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What Is Air Pollution?

Air pollution consists of chemicals or particles like gases, solid particles, or liquid droplets that can harm the health of humans, animals, plants, and even damage buildings.

National Geographic says “Most air pollution is created by people, taking the form of emissions from factories, cars, planes, or aerosol cans. Second-hand cigarette smoke is also considered air pollution. These man-made sources of pollution are called anthropogenic sources.” National Geographics also says, “Heating a house by burning substances such as kerosene, wood, and coal can contaminate the air inside the house. Ash and smoke make breathing difficult, and they can stick to walls, food, and clothing.”

But, air pollution is not only human-made. Natural sources include smoke that comes from wildfires or volcanoes. They alo say “Air pollution is most common in large cities where emissions from many different sources are concentrated. Sometimes, mountains or tall buildings prevent air pollution from spreading out. This air pollution often appears as a cloud making the air murky. It is called “smog” comes from combining the words "smoke" and "fog."’

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Pollution Effects In Numbers

Graph showing the effects pollution has on the average life expectany compared to things like smoking or injuries

Average Life Expectancy Lost per Person

A pie chart with a child with an inhaler in a part of the chart showing that 40% more kids are likely to have asthma attacks due to pollution

Kids with moderate to severe asthma showed they were 40% more likely to have acute asthma episodes on high pollution days

Icons depicting 4 out of ten people live in unhealthy pollution levels

4 out of 10 U.S. residents live in counties with unhealthy levels of air pollution

View Air Quality At Your Location

An image of Google maps demonstrating what would be a working map to show the air quality in your location
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