Have you ever wondered about the state of air quality in your area? We all need to know more, learn about and share information on how to beat air pollution.
Air pollution is one of the biggest threats to the environment. It affects animals, crops, cities, forests and aquatic ecosystems; has a negative effect on human health, and the long-term effects of air pollution contribute directly to climate change.
In essence, air pollution means any change in the composition of the air caused by smoke, soot, dust (including fly ash), cinders, solid particles of any kind, gases, fumes, aerosols and odorous substances. It has no boundaries, can travel for many kilometres, and has a negative impact on the environment.
We all have a role to play to protect the earth and there are little things that one can do every day to help reduce greenhouse gases and have a less harmful impact on the environment.
The effects of air pollution on human health:
- Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat.
- Coughing, chest tightness and breathing difficulties
- Worsening of existing lung and heart problems, such as asthma
- Long-term exposure to air pollution can cause cancer and damage to the immune, neurological, reproductive and respiratory systems.
Let's clear our air! Be part of the solution to reduce the levels of air pollution by doing the following:
- Plant trees to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
- Use alternative sources of energy, such as solar power.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle all recyclable waste.
- Service and follow the maintenance plan for cars correctly.
- Conserve energy by turning off appliances and lights when leaving a room.
- Recycle paper, plastic, glass bottles, cardboard and aluminium cans. This conserves energy and reduces production emissions.
- Keep wood stoves and fireplaces well-maintained.
- Use gas stoves and gas heaters.
- Lower the thermostat on the water heater.
- Use low-volatile organic compounds (VOC) or water-based paints, stains, finishes and paint strippers.
- Join a carpool or use public transport to get to work.
- Walk or cycle instead of driving, where possible.
- Buy Energy Star products, including energy-efficient lighting and appliances.
Report air pollution at telephone: 012 358 1351.