Hidalgo: Beat air pollution

Citizen Fe

THE United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has reported that the most dominant causes of air pollution in rural areas is biomass burning while in the urban areas, it is vehicle and industrial emissions.

The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that indoor air pollution among the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) caused more than 376,000 premature deaths; while outdoor air pollution was estimated to cause more than 149,000 deaths annually.

Humans rely on the planet's rich biodiversity and ecosystems. These are the sources of our air, water, and food. They are the sources of raw materials for medicine and shelters, and natural capital for businesses and industries. All these are threatened by air pollution. The five major sources of air pollution are the households, industries, transport, agriculture, and wastes.

Household air pollution comes from the indoor burning of fossil fuels, wood, and fuels for cooking, heating, and lighting. Global transport sector accounts for almost one quarter of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Transport emissions have been linked to about 400,000 premature deaths. In agriculture, the air pollutants come from live stocks which produce methane and ammonia. Burning agricultural wastes in landfills release harmful dioxins, methane, furans, and black carbon in to the atmosphere.

These pollutants are dangerous for human life. We breathe in a mixture of these gases into our lungs into our blood streams going to the heart and the entire human body through blood vessels. The cardiovascular system is dependent on the functioning of the respiratory system; it is also indirectly connected to the health of the lungs. People living near major roads have the risks of dying earlier shortening their life expectancy. Studies also showed that heart attacks, life-threatening heart rhymes, and thickening of the blood can be due to exposure to air pollution.

Air pollution, according to research, may affect pregnancy and cause higher blood pressure. There is gestational hypertension and she will give birth prematurely, the baby is small and may need a cesarean operation.

Humans are the cause of air pollution but they are also the problem. We can plant native vegetation to absorb the carbon dioxide. On transportation, we can use bicycles, skate boards, or scooters but there should also be dedicated roads for these bikers. One commendable solution is to reduce, reuse, and recycle the wastes. The useless wastes can be recycled into useful materials.


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