Air Pollution

Air pollution can contribute to a number of different health conditions, some of which are very serious and may even result in death. In the last 50 years, air pollution has been more significant than ever before, with an increased number of cars on the road, increased air travel and increases in industrial air pollution. It is estimated that air pollution cuts people’s lives short by an average of 9 months across the European Union.  

Causes of air pollution

There are many possible causes of air pollution; these include:

  • Burning fossil fuels
  • Emissions from motor vehicles and aeroplanes
  • Forest fires
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Industry and manufacturing

Effects of air pollution on health

  • Increased risk of strokes
  • Respiratory problems, including bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Increased number of children with asthma
  • Increase in the number of people with allergies (including allergies to dust mites and pollen)
  • Irritation of the eyes
  • Increased risk of heart and lung disease
  • Increased risk of lung cancer

Solutions to air pollution

Attempts are being made to cut pollution and reduce the rate of climate change; solutions being trialled include:

  • Developing renewable energy sources
  • Making products more energy efficient
  • Encouraging people to use less energy
  • Restricting population growth

Guide to Environmental Health

Environmental Health

Air pollution

Chemical safety

Food poisoning

Health and natural disasters

Sanitation and water

Health in the workplace


Chemical Burn

Carbon monoxide poisoning