Sunday, 12 March 2017

Why Human Activity Is Damaging Our Health

by Francesca Dellafera

Nowadays, millions and millions of people use cars and buses as a means of transport, thinking that it's more efficient and, overall, just an easier way to travel. However effective technology has become in engineering these vehicles, the negatives outweigh the positives.

Pollution in the UK is becoming increasingly problematic, especially in cities such as Southampton where big ships and ferries travel through, requiring petrol. There have been at least 30,000 deaths each year in the UK caused by air pollution, which especially affects people with already existing respiratory problems. In China, people have to even wear masks to cover their mouths from breathing in such harmful toxin fumes. And, by mid century, the number of deaths are expected to rise, killing more than 6 million per year globally.  

Is this really the atmosphere we want for the air we depend upon? One in three cars in Britain runs off diesel and 95% of these diesel cars emit more nitrogen oxides than are legally allowed. We are surrounding ourselves with toxins and fumes that we don't even realise are there and, as the population is rising exponentially, surely it will only get worse.

However, it is not just us who are suffering. The black carbon particles, produced by biomass-burning stoves in developing countries, settle on the Arctic, absorbing sunlight. The hotter the surface of the ice becomes the more it will melt. And I know that doesn't seem much to me or you, but out there are polar bears whose habitats are being destroyed because of human activity. They are innocent victims of our everyday routine, and this needs to stop.

Instead of resorting to switching on every light in your house, try and conserve the energy and take advantage of the natural sunlight. Also, try and plant trees as they are a natural source of carbon dioxide that we breathe, rather than the fumes and toxins from cities. It is also better to shop locally because shipping worldwide greatly contributes to the air pollution. Now I know that not a lot is going to change any time soon, but think next time when you run your car unnecessarily for heat, that you may just be killing a life.

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