Eliminating Factors Causing Air Pollution Potentially Benefit Human Health
Air pollution is an issue requiring urgent attention as it affects nearly everyone on the planet and degrades the environment beyond comprehension. There are many ways to reduce the contributing factors polluting the air and health benefits of air pollution reduction on a whole. On an individual level, reduction in air pollution has been observed to have potentially positive effects on the health of people around the globe.
The study ‘Health Benefits of Air Pollution Reduction’ by the Environmental Committee of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) has reviewed interventions that have reduced air pollution at its source. It was published in the American Thoracic Society’s journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society.
Lead author of the study Dr Dean Schraufnagel, MD, ATSF, said,
We knew there were benefits from pollution control, but the magnitude and relatively short time duration to accomplish them was impressive. Our findings indicate almost immediate and substantial effects on health outcomes followed by reduced exposure to air pollution. It’s critical that governments adopt and enforce WHO guidelines for air pollution immediately.
Reduction in outdoor air pollution leads to health benefits and so does the decline of indoor air pollution. In Nigeria, families with clean cookstoves that reduced indoor air pollution during a pregnancy term saw higher birth-weights, greater gestational age at delivery, and less perinatal mortality.
Dr Schraufnagel said,
Fortunately, reducing air pollution can result in prompt and substantial health gains. Sweeping policies affecting a whole country can reduce all-cause mortality within weeks. Local programs, such as reducing traffic, have also promptly improved many health measures.
According to the study, emissions of the major pollutants such as particulate matter (PM), Sulphur oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and lead were reduced by 73 percent between 1990 and 2015 while the US gross domestic product grew by more than 250 percent.