Effects on Your Health


Regardless of the source, air pollution has a clear and devastating impact on human health. Even at very low concentrations, particle pollution has been shown to have adverse health effects across many of the body’s major organ systems, resulting in illness and premature death. These include:


Respiratory illness

  • Respiratory irritation (coughing, wheezing), airway inflammation

  • Decreased lung function and lung growth

  • Lower respiratory infection (pneumonia)

  • Asthma

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

  • Lung cancer

Cardiovascular illness

  • Stroke

  • Heart disease

  • Hypertension

Other health risks

  • Low birth weight

  • Cataract

  • Nasopharyngeal cancer

  • Laryngeal cancer

  • Decreased cognitive ability


Get the Data

Communicating the available data on how air pollution affects human health near you is a powerful advocacy tool. Use these data sources to find out how air quality effects health near you.