One of the unmistakable by products of the rise of industry and modernisation is the large-scale pollution the planet is burdened with today. With a strong focus on industry and under the guise of development we’ve become enablers of catastrophic levels of pollution that in turn poses as the greatest threat to humankind. When discussing the pollution of the environment one area that is hard to ignore is the detrimental quality of air we are confronted with on a daily basis. Air pollution is an undeniable and evident reality that forces us to rethink our models of development and poses as an extreme cause for concern for human beings in the 21st century.
Hazardous air and a major health crisis
The immediate effects of air pollution on human health that most cities in India face are very hard to ignore. According to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation around 6.1 million deaths globally are linked to pollutants in the air. An analysis by the Global Burden of Disease 2017 estimates that every three minutes a child dies in India due to the same and organisations like the World Health Organisation has highlighted how low and middle income countries like India are to face the brunt of air pollution at a higher degree of intensity and at an alarming rate.
Air Pollution and the Rise of Respiratory Diseases
Urban cities are prime target and are ground zero when it comes to the steady increase in respiratory diseases. The exposure of bad air can have short term and long-term effects that can be life threatening and irreversible. The increase of particulate matter i.e. made up of tiny particles allergens, chemicals, dust, smoke etc. in the air we breathe, can start with the inflammation of our respiratory tracts resulting in uncontainable allergies that irritate the nasal cavity and can progress to diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In other words as particulate matter in the air goes up the average life expectancy of an individual goes drastically down.
Individuals Need to Take Preventive Steps
The alarming rate at which the air quality continues to degrade can only be overcome by large scale redesigns of our development models and more stringent measures to keep industrial polluters in check. However it is also important to understand that these changes will take time and it is up to individuals to make sure that they are not at risk while these challenges our worked out. At a personal level, studies show how indoor spaces can sometimes be more densely polluted with not just particulate matter but also hazardous elements like mould and can be stimulants for severe health ailments. To combat the harmful effects of air pollution, industry leaders like Honeywell have introduced high grade HEPA filter and a patented HiSivTM filter in its air purifiers to improve indoor air quality. Products like the Air Touch series from Honeywell are a step in the right direction when it comes to fight to improve air quality and protect one’s right to a healthy, clean and safe environment to live in.