Air pollution has been linked to many health problems. Among them are lung and heart diseases. Most earlier studies had looked at how tiny air pollutants affected rates of illness or death. But when you talk about such rates, “you see people’s eyes glaze over,” says Joshua Apte. He’s an environmental scientist at the University of Texas at Austin. By instead looking at life expectancy, his team had hoped to make the threat easier to understand.“People,” he explains, “care not just about whether you die — we all die — but also how much younger are you going to be when that happens.” Pollution makes a difference even in countries with relatively clean air, such as the United States and Australia. Even the low levels of PM2.5 in them costs their average residents a few months of their lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends limiting PM2.5 to 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Apte’s group calculated how holding pollution to this low level would help people. Some high-income countries, including Canada, already keep their air this clean. But others, typically in fairly poor countries, have far higher pollution levels.
But meeting the WHO standard won’t eliminate health costs from dirty air. That’s because even below 10 micrograms per cubic meter, pollution still causes significant risks.
Reducing air pollution could increase life expectancy. what would happen if every country limited fine particles in the air to 10 micrograms per cubic meter. That’s the limit the World Health Organization recommends. In countries with very dirty air, that change would lengthen people’s lives. In countries whose air already meets this standard, That’s because even very low levels of pollution can still harm health.
Environmental pollution is increasing with each passing year and inflicting grave and irreparable injury to the world. Environmental pollution is of different types namely air, water, soil, noise and light-weight. These cause damage to the living system. How pollution interacts with public health, environmental medicine and the environment has undergone dramatic change. Since the 1950s, environmental medicine has been discussed more frequently through a greater awareness in public health and preventive medicine; although today, there is now a focus on occupational medicine. Environmental and occupational medicine are however more commonly viewed as an integrated subject, with emphasis given to industrial issues. Certainly, pollution problems have been recognized in the distant past but were more easily mitigated by nature due to the limited complexity of the pollutant, its degradability (e.g. biodegradable organics) and lower industrialization. Health-related effects from environmental pollution have been well known, but were not fully realized until highly notable events like the Donora (Pennsylvania) smog occurrence in 1948 resulting in later public health programs including in their training a discussion of environmental medicine. There has been an increased awareness of how pollution is observed regarding its health impact and attitudes toward public health and environmental medicine. Damage from oil spills will not only influence public health but overall disease rates for years to come. As environmental pollution increases so will the importance of environmental medicine in managing its consequences.