Air Quality: Breathing in a World of Polluted Air

By Ali Saadhin Saleem
Air Quality: Breathing in a World of Polluted Air

Air pollution is a leading cause of respiratory illnesses, premature deaths and many more deadly health issues. It is mainly caused by the release of harmful gasses into the earth's atmosphere from industrial activities and emissions from vehicles.

In the harsh winter of 2010, a mother is by her daughter's bedside in an intensive care unit. The daughter, whose name is Ella Roberta Kissi-Debrah, has been suffering from a respiratory disease since she was 6. The mother, Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, was seeking an answer to her daughter’s doom.

The condition that Ella was diagnosed with was cough syncope, which was a condition commonly associated with lorry drivers who drove long distances for decades. Since it was uncommon for a child to have such a severe condition, it left Kissi-Debrah puzzled. Ella passed away 3 years later, which left Kissi-Debrah with a conclusion. Her daughter was a victim of direct air pollution. Since then, Kissi-Debrah has sparked outrage against air pollution, protesting that it is the cause of her daughter's death and thousands of premature deaths around the world.

Air pollution, caused by the release of harmful pollutants into the air, is a leading cause of poor respiratory health in millions of people around the world. It is responsible for the death of seven million people each passing year. The emissions of fossil fuels and other industrial activities are the main causes of air pollution.

A form of air pollution, more commonly referred to as smog, produced when sunlight reacts with one volatile organic compound (VOC) and nitrogen oxides is an air pollution that drastically reduces visibility. Nitrogen oxides from car exhausts and (VOCs) occur from gasoline and cleaning solvents. The effects of smog are many. Cities with a lot of industrial activities face extreme smog, and it is known to be able to kill plants. Cities located in basins surrounded by mountains face the worst smog as it is trapped in the valley and cannot escape with the wind. Some cities that face this issue due to landscapes similar to this include Mexico City, and Los Angeles.

Respiratory cancer, strokes and cancer are some of the main effects caused by air pollution. Moreover, diseases like these can provoke major health issues, which may disable people in one form or another. The vicious invisible killer which millions fall prey to is a topic which needs the attention of the people. Rosamund Kissi-Debrah and many others are fighting for the reduction of industrial activities and the burning of fossil fuels, their aim being to see a future where air pollution and its devastating effects do not exist. Reducing such activities and switching to more environmentally friendly alternatives is the solution so that we may yearn for a future where air pollution could become a thing of the past.


About the author

Ali Saadhin Saleem is currently a student at Rehendhi School in Hulhumale. He enjoys reading and aspires to become a successful businessman. He does callisthenics in his free time and enjoys fishing.

Cite this article as:

Ali Saadhin Saleem, Climate Migration: Air Quality: Breathing in a World of Polluted Air, theCircle Composition, Volume 4, (2023).