Air Pollution: Responsibility of Technology and Medicine

air pollution___

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Gilbert Uriel Braga Fernandes, a member of IFMSA Brazil and of the national White Team. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Air pollution is responsible for 8.8 million deaths per year, mainly affecting populations in urban industrial areas. A serious public health problem stemming from the technological boom caused by industrial revolutions.

The solution to this situation is to change the energetic matrix together with a preventive, conscious and equal medical approach, capable of promoting quality of life in patients affected by pathologies and underlying diseases, focusing on risk groups, in addition to advancing research and treatment possibilities, in order to interrupt and minimize the damage and victims of pollution.

A WHO report found that 80% of the population living in monitored urban areas is exposed to a level of pollutants no higher than that considered acceptable by the World Health Organization. This situation reduces the quality of life; after all, primary and secondary pollutants are able to reduce lung function, precipitating severe respiratory pathologie in addition to having a cytotoxic and oxidizing effect, affecting the body in a systemic way, increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

In addition, pollutants affect risk groups with greater intensity, such as: Children – Lead can cause anemia, in addition to neuropathies, the elderly – with less metabolic and pulmonary reserve, with underlying diseases (such as asthma, COPD, emphysema) and socio-economically disadvantaged populations.

With this, we understand the reason that air pollution is responsible for approximately 8.8 million deaths per year, a global health problem. The solution to this situation needs to be based on short and long term measures, in addition to understanding the root of the problem, which is historic and economical.

After all, the industrial revolutions brought an unimaginable technological advance for the human race, improving the quality of life of a large part of the population, however the dominant sources of energy in this process, generate pollution and that is the reason why the greatest degree of contamination is located in the great industrial centers, mainly in the developing world, made up of countries with a predominantly fossil energy matrix.

So there is a long-term solution, which must be applied in an appropriate and gradual manner, stimulating the technical advance of energy sources that do not release gaseous pollutants. In addition, following the principle of changing the energy matrix, with the advancement of technology, it will be possible to adapt motor vehicles to sustainable energies, thus reducing the emission of toxic gases such as carbon monoxide.

These long-term measures depend on the technical-industrial sectors. Undeniably, it will help to assist in the future, however, pollution is affecting the health of millions in the present. At this point, medicine needs to act, firstly, through the concept of equity, well, if there are more affected populations, the focus should be, primarily, such communities acting through preventive medicine, mainly, of the groups of greater risk, of the awareness of indoor and outdoor pollution and combating pollutants and their sources. Raising awareness creates social awareness, which results in pressure groups for change, which will help to combat this reality.

Greater investments in research on immunotherapy and new forms of treatment for pulmonary and associated pathologies must be carried out together with new research on the damage of pollutants and a search for a better quality of life with those already affected, who suffer a lot from this situation.

These are some points of work that the health sectors in conjunction with states and international societies should seek to minimize and resolve the problems due to air pollution.

About the author

Gilbert Uriel Braga Fernandes is a member of IFMSA Brazil and of the national White Team.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for decisive action on security priorities

How the diaspora is helping Venezuela’s migration crisis

GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Latin America, in association with The European Sting

1 million citizens try to create a new EU institution

Can free trade deliver cheaper renewable energy? Ask Mexico

On the first day of 2019, over 395,000 babies to be born worldwide: UNICEF

Qualcomm to be the next target of EU antitrust regulators? China might be the answer

Scoring for the environment: what Mathieu Flamini’s top-flight football career taught him about leadership

CEOs in these countries are more likely to go with their gut

Pandemic mental health: the urgency of self-care

Financing fossil fuels risks a repeat of the 2008 crash. Here’s why

Changing how we produce and consume: New Circular Economy Action Plan shows the way to a climate-neutral, competitive economy of empowered consumers

Your smartphone may know more about your mental health than you

Future Forces Forum: Prague will be hosting the most important project in the field of Defence and Security

Gig workers among the hardest hit by coronavirus pandemic

EU budget: Reinforcing Europe’s cultural and creative sectors

Stepped-up efforts needed to combat pneumonia; save nearly nine million children’s lives

COVID-19: What to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 6 April

Brexit and migration dominates the debate on October’s EU summit

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

European Semester Autumn Package: Creating an economy that works for people and the planet

Burundi: Inclusive dialogue ‘only viable option’ for resolving country’s political crisis says, UN envoy

EU Youth Conference in Amsterdam: enabling young people to engage in a diverse, connected and inclusive Europe

Africa-Europe Alliance: first projects kicked off just three months after launch

Here are 4 of the most politically charged World Cup games ever played

This chart shows the total number of COVID-19 cases and recoveries so far

Supporting the recovery: MEPs adopt budget priorities for 2021

This is how the Western Balkans will become more innovative

EU out to conquer African Union summit

Nearly half a billion people can’t find decent work; unemployment set to rise: new UN labour report

With potential to boost profits by up to 20 per cent, a woman’s place is at work, says UN labour agency

Junior Enterprises as a solution for Youth Entrepreneurship

Spring 2019 Economic Forecast: Growth continues at a more moderate pace

UN chief condemns suspected Boko Haram attacks targeting Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Nigeria

IMF: The near-term outlook for the U.S. economy is one of strong growth and job creation

Capital Markets Union: Making it easier for insurers to invest in the real economy

Germany loves a strong euro; the new Fiscal Councils can deliver despite the Greek chaos and a wider questioning of austerity

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

Do men and women really have different leadership styles?

We can build a carbon-neutral world by 2050. Here’s how

New identity cards deliver recognition and protection for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Indonesian tsunami death toll climbs over 400 as Government-led relief efforts are stepped up

These 11 EU states already meet their 2020 renewable energy targets

International Court of Justice orders Pakistan to review death penalty for Indian accused of spying

Mother of all mergers between Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram: EU Data Privacy restrictions against Facebook’s imperialistic plans

Antibiotics are contaminating the world’s rivers

New ECB boss quizzed for the first time by Economic Affairs Committee

MEPs back update of rail passenger rights across EU

Batteries included: how better storage can transform renewable energy

Venezuelan crisis: MEPs reaffirm their support for Juan Guaidó

‘Reasons to hope’ for sustainable peace in Central African Republic – UN Mission chief

Four million Syrian children have only known war since birth: UNICEF

Germany fears that Americans and Russians want to partition Europe again

Radio still a powerful worldwide tool for ‘dialogue, tolerance and peace’: Guterres

More women and girls needed in the sciences to solve world’s biggest challenges

Stronger partnerships with post-conflict countries needed to ensure ‘path towards durable peace’: UN chief

I accidentally went viral on TikTok. I learned we failed our youngest generation.

Code of Practice against disinformation: Commission calls on signatories to intensify their efforts

To retire at 65, American millennials need to save almost half their paycheck

New EU rules cut red tape for citizens living or working in another Member State as of tomorrow

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s