Air pollution-related illness is a medical problem caused or made worse by air pollution. It is one type of environmental lung disease.
Common causes of air pollution include:
Burning fossil fuels, such as coal, gasoline, oil, and natural gas
Ozone, which is formed when sunlight reacts with chemicals in the air that came from burning fossil fuels
Burning certain fuels, such as wood, animal waste, and crops, for heating or cooking indoors
Secondhand smoke from cigarettes, particularly indoors
Levels of air pollution change throughout the day. You can see how polluted the air is by checking the Air Quality Index. This is a scale from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to rate how much pollution is in the air.
Employers should follow guidelines on limiting the amount of gases, dust, and fumes they produce. Employees should follow guidelines on how to limit exposure to pollutants in the workplace.
People, particularly children, older people, and people with heart or lung disorders, should limit their time outside when the air quality is poor.