Air quality and health can be very closely related. The air that we breathe needs to be of good quality for us to remain healthy. There are state guidelines for the most common air pollutants, and most governments also have their own guidelines as well.
Air pollutants can affect us both indirectly and directly. Obviously, we are affected directly by simply breathing the air around us. However, we are affected indirectly as well. Air pollutants can pollute rivers, seas and lakes which ultimately affects our drinking water.
There is davis air quality index equipment that monitors air quality. The levels can go from quality all the way down to poor quality.
States guidelines only address a small group of common air pollutants. They are called the criteria air pollutants because many believe that they are the most dangerous. These include six pollutants which are sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone particles, lead and nitrogen dioxide. Each can cause its own health issues.
Carbon monoxide comes from vegetation at certain stages of growth, decaying plants, car emissions, thunderstorms, heating units and volcanoes . Carbon monoxide from natural sources is not usually harmful to humans. Other types, however, can affect the heart and the central nervous system causing things such as shortness of breath, induced irritability and nausea. Smokers, children and the elderly need to be especially careful as they seem to be affected the most at high concentration levels.
Lead, another pollutant, has several sources. It mainly comes from production of batteries, solid or oil waste incineration, iron and steel production. In high concentrations it causes damage to the reproduction organs, anemia, kidney failure and damage to the nervous system .
Nitrogen dioxide is another pollutant on governmental guidelines criteria list. It can be harmful to both humans and animals in high concentrations. It mainly makes some people more susceptible to pneumonia and flu and affects lung tissue . In some cases, it has the potential to be fatal.
Ozone is a pollutant that must be monitored carefully. It can be harmful to both animals and humans . It is a gas at both the lower atmosphere level and at upper level. It is most commonly found in smog. Alerts are usually given when it is present in high levels.
Particle pollutants are solid or liquid particles in the air. At higher concentrations it causes respiratory problems. It is especially a problem for those with heart or asthma disease. It is also carefully monitored.
Many states guidelines also monitors sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide is a colorless gas, but unlike carbon monoxide has a distinctive smell. It combines with the water vapor in the air. It can cause irritation to the the throat or the lungs.
Even with these guidelines in place, there are still some pollutants that are not monitored. Air pollution most definitely affects our health and air quality. We must make sure that the monitoring devices in place are sufficient to protect us all from possible harm.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?
Be aware of the health symptoms linked to poor indoor air quality and inform your health provider if you have any reason to suspect that an illness may be attributed to air pollution.
Have the air inside your home tested. Davis air quality index test kits are available, but you can also consult a professional to have you air thoroughly tested.