us. For the majority of people direct exposure to industrial air pollutants is quite limited, as legislation has resulted in factories being located far enough away from large populations. And with the mandate for catalytic converters and strict regulations on fuel sources, the air in urban environments of Europe and North America has improved huge in the past decades.
However, of greater concern to most people is the fact that while many pollutants quickly dissipate into very small amounts per million, they do eventually rain back down to earth. This can ultimately lead to a higher concentration in water ways and ground water, which then moves up the food chain. Many water sources are directly used by humans for household consumption and a great deal of effort is being done to monitor the quality. The question is whether that effort is enough or not. But the waterways are also sources of plant and animal food and the further up the food chain you go the higher the concentration can become.
While the effects through the food chain are a lot more difficult to measure, in some cases even impossible, society would impact the food chain by simply focusing on the actual pollution of the air.
One of the most significant findings of the last few years is that the incidents of respiratory problems like asthma. Even very small amounts of toxins can have a huge impact on babies and very young children, and it should be a big concern for parents. A lot more research is being done into these findings as there are many factors that can influence asthma, including your genetics.
But so far studies have shown that there is a link between increases in air pollution and records of visits to medical practitioners because of lung and breathing related problems. This is especially noticeable in areas of increased industrialisation where the levels of chemicals in the air are the highest in direct proximity.
Obviously you should always seek medical help if you or someone in your family is finding it difficult to breath, and your family physician will be able to advise you about the best course of action. But in order to make a change and influence legislation about pollutants, you need to become more knowledgeable about sources of pollution and how to best avoid it. While moving to a different part of the country may not be possible you should at least get away from cities and sources of pollution on a regular basis. More information on this will follow in another post.