Posts Tagged ‘Air Pollutants’
A study of more than 11.5 million Medicare patients aged over 65 has concluded that even short-term exposure to fine particle air pollution significantly increases the risk of contracting cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The study was conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, itself a department within the National Institute of Health.
This is the largest study ever conducted of the effect of fine particle air pollution and heart and lung disease, not only in the country but in the world. Fine particle air pollution is typically caused through power plant emissions or fuel exhaust emissions. These microscopic particles the size of dust or soot particles and around 30 times less than the thickness of a human hair, are able to lodge and accumulate deep within the respiratory system. Over time, lung function decreases while pre-existing conditions such as asthma are inflamed and aggravated.
It is not surprising that counties on the heavily industrialized Eastern seaboard have the highest rates of fine particle air pollution and so, the highest rates of lung and heart disease. Any location where there is heavy use of fossil fuels reports a substantial increase in the number of patients suffering from heart and lung conditions.
The extensive study delivered the proof that even small increases in the levels of fine particle air pollutants gave rise to a significantly higher level of hospital admissions for heart failure, heart and vascular conditions, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and infections of the respiratory system. Patients over the age of 75 years of age are particularly vulnerable and experience significantly higher rates of admissions for these conditions than the rest of the population.
Funding for this huge research study was provided by the U.S. Environmental protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The research was conducted by a team at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the results were finally published in March, 2006 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The EPA’s Aerometric Information Retrieval Service provides a nationwide network of data collection locations. This retrieval network was used to collect the data on fine air particle concentrations from over 200 counties scattered across the country and provided data over a three-year period.
The EPA is involved because it has a primary function of controlling environmental pollution through the setting of standards and guidelines. The study demonstrates that there is a strong need for the establishment of air quality guidelines, particularly to safeguard the health of the elderly. The study particularly demonstrates that even minor fine air pollution levels, well below those of the existing national standards, are causing significant health implications for patients.
The question as to whether fine air pollution causes increased incidence of heart and lung diseases is now clearly established, however why are such minor levels of fine air pollution causing such high levels of disease? This in turn will lead to what can be done to counter the harmful effects of fine particle air pollution.
What we experienced at the Beijing Olympics, regarding air pollution should be a reminder to all of us to pay more attention to to what pollutants we are exposed to. Respiratory problems caused by air pollution is really not the major concern. We should also be concerned about its toxic effects on the heart and cardiovascular system, especially our blood vessels. Mounting research shows that toxins are a major cause of heart damage.
According to an article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), air pollution has both short- and long-term toxic effects that injure the heart and blood vessels, increase rates of hospitalization for cardiac illness, and can even cause death.
”We used to think air pollution was a problem that primarily affects the respritory system. We now know it is also bad for the heart,” said Robert A. Kloner, M.D., Ph.D., director of research at the Heart Institute of the Good Samaritan Hospital, and a professor of medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, both in Los Angeles.
When pollutants are inhaled, they trigger an increase in “reactive oxygen species”-superoxiding molecules that damage cells, cause inflammation in the lungs, and spark the cascade of harmful effects in the heart and cardiovascular system, especially the arteries and blood vessels.
Recent research suggests that ultrafine air pollutants, such as those coming from car exhaust, may pass into the blood stream and damage the heart and blood vessels directly. Hearts directly exposed to ultrafine air pollutants show an immediate decrease in both coronary blood flow and the heart’s pumping function, as well as a tendency to develop arrhythmias, according to studies conducted at the Heart Institute.
“There doesn’t have to be an environmental catastrophe for air pollution to cause injury,” said Boris Z. Simkhovich, M.D., Ph.D, a senior research associate at the Heart Institute of the Good Samaritan Hospital, and an assistant professor of research medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. “We’re talking about very modest increases. Air pollution can be dangerous at levels that are within the accepted air quality standards.”
Studies in both humans and animals have shown that exposure to air pollution can affect heart rate, blood pressure, blood vessel function, blood clotting, and heart rate variability (a factor in developing heart rhythm disturbances), and speed the progression of atherosclerosis.
Researchers who study large populations of people over time have found that increased levels of air pollution are linked to emergency hospital admissions for heart attack, chest pain, and congestive heart failure and even to death from heart disease, arrhythmias, heart failure and cardiac arrest.
The elderly and patients who have already been diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes (which damages the blood vessels) are particularly vulnerable to the cardiovascular effects of air pollution.
“Patients with cardiovascular disease shouldn’t exercise outside on days with increased air pollution levels. On very polluted days, they should consider staying inside, and during the winter, they should limit exposure to fireplace smoke,” Dr. Kloner said. “Of course, the real solution is to reduce air pollution.”
Alfred Bove, M.D., Ph.D., agreed. “The review by Dr. Simkhovich and his fellow authors make it quite clear that air pollution is linked to cardiovascular disease and blood vessel damage.,” said Dr. Bove, ACC’s president-elect and cardiology section chief at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. “They suggest that this is another compelling reason to campaign for improved air quality, while at the same time studying therapies to minimize the risk of exposures
You know it is paramount that we provide the nutrients our bodies need, because our bodies were designed to heal themselves. It has been documented that heavy metals and other toxins cause the energy system in our bodies to be short circuited and that causes our immune system to not work correctly which in turn allows diseases to become cronic. Proper nutrician is the only safe way to combat most degenerative diseases promote healthy blood vessels and reduce the toxic effects of air pollution..
