Air pollution raises concerns about the safety of the environmentSAN ANTONIO -A study into global daily air pollution shows almost nowhere on Earth is safe. As studied by Science Daily, only 0.001% of the world’s population has been determined to be exposed to tolerable levels of ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5). This fine particulate matter harms human life and the planet Earth. Air pollution is one of the most significant threats to the human body. According to the World Health Organization, fine particulate matter from ambient air pollution causes acute and chronic respiratory illnesses, lung cancer, heart disease and strokes. Indoor and outdoor air pollution are significant contributors to morbidity and death. An air pollutant is any chemical, physical or biological substance that modifies the atmosphere’s inherent qualities. Both indoor and outdoor sources, such as motor vehicles, industrial processes and home combustion appliances, can contribute to air pollution. Particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide are pollutants of significant public health concern. Briana Hauff Salas, the assistant professor of Environmental Science, Biology Program Head and Environmental Science and Sustainability Program Head at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU), knows practices people can take to protect the Earth and their health. “I think our main goal as individuals would be to do what we can to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels,” Salas said. Salas said there are many things that people can do. People can carpool, get an electric vehicle, grow and make their own food, use less plastic and have all deliveries derived at once instead of multiple times within the week. In honor of protecting the environment and working towards making Earth a safer place, many celebrate Earth Day. In the United States, Earth Day is observed on April 22. Other countries observe it on April 22 or the day of the spring equinox. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was motivated to organize a national holiday to unite the environmental movement through environmental activity in the 1960s. The annual celebration of Earth Day recognizes the accomplishments of the environmental movement and promotes the importance of preserving the planet’s natural resources for coming generations. There are many ways to contribute to better health and the planet. Some things one can do include conserving energy and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Turn off lights and devices when not in use and regularly replace the air filter. Eliminate unwanted mail and paper waste, as well as boost recycling. In honor of Earth Day, Junior at OLLU, Madelynn Strzelczyk, has been thinking about what she can do to help benefit the Earth and preserve her health. “I try to stay conscious of what waste I’m putting out there,” said Strzelczyk. “I’ve invested in having a few reusable containers like water bottles, metal straws and trying not to use as much paper or disposable plastic items at home.” If interested in learning more about Earth Day and how to keep Earth and the environment safer and cleaner, click HERE.
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