I love living in the city, I really do. There are so many wonderful things about it. Hanging out in Little Five Points & East Atlanta, going to the park and other outdoor places like Six Flags.
But as a person with asthma, air pollution is a personal problem for me. Atlanta was named one of the top 25 dirtiest air cities for ozone pollution in the US in 2011. When I go out on runs and exercise walks, I can feel the struggle to take full breaths and I almost always have to use my inhaler.
In 2007, Atlanta was labeled the “worst asthma city” due to the high number of death rates from asthma. Most of these probably were caused by extreme levels of pollen and other pollutants like carbon monoxide, which is found in cigarettes. Most people assume this is only an issue for asthmatics, but the pollution in our air is hazardous to everyone. There are about 4,000 chemicals present in the average cigarette. These harsh substances are then breathed out and released directly into our environment.
As you must know already, pollution from cars is one huge problem. Especially in the city. For most people, driving is a necessary mode of transportation, and in places with high concentrations of these people, fossil fuels create toxic amounts of harmful gases every day. But like I said, that’s not new information to you. More and more teens like me have asthma and I don’t know about them, but I certainly want to be able to get out and enjoy my city! And our generation can be the one to help them, (to help ourselves, really) by releasing less waste into the air.
What have you done this week that’s green?