According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the greatest environmental risk to health. In fact, it is related to multiple respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases and even lung cancer.
The polluting particles and gases with the greatest impact on our health are a consequence of the use of fossil fuels, the emissions of chemical compounds from factories and the burning of garbage. Some of the most common pollutants in the air are suspended particles, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and ozone.
How does air pollution affect our cardiovascular health?
Air pollution is especially bad for our cardiovascular health. Air pollutant particles can quickly pass from our lungs into our bloodstream, causing significant damage to the arteries.
By damaging the wall of the arteries, their vasodilatory capacity decreases, increasing the accumulation of fat and promoting blood clotting. This increases the risk of thrombotic accidents and heart attacks.
Environmental pollution also favors the development of heart disease, heart failure, arrhythmias or cardiocirculatory arrest. Furthermore, according to the WHO, 80% of deaths caused by air pollution are due to stroke and coronary heart disease.
Children, the elderly and people who suffer from respiratory diseases, heart problems, or who have a higher cardiovascular risk, are those who are most likely to be affected by air pollution.
Prevention measures to reduce air pollution
We know that pollution is a patent problem in most countries. For this reason, it is essential to take the necessary measures to help protect the environment and our health. The solution is to reduce traffic in cities, promote the use of public transport and apply policies that help regulate pollution control.
In the case of indoor air pollution, the WHO recommends replacing solid fuel with cleaner ones and installing more efficient ventilation systems or devices. All these measures, carried out together, can significantly reduce the pollutants in the air and the effects of global warming.
Remember that if you are in the risk population group, you should follow your doctor’s recommendations and avoid spaces with levels of contamination higher than those recommended. The WHO considers spaces that exceed between 25 and 30 micrograms of harmful particles per cubic meter as harmful.