Health and Environment Essay

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Health and Environment Essay Auckland region Air Quality report card
Wednesday 17 April 2013

Word count: 1456

This aim of this essay is to examine how people within the Auckland region have impacted on the air quality of their environment and as a result how this has affected their health. The selected report card on air quality was received from the Auckland Council's, State of Auckland website (Auckland Council, 2012). The human impacts on air quality that will be reviewed, are the use of open wood fireplaces for home heating and the emissions from motor vehicles. Given that it is essential for humans to breathe to sustain life we will examine the effect of air pollution from these emissions linked to respiratory problems and
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Asthma affects one in four children in New Zealand (Auckland Council, 2012). As people continue to affect their environment without regard for the consequences, their health is at risk. The release of PM2.5 fine particulates produced by vehicle emissions and other combustion sources are easily inhaled by individuals and as a result can stick within the lungs affecting human health (Auckland Council, 2012; MFTE, 2007), unfortunately the current population are causing these illnesses now and this will continue to effect younger generations following.

Extreme difficulties with respiratory illness can lead to cardiac arrest and potentially death. The Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand (2007) study found “each year, about 1,100 people died prematurely from the exposure to urban air pollution” (MFTE, 2007, p.158), Auckland’s population makes up around 300 of the premature deaths. (Auckland Council, 2012). Long term exposure to air pollution particularly to infants, adults 65 and over, asthmatics and people with other respiratory problems will be at greatest risk to premature death (Fisher et al., 2007). In Auckland the risk of mortality rates rise when there is an increase in NO2 and PM10 emissions, affecting those with respiratory diseases the highest. (Fisher et al., 2007). Although the Auckland Council (2012) states PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations are only sometimes exceeding air quality targets, with PM10
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