Did you know that air pollution does not just affect our environment and health, but that it also affects us psychologically? When someone says air pollution people usually tend to think of factories putting chemicals in the air, forest fires, or old cars. What they do not think of is all the problems that come out of air pollutions. When getting to know about pollution it is important to know other countries who have gone through it such as china, the type of health problems that it causes, the psychological issue, and the solution.
Since 1982 China has dealt with the problem of air pollution. A majority of the pollution in China comes from the four major cities Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Shanghai that have an air quality level of PM 2.5. PM stands for particulate matter which is the particles found in the air such as dust, dirt, smoke, chemicals, etc. PM 2.5 means that the particles in the air are 2.5 micrometers. Our bodies are able to breath in and exhale PM10 particles and we will be fine, but for PM2.5 it “is much more dangerous to our health as it can penetrate deep into our lungs and enter our bloodstream.” (Health and safety, 7). The air quality in China has gotten so bad that it has contributed to 1.6 million deaths in 2014. To help solve the air pollution, China has many air quality monitors that monitor on the ground daily. The monitors have found out that “a wide variety of factors may influence the PM2.5 level, which may be closely related to environmental and industrial factors, we focus on inferring statistical dependence and causal relations between four major cities in China based on the PM2.5 measurement data as observational evidence.” (Min Kim, 6). Due to the monitors they are not certain that it is the factories that are the main source causing the bad air quality, but they are working on making the chemicals coming out of factories better.
The type of health issues that air pollution can cause are nausea, difficulty in breathing, skin irritation, or even cancer. It could also cause health problems such as birth defects, serious developmental delays in children, and reduced activity of the immune system. What happens is that heavy metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, dioxins, etc. goes into the nervous system and causes those types of problems. “Moreover, there exist several susceptibility factors such as age, nutritional status and predisposing conditions.” (Kampa, Castanas, 11). Memory and attention are another common health problem that comes from air pollution. A study of air pollution exposure during children’s first year at life found that it associates “with reduced psychomotor development, as well as with autism spectrum disorder, and impairment in cognitive development.” (Rivas, 4). How they did this study is they got a group of kids between the ages of seven through ten from Barcelona, Spain and New York, New York to take three tests. The n-back test for assessing working memory, the computerized Attentional Network Test for evaluating attention, and the BREATH test. Each child had to take the tests every three months. They would compare the results between the children in Barcelona with an air quality of PM 2.5 to the kids in New York with an air quality of PM 10. The results found that air pollution can affect children’s memory negatively, but as for attentiveness it was not affected. This data is not completely valid due to the lack of study because of the exposure air pollution has on a child’s brain.
Due to studies by psychologist Song Wu and Tingbin Wang they have found that poor air quality can affect human’s in a negative way. Examples of this is that people feel like if they are in a more polluted area, they can lie a lot easier. That they could do things to benefit them more if the air quality and the environment is not that healthy because in a polluted place, they already see the earth going downhill and think that telling the truth is unethical. If the air quality gets any worse and people do start lying more because they feel like it a common/acceptable thing to do than the world could spin into mayhem and become a more deceiving world. “Air pollution may increase individuals’ consideration of and desire for behavioral outcomes, especially material ones, and lead them to transgress rules to reach such outcomes.” (Wu, 5). Air pollution can also raise people’s anxiety and depression. Gloomy skies tend to make some people feel sadder and have the feeling of being sluggish. While for anxiety air pollution can cause the person to feel uneasy and worried about the environment and nervous of what this will cause.
To help solve the problem of air pollution one thing that commoners can contribute to is the type of cars a person has. To reduce the air quality and meet the legal limits a way to fix cars outtake on pollution is a new combustion processes for internal combustion engines. A new combustion that we are trying out is called the HCCI combustion. “The HCCI combustion process is a form of low temperature combustion  and has the advantages of lower emissions of NOx, compared to both compression ignition and spark ignition (SI) mode of operation, and at the same time of high efficiency (diesel like efficiency numbers).” (Vucetic, 2). A problem with the HCCI is the sensitivity to the intake air temperature. The intake of air can go up to 200 degrees Celsius; if the temperature goes any higher the exhaust will go out. There are still studies on it and making the engine better for cars, so that we can reduce the air pollution.
It is important to acknowledge this problem because it will not only affect our environment and make the world a gloomier and more polluted place, but that it will affect our health in a negative way causing things such as asthma, skin dieses, cancer, etc. It will also make the world a more chaotic place when it starts affecting our behaviors such as lying, depression, and anxiety. That’s why we need a plan of action, even something as small as fixing engines of our cars, so that we are not spreading chemicals around the world.
Castanas, Elias. Kampa, Marilena. Science Direct. 10 June 2007. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.465.5144&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Health and Safety in Shanghai. 2019. https://www.healthandsafetyinshanghai.com/china-air-quality.html
Min Kim, Jong. PLOS ONE. 14 March 2019. http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=6&sid=5c5a3c67-eab7-49da-b552-a2afd415fbf7%40pdc-v-sessmgr02
Rivas, Ioar. Environmental Health Perspectives. 9 May 2019. https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/EHP3169
Vucetic, Ante. Department of IC Engines and Transportation Systems. 15 March 2018. http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=4&sid=efa52648-0080-49a6-b8b7-ce55591f86c6%40pdc-v-sessmgr01
Wu, Song. Wang, Tingbin. PLOS ONE. 29 April 2019. http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=5&sid=a51dba5c-09a0-4156-8024-e411fd2c9654%40sessionmgr4007