Have you ever thought about the quality of the air you breathe?
From the moment you are born to the day you die, you have to breathe to stay alive. You can live without food for a long time. Jesus stayed in the desert for 40 days and did not eat. Mahatma Gandhi went on a fast of 21 days.
Now with water, it is different, as over 60% of an adult body comprises water and all your cells need it to survive. They estimate a person can survive 3 Days to a maximum of 4 days without water. Dehydration is something one should take seriously as a loss of over 10% of your body weight is a medical emergency.
There is the story that in 1979 the police forgot a prisoner in a holding cell. The poor guy was Andreas Mihavecs, an 18-year- old Austrian man. They shut him up for 18 days and he came out alive. It is said though, he might have licked condensation off the cell walls.
The most amazing story is that of Prahlad Jani. This 82-year-old Indian yogi claims he has never touched food nor water for a period of 70 years. This is an amazing claim which has been tested by Indian military doctors who observed him round the clock during a 2-week hospital stay.
Whether this story is true, it is without discussion; we need food and water to survive. What is also true is that humans nowadays eat too much and drink the wrong things. But that is not what this post is about.
The importance of the air you breathe
The quality of the air you breathe depends on where you live. There is a big difference in air quality from country to country. The purity depends on the air quality regulations and whether it is in the countryside, in a big city, or in the wide empty natural spaces. The air quality will be very different and measurable.
A YouTube video with information on the oxygen you need.
An adult inhales and exhales between 7 to 8 liters of air in a minute. Hopefully, this air contains 20% of oxygen. We need oxygen, as our cells need it to function well. This makes one realize how important trees are in our life. It takes between 7 or 8 trees to produce the oxygen you need per year. Where would we be without trees? It is crazy that these lifesavers are chopped down or burned by the millions.
You can imagine that when inhaling contaminated air, you are polluting your cells. Slowly but surely, your entire body will suffer the consequences of this polluted air, and you will start suffering from different ailments. A study from Cornell University states that 3 million people die each year because they breathe polluted air that includes smoke and different chemicals.
The more one dives into this issue, the more worrying it gets. You can, after all, choose the water you drink and also be careful with what food you eat, but you do not have a say in the quality of the air you breathe. If that is true, are you helpless and forced to breathe polluted air? Let’s face it, we are the ones who pollute the air with our actions and lifestyle.
The first step in the right direction is to be informed about the whys and hows. Perhaps you are able to move to a place where the air is better, but few people can do this. Then comes the fact that polluted air travels on the wind and bothers people living far away.
Arnold Schwarzenegger recommends this book
Here you can read about the air we breathe, the impact it has on our health, and what we can do to improve it. Did you know that globally, every day 18.000 people die from air pollution? So each year 6.5 million people die and that is more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and car crashes combined? Amazing that we are doing this to ourselves.
Let’s have a look at the ailments
The list of diseases caused by air pollution is long, so I will mention only a few. You can read the website I just linked for more information.
Birth defects and immune system defects. Dirty air affects a pregnant mother and her unborn child. When our cells do not get sufficient oxygen, they malfunction.
Leukemia. This is a type of blood cancer. Cancer thrives in an environment lacking sufficient oxygen. The more oxygen you have in your body, the less chance cancer has to develop.
You might get irritated eyes, headaches, and or dizziness but these are minor ailments compared to the rest.
I came across some very interesting data you might like to see. I live in the south of Spain, upcountry and away from industrial areas. Surrounded by many trees and green farms. I bet the air is good here. The cities like Barcelona and Madrid had a big problem with air pollution. Recently, steps have been taken to make 0 emission zones in Spanish cities.
They put cars into one of 4 categories, and if they pollute a lot, it restricts them in certain zones of the city. Recently, Madrid and Barcelona started requiring cars to have Ambiental badges so the police can see from a distance if that particular car can drive there or not.
People visiting countries from Europe with their own car would do well to inform themselves before departure. The air in the big cities in Spain was sometimes so bad that house pets walking the streets, small children, and older people were suffering.
Let’s go across the pond and look at America
Actually, America was doing fine. Since the 1980s, America’s air pollution rates had declined. At this time, the U.S. is listed among the top ten countries with the best air. A list which includes Australia and several European countries.
But soon the U.S. will no longer qualify for that ranking. The biggest problem is the fine particulate pollution. The official name is PM2.5 as these particles are 2.5 micrometers in diameter. So small you cannot see it, but it is in the air you breathe. Power plant smoke, car exhaust, wildfires, and other incendiary events cause it.
In 1970 the Clean Air Act came into force and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) had the power to regulate and keep a tight watch on factories, gas stations, cars, planes, etc. This control was for the benefit of the people. The air was quite clean and caused air pollution-related deaths to fall 30% during this time.
