Everyone is getting health conscious these days, in varying ways and intensities, and this is good thing. But do such lifestyle choices really matter, when the air we breathe is harming us? The latest report from the World Health Organization (WHO)on urban air pollution states that nine out of ten people worldwide are subjected to high levels of pollutants from the air they breathe. This is three times higher than the number of deaths from AIDS, Malaria and tuberculosis combined.
Health hazards of air pollution
Outdoor and household air pollution, the report says, kill nine million people every year from “exposure to fine particles in polluted air that penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system, causing diseases including stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia.”
People who breathe polluted air can have a variety of symptoms. These vary according to each person’s sensitivity to air pollution.
The main short-term symptoms are eye irritation, wheezing or difficulty breathing, irritation and inflammation of the respiratory tract (coughing) as well as shortness of breath, especially during physical activity.
The risks of experiencing discomfort due to air pollution increase when outdoor air quality is poor, a smog warning is in effect, when the heat is oppressive and also during strenuous physical activity or long outings, when people breathe a large amount of air.
Air pollution in Albania
About 2,120 people died in 2016 in Albania due to air pollution, triple the 2013 number. Air pollution figures in Albania remain among the highest in Europe, according to a recent report on air quality by the European Environment Agency.
Tirana tops Albania’s air pollution city list, exceeding EU limits by up to two times, but the surprise second most polluted city is Korça, the biggest city in southeast Albania whose pollution is mainly seasonal due to massive burning of firewood for home heating during winter, according to a report by Albania’s National Environment Agency.
What can you do about it?
Every time we drive to work, use our air conditioner or heater, clean our windows, or even style our hair, we make choices that affect air pollution. If you have been looking to get in on the environmental movement, then you’ve likely been trying to search for the various options that you have when it comes to preventing pollution problems from becoming a bigger issue. In this article, we’re going to give you 15different ideas that you can try out for yourself so that you can contribute to stopping air pollution in your area and in the world around you.
- Use Public Transportation or a Bicycle: Use your vehicle a lot less often. Carpool and rideshare when you have the ability to do so and consider using public transportation instead of walking.
- Drive Smart: If you are driving on a regular basis, make sure that you are driving smart instead of wasting gas. Drive within the speed limit, make sure that there aren’t a lot of things in your car that will weigh it down, stop the engine at traffic lights and do all that you can to conserve the amount of gas that you will be using on a regular basis.
- Do Regular Car Check Up: It’s important for you to go for regular check-up of your car to make sure it does not consume extra fuel. This will not only save you money but your car will also last longer.
- Keep Car Tires Properly Inflated: Car consume more fuel when tires are not properly inflated and aligned. Keeping them properly inflated will lessen your impact on the environment.
- Turn Off Lights When not in Use: Don’t keep the lights or other electric devices on. The more traditional power that you are using, the more energy you’re wasting and the more that you’re polluting the air.
- Use Both Sides of Paper: Use both sides of a piece of paper when you print.
- Consolidate Your Trips: Try to make sure that everything that you’re doing can be done in one trip instead of going out several times in your vehicle. That way, you’re using less gas while you’re out and about.
- Get an Energy Audit Done: Get an energy audit on your home that is related to energy efficiency, and ask the auditor about changes that you can make in order to ensure that your home is as energy efficient as possible.
- Use Fan Instead of AC: If it isn’t incredibly hot outside, you may want to consider using a fan instead of air conditioning if you can. It takes a lot less power and energy to take care of it.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Recycle as much as you can so that it can be reused later on in other products.
- Buy ENERGY STAR Products: Whenever you buy new electronic products for your home or office, always buy ENERGY STAR products.
- Eat Local, Organic Food: Eat things that are made locally, like vegetables and meats. That means that they don’t have to get transported as far to get to you (on top of that, it’s also making a big difference for your local economy as well, which can help you even more in the long run).
- Contribute: See if (local) government already has initiatives that could end up helping you to contribute to making the air quality in and around your area better than it would have been otherwise.
- Talk to Local Representatives: Talk to your local representatives and government officials about the concerns that you have related to the clean air issues in your community and encourage them to act on it and take care of those issues so that we can leave our world a better place for our children.
- Educate Your Companions: Let the people around you know about how they can contribute to clean air initiatives and educate them about all of the different ways that they can take care of the environment themselves./AgroWeb.org