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Air pollution and Health!

kids_playing.jpg How can air pollution affect your health?

Air pollution can cause sensitive groups to become sick more frequently and develop asthma and allergies

What is a Sensitive Group? 

Some people are more sensitive to air pollution than others. Different people can be sensitive to different air pollutants. For example, ozone might make you cough. Dust particles may seem not to bother you, but it may make your grandmother cough and short of breath.

One sensitive group are people with asthma. Asthma is a disease that can make breathing difficult. If people who have asthma are careful and do what the doctor tells them to do, they may never have trouble breathing. However, high air pollution levels may cause people with asthma to be sick more frequently.

Another sensitive group are small children. Why are you part of a sensitive group? Because you're young, and that means your body is still growing, and your lungs are still developing. Also, you tend to play outside more, which is where the polluted air is.

Does this mean you must stay inside when the air pollution level are high? No, you may stay outside as long as you feel well, but you may want to avoid playing close to areas with high pollution, such as roads with heavy traffic. You may, however, need to stay inside during episodes of high air pollution if you suffer from a respiratory disease. 

How can I tell if air pollution is affecting me?

If you are playing hard outside when the Air Pollution level is orange or red (see below) you may cough, feel some discomfort when you breathe, or your chest may feel tight or heavy. If you do so, you should tell your parents or teachers. People with asthma may wheeze the day after pollution levels are high. If you have asthma, be sure to follow your doctor's advice when pollution levels are high. Air Pollution levels

Air Pollution Levels

The Air pollution Level index can help you understand how much the air quality around you influences your health. Below, there is a table with colours and health related information that accompanies them.

Pollution Level  

What does it mean?

Low Air Pollution

Enjoy the clean air!

Moderate Air pollution

Air quality is fine for most people, including children like you. However, if you know you are extra sensitive to pollution, you might want to limit the time you spend playing outside.

High Air pollution

People with heart- or lung diseases, such as asthma, active kids and grown-ups should limit how long or how hard they play or are active outside. Remember, it's important to think about how  the air quality is making you feel! If you don't feel so great, take it a little easier and limit the time you spend outside, especially in polluted areas such as near heavy trafficked roads.

Very High Air Pollution Level

People with heart- or lung diseases, such as asthma, active kids and grown-ups should not spend any time playing or being active outdoors, especially in polluted areas such as near heavy trafficked roads. Everybody else should also limit outdoor activities in polluted areas.


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