Air pollution is one of the top issues in the world. It is the world’s greatest environmental threat to health. It is an everyday issue and very dangerous. What is Air Pollution? It is a mixture of high concentrations of solid particles and gases in the air, which can be very harmful to us. There are many different types of air pollution. These are some of the environmental pollutions:
Air pollution can come from anywhere. You or anyone can cause air pollution without even knowing. It moves very quickly and travels to different areas. There are many sources of how air pollution is formed. It is usually man-made or caused by industrial work or traffic. There are also natural sources such as dust or mineral ash. Some other main causes are:
Waste in Landfills
The Burning of Fossil Fuels
Exhaust From Factories and Industries
Open Burning of Garbage Waste
Air Pollution Health Issues
Air pollution is a big threat to our health. It can have a big effect on your body from head to toe. No one is immune to the health impact of air pollution exposure. It doesn’t matter if it’s short-term exposure. It will still harm you. Air pollution is even more harmful to sensitive groups with preexisting respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, children, the elderly, and pregnant women. It is proven that 9/10 people breathe polluted air each day. Each year about 4.2 million premature deaths are resulting from exposure to air pollution. Some risk factors and diseases caused by air pollution are:
Ischemic heart disease
Symptoms Of Poor Air Quality
Air quality can cause many symptoms and side effects. There are many ways you can show symptoms, and it can be very severe. Some symptoms and side effects are:
Dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin
Shortness of breath
Hypersensitivity and allergies
Coughing and sneezing
Reduced resistance to infections
Methods For Detecting Air Pollution
You can use many methods to monitor the air, and it is very important to do so. Whether it is inside your home or outside, there is always a way. From technology improving and scientists progressing, it is expanding. Here are some ways you can measure the air quality:
Measuring Your Indoor Air Quality
There are different detection systems to measure indoor air quality. There is a special tool called a VOC sensor which means Volatile organic compounds. It can use sensor bad air quality from alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, organic acids, amines, organic chloramines, aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons.
Carbon Monoxide Alarm
VOC sensor can not detect carbon monoxide, but there is a carbon monoxide alarm. It is important to have one of these alarms in your house, especially if you have children. It is important because it can kill you if you are exposed to large amounts. Also, you cannot see it, taste it, or smell it. So the only way to detect it is by installing a carbon monoxide alarm. You should put one within 10 to 15 feet of each sleeping area and not in corners.
Radon test kit
Radon is very dangerous. It is hard to detect because it is odorless, colorless and tasteless. There are many ways it can enter your home. It can go through cracks in your floors, foundation, walls, or areas around pipes. It can cause death and many health issues. Radon test kits can be purchased in any home improvement store or online. You should always test your house for radon because it’s the only way to find out the level of radon.
Air Quality Index
AQI is used to measure air quality. It is a thermometer that runs from 0 to 500 degrees. It does not provide you with the temperature, but it shows you the changes in the amount of pollution in the air. This is a very useful tool for you to have because it will show you how clean or polluted the air is. This tool will come handed at home and around your kids. It’s a way to keep track of your environment.
Satellite is one of the best tools to use for air pollution. It records data and images to help measure large areas of pollution caused by fires, sand storms, volcanic eruptions, large industrial sources, and man-made pollution. It can also be measured from space. The way it works is by measuring the concentration of particles in the atmosphere. It observes how much light reaches the surface of the Earth and how much is reflected off the aerosols particles. The measurement is called aerosol optical depth or aerosol optical thickness.
BreezoMeter collects data from governmental monitoring stations, satellites, weather, and traffic information. It has a very high accuracy prediction of the current air quality. It is also a four-day forecast, so it gives you the opportunity to take preventative measures.
Governmental Monitoring Stations
Throughout the country, the government has placed equipment that is a very reliable source of air quality information. They are placed in areas of dense populations. These stations are set up in specific locations to measure pollution. These stations are important because it can collect different data such as:
Provide information on air quality trends
Provide data for the evaluation of air quality models
Air pollution data to the general public in a timely manner
Evaluate the effectiveness of emissions control strategies
Reduce Air Pollution
Even though many things can cause air pollution, there are still ways to reduce it. You can do a lot of things to prevent it, whether it is inside or outside. You can make a difference and help the people around you just by doing something small. A few tips you can do are:
Keep car, boat, and other engines properly tuned on.
