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Future Health






Clean Air Month

May 13, 2019 

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
  • Eutrophication
  • Haze
  • 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:

  1. Gases: including benzene, toluene, and xylenes, which are all found in gasoline
  2. Liquid Aerosols: perchloroethylene which is a dry cleaning agent, and methylene chloride an industrial solvent
  3. Particles: some examples are heavy metals like cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from the burning of fossil fuels and waste.