Sunday, April 3, 2011

Impact of Air Pollution on Health

Impact of Air Pollution on Health, The mechanism of occurrence of health problems from air pollution in general
Here are some biological mechanisms how air pollutants trigger symptoms of disease:
1. Reactions inflammation in the lungs, for example due to PM or ozone.
2. The formation of free radicals / oxidative stress, such as PAHs (polyaromatic hydrocarbons).
3. Covalent modification of important intracellular proteins such as enzymes that work in the body.
4. Biological components that induce inflammation and immune system disorders, such as glucan and endotoxin groups.
5. Stimulation of the autonomic nervous system and nosioreseptor governing the heart and airways.
6. Adjuvant effect (not directly activate the immune system) against the body's immune system, such as the transition group metals and DEP / diesel exhaust particulate.
7. Procoagulant effects that can disrupt blood circulation and facilitate the spread of pollutants throughout the body, such as ultrafine PM.
8. Lowering the body's normal defense system (eg, by pressing the function of alveolar macrophages in the lungs).

Impact of Air Pollution on Health, Effect of air pollution on the health of the short and long term

Short-term
1. Hospital care, visits to the ER or a regular doctor visits, due to diseases associated with respiration (breathing) and cardiovascular.
2. Reduced daily activity due to illness
3. Total absences (work or school)
4. Acute symptoms (cough, tightness, respiratory tract infections)
5. Physiological changes (such as lung function and blood pressure)

Long-term
1. Deaths from respiratory disease / respiratory and cardiovascular
2. The increasing incidence and prevalence of chronic lung disease (asthma, chronic lung disease osbtruktif)
3. Impaired fetal growth and development
4. Cancer

Specific air pollutants that much effect on health
1. Particulate Matter (PM)
Epidemiological studies in humans and in animal models shows PM10 (which includes particulates from diesel / DEP) has great potential tissue damage. Epidemiological data show increased mortality and exacerbation / attack requiring hospital treatment not only in people with lung disease (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia), but also in patients with cardiovascular disease / heart disease and diabetes.

Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the effects of particulate / pollutant, so that in areas with traffic density / high air pollution usually morbidity of respiratory diseases (in children and elderly) and heart disease / cardiovascular disease (the elderly), increased significantly.

However, further research in animals showed that the PM can trigger pulmonary and systemic inflammation as well as causing damage to the endothelium of blood vessels (vascular endothelial dysfunction) that trigger the process atheroskelosis and myocardial infarction / coronary heart attack. Exposure is greater in the long term can also trigger the formation of cancer (lung, or leukemia) and the death of the fetus. Recent studies with follow-up of almost 11 years indicates that exposure to pollutants (including PM10) also can reduce lung function even in the normal population which has not happened yet respiratory symptoms that interfere with the activity.

2. Ozone
Ozone is an important photochemical oxidant in trofosfer. Formed by photochemical reaction with the help of other pollutants such as NOx, and volatile organic compounds. Short-term exposure / acute can induce inflammation in the lungs and interfere with lung function and cardiovascular defense. Long-term exposure can induce the occurrence of asthma, pulmonary fibrosis even. Epidemiological studies in humans show that high ozone exposure can increase the number of exacerbations / asthma attacks.

3. NOx and SOx
NOx and SOx is the co-pollutants are also quite important. Formed one of the less perfect combustion of fossil fuels. Epidemiology research shows exposure to NO2, SO2 and CO increased mortality due to cardio-pulmonary disease (heart and lung) and increased numbers of hospital treatment due to these diseases.

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