Air pollution is an “invisible threat” that most people don’t consider in their day-to-day lives, yet it is an issue that affects people around the world in substantial ways. Air pollution can greatly impact the human respiratory system as well as the nervous system, brain, kidneys, liver, and other organs, and it accounts for an estimated 7 million deaths per year. Environmental effects of poor air quality may manifest in ecosystem damage, reduction of crop yield, acid rain, and exacerbation of climate change through the release of pollutants like carbon dioxide.
Many individuals and the media tend to focus on air quality only when it becomes exceptionally poor, such as during wildfires, but the benefits of improved air quality can be reaped year-round. To further explore the vast impact that air quality has on human and environmental health, particularly coupled with the impacts of a changing climate, check out our blog on the relationship between air pollution and climate change.