London is possibly becoming the first megacity to introduce a “public health emergency” in that regard. From as early as May 2019, drivers will be subjected to a toll tax if they want to enter central London. The decision comes about after the realization that most air pollution is supposedly caused by vehicles. More importantly, the government is also moving a step ahead of making it obligatory for cars to have catalytic converters.
It is important for other cities to follow the footsteps of London. Primarily because we can not underestimate the effects of environmental catastrophe on our bodies. While a number of such effects can be identified, scientists have been able to two major ones. The first effect relates to the impact on our breathing. The second concerns the cardiovascular system and how pollution can disrupt the working of the heart.
The Two Health Impacts of Air Pollution
It should not come as an immediate surprise but air pollution can affect our breathing process. In other words, the pollutants we inhale on an everyday basis can be consequential for our respiratory system. All that being said, medical scientists have found a relationship between greater levels of pollution and the risk of asthma.
When you breathe in certain air particles, they are able to travel down the airways into the lungs. Due to this deposition, the body believes there to be an infection. As a subsequent result, it triggers the inflammation process in the lungs.
Because of the inflammation, the person may experience a number of problems. First and foremost, it can cause shortness of breath. In addition, people with other breathing problems like asthma may find the symptoms to be greatly triggered.
On the other scientists have also alerted people about the possible effects on the cardiovascular system.
The pollutant categorized as PM 2.5 particles has the tendency to enter the bloodstream and circulate around the body. The problem occurs when they come in contact with the heart.
This increases the risk of heart attack and stroke which can ultimately prove to be fatal.
A Cause for Concern?
The aforementioned discussion is just a simple sketch of what is believed to be a much bigger problem. There remains simply no denying that air pollution has threatened our lives more than anything else. We are amidst the worst climate crisis of the decade. Unfortunately, the situation can worsen if all of us collectively fail to take any meaningful steps.
That being said, there is a whole range of things we as a society can do. The first step entails acknowledging the problem of air pollution. There needs to be an innate realization that yes, it is a major cause of concern. It is risking the lives of thousands of people and numbers can potentially increase in the near future. Only when we realize the intensity of air pollution then can we take any meaningful steps.