The effects of air 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.
The short term effects include
- 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.