Healthy lifestyle
14 maja 2021

How does nitrogen oxide influence the environment?

Without nitrogen, there would be no life. However, the amounts of its oxides released to the atmosphere as a result of an anthropogenic activity cause pollution and can have a negative impact on the fauna and flora. What causes it? How can nitrogen oxide influence human health?

As a vital element of our planet's ecosystem, nitrogen constitutes more than 78% of the atmosphere. It can also be found in soil, plants, and animal's bodies, including their DNA. Its circulation is essential to biodiversity since both its organic and non-organic chemical compounds take part in the most important biochemical processes - from protein binding to photosynthesis.

You could ask - if nitrogen's so significant to our and our planet's well-being, why should we even worry about the emissions of its oxides? A little more than usual couldn't really harm us, could it? Well, apparently, it could. The excessive amounts of nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere can offset the balance of nature. Even though they're not as harmful as other gases or particulate matter, mixed altogether can fuel climate change and cause environmental damage.

No wonder that on every air pollution map, the nitrogen oxide concentration level is one of the markers measured daily, aside from other gases and particulate matter. To check the real-time data in your area, you can use Airly.org.

How does nitrogen oxide influence our health?

Even though it's synthesized in our bodies, nitrogen oxide can also harm them in exceeding amounts. NO is produced in the endothelial cells and plays a significant part in the regulation of the flow and pressure of the blood. It also influences the functioning of a digestive, respiratory, and reproductory system. Its deficit can be a sign of various diseases and cause severe health implications. That's why nitrogen oxide is often used in some treatments as a form of remedy.

However, in excess, nitrogen oxide is nothing good for our bodies. The continuous exposition to high NO levels - for example, as a result of a recurrent smog - can damage cells and organs. It may also fuel septic shock that is a direct danger to our life.

The nitrogen can also come into reaction with hydrogen, causing the creation of ammonia - a substance that can have a negative influence on human health and worsen the existing conditions such as asthma.

How does nitrogen dioxide influence the environment?

Nitrogen dioxide is considered one of the greenhouse gases, next to carbon dioxide and ozone. Emitted to the atmosphere in excessive amounts due to industrial activity, fossil fuel burning, and car traffic, they create a layer that absorbs the reflected solar radiation. As a result, the atmosphere heats up, leading to climate change - the most urgent global issue that has to be solved in the following decades to provide a future to the next generations. 

To avoid exposure to excessive amounts of nitrogen oxides and ammonia, monitor their and other pollutants' levels through an air pollution map. By choosing one updated in real-time, such as Airly.org, you can count on the highest level of accuracy.

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