IT HAS LONG BEEN KNOWN that air pollution negatively affects people's health and often leads to premature deaths. It's believed to lead to respiratory problems and heart attacks. Everything from microscopic airborne dusts, which can damage lungs, to "dirty" electrical power to ozone pollution can be an issue.

While some bicker about the truth of global warming, there is no doubt, no argument, that too much of a good and necessary thing is dangerous. Too much carbon dioxide in the air disrupts the balance of the ecosystem and is toxic. A new study from Stanford University links CO in the air to human deaths.

No matter where one sides in the global warming argument, everyone should be for less pollution. There should be no debate that humans cause a great deal of pollutants or that, with a concerted effort, can lessen it.

We can demand better from industries, but we must do better individually. The greatest source of emissions is from personal vehicles.

Regardless of one's position in the warming debate, being conscious of our "carbon footprint" is a step that protects health -- ours, our children's and many as-yet-unborn children's -- through the reduction of carbon pollution.

It can start with the purchase of a new vehicle, one that uses less fuel and uses it more efficiently. Support the development of alternatives to oil-based fuels.

But it can start even smaller. Turn off lights when they're not being used. Turn down the heat by a degree or two; turn down your water heater setting by a couple of degrees. Hang your laundry instead of tumble drying. Walk or jog instead of driving to the gym. None of those cost a thing and will actually save money. Many other ways exist to reduce energy use, as well as ways to offset carbon pollution; it's just a matter of believing you can make a difference and wanting to do it.

Pollution is real, undeniable and deadly. It is every human's problem and concern.