You can bet it can. And very badly. Have a look at the SPECT scans of a brain of a person exposed to air pollution compared to Alzheimer’s disease or drug abuse.
The issue of air pollution has been overlooked for too long. It is beginning to rip the world apart and people need to take it more seriously. People need to take the bull by the horn for the sake of posterity before air pollution takes over the world.
To find the most effective solution to any problem, you need to start from the root cause of the problem. So, it is important to know the major causes of air pollution.
#1. It is caused by emissions from industrial and manufacturing activities.
Have you ever noticed that most manufacturing companies usually have several chimneys erected in their sites. A lot of fumes and smoke come out of these chimneys. In fact the chimney can be used as a signal to know if production is on or not. To make things worse, many manufacturing companies work round the clock while their employees run a shift. This implies that those chimneys will keep churning out harmful fumes 24 hours a day and people who live nearby will continue to inhale loads and loads of fumes.
For instance, waste incinerators emit a lot of chemicals, carbon monoxide and some organic compounds into the air regularly. Petroleum refineries are not left out they release hydrocarbons into the air. Yes, the products of these gas emitting activities are very important but they are not worth human lives.
Exchanging petroleum products for human health? It is not a good deal.
Burning of different types of fuels by combustion engines is another air polluting activity.
# 2. Transportation is another major contributor to air pollution.
Several airplanes, ships, trains, cars and even heavy duty trucks all burn one type of fuel or the other and release “poison” into the air on a regular basis. Consider the number of cars in use worldwide. It is even worse when you are stuck in traffic. You will be on the same spot inhaling the fumes that vehicles are emitting. The most unfortunate part is that transportation has come to stay as it has become a part of our lives. And engines will continue to burn become a part of our lives.
And engines will continue to burn fuels for now.
These engines emit dangerous gases like nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons from their exhaust pipes. Apart from causing harm to those who breathe them in, these gases also react with the natural atmospheric gases rendering them also harmful.
# 3. Fumigating chemicals like insect and pest killers are also capable of emitting dangerous gases into the air.
These chemicals also contribute to air pollution but they don’t do as much damages as the other activities mentioned earlier.
You do not need a physician to realize that when people continuously inhale these harmful gases, their lungs will be in danger.
And once the lungs become damaged, it will affect other vital organs of the body. Some of the commonest diseases caused by continuous air pollution are asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), lung cancer and several other lung diseases.
While the diseases listed above are dangerous and life threatening, they are not the major reason for standing up against air pollution !
These diseases are not the worst. Recently, it has been discovered that air pollution is a major cause of brain diseases.
Nothing can be more unfortunate than a human being with a damaged brain. This is very unfortunate as people rarely fully recover from brain damage.
It has been confirmed that prolonged exposure to air pollution can have a negative impact on the brain since the brain is about the most susceptible human organ to diseases. First of all, inhaling some harmful gases like mercury can lead to blocked veins and arteries. Mercury can block the arteries supplying the brain and this in turn can cause stroke. It does not always end in stroke. It could also lead to stunted brain development or even reduction in human intelligence.
Pregnant women are worst hit by effects of air pollution as fetuses have zero immunity. They may not be hit directly, but their babies may be born with certain disorders. Inhalation of their babies may be born with certain disorders. Inhalation of harmful gases is believed to be the leading cause of and autism in babies.
Some of these emitted chemicals sometimes find their way into the ocean and they get consumed by some fishes. Their effects may not be strong on the fishes but on the people that get to eat them. What makes this phenomenon worse is the fact that fishes are not cooked for long. Now, you are beginning to see the chains of harmful effects caused by years of unrestricted air pollution.
# 4. Lead is another dangerous air pollutant.
When inhaled, it causes more brain disorder in than adults. In infancy, it can have effect on the brain which includes reduced cognitive functioning. It can also result in reduced verbal memory. All these are symptoms of a damaged brain.
Now that you have an idea of the damages air pollution has done and still doing to the world, why not join the movement against air pollution now. There are a few communities of naturalists that have been sensitizing the world about the effect of air pollution for some time now. It is better to join them now to save unborn children from the dangers of air pollution.
This is necessary because more manufacturing companies will emerge, more incinerators and refineries will be built and more vehicles are going to be manufactured, purchased and used. The implication of this is that more sources and causes of air pollution will come up.
So, efforts against air pollution should be doubled.
Up till now, Hiroshima and Nagasaki have not fully recovered from the effects of bombs used against them. That is how powerful pollutants can be.
There is a lot you can do instead of passively sit there and breath whatever comes under your nose.
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