When we think about air pollution most of us picture the smog hanging over cities, but there are many kinds of pollution, visible and invisible. Some types of air pollutants affect the composition of the atmosphere and contribute to climate change, while others have direct damaging effects on living things, humans included. A website allows you to check what the air pollution levels in the city where you live and compare them to the WHO recommended concentrations. You’re also provided with information about the average pollution levels of your country, as well as a figure estimating the number of deaths per year related to air pollution. Verify the pollution levels in your city, and let us know in the comments what results you got. Where I live, the pollution levels are 80% above the recommendation.
Check the air pollution of your city :
We often think of air pollution as a problem limited to developing countries, but this turns out not to be the case. While the air quality in poorer countries can be really bad, the situation in the “developed” countries is not much brighter. Most European cities exceed the recommended levels significantly and thousands of people die in each country because of the polluted air.
“Air pollution is causing damage to human health and ecosystems. Large parts of the population do not live in a healthy environment, according to current standards. To get on to a sustainable path, Europe will have to be ambitious and go beyond current legislation.” – Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director
Air pollution clearly harms both human health and the environment and despite Europe’s efforts to cut the emissions of many air pollutants over the past decades, air pollutant concentrations are still too high. Even though air quality has improved across the region the problems persist. A significant proportion of Europe’s population lives in cities and other areas, where ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter pollution pose serious health risks. Source.
The solutions to this problem are really various and are centered both around us individuals, but also on a local and state level. Improving transport can mean us walking and cycling more, but it also translates into better public infrastructure and higher emission standards. Advances and investments in waste management, sustainable agriculture and clean energy are going to be crucial if we hope to breathe a fresher air.
Take a look at the world’s most polluted city, where burning trash is releasing poisonous gases every day.