Corruven's sustainbility series This month series: global pollution - Air pollution pt1

Hello my marvellous Uveners and welcome to Corruven's one of a kind sustainability series, for all the newbies, These series are broken down into weekly segments and focus on global pollution as a whole. We take an inside look at facts and science to give you the best ways to lead a sustainable lifestyle. We focus at the effect of pollution through the elements of air, water, soil, radioactive, light, thermal and visual.

In today’s segment, we take a closer look at …. (drumrolls): Air pollution!

But before we begin, I want to give a special thanks to all the readers who have read the series thus far. The entire Corruven team is pleased that you are reading our articles and hopefully taking offering new perspective to take action on creating a sustainable lifestyle for yourself.

Without further or do, I give you: air pollution! The dangers in the air we breathe and how you can take action to fight the effects against it.

As some of you may notice, the year 2018 has been plagued with lots of natural disasters maybe more than the year before. Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, forest fires, and much more.[1/2]

Lately, we saw an increase in death by asthma attacks.

An increase of more than 50% since 1980 among all genders, age groups and ethnic group. What’s more, there’s an increase in death rate for children under 19 years old by nearly 80% since 1980.[3]

In fact, back in 2013, a young girl of 9 years old called Ella died of asthma. After studying the cause of the death for some time, it was found by Professor Stephen Holgate an expert on asthma and air pollution, that there was a striking association between the little girls emergency hospital admission and spikes in nitrogen dioxide and PM10 pollution. [4]

In 2018, it has been concluded that the cause of her death was because she lived 80 ft from London south circular road in Hither Gree, a place where pollution regularly exceeds legal limits.

She was the first person, to die from air pollution.

Miss Ella Kissi-Debrah. Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-44612642

Over the decades, the main cause of air pollution has been reported to be from factories/industries, transportation (vehicle exhaust), forest fires, radiation and the use of aerosols. [5]

The scariest part about air pollution is not only death, but what it can do before death. The symptoms are elaborate as it is[5] :

-Hair damage

-Cardiovascular damage

-Eyes and mucous membrane irritation

-Respiratory diseases

-Liver spleen and blood damage

-Bone damage

-Skin damage

-Nervous system damage

-And much more (see the infographic under)

Infographic on air pollution. Source: Activesustainability.com

But wait there’s more…

A study conducted by the UK Biobank study examined 4000 volunteers found that air pollution was changing the structure of the heart like heart failure does. Participants living closer to the busy roads and exposed to nitrogen dioxide had the larger right and left ventricles in the heart, which is crucial chambers in the heart that pump blood, than those living farther away.[6]

Heart anatomy. Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320565.php

Let’s get more scientific shall we?

When you live close to busy roads, power plants, vehicles or are exposed to fire, you will be exposed to something called the particulate matter 2.5.[6] A particulate matter is also called particle pollution, it is the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. It is often measured as microns in diameter. A hair follicle is about 50-70 microns in diameter, fine beach sand is about 90 microns in diameter, dust/pollen/ mould etc. is 10 microns in diameter (PM10) but combustion particles/organic compounds/metal is 2.5 microns in diameter. [7]

Comparism. Source: https://blissair.com/what-is-pm-2-5.htm

PM2.2 is a widespread pollutant that’s able to get deep into our lungs and even enter our bloodstream causing lots of problems like cardiovascular, respiratory disease and cancers. [8/9]

Journey of PM2.5. Source: https://wired.ng/health/port-harcourt-air-contaminated-pm2-5-lead-premature-death/

Mind blowing right?

Now, I know this can be scary for you but have no fear because worldwide governments are doing something about it.

Here is some example of the policies that have been created to restore balance in the air.

1. Industries: using clean technologies that reduce industrial smokestack emissions; improved management of urban and agricultural waste, including the capture of methane gas emitted from waste sites as an alternative to incineration (for use as biogas)

2. For the municipal and agricultural waste management: strategies for waste reduction, waste separation, recycling and reuse or waste reprocessing; as well as improved methods of biological waste management such as anaerobic waste digestion to produce biogas, are feasible, low-cost alternatives to the open incineration of solid waste. Where incineration is unavoidable, then combustion technologies with strict emission controls are critical.

Since these are more for cities, companies and countries as a whole here are some tips on how you Uveners can take action on the air we breathe.

1. Always monitor the air quality before going outside, cause even short-term exposure can cause damage[11]. If you have no choice to get outside wear a mask if the air pollution is high. To find out about your local air pollution quality, you can visit this link https://breezometer.com/ or download the app on your cell phone. Air Quality Index Breezometer. The fantastic part, it's FREE! [12]

2. When indoors, use a high-performance air purifier [13]

3. Support companies that have sustainable product &/or practices to reduce our global carbon footprint.

4. If you can, choose to carpool, commute and/or bike (only if air quality is good)

5. Educate others, sharing is caring...

Bonus: Plant more greenery around you!

These simple steps can go along way.

We know that sometimes it’s hard to find a good support group to help you achieve your sustainable goals. That’s why at Corruven, we are making it our mission to create a collaborative platform of leaders to help us better manage our society and build a truly sustainable world.

Next week, we bring you the Sustainability Series: Air Pollution - Part 2. We hope you enjoyed today’s article and are taking action to create a truly sustainable world for yourself. Don’t forget to share and like our post today.

Have a great day everyone :)!

Shedlyne Denise Belanger


1. http://time.com/5031607/earthquake-predictions-2018/

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icSwJ1muv6Y

3. http://www.asthmamd.org/asthma-statistics/

4. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6693862/london-air-pollution-girl-dead-asthma-attack/

5. https://www.activesustainability.com/environment/effects-air-pollution-human-health/

6. https://www.newsweek.com/air-pollution-change-heart-structure-1057002

7. https://www.epa.gov/pm-pollution/particulate-matter-pm-basics

8. http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ambient-(outdoor)-air-quality-and-health

9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5565233/

10. https://breatheclean.ca/what-is-pm2-5/

11. https://www.ajc.com/news/world/study-short-term-exposure-air-pollution-can-lead-000-extra-deaths-year/m4jUGgWk3k1MNi6nTEs0IO/

12. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/15/10-ways-to-beat-air-pollution-how-effective-are-they

13. https://www.iqair.com/ca/newsroom/are-deaths-by-air-pollution-rising-globally

14. http://anitacardioresp.blogspot.com/2010/05/heart-structure-and-cardiac-cycle.html

Created By
Shedlyne Bélanger

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