Air pollution is bad for you and the environment. In the same way that second-hand smoke can kill, air pollution can also affect your health.
Each year, thousands of people die because of poor air quality.
- China’s smog reportedly kills 4,000 people every day.
- In London, nearly 9,500 people die from air pollution each year.
- In the U.S., air pollution was responsible for 200,000 deaths back in 2005.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, any location with an air quality index over 150 is considered “unhealthy.”
If you’re curious about the air quality index in your location, you can view it here.
Read more: 25 Indoor Plants That Can Filter Air Pollutants Out of Your Home
Here’s What Happens When You Take 5 Million Cars Off The Road
On August 20th, Beijing put restrictions on factory production and car use. Five million cars were forced to drive on alternating days leading up to the 70th anniversary of Japan’s WWII defeat on September 3rd so that the city’s usually smoggy skies would be a picture-perfect blue.
During the ban, Beijing’s average levels of PM (particulate matter) dropped by 73.2% compared to the previous year. An international standard for measuring the severity of air pollution dipped to a pristine 17 out of 500, signifying very healthy air!
While the ban was only temporary and China’s air quality is back to being horrible, this short ban shows how air quality can drastically change within a city with just one simple change.