Environmental Effects Of Air Pollution

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Air has been a constant factor that all living beings are dependant on, but while there seems to be an almost limitless amount of the clean air that surrounds the environment, it has slowly contaminated from pollution. Throughout history, air pollution has been a health concern that continues to plague the globe. One of the most significant examples was the Great Smog of London. According to the History Channel, In London, on December 5, 1952, fog within the city began to mix with sulfurous fumes produced from the cities factories, chimneys, and automobiles. The resulting mixture created a smog that claimed the lives of an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 lives (Klein). In modern day, reports show the dire situation concerning current air quality…show more content…
It can cause chest pain, coughing, and breathing difficulties. It triggers asthma attacks, and it can lead to irreversible lung damage or even death” (“Smog, Soot, and Asthma”). These toxins damage the lungs and can prove fatal. A report acquired by the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) states that outdoor pollutants alone cause about 3 million premature deaths per year globally (Thurston). Smog has appeared throughout the world as a growing problem: “Nearly 90% of deaths linked to air pollution occur in low- and middle-income countries, and nearly two out of three occur in Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions, according to the WHO” (Howard). The sheer amount of people being poisoned by pollutants brings into question what impact these toxins…show more content…
One main issue that comes up is its effects on the body. George Thurston, a professor of environmental medicine and population health at New York University’s School of Medicine, explains that the pollutants are so small, they can enter the lungs and enter the bloodstream through the alveoli (Dennis). These tiny toxic particles are proved to be quite fatal. In a study done by the WHO, 7 million people were estimated to have died in 2012 due to exposure to pollutants. To put that into perspective, 7 million deaths make up one-eighth of the world's total annual deaths (“7 Million Premature Deaths Annually Linked to Air Pollution”). Wildlife is also yet another victim of the toxic compounds found in the air. In a study done on how environmental change affects wildlife, results showed how dangerous air pollution could be: “Moreover, PCBs [polychlorinated biphenyls are industrially produced chemicals] and other pollutants (mainly aromatic and hydrophobic compounds) can cause DNA strand breakage or bind covalently to nucleotides (i.e. adduct formation) (Luch 2005) [. . .] studies in laboratory animals have shown that unrepaired DNA damage can lead to gamete loss, lethal embryonic mutations, abnormal development, and cancer” (Acevedo-Whitehouse). If the threat to wildlife does not give enough reason to promote change, the effect of air pollutants on children definitely will. According to the US Library of Medicine, Studies

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