Whether sensitive or not, poor air quality is adversely affecting us all!

Whether sensitive or not, poor air quality is adversely affecting us all!  28th March 2023

Air, a life luxury or a biological necessity, is something no one can live without! But what about the quality of air that we breathe? Is it safe? An AQI, or Air Quality Index, measures air quality around us. AQI values around 100 or less are satisfactory and do not adversely affect our health. Higher AQI values can adversely affect us in the long run, whether we are sensitive or not.

Poor air quality can result from various reasons, such as vehicle exhaust, industrial emissions, pollutants, smoke, dust from roads, harmful chemicals and gases, etc. It is usually caused by the irresponsible acts of humans for their own benefit and greed.

Let us see how exposure to poor air quality adversely affects us all in the present era of rapid commercialisation and industrialisation.

1. Respiratory diseases
Poor air quality affects our lungs. It causes asthma and several other respiratory diseases, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and chronic bronchitis. Rapid urbanisation and rising air pollution are resulting in an increase in asthma, mainly among children.

It has been proved that people living in urban areas are more prone to respiratory diseases than those living in rural areas. This is because of higher air pollution in urban areas. Also, children who play more outdoor sports and live in high-pollution zones have a higher chance of respiratory diseases. Hence, sensitive or not, poor air quality results in causing respiratory diseases.

2. Cancer
Studies have shown that people living in high pollution zones such as roadsides, along major roadways, and near industrial zones are more susceptible to several forms of cancer. This is because of the poor air quality they are exposed to and inhale each day of their lives forcibly.

Airborne toxic substances such as chemicals used in paints, paint removers, and aerosol products can also cause cancer. Hence, workers in such factories and those residing near such factories are susceptible to cancer because of inhaling such toxic substances.

3. Cardiovascular diseases
Pollutants in the air can impair the functioning of our blood vessels. It can cause dangerous changes in blood pressure in pregnant women, causing hyperactive disorders. This results in preterm birth, low weight at the time of birth, maternal and fetal illness, and sometimes, even death.

4. Neuro problems
Studies have also shown that children's brain development is altered and impacted if they breathe PM 2.5 regularly, even at low levels. This can cause cognitive and emotional problems in them when they grow old. It slows down the brain's processing speed and causes Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms.

Exposure of women to high levels of pollutants during pregnancy increases the risk of the child being born with autism. The children may have high blood pressure problems early in their life too. Studies have also shown that exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, or nitrogen oxide during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy significantly raises the risk of having a baby with neural tube defects. Such children may end up having lower IQ scores than other children too.

Poor air quality is very dangerous for all of us and can cause irreparable damage and loss in the long run. Hence, we need to immediately work together to improve the air quality around us for the social good, whether we are sensitive to it or not.

Poor air quality is not in our immediate control. However, we can control the financial implications of diseases caused by poor air quality by opting for insurance from the best health insurance company in India for ourselves and our families. It will take care of our medical emergencies and provide us with full protection and support.

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Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.