How Does Air Pollution Affect People – Long-term exposure to high levels of air pollution has various adverse effects on human health. Air pollution greatly increases the risk of respiratory disease, heart disease and lung cancer. Both short-term and long-term effects are associated with many health effects. Air pollution affects everyone, but it especially affects people who are already sick.
Air pollution appears to cause or contribute to a variety of health conditions. Exposure to particulate matter has many effects on our respiratory system, such as coughing, difficulty breathing, asthma exacerbations, and reduced lung function. The particles also lead to many side effects in the cardiovascular system, such as irregular heartbeats and heart attacks. Exposure to air pollution can lead to stroke.
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How Does Air Pollution Affect People
Some groups are more vulnerable to the negative effects of air pollution. These groups are adults with chronic heart or lung disease, young children and people with asthma. Children are vulnerable to the adverse effects of air pollution. This is because they breathe more air per kilogram of body weight compared to adults, children breathe faster, spend more time outdoors, have smaller body sizes and immature immune systems.
Air Pollution Is Much Worse Than We Thought. Climate Change Is Far From The Only Problem With Fossil Fuels.
The most important air pollutants are low-level ozone, particulate matter (PM2.5/pm 10), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. Among these, the most important air pollutant is particulate matter. The size of the particles is related to their potential to cause health problems. Particles below 10 micrometers (PM10) and especially below 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) cause serious problems because they penetrate deep into the lungs. PM2.5 can penetrate the lung barrier and even enter our blood vessels.
Air pollution can affect not only people outside, who can often see it, but also people indoors. Major sources of outdoor air pollution are vehicle emissions, burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, gasoline for electricity or transportation, industrial emissions [especially when coal and wood are produced], construction and demolition activities, fires, etc. Like garbage burning or liver burning or forest burning. The main sources of indoor air pollution are use of improper cooking oil like kerosene or coal or wood, smoking cigarettes, use of incense sticks and agarbattis and construction activities. In human health, exploring how poor air quality affects almost every part of the human body – from head to toe. Research shows that air pollution is a serious threat to the environment, causing diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s to lung cancer to osteoporosis, and can significantly reduce health and quality of life. Air pollution causes significant damage to public health as well as significant economic losses due to health care costs and lost days of school and work. Although exposure to air pollution can affect everyone, its harm is not evenly distributed. Children, the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions and those living in low socio-economic areas or environmentally disadvantaged communities bear the brunt of the consequences – underscoring the need to protect vulnerable populations by taking better care of our air quality.
We know that air pollution causes about 7 million premature deaths per year, but how does the impact of air pollution affect a person’s quality of life?
Air pollution is a major environmental cause of a number of diseases, including respiratory diseases such as asthma and lung cancer; Neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease; Different mental states; and many other effects, including poor fetal development, autism, retinopathy, and low birth weight.
Overview Of Air Pollution From Transportation
With so many health effects associated with air pollution, many studies have sought to quantify the effects of air pollution on the general population – one method used by the USEPA is shown below.
Research by the USEPA has shown that certain health conditions, such as the respiratory effects of air pollution exposure, can be directly linked to their economic consequences, such as doctor visits, lost school and work days, and costs associated with hospital visits. last. , who died. Such research helps assess the enormous damage to human health caused by air pollution in terms of direct costs to society and the economy as a whole. (Image source: USEPA)
Assumptions about how these costs are expected to change over time appear negative. A study by the OECD’s Project on the Economic Consequences of Air Pollution found that by 2060, global economic output would be reduced by about USD 330 per person, with annual healthcare costs increasing by USD 155 billion and 2.5 billion lost work days globally. level.
At the global economic level, the project estimates that the economic impacts of air pollution – including lower labor productivity, higher healthcare costs and lost agricultural yields – will cost 1% of global GDP by 2060.
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The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted a study on how the health, economic and productivity impacts of exposure to air pollution could change from 2010 to 2060. Significant increases in respiratory effects, health care costs, lost work days and restricted work days indicate that air pollution will have a significant impact on health and global health unless action is taken to improve air quality. (Image source: OECD)
Although we intuitively understand that air pollution damages the lungs, research continues to reveal how it affects almost every part of the human body. Air pollution particles can be small enough to enter the bloodstream, where they can cause systemic inflammation and wreak havoc on our natural body functions. The infographic below provides details on how different parts of the body are affected by air pollution.
Generally, much of the damage caused by air pollution is thought to be a result of the systemic inflammation it causes. Considering the importance of proper functioning of our entire body for good human health, we thought to find out how each organ of the body is adversely affected by air pollution.
Air pollution has been linked to a variety of eye problems, including asymptomatic eye problems and dry eye disease. Research on this connection suggests that air pollution can irritate the eyes through car emissions.
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The eye is a sensitive organ with a very high blood flow, and it is very sensitive to damage caused by air pollution, especially small particles that can circulate in the body after inhalation.
A large UK-based study found that even small increases in air pollution are associated with age-related macular degeneration, which leads to irreversible vision loss. Even an increase in specific substances on the order of 1 μg/m3 was associated with an 8% increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Although historically the link between air pollution and respiratory health has been well researched, an increasing amount of research on the link between poor air quality and neurological and mental health outcomes has been released in recent years. According to research, cognitive decline, dementia, anxiety, depression, ADHD and schizophrenia occur over time with exposure to air pollutants.
Certain pollutants, such as lead, have also been studied for their association with learning disabilities, memory impairment, hyperactivity, and antisocial behavior in children. Because the brain is developing at this time and air pollution can cause permanent damage to the brain, exposure to high levels of air pollution in the womb can also affect children’s brain development. Exposure to high levels of air pollution, even in utero, can also lead to cognitive impairment in old age.
The Effect Of Air Pollution On The Transcriptomics Of The Immune Response To Respiratory Infection
Research examining nitrogen dioxide shows that this pollutant is a major cause of stroke. The study found that short-term exposure to sulfur dioxide and PM10 also increased the risk of stroke.
A study conducted at USC investigated the link between air pollution and dementia – the study of over 2,000 women aged over 10 years showed that exposure to air pollution not only increased the risk of dementia, but that improved air quality slowed That can be. This accelerates brain aging.
Reducing exposure to air pollution by about 15 percent below the current EPA limit resulted in a 20 percent reduction in dementia risk. – Jiu-Chiuan Chen, a researcher at USC
Another recent study presented at the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference found similar results. Reducing PM2.5 and NO2 emissions by 10% from current USEPA levels over 10 years was associated with a 14% and 26% reduction in the risk of dementia among older US women—including when the effects were controlled for age, education. , Dist. , and the incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Health And Clinical Impacts Of Air Pollution And Linkages With Climate Change
Although the exact mechanisms behind this link between air pollution and dementia are not fully understood, recent research on beta-amyloid levels in the blood suggests a possible biological link between air pollution and Alzheimer’s-related changes in the brain.
A video from Harvard University explains how inflammation caused by tiny particles can lead to harmful neurological and cognitive effects.
The relationship between air pollution and respiratory health may be i
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