Common Air Pollution

By Destini Riley

What is it?

Indoor air pollution refers to chemical, biological and physical contamination of indoor air.


Air pollution can result from both human and natural actions. Natural events that pollute the air include forest fires, volcanic eruptions, wind erosion, pollen dispersal, evaporation of organic compounds and natural radioactivity. Pollution from natural occurrences are not very often

What are the common air pollutants around?

  1. Carbon Monoxide
  2. Nitrogen Dioxide
  3. Ground level Ozone
  4. Sulfur dioxide
  5. Lead
  6. Particulate matter

Effects on Respiratory system

  • Symptoms: Cough, Wheezing, Phlegm, Shortness of breath, or Chest tightness
  • Increased sickness and premature death from: Asthma, Bronchitis (acute or chronic), Emphysema, or Pneumonia
  • Development of new disease like Chronic bronchitis or Premature aging of the lungs

How does it effect your Respiratory system?

  • Effects on Lung Function which includes narrowing of airways, decreased air flow,
  • Airway Inflammation like Influx of white blood cells, Abnormal mucus production, Fluid accumulation and swelling,or Death and shedding of cells that line airways
  • Increased Susceptibility to Respiratory Infection

Effects on Cardiovascular System

  • Symptoms: Chest tightness, Chest pain, Palpitations, Shortness of breath, Unusual fatigue
  • Increased sickness and premature death from: Coronary artery disease, Abnormal heart rhythms, Congestive heart failure or Stroke

How does it effect your Cardiovascular System?

  • Low oxygenation of red blood cells
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Altered autonomic nervous system control of the heart
  • Increased risk of blood clot formation
  • Narrowing of vessels
  • • Increased risk of atherosclerosis plaque rupture

How to Help

Some prevention methods can either come from government (laws) or by individual actions. In many big cities, monitoring equipment have been installed at many points in the city. Authorities read them regularly to check the quality of air.