We all know that air pollution is inherently bad for us. Coughing, watering eyes and difficulty in breathing are symptoms that impact communities around the world. In fact, 7 million people died in 2012 as a result of air pollution, according to the World Health Organization. But what’s really going on in our bodies to cause these reactions and tragic deaths?
A recent study in the United Kingdom from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine sheds some light on exactly that. Researchers found evidence of irregular heartbeats and increased blood clots in the lungs. There may also be links to increased risks for heart attacks and strokes but the data is less clear on this point.
What was overwhelmingly true is that the elderly (those over age 75—our parents and grandparents) were particularly vulnerable to the affects of air pollution and at high risk.
These findings come on the back of a World Health Organization study last year that showed how air pollution causes lung cancer. Air pollution comes primarily comes from car exhausts, power stations, agriculture and industry emissions – as well as heating in our homes.
Take Action Challenge
Is air pollution a problem where you live? Learn how can you take action in your community— our friends at Moms Clean Air Force are a great resource. Find them on Facebook here. Or check out the Climate Reality Project here or on Facebook.
Image: courtesy Moms Clean Airforce