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Earth Day & Air Quality

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Published on Apr 16, 2014

Since 1970, every year on April 22nd Earth Day is celebrated. The event is coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and is recognized around the world. Earth Day is considered by many as the beginning of the modern environmental movement.

A major focus of Earth Day is to support environmental education and awareness. A significant component to this is air quality. This includes everything from carbon pollution emissions to other forms of air pollution.

Air quality plays a critical role to both the health of the planet and to human health. There are many pollutants that can cause harm to people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "By reducing air pollution levels, countries can reduce the burden of disease from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma. WHO also reports that outdoor air pollution in both cities and rural areas is believed to have caused an estimated 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide in 2012.

Poor outdoor air quality can also have an impact on the air we breathe indoors. Polluted outdoor air enters homes and buildings impacting indoor air quality (IAQ). In addition, there are a number of pollutants that are generated in many indoor environments that can also impact a person's health.




According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "Most people are aware that outdoor air pollution can impact their health, but indoor air pollution can also have significant, harmful effects. EPA studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor levels of pollutants may be two to five times — and occasionally more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels."

There are many indoor air quality pollutants that can impact a person's health. They range from tobacco smoke, radon, fine particulate matter and lead to asbestos, mold and volatile organic compounds to name just a few.

These are just some things to consider this Earth Day and a reminder of the importance of good outdoor and indoor air quality. To learn more about this or other health & safety, environmental or indoor air quality issues, please visit the websites shown in the video.

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