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The Air We Breathe

Aug 17, 2007
We don't need scientists to tell us we require 'air' to survive. The air we breathe has a gas called oxygen and without it there would be no life period. Humans, plants and animals all need oxygen to survive but although oxygen is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless, there are a lot of pollutants in the air which are not. Worse still, there are a whole bunch of impurities indoors as well as outdoors, which is why ionic air purifiers have become all the rage these days. But just how bad is bad when we talk about the quality of the air we breathe?

Air pollution first got my attention when I was visiting Hong Kong last year. My first impressions of this small country was that it was clean, efficient, and very well organized despite the fact that its buildings and residents were so tightly packed in. As I walked around the city areas, it was pretty noisy and certainly bustling, but I didn't think for one minute that there were any real issues with pollution. That was until I read an article in a local magazine which reported that there were over 2000 deaths caused last year through air pollution alone.

I found this an incredible read. What does it say for places like Bangkok in Thailand where you can almost chew on the air it's that thick. My Thai physician here in the USA, explained that Bangkok has lung cancer rates which are about three times higher than the rest of the country, and its air pollution levels are some 14 times higher than international health standards. He went on to say that the city now has the sharpest decline in life expectancy within South East Asia. The price of pollution in the Asia region seems to indicate these Eastern cities are suffocating on their own economic prosperity. Quite a price to pay wouldn't you say!

But air pollution doesn't stop in developing countries. Here at home in the US, we are often accused by the international community as being the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases worldwide. In addition to industrial pollution, millions of us have these big automobiles which are all spewing out air contaminants and affecting the quality of the air breathed as we walk around outside. President George W bush has not agreed to reduce emissions at the time of writing this article. He said it would be damaging to the US economy. He also went on to say that developing countries were not required to cut their emissions so didn't see why the US had to do so at this time.

Governments play a huge role in protecting its citizens and the planet as a whole, but we the little people, also have a duty to do what we can in order to help improve the quality of the air we breathe, and that goes for inside as well as out. In actual fact, our home and work environments may be damaging our health without us even realizing it. So many of us spend a high percentage of our time indoors, so the quality of the air we breathe inside is very important.

Air pollution isn't just a problem for poor, undeveloped, or developing countries, it's a global issue. If any of us care about our children, our children's children and their children, then we humans as a race should sit up and take issue regarding the quality of the air we breathe as a very, very serious concern. Remember, the planet is in our hands, and we only have the one.
About the Author
Gary Tooth is a proficient freelance writer for Airwafts.com where he has articles on Air Fare Deals and Air Beds. He also has other 'air' related pieces on the site.
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