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Why is Air Pollution such an important issue?

bulletYour Health
Dangerous chemicals such as benzene or vinyl chloride in the air cause cancer, birth defects, long-term
injury to the lungs, as well as brain and nerve damage when people breath it. And in some cases, breathing
these chemicals can even cause death. Breathing contaminated air can make your eyes and nose burn and
trigger respiratory problems, especially for people with asthma. In recent years, scientists have shown that
air pollution from cars, factories and power plants is a major cause of asthma attacks.

For example: "And more than 131 million Americans — over 40 percent of the nation's population - live in areas
with bad air. Roughly 30 percent of childhood asthma is due to environmental exposures, costing the nation
$2 billion per year". Source: Natural Resources Defense Council: http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/fasthma.asp

bulletThe Environment
Poisonous air pollutants (toxic chemicals in the air) can form acid rain. It can also form dangerous ground
level ozone. These destroy trees, crops, farms, animals and continue to make water bodies harmful to
humans and animals that live and depend on water.

bulletThe Economy
The effect of air pollution on the economy may be a derived one. In simple language, the economy thrives when
people are healthy, and business that depend on cultivated raw materials and natural resources are running at
full efficiency. Air pollution reduces agricultural crop and commercial forest yields by billions of dollars each year.
This in addition to people staying off work for health reasons can cost the economy greatly.

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