Air Pollution Linked To Health Problems

Published Dec 12, 2018

Air Pollution Linked To Health Problems

Recent Short Story of Air Pollution Linked to a Health Issue

In The Daily Universe at the Bringham Young University a story was told of how Matt Owens, a young studen and first-team All-American on the BYU track team in incredible physical shape, began experiencing difficulty breathing. He began to experience asthma attacks, causing a shortness of breath, dizziness, and coughing. However, Owens did not always have asthma and it was discovered that the asthma was a result of participating vigorous exercise in the polluted air in Utah.

Stories, such as Owens', where health issues spontaneously appear are becoming more known and recognized to be linked to the poor air quality from the growing air pollution.

Why and Health Issues

Particular Matter (PM) is a complex airborne mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets, which when inhaled can cause lung inflammation and lead to various health ailments. Breathing in poor air quality / PM has been linked, through studies and research, to respiratory and cardiovascular health issues, mental health and cognitive issues, and premature death.

Last year in 2017, Harvard released findings from a study that implies that air pollution has a linear correlation with mortality rates across the United States. The study found that elderly and many minority groups were more affected due to lack of access to proper health care.

What Has / Is Being Done?

Federal and many local governments have made efforts to clean up the air through passing regulations. The Clean Air Act of 1970 was one of the largest actions taken by the Federal government to decrease air pollution, resulting in an improvement in the air quality across United States. Since then there have been several amendments to the Clean Air Act. In 2008 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the "Good Neighbor Rule" guidelines which regulates air pollution generated in one location and crosses state boundaries. 

However, recently, under the current administration, the EPA announced it will no longer enforce the Good Neighbor Rule and that it has intentions to stop the Carbon Emissions Rule. The Carbon Emissions Rule places restrictions on new coal-burning power plants requiring plant owners to incorporate technology to capture CO2 emissions. Further, this December 2018, the EPA announced plans to revise other air pollution rules, causing concern amongst many scientists.


Share and discuss your feelings in regard to air pollution:

  • Where do you live?
  • How is the air quality?
  • Have you ever faced an illness as a result of air pollution?
  • What effors can we do as a country to decrease air pollution? What can the world do?
  • Feel free to discuss anything and share with others.


on 12/19/18

 I live in Nashua, New Hampshire. I feel like the air here is much cleaner than other areas of the US, like Boston, NYC, LA, etc.

I have never known of an illness caused by air pollution, but I would not be surprised if I have been sick before and it was caused by a PM - as mentioned in the article.

I think we can continue to move as a Country to push clean air and use the technology available to create things without cause massive air pollution... and also continue on the path of creating better public transportation and gas free cars.

on 12/19/18

I am in Chicago... the pollution is not great here because it is a highly densed populated area; however, even the public transportation causes a lot of pollution. I think public transportation would be great if it was all electrical, but I think because a lot of people here do use public transportation it decreases the pollution if all of those people were driving; however, being to NYC, I think the public transportation is much better there than here... but I have been to LA and that is much worse than here.

But also in Chicago a lot of people walk or ride bikes, especially in the summer time... which helps.

on 12/19/18

I agree @MS_283‍ and @nomorenomore‍ ... public transportation and electric is the best way to tackle the pollution from our own contributions from automobiles.

I live in the country of Missouri and there really is not too much air pollution generated here in this area, we even have windmills ... not sure how much power they generate, but they are there and operating!

on 12/21/18

Yes! our cities grow to fast and then the public transportation is left behind!

Unregistered member
on 1/1/19

I grew up in Buffalo NY which during my growing years was highly industrial and very very polluted. Now all the baby boomer generations are dying younger with cancer, and we have one of the highest MS rates in the country.  There are lawsuits against a company that was spewing benzene for people living near there who developed lymphoma or leukemia.  It’s gotten better but still there are toxins left behind in water and soil.  I live in a more rural area now ... so now it’s pesticides people have to worry about. I was told by a home inspector that he used to be sick every time neighbors sprayed their crops ... 

I believe the article. We’ve poisoned our land and water, and air. 

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