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The Hidden Costs of Air Pollution

We may think we are saving money and time with many things that contribute to air pollution. In reality, we are taking years off our lives and putting more money into curing the diseases that it causes. Air pollution is causing more and more lung and heart disease than ever before. Clean oxygen is absolutely vital to our health as humans, the animals on this planet, and the overall well-being of the earth. Because we can’t always see it, it’s easier for people to throw the issue of air pollution to the side. Let’s take a closer look at some of the hidden costs of air pollution. Dr. Shukla is a premier pulmonologist in NYC who specializes in treating lung conditions in both children and adults. Get in touch with him today to learn how the air around you may be affecting you more than you think.

The Cost we Pay

Much of today’s air pollution is a bigger problem among people with low incomes. These people often have no choice but to work low income-paying jobs due to economic, race, and class struggles in this country. Many of these jobs do not provide an adequate, healthy workspace for their employees. For example, working with smog from coal or dirt, dust, and other chemicals from construction sites. They also don’t always practice correct safety prevention measures. This often costs more money and their goal is to minimize cost production. Without the proper safety measures, these people are more susceptible to diseases. This situation is likely to be seen in countries with some of the more careless labor laws and poverty, such as China and India.

In a study done by the OECD, they found that by the year 2060, outdoor air pollution will cause 6-9 million premature deaths every year. That is double-triple the amount from the year 2010. The air pollution will not only affect premature deaths but also directly impact worker productivity. Because the air is so difficult to work in, more people will obtain a disease or die. Productivity will consequently decrease.

In addition to affecting workers, air pollution also affects food crops and agricultural output. More than ever, food crops have less and less of a chance of surviving our earth’s polluted air. What’s more is that if the air is polluted and contaminating the food crops, we too are being contaminated when we consume that food. In addition, contaminated food crops cause a decrease in our agricultural output.

Lung & Heart Disease

You may be the healthiest person on the planet and still obtain lung or heart disease, especially if you live in a heavily air-polluted area. Anna L. Hansell, MD, Ph.D. at the Centre for Environmental Health and Sustainability in the UK but this theory to the test. Studying more than 300,000 people, Hansell and her colleagues examined whether air pollution exposure is related to changes in lung function, including COPD. The study revealed a significant association between higher exposure to pollutants and reduced lung function.

Periodic air pollution exposure can damage cells in the respiratory system and cause the heart and lungs to work harder to supply the body with oxygen. Additionally, it can cause or irritate cardiovascular or respiratory problems already in place. Those with continued exposure to air pollution have a greater chance of developing asthma, bronchitis, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Long-term exposure to air pollution also greatly decreases one’s life span.

Air pollution costs many lives, it costs money, and it costs time. If you experience difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, chronic bronchitis, or any other number of lung or heart disease symptoms, this may be a result of air pollution. Many people with asthma have even reported having an easier time breathing out in nature, where oxygen is flowing more purely. With more town and city developments taking place each day around the world, with every ounce more that our world is run on capitalism and consumption, air pollution grows and our lives suffer.

Pulmonologist in NYC

If you have any number of these symptoms, work in heavy construction or other air polluted area, you may want to visit an allergy or pulmonologist in NYC to evaluate the state of your lungs. Call Dr. Shukla today for a consultation to get your respiratory health on the right track.

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