Do you ever wonder if the air you are breathing right now is bad for you? Around the globe, 9 out of 10 people are breathing unhealthy air! Air pollution has become a serious problem in the past few decades, and has a serious effect on our health. Air pollution can come from smoke coming out of car engines, or burning fossil fuels such as coal. These substances release pollutants- a gas or chemical that causes air pollution. An example of an air pollutant is Carbon Dioxide, which contributes to global warming. Carbon Monoxide is a very dangerous air pollutant that is produced by cars. Very small amounts of Carbon Monoxide can cause death. Particulate matter are tiny dust particles that make air so dirty. Sulfur Dioxide can cause acid rain, damaging nearby water supplies such as lakes. What happens to us when these enter our lungs as we breathe in these pollutants? These harmful pollutants make it hard for us to breathe and cause diseases such as lung and heart cancer. They also can make our eyes burn, and make asthma worse. Smaller dust particles can even enter our bloodstream. This is becoming a bigger and bigger problem and it can be especially dangerous to people living in cities, where air pollution is at its highest. According to the World Health Organization, 4.2 million people prematurely die from air pollution every year! If this problem continues to grow, everyone in the future will start to have symptoms such as coughing, asthma, and sneezing on a daily basis. So, what can we do to help? Cities have begun to invest in clean, renewable energy. Public transport systems have been installed to provide lower-emission transportation. Doing simple tasks such as saving electricity can tremendously help our environment and also save money. We can do this by turning off the lights when leaving the room, or turning off any electrical devices when we are not using them. Saving gasoline fuel by driving less also makes a big impact. Ask your
parents to carpool with your friends to school. Walking or riding your bike to school with
your friends is a win-win situation. The Earth will thank you for protecting our home!
- Zachary Choi