Everyone’s heard of different seasons presenting different threats. The east coast battles a hurricane season each year and the west coast deals with wildfires. Now people wonder if there are more specific dangers to be aware of, like air pollution season.
Some pollution is a year-round challenge, but it can fluctuate during different times of the year. Climate change is accelerating, so everyone can expect to see pollution intensify along with it.
Read on to find out what air pollution season means when combined with climate change. The future could hold cleaner air and a healthier planet if everyone takes the necessary steps to mitigate the existing damage.
New Laws Are Necessary
Although you might look out of your window and see a clear blue sky, you still might breathe polluted air. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that air pollution contributes to 7 million deaths annually, resulting in diseases such as:
- Lung cancer
- Heart disease
- Respiratory infections
Policies at the city, county and state levels that commit to clean air will outline the steps toward a safer environment. These steps depend on which geographic location they address because they’ll consider the local contributing factors.
Politicians could address regulations regarding statewide CO2 emissions, recycling initiatives, clean water efforts and landfill maintenance. Even the smallest change will leave a lasting impact on reducing pollution during heavy seasons and year-round.
Weather Events Affect the Air
At the beginning of the year, Australia battled the most intense wildfires in its history. When summer ended, wildfire season burned along America’s west coast. These fires release particulate matter (PM) into the air, which is microscopic pieces of soot that are deleterious to breathe.
When you inhale PM particles, they penetrate the membranes in your lungs and filter into your bloodstream, leaving you with lasting respiratory damage. Researchers agree that climate change intensifies global wildfire events, so climate change will continue to cause these seasons to produce more air pollution than in previous years.
Homes Require Better Filters
When contaminants increase during these new air pollution seasons due to weather events or human actions, people will spend more time indoors. Even then, they might not be safe. When their HVAC unit circulates outdoor air through their home, low-quality filters won’t catch every particle.
It’s always smart to install the best air filters in your house. They’ll catch pollution, allergens and dust that would otherwise harm your health. People who live in particularly high-risk zones, like areas prone to wildfire, should look for filters that block 99.97% of particles that could make your home an unsafe place to live.
No filter will be 100% effective, but 99.97% will preserve the safety of your indoor air during even the height of your local air pollution season.
Neighborhoods Need Sensors
Even though air pollution is a global problem, it doesn’t affect all locations equally. Research shows that low-income and minority communities face higher exposure to pollutants for multiple reasons. They may live in a neighborhood built on cheap land sold at a discount because of nearby pollution sources like factories or landfills.
Low-cost air sensors attached to homes or telephone poles can monitor the air quality both indoors and outdoors. Local governments can use this data to direct green alternative funding towards the neighborhoods most affected by air pollution after the data reveals where it’s most dense.
If communities take advantage of this available technology, they will spot when their air pollution season is at its worst and identify solutions specific to their needs.
Watch for Change
The battle against climate change and pollution is ongoing. In the coming future, people will see what air pollution season means with climate change and figure out how to preserve their communities while everyone works together to improve the planet.