5 Serious Human Health Problems Related To Air Pollution

Don’t Miss These 5 Human Health Problems: Air Pollution Is A Serious Health Threat For You And Your Family

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently made a move to reduce air pollution, an environmental problem related to a whole host of serious human health problems including premature death, pneumonia, heart disease, appendicitis, and more.

The EPAs announcement this year includes the strictest smog standards in the US, yet reversing many of the damaging legislative problems that arose during the Bush years.


Their statement, “The tighter standards will cost tens of billions of dollars to implement, but will ultimately save billions in avoided emergency room visits, premature deaths, and missed work and school days.”

1. Pneumonia

McMaster University in Canada recently released the results from their study into the correlation between air pollution and pneumonia in elderly populations. Looking at 365 hospital patients to have confirmed cases of pneumonia, they found that those with 12 months or more of exposure to nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter resulted in an increased susceptibility to developing pneumonia.

5 Serious Human Health Problems Related To Air Pollution

Long-term exposure to air pollution may have increased individuals’ susceptibility to pneumonia by interfering with innate immune defenses designed to protect the lung from pathogens; this may have included epithelial cell damage, reductions in bronchial macrophages, or reductions in natural killer cells.

2. Miscarriage

Air pollution is also connected to an increase in the incidence of miscarriages. A study of African American women living near busy roads found that they were three times more likely to experience a miscarriage within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy than women in the rest of the population.


Obviously, living away from such busy roads would be a good solution here. Having cleaner cars and fewer of them would also help.

3. Asthma

Children are also affected. Of course, there’s the higher incidence of asthma in children as a result of air pollution.


Some can cope with this, but it has been proven to lead to an increase of absenteeism from school. In fact, Cook Children’s Medical center in Forth Worth discovered in their study that 1 in 4 children in North Texas has asthma, which will keep them home more often than not.

4. Ear Infections

In a study conducted at the UCLA, Brigham, and Women’s Hospital in Boston, scientists found that a reduction in air pollution in certain centers has seen a decrease in the number of ear infections in children. In fact, according to the study, 120,060 children studied between 1997 and 2006 were surveyed to find out the frequency of conditions such as ear infections, seizure activity, and respiratory allergies.

ear infections

The scientists that then cross-referenced the conditions with the EPA’s data on air quality in those regions found that as pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrous dioxides, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide decreased, so did these conditions.

5. Appendicitis

In a new theory, some scientists are beginning to connect air pollution with appendicitis. In a study with 5191 adults over a 7 year period of time, air pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen dioxides, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and particulate matter were studied for their possible connection to an increase in this disease.


“They found correlations between high levels of ozone and nitrogen dioxide and the incidence of appendicitis between age groups and genders.”

Shorthaul Flights

Neighborhoods in close proximity to small, regional airports may be particularly vulnerable to air pollution related to shorthaul flights. Private planes and corporate jets that fly into these airports seem to emit higher levels of ultrafine pollution particles, increasing levels of these particles by as much as 10 times in these areas.

Shorthaul Flights

The moral? Perhaps move to an area away from these types of airports if at all possible.

Black Carbon Pollution

Black carbon is being called the planet’s second most potent greenhouse gas, but it may also have a more direct impact on human health. According to a study of 18 years world of data, the long-term health consequences of black carbon could be responsible for 2.5 million deaths every year.

black carbon pollution

Black carbon, which comes from biomass cooking fires, diesel engines, and so on, is a particulate pollution that causes many human health illnesses. The people most vulnerable to black carbon pollution are those using biomass cooking stoves in developing countries.

Some organizations are working to develop cleaner cooking stoves such as Aprovecho’s StoveTec and Envirofit.

More Resources:

Breathing Techniques to Improve Lung Capacity

Asthma Management For Living With Asthma!



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