Air Pollution: Our Bodies Feel the Difference

"The list of diseases linked to air pollution is growing." This was the headline for a recent article in Science News.

Most articles about air pollution and health focus on conditions in third world countries, where people cook by burning wood or animal dung over an open flame, creating heavy smoke inside their homes with too little ventilation. In other words, we can ignore the warning because it doesn’t apply to us.

This article cites study after study and researcher after researcher, listing diseases including asthma, allergy, and respiratory conditions – in the US. Pollution-related illness is not just in the poor, rural areas but in our most advanced and wealthy populations.

And the diseases are not limited to the expected respiratory illnesses. They are finding connections to the chronic illnesses like diabetes, obesity, cardio-vascular disease, and suspected in dementia and increases in mortality. The seriousness is no longer discounted with the caveats of “the sick, the elderly, the young, the immune suppressed.” Of course, these populations are more vulnerable. But the general population is also being affected, now and more frequently. Some to the point of their health degrading into the classification of “more vulnerable.”

These stories are not from conspiracy websites, alt-news, fake-news, or “my news is right, your news is wrong.” Neither is it from the climate scientists. And that disconnection itself, from the causes of climate change, is what makes this even more concerning to me. The pollution that is causing climate change seems to now be causing harm in us.

When all the science reporting has concluded, as in this article, it may all come down to this quote: “Our bodies feel the difference.” Although our bodies cannot automatically determine why (that’s what science is figuring out), they certainly can determine what –  “I don’t feel well even when I’m in outside air. And inside air can be even worse.”

Read the full article here:  https://www.sciencenews.org/article/list-diseases-linked-air-pollution-growing,