Led by the United Nations Environment Programme on the day of 5th June 1974, World Environment Day is the largest global platform for public outreach observed by millions of people worldwide every year on the same day. World Environment Day 2022 is being hosted by Sweden under the campaign slogan 'Only one earth,' with a prime focus on 'Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature.' A silent killer, environmental pollution accounts for over 7 million deaths per year. Children and adults suffering from chronic health conditions, lung disorders, and people from low-income groups are vulnerable to the adverse effects of exposure to toxic air. These sources emit gases and substances like ozone, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide that are toxic to human health. Air pollution severely affects your physical and psychological health, too, thus disturbing our overall bodily functioning.
World Environment Day, June 5 

Causes of Air Pollution

Pollution continues to poison our air, land, and water bodies. Most air pollution comes from energy use and production. The transport system, industrial production, and air conditioning units release enormous gases, extremely detrimental to health. Primarily, the following factors are responsible for causing air pollution:

  • Wildfires create dense smoke causing high pollution levels
  • Exhaust From Factories and Industries 
  • Volcanic eruptions are a significant source of natural environmental pollution
  • Fossil Fuel-Based Power Plants
  • Microbial Decaying Process
  • Combustion of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum
  • Construction and agricultural activities
  • Second-hand cigarette smoke is also considered air pollution
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Effects Of Environmental Pollution On Humans

Any living being on the planet is prone to many side effects of air pollution and experiences many health effects when exposed to air pollution. Effects can be divided into short-term results and long-term effects.

Short-Term Effects

These temporary effects include pneumonia, bronchitis, cough, asthma, and various allergies. They also have discomforts like an irritation to the nose, throat, eyes, or skin besides causing headaches and nausea. Bad smells from factories or sewer systems cause air pollution too. These odours may not be potentially harmful to health, but they are extremely unpleasant.

Also Read: World Asthma Day 2020: Learn About The Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment And Prevention

Long-Term Effects

They can last for years or an entire lifetime or even lead to high mortality rates. Air pollution's long-term health effects include heart disease, lung cancer, respiratory diseases such as emphysema, and pollutants that may also cause certain non-curable congenital disabilities. Air pollution can also cause long-term damage to people's nerves, brain, liver, and kidneys. 


Hard to believe but let's accept that the climate is heating up way too quickly for people and nature to adapt. With over 1 million species threatened with extinction, we are adding pollutants to the air and water faster than the planet's natural mechanisms can remove them. Acting on urgent planetary issues is of grave importance at present, and that is what World Environment Day reminds us about. There are many ways by which we can contribute towards creating pollution-free green earth. Every day, millions of people make simple changes in their lives to accomplish this task. Taking public transportation instead of driving a car or riding a bike instead of travelling in carbon dioxide-emitting vehicles are a couple of ways to reduce air pollution. If we intend to live on this planet for a more extended period, then sustainability and less pollution better be our immediate goals to achieve.