Here are the top 10 cities with the best air quality according to several sources:
1. Reykjavik, Iceland
2. Wellington, New Zealand
3. Helsinki, Finland
4. Zurich, Switzerland
5. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
6. Ottawa, Canada
7. Adelaide, Australia
8. Calgary, Canada
9. Stockholm, Sweden
10. Perth, Australia
Air quality impacts public health in several ways:
1. Respiratory Health: Poor air quality, especially high levels of particulate matter (PM) and pollutants like nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), can negatively affect respiratory health. It can lead to the development or worsening of respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
2. Cardiovascular Health: Air pollution is also linked to cardiovascular diseases. Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation, damage blood vessels, increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems.
3. Allergies and Irritations: High levels of air pollutants can trigger allergies and irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat. People may experience symptoms like sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, coughing, and sore throat due to poor air quality.
4. Premature Mortality: Long-term exposure to air pollution, especially fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone (O3), has been associated with increased premature deaths. Air pollution can lead to various health complications, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, which may contribute to reduced life expectancy.
5. Developmental Effects: Children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution as it can affect their lung development and overall growth. Exposure to pollutants during pregnancy can increase the risk of premature birth and developmental issues in infants.
6. Environmental Justice: Poor air quality often correlates with socio-economic disparities. Lower-income communities and marginalized groups tend to bear a disproportionate burden of air pollution, leading to health inequalities.
Efforts to improve air quality, such as reducing emissions from vehicles and industries, transitioning to renewable energy sources, and implementing effective air quality regulations, play a crucial role in protecting public health and safeguarding the environment.