Earth Day 2018: Air, airways, lungs, etc. no places for pollution

It’s a known fact the pollution continually being poured into our atmosphere is detrimental to health and wellbeing when breathed in. The fact of the matter is, as reported in The Guardian newspaper recently, in the world, greater than 9.5 in 10 people are exposed to unhealthy air, a thorough air-pollution study has found. Put another way what this means is less than 5 percent of the world’s people have air to breathe that’s good and are thus not impacted. While to me this information is not a surprising revelation, what it says is the Earth really is not in all that good of shape. And, instituting a healing regimen for the planet should absolutely go without saying. Frankly, the continued pumping of pollution into the atmosphere from anthropogenically-related activities must end. I have no trouble picturing in my mind what will be if it doesn’t.

A smoggy New York

So, what is it going to take to expunge the air of the pollution in it? We’ll get to that in a minute.

But first, being April 22nd is a day to care for and take care of Earth, is there a better time than right now to put and stick to solving the air pollution crisis? A crisis, might I remind you, this most assuredly is.

As further evidence, The Fresno Bee in a special report published better than a decade ago pointed out that the annual cost of healthcare related to the physical effects that polluted air had on residents living in the San Joaquin Valley at the time was estimated to be $3.3 billion. The source for this sum was a study conducted by Jane Hall at California State University, Fullerton, and two fellow researchers. The Bee special installment, by the way, was aptly titled “Fighting For Air.”

Chief among the physical manifestations of air pollution on people living in the Valley is asthma and, the degree to which those who are so-affected are, is near 1-in-5, well above what’s considered normal.

Not just this but in Fresno County – deemed the asthma capital of California (information in a “Fighting For Air” article revealed) – it was additionally noted that the estimate of children with asthma at the time numbered roughly 1-in-3 or approximately 75,000 out of a total 225,000. If this was the situation in the San Joaquin Valley and Fresno County, I can’t help but believe things in this regard are far more dire in places where polluted air is even more pronounced and problematic and I am probably correct in that assessment.

Meanwhile, in the coming days, it is anticipated that the American Lung Association will release its annual “State of the Air” report. My expectation is that the report, will pretty much mirror “State of the Air” reports of the past with many parts of California identified as having the nation’s worst air for both ozone and fine particulates.

So, what should be done?

In tackling the nemesis that polluted air is, in the air-righting equation the most important factor is people. Our being educated as to the dangers associated with the airborne crud a goodly proportion of us are breathing, is, in my opinion, the place to start.

If all of us make wise choices about the air we breathe and adjust our activities accordingly, a positive difference will be made that many will actually notice.

On the other hand, if the status quo is maintained, then it is unrealistic to think much will change and that things will look much different.

That all said, it’s way past time to commit to following a protocol or plan that: guarantees the way land is used is sustainable; sees to it that the energy, industry and transportation sectors rely a whole lot less on fossil fuels and have far smaller carbon footprints; these in conjunction with sound environmental practices conducted both inside and immediately outside the home; will help to bring about positive change to our air and move the Earth to better place.

Earth Day 2018: no more perfect an opportunity to re-set the Earth right!

A heads up: Air Quality Awareness Week this year runs from Apr. 30 – May 4.

Images: Dr. Edwin P. Ewing, Jr., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (upper); U.S. Bureau of Land Management (lower)

This post was last revised on May 16, 2020 @ 9:18 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

– Alan Kandel

1 thought on “Earth Day 2018: Air, airways, lungs, etc. no places for pollution”

  1. Where is the place where the 5% having unpolluted air live? And why are not more people going to live there? Breathing unclean air seems to be relatively unimportant and most people, having good filters inside their noses, can manage anyway.

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