Jun 30, 2024

The Impact of Air Pollution on Health: Urgent Measures Needed

Sources : https://www.niehs.nih.gov/

By Atep Afia Hidayat

Air pollution can originate from natural or human-made sources. The main sources of air pollution from human activities include industry, transportation, and electricity production. These sectors often are not environmentally friendly and contribute significantly to air pollution.

Indoors, major sources of air pollution include cigarette smoke and cooking activities using fuel, especially solid fuels like wood and charcoal. Additionally, building materials, household appliances, carpets, and insecticides can cause chemical and biological contamination indoors.

Air quality continues to deteriorate with the increase in pollutants. The use of solid, liquid, or gas fuels exacerbates air conditions. According to WHO data, outdoor air pollution causes approximately 4.2 million deaths annually worldwide, while indoor air pollution is responsible for around 3.8 million deaths per year.

Air pollution severely impacts human health, causing issues ranging from mild eye irritation and respiratory problems to chronic respiratory diseases, heart disease, lung cancer, and death. It has been proven that air pollution can cause acute respiratory infections in children and chronic bronchitis in adults.

For people with heart and lung diseases, air pollution can worsen their condition. For asthma sufferers, air pollution can be a severe threat that exacerbates their condition during attacks. The impact of air pollution on health depends on the type of pollutant, absorption by vegetation, and individual conditions. In urban areas, poor people tend to live and work in highly polluted areas. In rural underdeveloped areas, the use of fuels like wood, leaves, or charcoal can worsen air quality and health.

In some countries, the importance of clean air quality is often overlooked, especially in industrial urban areas. Many people do not comply with regulations and laws regarding air quality protection. The poor living in polluted areas suffer even more due to lack of access to healthcare services.

The level of pollutants in the air continues to rise, accumulating and posing a serious threat to public health. Factors such as uncontrolled population growth, industrialization, and increasing demand for motor vehicles and energy correlate with worsening air quality. This is exacerbated by poor environmental management, the application of non-environmentally friendly technologies, traffic congestion, and substandard vehicle conditions.

Real actions are needed to control air pollution so that more severe impacts are not felt by future generations. Everyone is responsible for jointly saving the environment to prevent environmental disasters.

#AirPollution #EnvironmentalHealth #PublicHealth #CleanAir #SustainableLiving #PollutionControl #HealthRisks #ClimateChange #GreenEnergy #AtepAfiaHidayat


  1. World Health Organization (WHO)
  2. Global Burden of Disease Study


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