Do you know how air quality effects your health?
Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is the air pollutant driving the most significant health problems and premature mortality and despite growing improvements to the air quality in Europe, PM concentrations still exceed EU limit values and, in large parts of Europe according to WHO air quality guidelines.
Particulate Matter (PM) was the pollutant most response for premature deaths in Ireland, according to the Air Quality in Ireland report 2018 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). An estimated 1300 people are prematurely dying each year in Ireland due to poor air quality according to the World health Organisation (WHO). Poor air quality has short-term health implications such as headaches, breathing difficulties and eye irritation and long-term effects including asthma, reduced liver function or cardiovascular disease. The health effects of air pollution are serious. One third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease are due to air pollution. This is having an equivalent effect to that of smoking tobacco, and much higher than, say the effects of eating too much salt. Some researchers are looking to see if there is a link between Covid- 19 deaths and long-term exposure to air pollutants.
What Is Air Pollution?
How does air pollution affect our health?
Whom does air pollution affect the most?
Air pollution affects everyone’s health, but certain groups may be harmed more. People with heart or lung diseases, children, and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure. That is why it is important if you have underlying health condition to monitor the air quality in your home with an air quality monitor. See myecohubs air quality monitors.
Do we know the full health consequences of air pollution?
The short answer is no. Much more research needs to be done on the health effects of both indoor and outdoor pollution. Next week’s article will look at how you can reduce your exposure to air quality pollutants in the meantime please see our other articles on ” Is poor ventilation and bad air quality affecting your health?”