Conserve energy everywhere
Use public transportation, bike, or walk whenever it’s possible.
Use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products.
Use gas logs instead of wood.
Reduction of forest fires and smoking
Use fans instead of an air Conditioner
Reduce the use of non-biodegradable things
Plant More Trees
Trees play a very important role when it comes to protecting the air. It absorbs odors and pollutant gases such as nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and ozone. It also filters particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves. The tree helps the environment a lot by providing oxygen. It helps improve air quality by taking in carbon monoxide and producing the oxygen we breathe. This is one of the best ways to improve our air quality and environment.
Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
There are many ways you can improve your air quality indoors. Some ways are by using fans or opening up windows. A breeze is a great way to ventilate your home. Another way is by owning a home air purifier. It can remove harmful particles from indoor air. Filtering the air can remove allergens, smoke, and mold particularly. It is one of the best home cleaning techniques for you.
Did you ever wonder what goes into the process of monitoring our air quality? You may have even noticed that your local every smiling TV weathercaster (do they all take botox injections) may talk briefly about the Air Quality Index and hint that today is not a good day to go to the beach or the park.
So exactly what is the Air Quality Index, and exactly what does it measure?
The National Air Pollution Control Administration originally founded the Air Quality Index, and after some refinements, the newly established Environmental Protection Agency adopted its use.
Other countries use the same general principles, but the Air Quality Index is the application that most of us are familiar with.
The air quality index is somewhat similar to air temperature readings, only air quality from a ranking of zero to 500.
The air quality index is a little confusing because an index reading of 200 does not mean that the air quality is twice as bad as the air rated at 100. It is the most commonly used system, so it’s still important to consider.
As it exists right now, the air is measured in 6 different categories under the AQI.
If the AQI is rated good and air pollution generally considered causing little concern to the general public, it will have an AQI score of from 0 to 50.
An AQI score of 50 to 100 is termed moderate. The air quality is considered acceptable, but the pollution levels may affect a small minority who are very sensitive to pollution.
An AQI of 100-150 is considered unhealthy for those in sensitive groups.
An AQI of 151-200, however, is considered unhealthy for those most anyone, and those sensitive to pollution are likely to experience mild to severe symptoms.
From 201 to 300, the air is considered very unhealthy, and the vast majority may start to feel effects from pollution.
Finally, from 301 to 500, Health Alerts are called. Pollution is at an emergency level, and the entire population is affected.
What are the various pollutants that are being measured in the air?
The EPA and those scientists associated with measuring pollution are primarily concerned with five major pollutants:
Ground Level Ozone
Note that the ozone is essential in the upper atmosphere to protect us from the sun’s radiation, but at ground-level, ozone can be harmful to both humans, animals, and plant life.
Virtually all of these pollutants can affect human health.
According to the American Lung Association, nearly 40 percent of the population lives in areas that have a lot of air pollution, especially in California, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Utah, New York, Ohio, and Utah.
And despite the fact that generally, the air has been getting better, efforts are being exasperated by climate change.
A frequent change in particle acceleration each year is significantly noted with wildfires. Wildfires send millions of tons of particles in the air, and a major task of NOAA is to track the effects of wildfires.
Meanwhile, there is plenty of work to be done on ozone and particles.
The Los Angeles Times reported that in 2020 there were 157 Ozone alert days and 30 days where the general LA basin had particularly large numbers of particles in the air, and LA is not alone.
Right now, there are 5 US cities with air pollution indexes of around 150, and several more at around 140.
And air pollution not only affects people’s health but affects the overall economy as well. Stanford University, in a 2019 study, estimated that air pollution negatively affects our overall economy by 5 percent of our Gross National Product. Since the GDP for 2020 was around $20.8 trillion dollars, that means that we lose over $1 billion dollars to air pollution each year.
Meanwhile, as many as 90,000 and up to 360,000 people every year die of air pollution in the United States.
Of course, this is much better than China and India, where between 1.8 and 2.3 million people die each year from air pollution each year, but air pollution is still a significant factor in the United States in terms of deaths.