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Environmental Pollution and Its Effect on Health Essay

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Updated: Sep 17th, 2022

Environmental pollution is one of the fundamental factors directly affecting climate change. Due to the active production and human use of fossil fuel products, industrial enterprises’ activities exert intense pressure on the environment. Air pollution has a direct negative impact not only on the climatic situation but also on people’s health throughout the country. The most vulnerable category of the population to climate change is adults over 65 since external factors most strongly influence their health.

Industrial enterprises for the extraction and processing of fossil fuels are located throughout the United States of America. Moreover, agricultural activities and natural disasters, such as seasonal forest fires, substantially impact the ecological situation. Moreover, given the air masses’ movement and the cyclical nature of many biological processes, it is fair to conclude that air pollution problems are national. First of all, the increased content of heavy particles such as CO2, N2O, and NH3 has a severe impact on the human respiratory system. The lungs receive additional stress due to respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic objective pulmonary illness.

Furthermore, the lack of pure oxygen in the body harms other human organs: the brain, heart, and digestive system. According to new data from the World Health Organization (WHO) (2018), 9 out of 10 people breathe air with an increased concentration of pollutants. The WHO estimates that 7 million people die each year from the effects of inhaling air-containing particulate matter causing diseases such as stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and pneumonia (World Health Organization, 2018). Older people are most vulnerable to environmental pollution, as their level of immunity weakens with age.

The negative impact of human-made pollution sources is actively affecting climate change. First of all, the above factors affect the increase in temperature in the atmosphere. According to the Lancet Countdown, temperature-related deaths in people over 65 have increased by 50% in the past twenty years (Watts et al., 2020). In the southern regions, there is an increased risk associated with an increase in atmospheric temperature, which in the long term will lead to droughts, floods, and, as a result, food crises. In addition, high temperatures increase the rate at which infectious diseases such as malaria spread, which also poses additional risks in some countries (Fairweather, 2020). Thus, the problem of climate change is not only national but also goes to the global level.

To solve this problem, a systematic and comprehensive approach is required, the application of which will take a relatively long period. In climate change, due to air pollution, the main force to prevent environmental disasters need to change the approach to the production of substances from fossil fuels. First of all, increased taxation and legislative acts limiting the number of harmful products will reduce the burden on the environment. Recent technological solutions allow the use of renewable energy sources with increasing efficiency. Large companies gradually lose the need to use coal or petroleum products. Conglomerates continue to use them due to low prices. Therefore, government intervention is needed, aimed not to adjusting the market as a harmful environmental consequence.

Due to the rapid development and massive use of modern technologies by the population, people’s way of life has changed. In the twenty-first century, the world community is ready to actively assist the government by applying the principles of conscious consumption and reducing the emissions of solid and gaseous waste into nature. People are beginning to use public transport, bicycles, and other transportation, emitting several times fewer emissions than cars.

Moreover, the environmental agenda is growing: citizens choose special packaging of products, strive to sort waste into categories, and the state needs to support private initiatives at the federal and local levels (Akhtar & Palagiano, 2018). First of all, it is necessary to create all the conditions to make it easier for people to choose environmentally friendly products, create additional waste sorting centers, and raise citizens’ education in environmental matters. This can be done both by legislative acts, there and by local decisions.

The problem of climate change and air pollution is global. Accordingly, a considerable number of people are subject to changes that affect their daily life. Consequently, there is an additional burden on the health care system. If the current trend continues, the situation runs the risk of spiraling out of control due to medical institutions’ limited capacity. The pandemic of the COVID-19 virus, which has spread worldwide, has demonstrated the existence of vulnerabilities in the healthcare system (Richardson, 2020). In cases where many people need the qualified help, medical institutions may not cope with the load. In the event of critical climate changes, implying global cataclysms, the healthcare system will not be able to cope with the task.

To sum up, climate change is primarily due to the high level of harmful substances emissions into the atmosphere. According to statistics, every year, more and more people over 65 years old directly feel the consequences of the changes. First of all, to reduce environmental change, it is necessary to introduce stringent measures for large industrial enterprises and agricultural centers. Increasing ecological awareness of the population also favorably contributes to curbing global warming and, as a result, reduces people’s vulnerability to disease.

References

Akhtar, R., & Palagiano, C. (2018). Climate change and air pollution. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Watts, N., Amann, M., Arnell, N., Ayeb-Karlsson, S., Beagley, J., Belesova, K.,… & Capstick, S. (2020). The 2020 report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: Responding to converging crises. The Lancet. Web.

World Health Organization. (2018). Air pollution and child health: Prescribing clean air: Summary (WHO Reference Number WHO/CED/PHE/18.01). Web.

Richardson, S. J., et al. (2020). Research with older people in a world with COVID-19: identification of current and future priorities, challenges and opportunities. Age and Ageing, 49(6), 901-906.

Fairweather, V., Hertig, E., and Traidl‐Hoffmann, C. (2020). A brief introduction to climate change and health. Allergy, 75(9), 2352-2354. Web.

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