In this day and age, everyone knows that air pollution can be extremely harmful. Yet, still, not enough seems to be being done to reduce air pollution levels.

Motor vehicles, industrial facilities, and household combustion devices, among other things, all contribute to air pollution. Pollutants like particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and sulphur dioxide are all major public health concerns.

So, make no mistake, the air we breathe is becoming more and more dangerously polluted. Here is a look at just six harmful effects that air pollution can have on people’s health.

1. Air Pollution Can Kill

According to the World Health Organisation, nine out of ten people in the world now breathe air that is polluted, which results in approximately seven million deaths every year.

Those fatalities are attributed to both indoor and outdoor pollution and include both natural and man-made sources of air pollution.

2. Air Pollution Can Cause Asthma

Air pollution can cause various health conditions that can be fatal. That includes asthma. And children with asthma are affected the most.

For instance, in a landmark legal case in the U.K. in 2020, a south London coroner stated that the failure to reduce pollution levels to the legally required limits was a contributing factor in the death of a nine-year-old girl who suffered from severe asthma.

Her death, in 2013, was caused by severe asthma, acute respiratory failure, and air pollution exposure.

The coroner even specifically mentioned that the girl’s exposure to particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide pollution, which exceeded the WHO’s guidelines, was partially responsible for her tragic death. The principal sources of those air pollutants came from motor vehicle emissions.

Indeed, it is already known that up to 14% of children around the world aged between five and eighteen have asthma that is related to air pollution. Wrongful death lawsuits could potentially be brought against those responsible for air pollution that results in individual fatalities.

If you have a loved one who you believe was a victim of wrongful death, regardless of the cause, you should contact a wrongful death attorney.

3. Air Pollution Can Cause Other Health Problems in Children

Children who are exposed to air pollutants can be harmed in other ways in addition to potentially developing asthma. For instance, air pollution has been linked to childhood cancers and cognitive impairment.

Air pollution can also negatively affect the brain growth of foetuses.

4. Air Pollution Can Cause Strokes

According to the WHO, one-third of global deaths from strokes, heart disease, and lung cancer are caused by air pollution. Strokes are a serious life-threatening medical condition. They occur when the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off.

When someone experiences a stroke, it is a medical emergency that requires urgent treatment.

5. Air Pollution Can Cause Heart Disease

Heart disease is a major cause of death around the world each year. Symptoms to watch out for include chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling sick, feeling faint, and having pain throughout your body.

6. Air Pollution Can Cause Lung Cancer

Lung cancer starts in the lungs but can spread to lymph nodes as well as other organs in a person’s body, such as the brain. In the U.K. alone, over 43,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year.

There are few signs in the early stage of lung cancer, but many people who suffer from the condition develop symptoms like persistent coughs and breathlessness, unexplained weight loss, and coughing up blood.

While there are multiple causes of lung cancer, heart disease, and strokes, sadly, air pollution is one leading cause.