If you live in a large city, air pollution is something that you're probably very familiar with. However, air pollution doesn't just exist in big cities anymore. Every day millions of people are exposed to air pollutants and other hazardous chemicals through the air they breathe. It's a major problem that has been around for decades and, in the past few years, air pollution has gained more attention from scientists and governments alike. With air quality declining in so many places, it's time to take a deeper look into what we're dealing with, so we can truly understand the gravity of  the situation. A lot of the information around air pollution is unknown to the general public, but it is important that we know these things in order to take appropriate action.

  • Sure, it's a no-brainer that air pollution is bad for us. But how many of these facts about air pollution have you actually heard before? Diesel exhaust fumes causes cancer. Yes, unfortunately, you read that right! The World Health Organisation has stated that outdoor air pollution, including diesel exhaust fumes, is a top tier carcinogenic. That's the same tier as tobacco! Who'd have thought that breathing in outdoor air would be as bad as smoking, eh?
  • A child born today might not breathe clean air until they are 8. Crazy, right? It's been found that long-term childhood exposure to air pollution can lead to permanently reduced lung function, also affecting the development of foetuses before they've even been born!
  • Children are most vulnerable to air pollution – but we are all affected. The invisible killer is worse for our most vulnerable, damaging children's lung development and making existing cardiovascular and respiratory conditions in older people much worse as well. The poorest in our society seem to get it worse too; they tend to suffer more as they tend to live nearer to main roads.
  • It's the fourth biggest threat to human life worldwide. Topped only by high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking, air pollution is the fourth largest threat to human life out there. Want to learn the science behind how? Check out our blog 'The Dangers of Air Pollution.'
  • You breathe in around 2,000 gallons of air per day. Yes, every day, you breathe in just over 2,000 gallons of air—enough to almost fill up a normal-sized swimming pool. Compare that to the half a gallon of water you're recommended to drink a day.. scary, right? You wouldn't drink dirty water, so why breathe toxic air?
  • Air pollution shaves off 2.9 years off of your life expectancy. That's right, the average person loses 3 years of their life because of outdoor air pollution, that's a bigger toll than smoking tobacco. Think of what you could have done with that extra time.
  • Walking and cycling prevents more deaths from air pollution. Ditching the car to cycle instead one day a week does more to help than you think. ‘Active transport’ – cycling, e-biking or walking – can help tackle the climate crisis according to a new study led by the University of Oxford. Doing so reduces air pollution, creates a need for more green spaces, boosts biodiversity and inspires behavioural change in other people! So, on your bike mate!
  • London is one of the worst polluted cities in Europe. London is trailing behind other major European capitals in its effort to create a clean, affordable and safe transport system, according to a new report. It was revealed that London has the joint third worst air quality, after Moscow and Paris.
  • Nine out of ten people in the world are breathing in harmful amounts of air pollution. Around 90% of the world's population is breathing in harmful amounts of air pollution, according to the World Health Organisation. That's a whopping 7 billion people!
  • Plants and trees filter air pollution. Trees are able to clean the air and absorb harmful airborne particles and gaseous pollutants. They clean up toxins such as nitrogen oxides, ammonia and sulphur dioxide through their leaves, bark and roots. This improves the air quality and contributes to a healthier and cleaner environment overall. Trees also soak up the harmful carbon dioxide in our atmosphere; in one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same volume of carbon monoxide as produced from a 26,000 mile car journey! Readily-available houseplants can also help filter some harmful compounds out too. Fancy some for your home? Check out peace lilies, English ivy, cornstalk dracaena and broadleaf lady palm.

At Masuku, we're on a mission to provide the world's most eco-friendly, breathable and stylish face mask on the planet, to protect you from unseen dangers like air pollution. We've focused years of research and development on creating a face mask that can be an effortless essential in your life, just like sunscreen and filtered water. If you're interested in protecting yourself from air pollution when you're out and about, check out our Masuku One face mask, a breakthrough in breathable, comfortable, high performance air filtration.