Breathing poison: Philosophical analysis of human intake of air pollutants in outdoor and indoor environment

Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, November 2018, Volume 1, #34

Human, like other living organisms, could develop an illness or die when they absorb poison into their body. Food, liquid, and air are the common medium through which poison could be absorbed into the human body. The absorbed air, just like food or liquid, gets in contact with several organs in the human body before eventually finding its way to the blood that is transported to every corner of the body including the brain. The concentration, toxicity, and nature of the poison, duration of exposure and intake, and sensitivity of exposed person will determine how poison found in food, liquid or air could cause illness or death.

Can anyone knowing fully well eat food or drink liquid tainted with chemical, biological or particulate poison? Obviously not advisable. So why should anyone take in air tainted with chemical, biological or particulate poison? This makes the quality air we breathe very important too. The regulatory practices preventing the presence of chemical, biological or particulate poisons in food and water (liquid) are very stringent. However, the regulatory practices for the control and prevention of poisons in the air human breathe every second and cannot do without are very weak. Furthermore, what should building occupants, policy makers, and people responsible for delivering energy efficient and healthy indoor environment do to reduce exposure to, and intake of poisons in the air?

34_Breathing Poison_IAC 34

Do you want to know more about this topic? Read Dockery (1993) and West (2016)  papers.

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