People always associate lung cancer with smoking but, do you know that lung cancer can also occur to non-smokers as well? According to a recent study of Lung Care Foundation, both smokers and non-smokers represent an equal number of lung cancer patients. So, the question is who is to blame for this serious disease? It is air pollution, which is the reason for the increased risk of lung cancer among people (smoker or non-smoker). Regular exposure to toxic air not only increases the risk of lung cancer but also can cause respiratory and heart disease. Experts blame air pollution and not just smoking for such diseases and if the same continuous for long, you can see a drastic increase in the death rate.
Effects of Air Pollution
Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals of which 43 are cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds. The ingredients that are present in a cigarette are nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, and arsenic. Inhaling such harmful compounds can make your lungs weak. On the other hand, air pollution, the combination of different substances can also affect differently to the people depending upon the level of exposure. Both man-made and natural causes are the reason for air pollution, which is further divided into outdoor and indoor pollution. Pollute air consists of O3, sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), suspended particulate matter (PM) and other harmful pollutants. Breathing such contaminated air can cause harmful impacts to our physical and psychological wellbeing and these includes:
- Respiratory diseases
- Cardiovascular damage
- Headache, fatigue, and anxiety
- Lung cancer
- Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
- Damage to reproductive organs
- Damage to the nervous system and many more
Who is Affected by Air Pollution?
Everyone is affected by air pollution. Those who are exposed to polluted air over a longer period of time they are adversely affected. However, people with asthma, lung disease or cardiovascular diseases are more affected by air pollution. Exposure to high-level air pollution over a long time may link to adverse pregnancy outcomes. This can reduce birth weight or even premature death. Other people who have weaker immune systems or even untreated cardiovascular health conditions may be affected due to air pollution.
How to tackle Air Pollution and Protect Yourself from Unhealthy Air?
There are different ways through which you can tackle air pollution and these are mentioned below:
- Avoid exercising outdoors when you find pollution level is high because exposure to polluted air can make you ill
- Make sure that you do not exercise near traffic area as this can make your lungs weak
- Don’t burn wood or thrash as this will can cause particle pollution in the air and can cause deadly respiratory diseases
- Do not smoke as this will keep your home free from toxic air and you would even stay safe from developing lung cancer
- Install an air purifier at home that has HEPA filter added in it. The purifier can effectively remove 99.97% of particles which are less than 0.3 microns in diameter. It can trap pollutants including cobwebs, human or pet hair, debris, VOC, odour/ foul smell, etc. and make you room air pure, healthy and pollution free.
The Bottom Line
Follow the above-mentioned tips that will help keep you and your family safe from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Wear a mask when you are outdoor as this will at least prohibit you from breathing harmful air. When you are at home make use of air purifier as this will remove all the harmful pollutants from air and ensure that you breathe pollutant-free air.