Did you know that the US is the second-leading emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the world? In 2018 alone, it produced 5.41 gigatons (GT) of CO2, accounting for 15% of global emissions. It’s second only to China, which produced almost twice more (10.06 GT).
The majority of the US’ carbon footprint comes from energy-related activities. About 75% of CO2 emissions arise from burning fossil fuels for energy.
By contrast, solar energy emits far less CO2 than fossil fuel-based energy. This makes it cleaner and greener, which is why it’s also healthier for all living things.
On that note, we created this guide listing the health benefits of using solar power. Read on to discover how going solar isn’t just awesome for the planet and your wallet, but your well-being, too.
Table of Contents
No Toxic Carbon Monoxide Emissions
The combustion process releases carbon monoxide (CO), an invisible, odorless, and toxic gas. About 4% of CO emissions in the US come from the use of fuel.
CO is an asphyxiant, which means that it cuts the amount of oxygen carried by the blood. As such, breathing in this gas can hinder O2 transport to vital organs like the brain and heart. Even at low doses, exposure to this gas can already make you dizzy or confused.
CO is especially harmful to people with heart diseases. However, anyone exposed to high levels of this gas is at risk of experiencing symptoms.
One of the biggest benefits of solar power is that it doesn’t emit CO since it doesn’t “burn” fossil fuels. That should be enough reason to prompt you to start your online search for “solar panel companies near me.” With a solar installation, you can ditch or at least reduce your reliance on fossil fuels.
No Sulfur Dioxide Emissions
Sulfur dioxide (SO2), another invisible gas, is also a byproduct of combustion. The burning of sulfur-containing fuels, like coal and oil, releases this gas into the air. Extracting gasoline from oil also results in SO2 formation.
That’s why most of the 6.4 million tons of SO2 produced in the US are from energy-related activities.
As a noxious gas, SO2 can impair lung functions, especially in people with asthma. Even healthy folks exposed to this gas can experience wheezing or breathing difficulty.
Since solar energy doesn’t come from sulfur-containing fuels, it doesn’t produce SO2. That’s another reason for you to consider investing in solar panels.
No Nitrogen Oxide Emissions
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are highly reactive gases containing nitrogen and oxygen. Many NOx gases, although colorless and odorless, are irritants. Like with CO and SO2, fossil fuel combustion is the primary culprit behind NOx gas emissions.
Nitrogen oxides, such as nitrogen dioxide, can reduce lung functions, too. Long-term NOx exposure can lead to airway inflammation, wheezing, and progressive cough. It may also increase the frequency of asthma attacks or even be a cause of asthma.
The good news is that solar power systems don’t create such air pollutants, either. So, by going solar, you can contribute to reduced NOx production. The fewer NOx gases in the air, the healthier it would be for you and everyone else.
Breathe Easier With the Help of Solar Energy
Solar energy does produce carbon dioxide, but it doesn’t make the air more polluted. Instead, it helps combat air pollution, making the air safer for everyone.
As a bonus, solar power helps curb acid rain, which can stunt plant growth. As the chief source of oxygen, ensuring that plants keep growing means, we’ll have more fresh O2 to breathe in.
Ready for more ideas on how you can live healthier? Please feel free to browse our other educational resources, then!