I have lived in London for more than a decade and I can tell that the air quality has changed. This is partly because of some of the consequences of urbanization which is one of the main sources of air pollution. Over the years, the city has evolved and because it is Europe’s financial hub, it attracts several international businesses and nationals. This type of scenario is not peculiar to London, but it is common to every urban city in the world. In my opinion, air pollution in urban cities is not going away anytime soon so long our current lifestyle remains the same. Reducing air pollution is not an option that can be explored currently so, therefore, it is important to find effective ways to counteract the effect of poor air quality.

Air pollution is recognized as the most pressing problem in urban areas because of its harmful impact on health and the environment. In fact, the recent studies by the World Health Organization have classified air pollution as carcinogenic to humans. However, if air pollution is not going anywhere anytime soon, how then can we protect ourselves?

Protect yourself

There is risk involved in both short and long-term exposure to contaminated air. Scientific studies have been able to verify this by matching the prevalent sickness in a place to their air quality. Short-term exposure to polluted air has been reported to have an acute effect on people while chronic sickness comes from long-term exposure to poor air quality. Do not take chances, protect yourself always. Holding your breath when passing by a smoky vehicle, burning trash and dust is not the best form of protection. There are certain protective materials that one can fold around their mouth and nose, just to provide extra protection against poor air quality. This is very important for people with respiratory diseases.

Police your community

Environmental laws are meant to protect a community or state from activities that can compromise the safety of the people. It is important that the locals living in a community hold their elected official accountable when it comes to implementing environmental laws. Urban areas are the target of most commercial businesses and because these ventures are profit-oriented they can easily neglect their responsibility to prevent environmental pollution. Although there are state or local agencies that have been dedicated to ensuring that businesses comply with the environmental standard. The locals should also learn to report any case of violation of environmental laws.

Plant trees and local plants

Industrialization and housing need in urban cities have led to a massive shortage of trees and shrubs. One of the importance of these green vegetation is the production of oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This process provides an avenue for refreshing the air quality of a place. This is not the case in most urban cities. Urban dwellers should take it upon themselves to plant trees and local plants in their domestic homes and offices. This approach will help counteract some of the effects of air pollution in our cities. I personally have trees in my garden and two lovely plants in my office. In fact, I suggest one plant to every human and our world will become green again.

Be the change

I personally stopped complaining about how polluted the air in London is rather I am leading and living by example. Today, I cycle to work, grocery shops and every engagement in my locality. I only purchase Eco-friendly products, although it’s a bit expensive I don’t mind if this is all it will take to be the change that I seek. I believe if half of the urban dwellers adopt this approach and lifestyle choice, we can win the war on air pollution.