You don’t need to a watch horror film to get a fright. There is a real-life killer that haunts us daily, and sadly, it is not part of a Stephen King film. This villain is air pollution.
This killer walking among us takes on several forms. It is present inside our homes, outside our homes and knows no borders. It puts the goblins to shame as it becomes a growing threat each year. By 2050, urban air pollution is forecasted to become the leading cause of global environmental deaths.
In 2012 it was responsible for 7 million premature deaths, and that number is continuing to rise. It is a sneaky monster because it creeps up on us slowly, follows us around, and harms us gradually over time. By the time we realize what’s happening, the damage is already done.
Air pollution has two main ugly faces: particulate matter, and ground-level ozone. Both culprits can irritate existing respiratory diseases, and also create new cases of illnesses that lead to an increase in hospitalization and premature deaths.
We are faced with the hard facts about the dangers of polluted air, but we still need to breathe. We may even need to be outside on days when the air quality is low, or get attacked by air pollution in our homes. No matter where we are, we breathe 11,000 liters of air each day, more than 300 million liters in a lifetime.
There is a frightening sense that we cannot escape the power of air pollution, and it’s deadly health problems. It feels like a never-ending battle.
So what can we do? Can we outsmart the air quality killer?
Luckily, there is a solution. We can show air pollution that we are ready to protect ourselves, and find an escape route.