Air pollution is the human introduction into the atmosphere of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or damages the environment. Air pollution causes deaths and respiratory disease.
Air pollution is often identified with major stationary sources, but the greatest source of emissions is mobile sources, mainly automobiles. Gases such as carbon dioxide, which contribute to global warming, have recently gained recognition as pollutants by climate scientists, while they also recognize that carbon dioxide is essential for plant life through photosynthesis.
The atmosphere is a complex, dynamic natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on planet Earth. Stratospheric ozone depletion due to air pollution has long been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to the Earth's ecosystems.
We can't control the environment but we can minimize the damage that is being done to our children young developing lungs. What can you do to minimize your kids exposure against harmful air pollutant?
Cancers linked to passive smoking include:
- Lung cancer - 3000 nonsmokers die every year from lung cancer caused by ETS, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).
- Nasal sinus cavity cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Bladder cancer
The Risks of Secondhand Smoke to a Child
- Low birthweight for gestational age
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)- children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy have an increased risk of SIDS.
- The EPA estimates that passive smoking is responsible for between 150,000 and 300,000 of these infections in children under 18 months annually
- Asthma - According to the EPA, between 200,000 and 1,000,000 kids with asthma have their condition worsened by secondhand smoke every year. Also, passive smoking may also be responsible for thousands of new cases of asthma every year
- Chronic respiratory symptoms such as cough and wheezing may be attributed to secondhand smoke.
- Children who breathe in secondhand smoke are more likely to suffer from dental cavities, eye and nose irritation, and irritability
- Middle ear infections - exposure to ETS causes buildup of fluid in the middle ear, resulting in 700,000 to 1.6 million physician office visits yearly
How Secondhand Smoke Can Affect the Heart
- Heart disease mortality - an estimated 35,000 to 62,000 deaths are caused from heart disease in people who are not current smokers, but who are exposed to ETS
- Acute and chronic coronary heart disease
- Passive smoking has been linked to the narrowing of the carotid arteries, which carry blood to the brain
- Exposure to secondhand smoke hastens hardening of the arteries, a condition known as artherosclerosis
- Continual exposure to ETS has been shown to nearly double the chance of heart attack
Secondhand Smoke - Worse Than We Thought
Secondhand smoke is serious business, and should be a concern for anyone who breathes it in. Non-smokers inhaling secondhand smoke share some of the health risks smokers face. But smokers do face the worst of it - the risks of smoking are compounded by breathing cigarette smoke in for a second time.
Don't underestimate the dangers of ETS. While secondhand smoke may not kill as many people as smoking does, it is toxic and claims thousands of lives every year around the world.