Nairobi is the biggest metropolitan areas in all of Kenya. There are millions of people moving through the city every day and the flow individuals moving in and out of the city is non-stop. Just as non-stop as the flow of humans is the pace of production and industry of many products. Another major component and well-known piece of Nairobi culture is the traffic that rushes through the streets at all hours of the day and clogs the roads to an almost standstill during peak hours. But what do the people in the city, the large industries, and the traffic have in common? Air pollution. A deadly form of environmental hazard, air pollution can cause a wide range of illnesses and even death over a long period of time. Air pollution come in a number of forms and from sources even beyond automobiles, people, and industry. In the case of vehicles, many different parts of the engine and exhaust system give off pollutants that are detrimental to human health such as carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas that can lead to death in large quantities, and nitrous oxides which cause a wide variety of issues in breathing and can permanently damage people’s lungs. Industrial processes such as packaging and manufacturing also pose a big risk to human health such as worsening preexisting health issues that already exist and creating new one in people’s lungs, hearts, brains, and noses. These processes give off similar waste to automobiles in addition to other harmful chemicals. Another massive source of air pollution is created every day in Nairobi by individuals in their own homes. The burning of garbage releases numerous toxins into the air from waste products that are not meant to enter into the human body such as plastics, acids, lead and other types of metals. These pollutants are especially harmful because they are not filtered in the atmosphere much as those emitted from motor vehicles and industries. Health professionals recommend using safer methods to dispose of waste such as taking it to a waste disposal area where it can be properly broken down in a way that is safe to human health.
Not only does air pollution effect human health, it also has a massive impact on the environment. Chemicals that are emitted from processes combine with other naturally occurring and safe chemicals in the atmosphere to create toxins that destroy plant life that is essential to the ecosystem. These chemicals can also precipitate as acid rain and make their way into various sources of water. These pollutants harm all parts of the environment from aquatic plants and animals to people in small towns and large cities. Luckily, there are many ways that we can reduce the effects of air pollution though. Walking or taking a bike instead of a motor vehicle can greatly reduce pollutants being released into the atmosphere and if the distance is too great to travel using those methods public transportation is always a better alternative to a personal vehicle.