Clean air has numerous effects not only on the environment, but also our lives. Some groups of people are especially sensitive to common air pollutants including; children, older adults, people who are active outdoors, and people with existing heart or lung disease. What is considered clean air you may ask? Clean air has a natural balance of gases and does not contain pollutants or allergens.
How does toxic air affect you?
- Short term exposure can lead to eye irritation, nausea, or difficulty breathing.
- Long-term exposure can result in damage to the respiratory, nervous, or reproductive systems, birth and developmental defects, cancers, and other serious health problems.
How does toxic air affect the environment?
- Acid Rain
- Ozone Depletion
- Crop and Forest Damage
- Global Climate Change
- Effects on wildlife including reproductive failure and disease in animals
There are three main types of air toxics they include:
- Gases: including benzene, toluene, and xylenes, which are all found in gasoline
- Liquid Aerosols: perchloroethylene which is a dry cleaning agent, and methylene chloride an industrial solvent
- Particles: some examples are heavy metals like cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from the burning of fossil fuels and waste.