Effects of Pollution - Air Quality Hub

Effects of Pollution

Air pollution negatively effects health, the natural environment, and the economy. Some of these effects are difficult to quantify or even identify, but in other areas the impact is well understood.

Many of the negative effects on human health are well documented, and poor air quality is considered to be the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK. Certain groups are more adversely affected than others, particularly the very young and old and those with certain pre-existing conditions.

Environmental effects of air pollution include direct damage to plant life (particularly from ground level ozone), acid rain, and biomagnification of pollutants through the food chain.

The economic effects are varied and complex, ranging from impacts on agriculture through to leisure and tourism, as well as the additional financial burden placed on the UK’s healthcare system.

It shortens lives and contributes to chronic illness. Health can be affected both by short-term, high-pollution episodes and by longterm exposure to lower levels of pollution.