What is air pollution?

Air pollution are substances in the atmosphere that are harmful to humans, wildlife or plants, and cause damage to climate, materials and buildings. Air pollution consists of chemicals or particles: gases, solid particles, or liquid droplets. Air pollution can be of both natural and human origin and can include particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO) – all of which are major components of urban air pollution. Currently, there is no clear evidence of a safe level of exposure below which there is no risk of adverse health effects.

What causes air pollution?

The main sources of air pollution in Kosovo arise from domestic heating, road transport, power generation, industrial processes and municipal and agricultural waste. Air pollution is most common in large cities where emissions from many different sources are cumulated. Natural sources of air pollution include forest fires, volcanic eruptions and wind-blown soil and dust.

How air pollution can affect your health

Long-term exposure to polluted air could cause serious and permanent health effects of the population such as:

  • accelerated aging of the lungs;
  • loss of lung capacity and decreased lung function;
  • development of diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and possibly lung cancer;
  • brain damage;
  • ischemic heart disease;
  • stroke.

For more information on health effects go to niph-rks.org.