With Every Breath, There Is Air Pollution

by Nikiga Shah on February 17, 2014


Air is a necessity all humans need, so why is it damaged day by day by our many actions? My name is Nikiga Shah and I am a student who is studying Health Science at Boston University in Sargent college. I am passionate about pollution, and in particular air pollution, because of how crucial it is to us as human, but how often it is forgotten.

Outdoor pollution in our world is a serious issue that  most people forget about. The waste produced from our daily lives collects in the air. Most people underestimate the waste that we produce in factories even though companies have been trying to lower the waste that they produce. Common elements such as cars and mainly, trucks contribute to the outdoor air pollution on a normal basis. There is a misconception that the air is a large amount of space so there is no way one person can cause a huge affect on the atmosphere and the air. On the contrary, if we believe this to be true, the compilation of many people will cause the pollution of the air that we facing now. How do we stop this? Breaking habits that are created because they are efficient are hard to break. How do we get the human population to create waste when it is cheaper and easier to create waste? The answer is that it is virtually impossible. Alternative processes end up being a longer process and as well as less cost effective. So how do we make a process that is shorter and cheaper than we have now all while saving the environment?

The World Health Organization has been researching this question since the air pollution has been getting out of hand. Many third world countries have been suffering from some of the poor choices we have made in the past. The World Health Organization has taken it upon themselves to be proactive and find a solution before the pollution gets out of hand. They have created air quality guidelines, which are regulations on how clean the air should be and what countries, should have on their air pollutants. As of right now the leading area of air pollutant exposure is the country of Mongolia. Even though we are trying to prevent this from happening, there are countries that suffer from air pollution. Most of these countries do not emit pollutants because they do not mass produce daily necessities or have a significant amount of factories. These countries are affected by the decisions that the other larger companies decide to create.

Even though air pollution in itself is a horrible thing for the environment, we have seen health risks in the population of highly dense air pollution, such as Mongolia.  The death report indicates that 1 in every ten deaths in the city of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is due to air pollution.  Apparently the denser the pollution is in those areas the more lung problems individuals have. Respiratory problems aredirectly related to the nitrous oxide and the carbon in the air.  So how do we fix this? The World Health Organization has the air quality guidelines placed as well has the education of the effects of pollution on a society. They are planning to spread the word of how badly the environment has been affected by some of our poor decisions. They also have implemented Air quality programs.  In short this is a long-term project that requires the effort of all individuals to change their lifestyles and choose to live a healthier lifestyle.


Exposure to particulate matter. (2012). Retrieved from http://gamapserver.who.int/gho/interactive_charts/phe/oap_exposure/atlas.html

Hendrick , B. (2012). Exposure to particulate matter. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/lung/features/outdoor-pollution-and-lung-function-effects

Outdoor air solution. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/en/index.html

University, Simon F. “Air Pollution Killing Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) Residents.” Air Pollution Killing Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) Residents. N.p., 17 Aug. 2011. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.


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