What are the effects of air pollution on the human body?

The effects of pollution are more likely to be felt by people with asthma, heart conditions or other breathing difficulties. These conditions can make them more sensitive to air pollution. But we are all affected by poor air quality even if we don’t experience any immediate problems. Ongoing exposure to air pollution can leave us vulnerable to developing chronic conditions with long term impacts on our health.

Infographic style image showing the short and long term impacts of air pollution. Short term effects include: headache, nose, throst and eye inflammation, coughing, painful breathing, pneumonia and skin irritation. The long term effects include issues w ith the central nervous system, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases (asthma, cancers), blood diseases and impacts on the reproductive system.

The short term effects include:

  • headache;
  • nose, throat and eye inflammation;
  • coughing, painful breathing;
  • pneumonia, bronchitis; and
  • skin irritation.

The long term effects include:

  • issues with the central nervous system;
  • cardiovascular disease; respiratory diseases (asthma, cancers);
  • blood, liver and spleen issues; and
  • impacts on the reproductive system.

Watch this video from the British Heart Foundation on air pollution and your heart!

You can find out more about the impacts of air pollution on the heart and circulatory system on the British Heart Foundation website.

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