Fine Particulate Matter, hazardous dust, might have looked decreasing recently as the humidity kicks in, but actually, it is escalating every year as some of us has seen lately.
This is not happening only in the developing countries, but all without exception…
Did You Know?
Among us, 9 in 10 persons around the world is breathing air with high level of pollutants.
It is above the safety standard in almost every city, especially the extremely-fine particulate matters, PM10 and PM2.5, you have heard from the news. In fact, there are other toxins as Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Hydrocarbons, heavy metals contaminated in the atmosphere, including ground-level ozone (O3) that is, contrary to some beliefs, very poisonous to breathe.
The data from World Health Organization (WHO), states that over 7 million people die prematurely from the tiny pollution every year. Because of its nano-size, 20-30 time thinner than the hair, it can penetrate deep through your lungs, air sacs, and into bloodstreams. This can cause the significantly higher risk for diseases as stroke, heart diseases, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), and respiratory infections, including pneumonia, and much more.
Where Does It Come From?
Governments and municipalities all over the world have been finding solution and fighting this issue for the past several years, but most of them are only writing new laws and regulations to industrial sectors.
However, the main cause is from “Household”, and that means our homes!
Using fossil fuels, such as petroleum, coal, charcoal, LPG, and natural gas for cooking, heating, and lighting in most homes builds up a great amount of tiny particles, particularly open-fire types, be it a bonfire, cooking from flame, grilling, roasting, toasting, with thick smoke, fireplace, campfire, and fire lighting in rural areas. Also, our burning of leaves, gardening, small garbage, as well as the religious, traditional, and games, are all the factors contributing to the air pollution.
The statistics say, about 3 billion people on Earth still burns as such in their daily life.
Even though the second on the list are from industrial and construction sectors that we see from the pictures of the smoking chimneys and stacks, government or private, there are still a lot of factories we use the resources from, primarily the non-renewable power plants.
Chasing close at number 3 is the transportation using oil we drive.
While the need of private cars increases in many countries, the air pollution soars in folds.
The next cause is Agriculture, mainly livestock for our food source that creates not-less air pollution. The problem is not from how the farmers raise and manage them, but it is the nature of it to cause harmful gases as Methane, Ammonia, and ground-level Ozone, mostly from their manures. The other factor is from the burning preparation for the new growing season.
The fifth parameter is Waste Management.
We cannot avoid the fact that even in the developed countries, there still the use of burning furnaces. However, even we use other methods of extermination, but disposing them in a landfill alone an cause toxic gases, and enough pollution to mix with the air we breathe.
How Do We Fix?
When we know that the true cause is from ourselves more or less, it is the time we change our lifestyle. We can start point by point, from reducing burning in our homes. Have less cooking that cause smoke like grilling, toasting, and frying.
Replace the old stove to electric, magnetic-induction, or other new technologies.
Drive Less cars using oil. Move to mass transportation to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. If you can afford renewable-energy cars that are now plenty to choose from the market, it would be nicer. You can also think of walking or riding a bike instead if the distance is not far. Or consider a Car Pool, asking neighbours and friends who travel in the same direction or destination.
For the livestock matter, the fix might be hard for meat-lovers, but we do not have to completely switch to Vegans. Just try once a week is great. Think of the health benefit from it, and the quantity of livestock needed to feed the market is substantially decreased.
Last but not least, waste management starts from not adding more waste.
Know how to fix stuffs, reuse particularly plastic, and recycle more.
Bring lunch box or use your own plates and dishes for packing ready-to-eat meals.
Use your personal thermo bottles and mugs would also help. It is easy and even look cool.
That is the reason why this year, World Health Organization (WHO) and others are presenting the World Environment Day 2019's theme as #BeatAirPollution.
Because if we still let this happen, the situation will get worse every year.
What if when it is so hazardous that we cannot breathe outside normally, how do we live?
Going out once we need to find a mask, that is not a usual one, but the PM2.5-proof, and we have to change it regularly. How much does it cost each month?
The Dust will now creep into your homes, how much do we have to pay for the air purifier and monthly change of its filter?
And the most importantly, nothing can 100% protect you, and you cannot buy good health.
So, let's help each other!
It is still not too late. Because when it comes from us, it is not too hard to reduce from us.
One Small Change
One Big Difference
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