How does air pollution affect my health?
Air pollution affects everybody, but it’s worse for children, older people and individuals with existing heart and lung conditions. Exposure to pollution can cause lung damage in children, impair their development and worsen existing conditions like asthma.
In busy cities like Portsmouth, Nitrogen Dioxide (caused by burning fuels in vehicle engines) and Particulate Matter (from brake and tyre wear) are the biggest offenders in causing air pollution. Nitrogen Dioxide is a gas which irritates the airways of the lungs and affects the way they work. Particulate Matter is made up of fine particles which can enter the lungs, cause inflammation and make heart and lung disease worse.
Air pollution can contribute towards conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, dementia and type 2 diabetes. In Portsmouth, approximately 95 people die every year from diseases attributed to air pollution (Public Health England).