Air Pollution and Health

  •  Shajahan P Sulaiman Government TD Medical College, Alappuzha
Keywords: Air Pollution, Primary air pollutants, Adverse health effects, Global warming


Air pollution and consequent health issues are a growing concern all over the world. Both indoor and outdoor air pollution are major environmental health problems which accounted for approximately 6.7 million premature deaths worldwide annually. World health organization (WHO) report says ninety nine percent of the world’s population is breathing polluted air. The primary air pollutants found in most urban areas are carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, hydrocarbons, chorofluro carbons and particulate matter. These pollutants are dispersed throughout the world’s atmosphere in concentrations high enough to cause health problems.
Air pollution can result in diverse health problems affecting various organs. People who have heart disease, or lung disease, and older people may be very sensitive to exposures. Children feel the effects of lower levels of pollution than adults. The exposure to air pollution increases the risk of pneumonia and asthma among children, and chronic respiratory diseases and lung cancer among adults. There is an association between air pollution and adverse pregnancy outcomes, increase incidence of ischemic heart disease and nasopharyngeal and laryngeal cancers, cataracts and tuberculosis. Apart from these direct effects. air pollution contributes significantly to global warming and related health issues.
The WHO has set an upper limit for various pollutants in air to protect the public from the health effects of these agents. Strict measures to monitor the industrial emissions, control of motor vehicle emissions and promoting public transport system will help to curb this growing menace to great extent. Simple measures such as walking or cycling to travel a short distance and planting trees will also help in reducing air pollution. Reducing air pollution to the safer limits to be taken as a top priority target by the governments, health authorities, scientific bodies like Indian Medical association and the society.

Author Biography

 Shajahan P Sulaiman, Government TD Medical College, Alappuzha

Professor, Department of Pulmonary Medicine

How to Cite
Sulaiman, Shajahan. (2023). Air Pollution and Health. Kerala Medical Journal, 16(1), 41-43.
Brief Communication