Air pollution negatively influences your cardiovascular health

contaminated city

Millions of people around the world are affected by the problem of air pollution. The excessive presence of pollutants in the atmosphere can have harmful consequences for health, particularly for the cardiovascular system. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified air pollution as the leading environmental factor contributing to disease and premature mortality globally, with an estimated 9 in 10 people inhaling polluted air.

In this article we are going to tell you how Air pollution negatively influences your cardiovascular health.

What are the causes of air pollution?

atmospheric pollution

Human activities, specifically the burning of fossil fuels in industries, transportation and power plants, are the main contributors to the air pollution. This process releases various harmful substances, such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and suspended particles. These pollutants accumulate in the atmosphere and have a detrimental impact on the quality of the air we inhale.

Motor vehicles, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles, are major contributors to air pollution. The emissions emitted by these vehicles contain a substantial amount of harmful gases, such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. These pollutants not only contribute to the acceleration of global warming but also play a role in the degradation of air quality.

Air pollution is also caused by the combustion of biomass, including firewood and charcoal. The act of burning these substances releases gases and particles into the atmosphere, which generates a pollution which can negatively affect the health of people residing in the vicinity of the burning sites.

Global air pollution is not caused solely by human activities. Natural phenomena such as Forest fires, volcanic eruptions and dust storms also play an important role. These events release substantial amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere, further exacerbating the air pollution problem on a global scale.

Consequences

pollution and risks

The impact of air pollution on both human health and the environment cannot be underestimated. The presence of pollutants in the air has been linked to a number of serious health problems, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as cancer. Besides, Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems suffer significant damage as a result of air pollution. It is important to note that air pollution is a major contributor to climate change, which, in turn, is responsible for the occurrence of extreme weather events around the world.

The detrimental impact of high air pollution on cardiovascular well-being cannot be underestimated. Extensive research has consistently shown a strong correlation between air pollution and increased susceptibility to various cardiovascular conditions, including, but not limited to, heart attacks, hypertension, heart failure and strokes.

One of the most harmful pollutants for cardiovascular health is nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The presence of this gas in the environment can have serious consequences on the body, such as increased blood pressure, inflammation of blood vessels, accelerated development of atheromatous plaques in the arteries and a high risk of thrombosis. Ultimately, these effects significantly increase the likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke.

Suspended particles

Air pollution negatively influences your cardiovascular health

In terms of cardiovascular health, particulate matter (specifically PM10 and PM2,5) poses a significant threat. These tiny particles have the ability to infiltrate the lungs and enter the bloodstream, causing inflammation within the blood vessels, damage to the endothelium (the inner lining of the vessels), and an increased chance of blood clots. These factors collectively contribute to the progression of cardiovascular diseases.

Potential dangers associated with ozone exposure

Cardiovascular health can be affected by ground-level ozone (O3), an additional air pollutant in the atmosphere. While stratospheric ozone protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation, tropospheric ozone is a harmful gas that It can cause airway irritation, lung inflammation, and worsen respiratory conditions such as asthma. Additionally, studies have shown a correlation between elevated ozone levels and an increased likelihood of acute cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks.

The impact of air pollution extends beyond people who already suffer from cardiovascular disease, as it can also increase the likelihood of healthy people developing such conditions. Consequently, it becomes necessary to implement strategies aimed at reducing air pollution and safeguarding the cardiovascular well-being of the population.

Some effective measures

Addressing air pollution requires both individual and collective efforts. There are several measures we can take to mitigate air pollution, such as using public transportation, carpooling, opting for environmentally friendly modes of transportation such as cycling, increase physical activity by walking more, minimize energy use, and practice waste recycling. These are routine and simple actions that can improve our well-being and have a positive impact on the preservation of the environment.

In addition, it is necessary for both governments and companies to adopt more environmentally friendly policies and technologies to reduce the release of harmful substances into the air. This means enforcing stricter guidelines regarding vehicle emissions, advocate for the use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency in industrial practices.

There are numerous countries whose quality of life is much lower than that of atmospheric pollution. Countries like Egypt have to constantly clean surfaces due to deposits of suspended particles, not only from sand from the desert, but also from pollution from the gases emitted by the millions of vehicles they have.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about how air pollution negatively influences your cardiovascular health.


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