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Making city air cleaner: Whose responsibility is it?

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Different natural and human activities contribute to the deteriorating quality of air that affects the environment and humanity as well. Air pollution occurs when harmful substances are present in the air at levels that can harm the lives of all living things. Polluted air is most felt in the cities since the high concentration of industries and populaces are found in here. 

The need for addressing the issue of air pollution should be everyone’s concern, especially now that there are about seven million deaths each year worldwide due to exposure to polluted air. In Europe alone, the pollution in the air is said to be the single most substantial environmental health hazard that registered a large number of premature deaths in the past. Initiatives to make the air cleaner should be combined with the global efforts to reduce or slow down the effects of climate change and this responsibility lies in the hands of every stakeholder.

Every inhabitant

The participation of every inhabitant, whatever their status in life, is vital to make the air safe. The health risks of air pollution directly affect the lives of the people as they inhale dust, smoke, and harmful gases which lead to many respiratory and heart conditions. Human activities also add to the pollutants in city air through the household materials that people use, and the urban lifestyle. Polluted air is not only experienced while outside, but the higher health risks are attributed to the exposure of people to indoor pollution since most of the time of city dwellers is spent indoors. 

Scenery
Image: Cris Saur on Unsplash

Governments

The part of the government is also significant since the problem that air pollution poses is a national concern. The government can exercise its powers to legislate laws, execute policies, and ensure the compliance of people. They are also the body who can sign international treaties and covenants that open opportunities for exchange of ideas and resources to resolve environmental concerns. Their legal duties continue to protect the people and to ensure a safe environment for them and future generations.

Businesses

Adapting to the “green” challenge is what companies should do since their old practices to profit played a vast role in the increase of pollutants in the air, especially factories and industries. Aside from exploring alternatives that are environmentally friendly, businesses can also make ventures that will be of great use in cleaning city air, like green wall technology, which is a plant-based solution developed in the United Kingdom that can purify polluted air; there are now many green walls used in offices, schools, and other indoor and outdoor spaces.  

Organisations

The role of organisations in promoting cleaner air is also vital since they are the ones who can saturate the grassroots community and educate them about the effects of air pollution on their lives. They also have an extensive network of advocates who can share best practices to apply and recommendations for policymaking. 

Cleaner air means a safer place to live. Since no one can live without air, everyone is responsible for making it safe to breathe.

 
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