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January 5, 2014

Air Pollution Facts From Global to Local

Earth is the only planet in our solar system where humans can live and breathe. But air pollution threatens our vital atmosphere, and thus our health. This phenomenon affects communities both locally and globally. It’s important to be aware of key air pollution facts. Here are a few:

Fact #1: Urban outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 1.3 million deaths worldwide per year.

According to the World Health Organization, bad air quality in cities is caused by increased polluting activity in one area. Middle-income countries disproportionately experience this burden in comparison to those living in less crowded, more open spaces.

Fact #2: Coal is the dirtiest energy source and leads pollution in the U.S.

Activities related to coal, such as its mining and its use in energy plants, contaminate both the land and the air. The pollution from coal plants dirties our air and creates acid rain.

Old Coal Mine in Roscommon

An old coal mine in Roscommon, via Abandoned Mines Of Ireland.

Fact #3: Cars are one of the greatest contributors to air pollution.

The emissions from cars in the United States alone contribute significantly to global climate change. Not only are gas emissions bad for the environment, but they are also bad for human health: the average adult in the U.S. consumes 3,000 gallons of polluted air every day, which increases the chances of developing lung cancer or other respiratory conditions.

Fact #4: Indoor air pollution can be two-to-five times worse than air outside.

Indoor air is polluted by things like pollen, dust mites, mold and chemical compounds like radon, carbon monoxide, excessive carbon dioxide, and other chemical fumes. Using chemical cleaners, having little ventilation, and forgetting to clean and replace air filters all contribute to indoor air pollution.

Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor Air Pollution by SEDACMaps.

How You Can Help

To reduce the harmful effects of pollution, begin by looking at how your home contributes to polluting the environment. Small things like using cleaner energy sources or carpooling will add up to a positive impact on the environment. Consider becoming involved with community cleanup projects. When it comes to air pollution, we can all contribute a little to create big changes.

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