Reducing air pollution improves people’s health very quickly, reports a paper from the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS).

Air pollution is when the air around us contains substances that can be harmful. This might come from things like car fumes or smoke from burning coal. Air pollution can often be prevented.

This paper looked at actions and interventions that have reduced levels of air pollution across the world. It then explained how the reduction in air pollution had improved people’s health.

One example was the smoking ban in Ireland. After the smoking ban started, there was a 38% reduction in deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). For people working in bars, symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath improved within 2 months of the smoking ban.

The researchers also looked at the reduction of air pollution in people’s homes. Some studies found that improving the air in kitchens in China reduced rates of COPD.

This paper gives us a better understanding of how quickly reducing air pollution can improve health. This could lead to more support for reducing air pollution in the future. What’s needed now is a better understanding of how these changes could be made in other parts of the world.

 

You can read the full article here: https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1513/AnnalsATS.201907-538CME