Lecturers: Associate professor Marianne Glasius, i analyse- og atmosfærekemi, Institut for Kemi, Aarhus Universitet and professor PhD Torben Sigsgaard, miljømedicin Institut for Folkesundhed, Aarhus Universitet.
Air is not pure air. Harmful particles and gases in the atmosphere affect our health and cause diseases. Hear a chemist and a doctor talk about sources of air pollution and how different substances affect our environment, climate and health.
Every year around 3,000 people die in Denmark prematurely, and even more people get sick and hospitalized because of air pollution. Air pollution can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. But recent research now also indicates that air pollution also affects the prevalence of other major diseases – including diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
But where do the polluting particles and gases come from, in what quantities and which are the worst? Man has always produced and exposed himself to air pollution – especially from combustion; e.g. bonfires, wood-burning stoves or car engines, but also via the ammonia emissions of agriculture. The wind carries the pollution in the atmosphere thousands of kilometers and a large part of the air pollution in Denmark therefore comes from abroad, just as we export our air pollution to our neighboring countries. Nature itself also produces polluting particles and gases that we are affected by – they come from, for example, forest fires, volcanic eruptions, desert dust and salt particles from the sea.