Air pollution is not just a local or national problem, but a problem for the entire planet Earth. That is why the United Nations General Assembly has declared 07 September as the International Day for Clean Air and Blue Skies to encourage people worldwide to improve air pollution.
Why 07 September?
On September 7, 2019, «International Clean Air and Blue Skies Day «was celebrated for the first time. A new motto is chosen every year. This time, the motto is «The Air We Share.» The focus is on collective action. Working together to improve air quality regionally, nationally and internationally.
Air pollution poses the greatest environmental health risk to humans, animals and plants. Particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone, and methane are harmful to many living organisms and especially to us humans. Polluted air is responsible for many medical conditions and even deaths in our societies.
What makes air pollutants so dangerous?
Except when pollution levels are particularly high, such as on hot summer days in the Chinese capital of Beijing or near large industrial facilities, most pollutants are not visible to the naked eye. This makes people feel safe, although exposed to invisible pollution. In addition, many pollutants are odourless and have «grain sizes» that can easily penetrate deep into our respiratory organs. From there, they can enter the bloodstream and cause damage. However, most of the damage will occur in the respiratory system in the first step. The consequences can take on different forms depending on the exposure. From respiratory problems to dementia, various clinical pictures can occur. However, the most common effects are cardiovascular, respiratory or skin diseases caused by airborne pollutants.
Who is harmed?
Air pollution strongly affects vulnerable groups such as children, pre-diseased, and elderly. Conversely, this in no way means that all other people and living beings do not suffer harm. Everyone is affected and will sooner or later have to deal with the consequences if he or she is permanently exposed to air pollutants.
Therefore, we should act now to prevent further air pollution, minimize the consequences for all of us, and improve air quality worldwide. The goal must be to halve the number of premature deaths vulnerable groups.