This seems like significant news but one should not forget, the EPA classified the hometowns of 110 million Americans as not reaching the required standard.
Some alarming news
From 2015 to 2017, this positive trend has changed and now the U.S. is going in the opposite direction. The causes are more wildfires, the rise in temperature but most importantly, the rollback of former environmental regulations. There you have it. The president does not care what air you and your family breathe. He has rescinded the national standard for emissions.
Scientists warn that even if you cannot say “it is the climate that causes pollution”, what is true is that rising temperatures will worsen the air quality.
What can you do? First of all, be informed about the rules and regulations. If you disagree with the air quality they force you to breathe, contact your representative in congress. Join a strike demanding cleaner air and next time you vote, consider if this person will care about the water you drink, the food you eat, and especially the air you breathe.
The environment normally provides good and healthy air. Man-made inventions often pollute this good air. One needs to find the right balance.
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Source: Well.Org Team
Photo Source: Pixabay
These last years, the world has suffered many huge fires. Trees which are our alleys cleaning the air are being destroyed. You might like to read the following post.
Who Is Responsible For The Wildfires Destroying Mother Earth?
The earth is suffering and we need to save it by stopping some of the activities we have been getting involved in that have caused and is still causing some really big damage to our environment.
Health issues that come with food or with insect bite can be easily taken care of, but airborne issues shouldn’t be taken we levity because it is really difficult to curb when they break out. I hope we learn and save the earth.
Good afternoon Benson,
Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
I fully agree with you, Mother Earth is suffering and she would be much better off without us humans. The rate the destruction is going forward there will not be much left for coming generations.
Have a look a the save the planet widget below my photo, this might resonate with you. It is definitely time something is done on a big scale.
I enjoyed reading your good post with very good information to match as well. I agree with you that the air we breathe in is very important in helping us live healthily. Taking in bad air will, in the long run, make our health decline which is not a good thing at all. I like the post that you have written here.
I will be sure to get to the right authorities if I feel that the air around here is not good. Thanks!
Good afternoon Henderson,
Thank you for the comment. Nice to see you again.
When you think that millions upon millions of people worldwide are breathing polluted air one can only wonder what we are doing to ourselves. Of course, it is the authorities which are not taking good care of their citizens but we should learn to speak up.
Wow, I really think that this post is a good one here and I like the fact that you could share some information about how they try to contain the air that people breathe in Spain. That is one of the places that I would like to visit soon.
You are also very right that around here, the quality of the air is seriously declining and this because of the wildfire and in some cases, bush burning round here. This is a post that deserves awareness. I will share it!
Good afternoon John,
Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment.
It was high time something was done to alleviate this unhealthy situation in Spanish big cities. When there is no rain and hardly any wind such a pocket of unhealthy air gets more toxic by the day and remains hanging over the city.
I am really blessed with the place where I live. After writing this post I have become aware of that.
Having healthy air can be so nice, imagine a life free from airborne diseases or having to deal with lung issues as a result of the bad atmosphere where you find yourself in. At home, I make use of a device that cleans the air, and that can be enough. But when I and my kids go outside that is where I see having a good government is very important. Cheers.
Good afternoon Bella,
Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
We put our trust in the authorities to take care of the quality of our food, water, and air. Sadly they often do not live up to what is expected from them. That is why it is so important to be informed only like that we can take care of our health and the health of our family.
Yes, we often take good air for granted until haze happens. I am living in Malaysia, where we are very near to Indonesia where they are burning the forest. As you mentioned, we need 7-8 trees to produces oxygen for the whole year but they are not just burning it down, they are polluting the air. The sky literally turns red in Indonesia and those poor children inhaling these particles will certainly get health issues. Those particles are so small we can’t even filter it and it will go straight into our lungs.
Cancer now is widespread and more and more children are getting it. This phenomenal always occurs every single year, not sure what the government in Indonesia is doing, complaint after complaint every year but it is still the same. That is why my family invested in a good air purifier to filter out the air inside our house. I will be also getting one for our car. Thanks for the write-up.
Good afternoon Jon,
Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
That is a good idea to have an air purifier for your house and planning to get one for your car too. The ideal situation would be that this investment for your health would not be necessary. Having clean air should be declared a human right. Water and air belong to the people of this planet. It is awful that a few violate this right. People should speak up instead of accepting it.
Very sad to read that children are getting cancer because of this situation. I really hope a solution to this very serious problem will be found soon.
I enjoyed reading your post and it had some really good points. You have some nice pictures but could have used some showing how bad the smog used to be.
