Health effects of air pollution

Numerous studies have shown that poor quality impacts on people’s health. Those most likely to be affected are:​

  1. Children, due to relatively higher breathing and metabolic rates as well as the immaturity of their lungs and immune system. ​
  2. The elderly, due to the decline in organ function with age and an increased prevalence of age-related disease. ​
  3. Sufferers from heart and lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and asthma, as air pollution may worsen their symptoms on days with poor air quality.​
Short term exposure to air pollution tends to affect people with existing heart and lung conditions.​

Long term exposure to air pollution takes an average of six months off your life, even if you do not experience effects at the time of exposure.​ ​

Those not sensitive to air pollution may not notice higher pollution days, but are still at risk through the long term health effects of air pollution. ​

For more information on the potential health effects of air pollution:​
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs313/en/​

For advice on how to reduce the effects of air pollution on your health.​

Cold Alert – The Cold Weather plan
Heat Alert – The Heatwave plan
Health Effects - Health Matters: air pollution


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