Just the other day, I experienced the nauseating sensation of driving down a pass into the air pollution in Los Angeles. We need clean air to be healthy, but these air pollution facts make me ill.
Air Pollution Facts
There are many different types of pollution that affect our environment. The Earth’s waters are affected by pollutants such as chemicals and medical waste, and the land itself is also polluted with garbage and even more types of chemicals. Some of the worst pollution that affects us daily, however, is air pollution. Here are some air pollution thoughts that should make you hack, cough and start wearing a filter mask.
Air pollution is a general term that is used to describe any chemical, biological or other matter that causes changes in the atmosphere. A good example is the pollution caused by large cities, which is also known as smog. Smog is the accumulation of all the dirt and chemical pollutants produced by a city or area, and it can be detrimental to our lungs, other animals, plants and even the ozone layer high above us.
The particularly nasty thing about air pollution is the silent, unseen impact it has on us. Whereas we can see and taste water pollution, air pollution is much less obvious. It is, however, still deadly. For instance, everyone knows smoking is bad for you and will ruin your lungs. Yet, not a single person either seems to know or care that among air pollution facts, one of the ugliest is as follows. If you drive in rush hour traffic in Los Angeles with your window rolled down, the harm to your lungs per hour is equal to smoking two PACKS of cigarettes. TWO PACKS!
Holes in the ozone layer, which is a layer in the upper atmosphere, allow more harmful UVB (ultraviolet B) light to reach us from the sun. This light can cause skin cancer as well as sun burns and lesser ailments. There are other causes for the holes in this layer besides just smog, and these include carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels and even the exhaling of farm animals. While we would consider most of the harm done to the atmosphere to be caused by chemicals, air pollution facts tell us that even animals have a hand in creating air pollution.
So, what can we do to stop air pollution? While there is no way to completely get rid of pollutants that harm our air quality and ozone layer, we can help to eliminate man made causes of atmospheric distress. Cutting down on the use of fossil fuels, using non-chemical based cleaners, and generally thinking “green” can all help to reduce the amount of air pollution we produce. A fundamental solution is to get off of fossil fuels for our cars and the hybrid vehicles are a good start. If the mythical hydrogen vehicle ever comes to be, the reduction of air pollution in major cities will be astounding.
While there is no real way to fix the damage we have already done to the atmosphere, people can definitely stop more problems from occurring. In your everyday life, try to produce less air pollution by taking simple steps to use less chemicals and fossil fuels. We’ve got a long way to make the world a less polluted place, but every little step towards a “greener” Earth will help us all breathe a little easier.