Vehicle exhausts, factory fumes and wood fires contaminate ambient air quality. These and many other sources release sulfur dioxide, lead, nitrogen oxide and thousands of other pollutants into the air you breathe. This cumulative exposure to exposure to submicron particles adds up over time and can critically impact health and performance. You wouldn’t drink contaminated water. Don’t breathe polluted air.
Climate scientists at Berkeley Earth have studied and have quantified the cigarette equivalence of air pollution in terms of its effect on your health. The results were shocking, with London, Los Angeles and Seoul having an air pollution equivalent to smoking 251, 253 and 370 cigarettes a year respectively. Air pollution equates to 9% of global deaths annually and is the 3rd deadliest risk factor, behind only high blood pressure and smoking.
Air pollution has broader implications on health other than contributing to asthma, bronchitis and increased risk of stroke and heart attacks. It has been shown in multiple studies to decrease cognitive performance through lower test scores, and diminish athletic performance in training and competition.