5 Ways Poor Air Quality Can Affect Your Health
Regardless of where you are staying, poor air quality is an issue. From short term issues to serious diseases, air pollution has been linked to several health problems. Interestingly, much of these pollution comes from our homes as a result of transportation, manufacturing, and over-dependence on fossil fuels such as gas and coal. Exposure to pollutants such as sulfates, nitrates, and carbon can have a serious effect on the human health. Here are 5 ways poor air quality affect your health.
1. Air pollution slows down cognition
It’s obvious that air pollution can exacerbate symptoms such as asthma and other related diseases. But are you aware that it can also affect the way you think? According to a study done by Dr. Jordi Sunyer, children who attended schools in areas with poor quality air showed slower cognition. Some of the factors that were taken into account include smoking, commuting time, and green spaces both at home and in schools.
2. Life expectancy
According to several studies, poor air quality has a staggering impact on mortality rates and life expectancy. Research done by WHO showed that over two million lives are lost every year due to the effects of poor air quality. Even in relatively clean areas, life expectancy is shortened by approximately 8.6 months due to air pollution by human activities. For every 10 micro-grams per cubic meter of polluted air, mortality rate increased by over 0.3 percent. Cities that struggle with poor air quality have over 20% higher mortality rates as compared to others.
3. Risks to Frequent flyers
Pilots, airline staff and others who fly frequently are more at risk for certain issues caused by poor air quality. Most aircraft have systems that compress air that is filtered and feeds into the cabin. This system is susceptible to malfunction and as a result, the cabin air can be contaminated from particles in the exhaust of the plane. Many pilots and cabin crews have mentioned this before and one pilot even passed away in 2012 after claiming that he is a victim of toxic and poisonous cabin fumes.
4. Poor quality air is linked to developmental problems like autism
Research has shown that there is a close connection between air pollution and children who had developed autism. Other studies focused on women who gave birth to children with autism after having been exposed to poor air quality for a long time. All these studies concluded that exposure to poor air quality seemed to increase the risk of autism among children and unborn infants.
5. Eye irritation and inflamed airways
After exposure to poor air quality, conditions such as eye irritation, inflamed airways, and damage to the respiratory tract are likely to occur. This can increase mucus secretion, coughing, and long term infections. This is particularly worse among those who have poor immune systems and asthma. Over time, exposure to this can lead to breathing problems and reduced lung function. Those with lung diseases and preexisting cardiovascular functions are especially vulnerable to air pollution.
It can be hard to deal with poor air quality, especially if your city or place of residence has consistently low quality. In your home however, you can be proactive. Ensure that your air ducts are cleaned regularly. This cannot be done by the home owner and it is recommended you find a high-rated company that performs air duct cleaning in Los Angeles.