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5 Effects of Air Pollution on Human Health

The effects of air pollution on human health can be both immediate and long lasting. With 99% of the world’s population living in areas deemed to be of poor air quality it’s important to understand how you can protect your own health. We guide you through what air pollution is, the effects it can have on human health, and how you can reduce its impact. 

What is Air Pollution?

Air pollution refers to the pollutants found in the air. Poor quality air can have a negative effect on both the environment and human health. Crucially, there are many everyday occurrences that cause air pollution, including:

  • Industrial processes (such as mining)
  • Manufacturing 
  • Public transport systems 
  • Everyday vehicles
  • Agriculture & farming
  • Energy industries

The ways in which this type of pollution occurs can differ including smog, pollen, mould, as well as harmful pollutants all being within this category. The effects of air pollution on human health can be negative, due to the contents of the pollution itself. These are just a few of the chemicals that are the result of air pollution:

  • Particulate matter - these are mainly formed through man-made processes such as the use of fuel in vehicles. But can also come from natural sources, such as dust or burning vegetation.
  • Nitrogen dioxide - the effects of this air pollution on human health can be very negative, with it being a respiratory irritant, causing coughs and shortness of breath.
  • Ozone - can also have an impact on the respiratory system, as well as an effect on the cardiovascular system. 
  • Carbon monoxide - is created when fuels, such as wood or gas, burn without oxygen. This commonly occurs in household items such as boilers, but can also occur in the air outside coming from vehicles.

The combination of all of these chemicals are what leads to the effects of air pollution on human health. Foreign particles entering the body can leave us feeling lack-luster, and can have more prominent and serious long term health effects. 

How Can Pollution Impact My Health?

There are many ways air pollution can affect human health, one of the most significant is that pollution contains unstable atoms called free radicals. Free radicals can attack healthy cells leading to damage within the body, impacting your overall health. Air pollution not only affects the respiratory system, but the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as the heart and blood vessels. 

Asthma

For those with asthma, air pollution can be a significant trigger. The small pollutants can enter the airways, acting as an irritant that causes the throat to tighten. 

Cardiovascular Disease

One significant effect of air pollution on human health is the increased risk of heart disease. Research from the British Heart Foundation found that air pollution can “damage the inside of walls of blood vessels, causing them to become narrower and harder.” This in turn could lead to negative impacts such as an added strain to the heart, an increased risk of blood clots, and even abnormal heart rhythms.  

Lung Disease

Those who already suffer with a lung condition, such as COPD, may feel a rapid onset of symptoms when exposed to high levels of air pollution. The British Lung Foundation states that research has suggested that a long-term exposure to poor quality air could lead to the development of lung diseases. 

Skin Health

A visible effect of air pollution on human health is the impact it can have on our skin. The free radicals found in the pollution can damage our skin cells, especially the collagen. This can cause premature wrinkles, as well as loose skin and dark spots. Taking care of your skin, from both the outside and the inside by using daily skin supplements could help to prevent this.

In Pregnancy & Childhood

During pregnancy and childhood our lungs and other body systems are still developing. At this stage the effects of air pollution on human health can cause lifelong impacts. Issues that could be incurred due to air pollution at these stages include: premature birth, low birth weight, asthma, and wheezing. Supporting your baby’s growth and development can be supported with pregnancy supplements, ensuring you have the vitamins and minerals you need to keep as healthy as possible. 

How Can I Reduce the Effects of Air Pollution on My Health?

With 99% of the world’s population living in areas where the air quality exceeds World Health Organisation guideline limits, it’s important we tackle this problem head on. Reducing air pollution requires everyone to alter their routines slightly, this could include taking public transport instead of driving your car, turning lights off when not in use, and ensuring you properly recycle your rubbish. 

There are also things you can do to reduce the effect of air pollution on your own human health. From filtering the air in your home, to limiting time spent outdoors in polluted areas. 

Fight the Impact of Pollution with Vitamins

Despite avoiding air pollution, there are times you may still come into contact with it. Luckily, you can limit the effects of air pollution on human health by ensuring your vitamin levels are at the correct levels. We’ve formulated a vitamin oral spray that helps to minimise the damaging effects of free radicals found in air pollution, and protects cells from oxidative stress. The Air Defence spray contains:

  • Vitamin B6 & Folate - these are two types of vitamin B supplements that contribute to normal red blood cell formation.
  • Vitamin B12 - this vitamin B type both contributes to the normal function of the immune system and to normal red blood cell formation.
  • Vitamin D3 - this type of vitamin D supplement contributes to the normal function of the immune system.
  • Selenium - contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress, minimising the effects of free radicals found in air pollution.

With this specially formulated multivitamin you can reap the benefits of vitamin B and the benefits of vitamin D in the fight against air pollution. We want to do our part to protect the planet and reduce air pollution, which is why for every Air Defense sold we will be planting a mangrove tree in Madagascar. Mangrove trees sequester carbon at a rate of 2 - 4 times faster than mature tropical forests. 

Innovative Supplementation with BetterYou

We are a supplementation brand that pioneered oral sprays and transdermal magnesium supplements. Our collection of children’s supplements, magnesium bath salts, and vegan supplements, will help you support your wellbeing.
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