The quality of the air we breath is fundamental to our good health and wellbeing.
On average each person inhales around 14,000 litres of air every day and the presence of contaminants in that air can adversely affect people’s health. Anyone with pre -existing respiratory and heart conditions, diabetes, the young and older people are particularly vulnerable.
Several international studies have also shown that poor Air Quality can also adversely affect the natural environment. Ecological damage may occur when air pollutants come into direct contact with vegetation or when animals inhale them. Air pollutants can also settle on land and water bodies. From the soil they can wash into waterways or be taken up by plants and animals. Poor Air Quality is also known to affect our climate, some pollutants have a warming effect whilst others contribute to cooling (study by the European Environment Agency 2013).
The affect of poor Air Quality on human health and our Environment can, in turn have a negative impact on our economy ie costs related to; hospitalisation and medical treatment, premature deaths and loss of workdays. Damage to top-soils, vegetation and waterways may reduce the productivity and cost of our agriculture and forestry industries. Not forgetting the cost of corroded buildings which need to be repaired.