Health effects of air pollution on humans are extremely dangerous. To an extent that human lives are now dependent on artificial air purification process. The range of AQI (Air Quality Index) is consistently on the ‘above threshold’ which makes it life-threatening for the living beings.
Here are 5 unusual health effects of air pollution on humans.
1. Air pollution has been linked to a reduction in intelligence
Negative health effects of air pollution on humans have been in the news for quite some time now. According to the World Health Organization – air pollution is now directly linked to the reduction of human intelligence.
On a daily average, a person breathes oxygen which is mixed with fine Particle Mater (PM 2.5), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). Breathing such harmful air particles can risk human health and develop health issues that directly affect the nervous system. The damage caused by the rising pollution level in the urban and rural cities has made lives of people critical, affecting their daily errands and body functions.
Watch the video that shows how air pollution impacts your body:
2. Air pollution can cause dementia
Air pollution is made of several components including gaseous particles, chemical and physical air particles that can cause different kinds of chronic health issues. However, recent studies have shown air pollution can cause dementia. Fine dust particles and other harmful air substance are extremely small in their size – almost naked to our eyes. They can easily enter our body via our nostril mixing into our bloodstream.
Breathing polluted air also shows biological changes that are known to damage our brain cells leading to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Not only does it destroy memory but other important mental functions that help in human function in day to day activities.
3. Long term exposure to pollution causes mental stress, sleeping disorder, and anxiety
A piece of growing evidence has shown breathing polluted air indoors and outdoors can cause mental stress leading to sleeping disorder and anxiety. The ill health effects of air pollution on humans does not include physical stress but also mental and emotional stress. This also leads to a poor immune system – ultimately affecting sleeping pattern which can cause low or high blood pressure.
Being exposed to ambient air pollution has interrelation with devastating mental health effects not only to elderly people but kids as small as 10 years old. The effects are actually caused due to breathing fine dust particles present in the air which are diluted with black carbon, nitrogen dioxide, and other harmful pollutants.
4. Growing up breathing unhealthy air can risk kids to develop depression
Did you know that more than 90% of the world’s children breathe toxic air?
It has been noted that the children who live in highly polluted areas are more prone to mental health effects. According to a recent survey done on the kids between the age of 8 years to 18 years – it was observed that kids suffered mental stress due to breathing poor air quality. Lack of sleep was another reason as these children breathe toxic air making them turn sides, trying hard to sleep at nights.
“High level of pollution is not for the kids, irrespective the age,” says Helen Fisher from Kings College London who helped to lead the research. She also added that “It is sensible to try to avoid the areas with the highest levels of air pollution. We really should be pushing for the local and national government to reduce those levels.”
5. Air pollution is as bad as smoking cigarettes during pregnancy
Effects of health effects of air pollution on pregnant women are alarming. The hard efforts all go in vain if you’re still exposed to harmful air quality during your pregnancy. The consequences of breathing harmful air particles include a number of adverse effects such as cardiac and respiratory problems to cognitive decline.
Recommended – Here are the 10 Main Causes of Air Pollution
In 2017, it was reported that India had over 1 million premature babies, becoming the highest in numbers after China which is twice the number.
[Watch] Women are exposed to higher levels of air pollution during pregnancy are more likely to have kids with high blood pressure, a new study finds. (source: CBS News)
Other than the effects that we see right away, Air Pollution has a lot of long-term effect on human beings. Air Pollution is no more a cause for only respiratory diseases, it causes more damage than what catches the eye. Which is why it is important to consider all the possible causes and effects of pollution to really fight it. Monitoring Air Quality today will help you have a safer future.