Air Pollution Affecting Health
Pollution is becoming a rising problem as the effects become more evident with every passing year, all around the world. On average, a person breathes over 3,000 gallons of air each day. However, breathing polluted air can make people sick. It has gotten to the point that air pollution claims the lives of 3.3 million people worldwide every year and 200,000 lives annually in the United States. In high density air pollution areas, people have a higher risk of getting lung cancer, about 20 percent, over those living in low density areas.
According to Time for Change and the United States Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], the reason behind the dramatic increase can be blamed on burning fossil fuels and toxic chemicals released in the air, such as benzene or vinyl chloride. House owners use chemicals that are 10 times more toxic per acre than the amount used by the farmers.
“I feel that pollution is a big problem, but is inevitable because of where we are as a society,” Kylee Jackson ‘18 said.
It is clear that just because air pollution is not always easy to see does not mean that it is not a problem.
“When I lived in LA, it was always harder to breathe and gave my sister asthma problems,” Jackson said.
Air pollution can lead to a cough or throat irritation, asthma, and, in some cases, chronic bronchitis and lung cancer.
“Personally, I don’t think [pollution] is worth it because we are doing nothing but destroying ourselves. And we should stop what we can before it’s too late,” Jackson said.
Air pollution does not only affect people’s health, but it also affects the environment. Toxic air pollutants and the chemicals that form acid rain and ground-level ozone can damage trees, crops, wildlife, lakes and other bodies of water, thus in turn also harming fish and other aquatic life. This can then cause a chain reaction all throughout the food chain.