Every year, More people die from polluted air than from traffic accidents or high-incidence diseases such as breast or prostate cancer. Pollution is already considered the leading cause of preventable death and nine out of ten people are exposed to it. Pollutants enter our body through the nose and mouth and, if they overcome the body’s protective barriers to filter the air, they can enter the circulation and cause serious health problems.
It has been shown that three million deaths a year worldwide are caused by pollution and the people who are going to be more susceptible to this pathology are going to be children, which have not yet formed the respiratory system and have to complete its development. Also the elderly, because they have lost part of their defense mechanisms, and people with chronic bronchial pathology, such as patients with COPD and bronchial asthma.
Reducing pollutants has been shown to have positive effects on the health of these patients. But pollution doesn’t just affect the most vulnerable countries. In Europe, people lose an average of 9 months of life due to air quality. The highest concentrations of pollutants occur in winter, especially on foggy days.
Avoiding exposure to high levels of pollution is important to preserve health, but how can we know the quality of the air we breathe? Technological solutions developed in Aragon can help us to know the amount of atmospheric pollutants in our environment, as explained the program ‘On the road to science’.
The World Health Organization warns of the problem
The WHO estimates that about seven million people die each year from exposure to fine particles contained in polluted air. These particles penetrate the depths of our lungs and can cause serious pathologies.
In Aragon, thanks to the wind, the air is much cleaner than in other places. However, in winter, especially when it is foggy, more significant levels of pollution can be reached.
There are cities so polluted in the world that breathing their air one day is equivalent to smoking 21 cigarettes.