If you think you can’t be affected by air pollution just because you are healthy, you need to think again. You may still be at a higher risk for a number of health conditions, such as breathing difficulty, respiratory rotation, and asthma, just to name a few. Generally, the risk will be higher based on your health status, the length of your exposure, and the pollutant type. Let’s find out more.
Given below are some health problems that you may experience if you are exposed to air pollution for a long time:
- Aggravated respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses
- Excessive stress on your lungs and heart
- Excessive stress on your respiratory system
- Effects of long term exposure air pollutants
- Faster aging of your lungs
- Reduced lung function and capacity
- Risk of diseases like cancer, asthma, and bronchitis
- Reduce lifespan
Given below is a list of individuals that are at a higher risk of health problems due to long term exposure to air pollution:
- Kids under the age of 14
- Older adults
- Outdoor workers
- Pregnant women
- People with lung diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- People with heart disease, such as congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease
Health Effects from Certain Pollutants
Ground-level ozone is the result of a reaction between oxides of Nitrogen and volatile organic compounds in the UV rays of the sun. Some of the most common sources of volatile organic compounds and oxides of Nitrogen are agricultural equipment, construction equipment, buses, trucks, and other vehicles.
Generally, ground-level ozone is at its peak during the afternoon and evening hours. Besides, the level of ozone is also higher during the summer months. Basically, long-term exposure can make your airways constricted and put additional pressure on your respiratory system. As a result, you will find it difficult to breathe.
Other Health Issues It May Cause:
- Aggravated respiratory issues like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema
- Lung damage and the symptoms like coughing and sore throat
- Nausea, headache, dry throat, chest pain, and wheezing
- Lower resistance against infections
- Increased fatigue
- Reduced athletic performance
Particulate Matter (PM)
Particulate Matter refers to a complex mixture of smoke, soot, metals, rubber, water, dust, sulfates, nitrates, and so on. These particles are generated from fire. Apart from this, it may also come into existence when the reaction happens between different gases.
The size of these particles is associated with the type of health problem you may suffer from. For example, small particles aka PM2.5 are associated with greater health risks as they can bypass the natural defenses of your body. They can get deeper into your lungs and bloodstream. Long-term exposure to these elements may affect your heart and lungs. Given below is what can happen due to long term exposure to these particle matters:
- Non-fatal heart attacks
- Irregular heartbeat
- Chronic obstructive lung disease for chronic bronchitis
- Chronic respiratory disease in kids
- Aggravated asthma
- Reduced lung function
- Respiratory symptoms like difficulty breathing, coughing, and irritated airways
In short, this was a description of some overall health effects of exposure to air pollution. If you want to be on the safe side, we suggest that you go for an indoor air purifier. This will protect you against these harmful elements when you are in your house.