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POLLUTIONS EVERYWHERE, WHERE ON EARTH IS OUR WELL-BEING?!

30-Jul-2015.By: AMAKA ERIKA-OKOYE

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Today feels good and I am feeling bright and fly. I left home early this morning feeling in top shape. The air outside was fresh and soothing, so I decided to drive out to work with my windows wound down. I wanted to enjoy the freshness of the natural air and allow it to work its natural magic on my body. Hmm…, the air lived up to its expectation for as long as I was still within the Estate. As soon as I hit the major road, what was a blessing to me a few minutes ago, suddenly became a threat to my health and well-being. Oh no, I had lost the freshness of the air to all kinds of carbon monoxide that fills the environment.

Sometimes we just want to drive along the freeway; with the windows wound down and the wind on our faces as we smell the fresh air of our surroundings. Driving freely without thinking of the noise or what the air smells like. Most of us wish we could feel this way almost every day of our lives.

But due to our environment, we do not get to enjoy this wishful feeling. You know why? The majority of us drive with our car windows up and the AC on, just to block out the noises and smells, (also because of the weather).

There are different types of air and noise pollutions around us. Air pollution is a substance in the air that can have adverse effects on humans and the ecosystem while noise pollution is harmful or annoying levels of noise.

Our environment is such that it is always chaotic, especially during traffic hours; horns blaring, smoke emitting from industrial buildings and passenger or heavy vehicles. It is either a truck driver is blaring his horn behind you, or some drivers have their stereo on full blast (some of us are guilty of this!), Or that foul, sometimes acidic smell that wafts through the windows and slaps the face.

Another shocking thing is that residential homes are not even exempted. Some have turned their homes into refuse dumping sites, while others cooking with firewood (this emits into the atmosphere and spreads quickly).

Sadly, some of us tend to just live in our environment the way it is, without bothering to make it better or improve on it for our health’s sake.

Air or noise pollution is not something to take likely, this is because our health is involved and more importantly, we don’t want to be rushing to the hospital for one health issue or the other over some preventable pollutions we inhale or live with.

Petroleum and coal that we have everywhere around us, have sulphur compounds and their combustions generate  sulphur dioxide. Sulphur dioxide is dangerous to the human health. It can cause corneal haze, difficulty in breathing, eye irritation, heart failures, etc. It is also associated with asthma, chronic bronchitis, morbidity, etc.

Exhaust from vehicles come from carbon monoxide, which is a colourless, odourless toxic, but non-irritating gas.

Do you know what burning fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants, burning forest or trees and all those industrial companies that are situated close to residential areas do to our health? They can lead to heart disease, alter lung function and also lead to lung cancer.

Imagine how the body suddenly cringes when an offensive odour from garbage, sewage or industrial waste emits into the air. A lot of us quickly look for something to cover the nose, just not to smell or inhale it.

Air pollution is a risk factor to a lot of conditions, like heart disease, respiratory infections, stroke and lung cancer. One can have difficulty in breathing, wheezing, coughing, asthma, etc. How an individual reacts to pollution depends on the level they are exposed to.

Noise pollution, on the other hand, is a harmful or annoying level of noise. It is mainly caused by machines, cars, plane, trains, etc., We all experience ‘noise pollution’ (some people are so used to it that they don’t see it as pollution) every day of our lives.

All these and more contribute to noise pollution, whether we want to accept it or not, they actually do and they can cause damage to our health if care is not taken. Noise pollution can lead to cardiovascular effects in humans, deafness, the eardrums bursting, etc. It can also cause hypertension, hearing loss, it disturbs sleep or meetings, etc.

Instead of waiting on the government to clean up the environment, let us start first from our homes and surroundings. Our environment is very important, we need to keep it clean at all times. We will just be deceiving ourselves if we have the mentality that ‘it is not my place to clean my environment, it is that of the government’.

Well, if you must know, our health is important and why wait for anyone to take care of it when you can start from your within (home)!


Last Updated: 30-Jun-2016 07:39 PM

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