Friday, April 27, 2012

The negative effects of air pollution in cities

Air pollution is taking a heavy toll in many cities, all across the globe. Many people usually think about Chinese cities as the examples of excessive air pollution but China is far from being an isolated case of air pollution in cities. There are many cities in developed world that are notorious for extremely high pollution levels, in U.S. for instance Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.

In most cases high traffic is the main source of air pollution in cities. City roads filled with cars and other vehicles release harmful pollutants in air that cause many adverse health effects.

In one of their recent studies the Harvard School of Public Health claims that air pollution is responsible for around four percent of all deaths in the United States.

Air pollution has been linked with many health issues, from breathing issues such as asthma to heart attacks. Even the short exposure to pollutants found in air such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide increases significantly the risk of heart attack.

Among the leading causes of mortality in developed world are cardiovascular diseases. There have been several studies that found the strong connection between the cardiovascular diseases and air pollution in several large cities of the world.

The studies have also linked air pollution in cities with acceleration of cognitive decline in older adults. Air pollution often leads to prematurely born babies, especially in areas in cities where there is a constant high traffic. Prematurely born babies are more likely to develop different disabilities throughout their life.

Asthma, the most common chronic childhood illness in developed countries is closely linked to air pollution in cities.

Tackling air pollution in cities is anything but easy because of the high traffic levels, particularly in large cities. Still, our health is more important than our cars and city authorities need to ensure clean air for their citizens.  

We should always have in mind that clean air is one of the main prerequisites for healthy life.

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