Global warming and its effects contribute to air pollution. For this reason, Canadians, particularly those in the urban areas do not enjoy fresh and clean air. Increased air pollution is caused when greenhouse emissions that cause climate change are emitted into the environment. Air pollution is also a result of excessive temperature which causes more forest fires.
Climate change is linked to four specific air contaminants that can damage our health. They include:
- Allergens– Allergens such as pollen, mold, and mildew, do well in higher temperature conditions and extended growing seasons. These season irritants affect those who suffer from allergies and asthma. Some of the symptoms it induces include uncontrollable coughing, wheezing, sneezing, and skin irritation.
- Nitrogen Oxide– This is the toxic waste material of the combustion of fossil fuels. They are active lung allergens that can also be converted into other forms of pollutants by organic compounds.
- Ozone– When ozone is present at ground level; it is a lung-damaging gas. It causes a detrimental degree of inflammation, which is sometimes characterized as a “sunburn on the lungs.” It’s also a contributing factor to the dense smog seen in cities like Los Angeles and Beijing.
- Particulate Matter– This consists of tiny pollutants that float in the air and are released from sources like vehicle exhaust and industrial activities. Since they can travel the farthest into our lung tissues, the tiniest particles pose the greatest threat to our wellbeing.