April 7th marks the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948.
World Health Day is celebrated annually, and each year draws attention to a specific health concern around the world. The theme for 2022 is Our Planet, Our Health.
According to the WHO, 13 million deaths occur each year due to environmental causes. Environmental pollution can be described as the addition of harmful substances to the environment. Humans are regularly exposed to environmental pollutants.
There are various forms of pollution and pollutants that interact with the human body in many ways.
Air pollution is one of the most common forms of environmental pollution and it has the potential to affect every organ in the human body. Air pollution, according to the WHO, is a global public health emergency as over 90% of the world population endures toxic air.
It is well known that air pollutants can be carried deep into the lungs, crossing the blood-alveoli barrier, and propagating to the cardiovascular system. In the lungs, air pollutants can exacerbate previously existing respiratory illnesses such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema. In the cardiovascular system, prolonged exposure of air pollutants can lead to alterations in the vascular tone as well as coagulation abnormalities. It is also a risk factor for changes in blood pressure.
We must all play our part to actively protect our environment as a healthy environment plays a vital role in the promotion of good health.