Air protects us
Having an atmosphere filled with air is why Earth is not too hot or too cold, allowing life to spread.
Earth’s ozone layer helps reduce the amount of harmful ultraviolet radiation from the Sun and our atmosphere protects us from X-rays and cosmic rays. Air also reduces the possibility that meteorites and asteroids could reach our cities.
Air means sound…
Your favourite song? You can hear that just because of air. People can hear sound only because air carries sound waves from one point to another.
…and blue skies
That’s right! The sky appears blue because air molecules cause violet and blue wavelengths of sunlight to scatter. Are you worried about grey? With no air, the sky would always be black!
Poor air quality can affect or harm human health and the environment and that’s why clean air is considered to be a basic requirement of human health and well-being.
The quality of air depends on 3 factors:
the amount of pollutants
the rate at which they are released in the atmosphere
how long they stay in an area
Air pollution is a key environmental and social issue, a complex problem posing multiple challenges in terms of management and reduction of harmful pollutants.
Air Pollution is responsible for 16% deaths worldwide each year
Strikingly, more than half of those casualties are caused by air pollution, which has been dubbed by the World Bank as “the deadliest form of pollution” and “the fourth leading risk factor for premature deaths worldwide”.
In a collaborative research, the WHO and the Energy Policy Institute of the University of Chicago developed the Air Quality-Life Index (AQLI) aimed at measuring the impact of air pollution on life expectancy.
The findings were quite chilling: in heavily polluted regions such as Eastern China or Northern India, a person’s lifespan can be shortened by an average of three-four years; in cities like Beijing, Tianjin or New Delhi life expectancy reduction easily approaches the decade.
Better Air Quality for the next generations
Planting trees, establishing policies and supporting innovation.
To be part of the required solution, society, people, businesses, manufacturing facilities, and government authorities need to work as a team to realize positive outcomes of having a healthier and more sustainable environment.
In general, the sources, causes and impacts of air quality are interlinked. That means, dealing with one air quality concern can very much lessen other categories of air pollution.
In the long run, efforts to improve air quality reward the entire humanity by improving human wellbeing and health, reducing the costs of health, and increasing environmental productivity.