Air Pollution and Health Status!

Jordan Darr 4/12/15


What is Air Pollution?

The introduction of particles, biological substances, or other harmful materials into earths atmosphere, causing disease, death to humans, damage to other living organisms such as food crops, or the environment.

Effects on humans

Air pollutants can be in the form of matter which can be very harmful to our health. The level of effect usually depends on the length of time of exposure, also the kind and concentration of chemicals. Short-term effects include irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, and upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Others include headaches, nausea, and allergic reactions. Short-term air pollution can aggravate the medical conditions of people with asthma and emphysema. Long-term health effects can include chronic respiratory disease , lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys. A lot of exposure to air pollution affects the lungs of growing children and could complicate medical conditions in the elderly.


There are vehicles other than public transportation buses that cause air pollution. As Delaney et al. stated in their article, “Transit industry gears up and responds to climate challenges”, most of land transportation vehicle emissions - 85% - belong to personal automobiles (2009)

Statistics about commuting, the mortality rate, due to air pollution, is 50,000 deaths per year in the United States, (Palmgren et al., 2003)

Soll-Johanning et al. found an increased risk of 25% for cancer, a 60% increase for men and a 160% increase for women who were exposed to air pollution for long periods of time, (1998)

How to prevent and be an advocate for eliminating air pollution

  • Participate in your local energy conservation programs.
  • Limit driving by carpooling, using public transportation, biking and walking.
  • Combine errands for fewer trips.
  • Keep your automobile maintained.
  • Use electric or hand-powered lawn care equipment.
  • Be careful not to spill gasoline when your filling up your car.
  • Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when it is full.
  • Choose environmentally friendly cleaners.
  • Use water-based or solvent free paints whenever possible.
  • Seal containers of household cleaners, workshop chemicals and solvents, and garden chemicals.