Health Course

Chapter 1 - Taking Charge of Your Health

6. Air

The air we breathe is also critical to our health.

Air pollution can cause illness and death if pollutants become
concentrated for a period of several days or weeks. Increased
amounts of carbon monoxide and airborne acids, and a
decreased amount oxygen, all put excessive strain on people
suffering from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive
pulmonary diseases, such as chronic bronchitis or emphysema,
as well as on the very young and the elderly: hence the warnings
on the news when the smog levels are very high.

Not all air pollution is caused by human activity – forest fires, pollen
blooms and dust storms also add their load of pollutants to the
atmosphere – yet there is a growing global understanding that we
must do what we can to protect our environment.