I was especially interested in what you had to say as I live in Southern California. The air has been cleaned up but I remember the bad old day of smog. I think California is going overboard in the clean air business as the air is probably going to get about as clean as possible.
Good Morning Don,
Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
Yes, I could have used some “stronger” pictures but I did not want to frighten my reader. We must face the fact even if the air looks good the quality does not always match.
I know that California is becoming very green and I wished the rest of America would also follow. As you cannot restrict the air movement it can come flying over from less clean states.
When you look at the world as a whole an enormous cleanup act on all levels would be necessary, if we will get there one day? I do not know but hope so.
Hi Taetske. I had a great but worrying time reading through this post “Have you ever thought about the quality of the air you breathe?” The answer to this question is”No, I have never thought of the air I breathe.” But now I am very concerned about it after reading this post. We should be careful about the persons we put in charge as our leaders.
Good evening Barry,
Thank you for stopping by again and leaving one comment. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
I am happy to hear my article made you think. Everything we put into our body has an effect, be it food, water, or air. It is good to be informed about this. Choose your leaders with care as your life might depend on it.
Thanks again for another thought-provoking article.
We are living in the days where the air, water, land, and almost everything is polluted. Thanks for the stats, 7 to 8 trees for one person but people never bother about it and not showing interest in planting trees.
Once a person said looking at the board that read like this… “Don’t Cut Trees, Save Trees”. He said that’s wrong we need to write it as “Don’t Cut Trees, Save Humans”.
Amazed at the preventive measures taken by Spain and hats off.
In Delhi the capital city of India people are struggling with air pollution and they declared holiday for schools. I hope things will turn to normal as the govt trying their best but it’s the duty of every individual.
You not only discussed the problem but you have provided the solution as well.
Let us plant more trees and save humans.
Good Morning Paul,
Thank you for visiting my website again and leaving a comment. As always nice to see you.
It is crazy what we humans are doing to the environment. We pollute it and then complain it is so bad. Now the thing with trees is really incomprehensible. Trees are lifesavers but we kill them.
Luckily worldwide there are also positive actions where millions of trees have been planted. I hope this positive trend will continue.
It is indeed a sad state of affairs. The causes, are as you’ve mentioned. We are slowly but surely dismantling this wonderful planet. It seems bizarre that we do carry on when we know how much damage we are causing. You would think that governments, under the advice of their scientist and experts, would take steps to limit the effect we are having on our environment. In our efforts to both further our species and advance ourselves we are, in effect, shortening the odds of us actually surviving another millenium.
Disease and poor health can be directly attributed to air pollution. Bacteria itself needs an environment to survive and breed. It’s logical when you think of sterile areas. With the very air that we breathe being contaminated, we are in constant risk of contracting illnesses, both minor and long term fatal.
Why are regulations being withdrawn ? Not wanting to be too cynical but it does seem that the only reasons can be attributed to money, power and greed. For major industry it’s about profit and that in turn is helped by those in govenrment wanting to keep their little fiefdon of power. The whole thing is counterintuitive and the sooner we, as a populus are able to exert leverage on a global scale, the better.
Good Morning Twack,
There are big areas in our world where the Populus needs a massive brainwash. When the younger generation is being taught at an early age how to treat the environment which after all is their habitat a change will come.
I was surprised the other day speaking to a Spanish mother here in the village. She told me that children at the age of 3 years old are informed about recycling at school. They are being told how to separate the waste and once a week one of the group is given the responsibility of doing this.
It is sad to see there are countries that go backward in environmental protection and I think you are right as this must be blamed on greed and ignorance.
With all the knowledge acquired over the centuries it is more than sad that our lifesavers, the trees which produce our oxygen are being destroyed. Humans can be extremely stupid.
Nice to see you again and thank you for your comment.
This is a very sobering post.
As you say, we can be careful about the water we drink and the food we eat, but we are unable to control the air we breathe unless we are prepared to pack up and move.
Thankfully with the change in government in the US, they are taking environmental issues more seriously, so the downward trend will hopefully reverse and quickly.
We are fortunate that governments are very environmentally conscious and are all making great efforts to reduce co2 outputs. This will definitely make a major contribution to the quality of the air we breathe.
Thanks for sharing.
Good Morning Robert,
Nice to see you again and thank you for your comment.
I have written quite a few posts on the situation in the U.S. these past years. It was getting very bad with the rollback of helpful environmental laws. Now, with the new administration it will go in the right direction again I hope.
Laws are only good when people stick to them but when they are taken away the damage can be huge. After all, what affects fauna and flora also affects us.
Spain has changed a lot in the many years I live here. There are still a lot of things on the list but in general people are more conscious about the impact our lifestyle has on the environment.