There is sound facts starting hundreds of the studies conducted worldwide which polluted air has unfavorable effects on health. The air pollution affects ranges from mild respiratory frustration to minor lung cancer and various cardiovascular diseases. In various developing nation, where the air quality is often poor, the link among air pollution along with health is often understandable. The recent study by California Department of the Health Services indicates that the industrial air pollutants might raise the risk of the autism by 50 percent in most of young children and also unborn babies. The account was available online in the various journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Whereas In China the air excellence in numerous cities is consequently bad that just breathing is the equal as smoking a set of cigarettes every day plus respiratory disease as of the air pollution are the leading source of death. When ask to sketch the sky, a lot of Chinese children prefer a yellow or gray crayon.
However, in most of the places all over the world, where the sky is generally blue, along with air excellence improved considerably in current years, the association among the air pollution and the health is to amount clear. There is extensive debate on whether the air quality is at present threatening the physical condition of people all over the world. Some researchers are pronouncing evidence of the serious health problems as of increasingly small contamination particles. Well in most of the reviews the outcome of a number of air pollution evidence, result that the “community death rates mount and fall almost in lock-step by way of local changes of the tiny dust particles—also when the attentiveness of those element are presently one-quarter of the centralized limit for the outdoor air.” though, other researchers quarrel that there is no systematic evidence for such assert, and challenge that the air pollution is not a dilemma in the United States. The Gregg Easterbrook, of the Brookings organization, an organization dedicated to research and psychoanalysis of the public policy, condition that the quality of the world air is so high-quality that it must be “a national basis for celebration.”
The Disagreements on whether the air pollution is at present threatening the people all over the world. Health fuel the discussion over how the air quality should be synchronized. The Emissions reductions may be extremely luxurious for the industry and, eventually, the consumer. The Regulatory agencies all face the complicated task of weighing the possible health remuneration of the regulation next to the costs to the industry and result the most pleasing balance among the two.
Clean air is a prime precondition of our shape. However, most of the people in United States and other urban countries bear from exposure too many air pollutants that put our fitness at stake. Air pollution affects our wellbeing in different behavior from plain to grave harms. For example, particulate matter in the air decreases life expectancy according to many researchers; Pollutants such as ozone annoy people’s breathing, trigger asthma symptoms and produce lung and mind diseases; exposure to environmental tobacco smoke causes many brutal respiratory wellbeing troubles such as asthma and lung pest. Prolonging exposure to certain air pollutants can even touch creature infertility according to topical remedial researches on air pollution.
Nowadays, scientists have discovered a lot of empathy and respiratory diseases related to air pollution; the most joint are:
Minor Respiratory Diseases – The best known is the cold, accompanied with symptoms such as sore throats, congestion and runny nose, cough and sometimes irritation of eyes.
Respiratory treatise Infections – the most universal are bronchitis and pneumonia, caused by viruses or bacteria. Cough characterized them, fever, chills and dyspnea (difficulty breathing).
Asthma – Asthma attacks can be triggered by countless factors, counting corporeal activity, infections, exposure to pollen, allergies and stress. They can also be triggered by sensitivity to non-allergenic pollutants in the air such as haze. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – It includes two foremost troubles: emphysema and unending bronchitis. Emphysema is an unceasing infection characterized by injuries and defeat of elasticity in the alveoli. Inflammation characterized chronic bronchitis of the lining cells inside the airways, which increases the menace of infection and obstacle of the entry and exit of air from the lungs. While other forms of air pollution can affect the development of these diseases, Smoking is responsible for about 80% of gear of recurring obstructive pulmonary disease.
Lung Cancer – It is the chief root of pest deaths among women and men. Cigarette smoked contains different carcinogens and is behind most suitcases of this momentous disease. Lung melanoma typically doesn’t trigger signs and symptoms in its initial stages. When the disease is advanced the symptoms of lasting cough, shortfall of desire, wheezing and chest grief can happen. Scientists have discovered a connection between air pollution and lung cancer.
Coronary concern disease (CHD) – disorders of the coronary arteries a reduction characterized that or impasse of arteries or blood vessels carrying blood and oxygen to the heart. Cigarette Smoked (including next hand smoke), lack of training, fatness, high cholesterol, family chronicle of coronary highway disease and hypertension (high blood anxiety) are the core factors of this medicinal disorder.
Heart collapse – is a poser that occurs when the heart is incapable to do its job, transfer blood to the lungs and the breather of the body. The most joint affect is a genuine disease of the coronary conduit. It could also be triggered by a sensitivity to non-allergenic pollutants in the air. The core symptoms are dumpiness of breath and engorged ankles and feet.
Heart Arrhythmia (Irregular Heartbeat) – consists of bumpy or abnormal heartbeat. In some luggage, arrhythmia is the findings of coronary route disease. It could also be triggered by sensitivity to pollutants in the air. The symptoms of arrhythmia are palpitations in the chest and vertigo. Certain types of arrhythmia are risky and want emergency medical medicine.
“DANGER OF INDOOR AIR POLLUTION IN OUR HOMES AND OFFICES”
Many times we are not aware of the air impurities that linger in our homes and offices. The question is how dangerous is the indoor air we breathe?
In the last several years, the Environmental Protection Agency has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.
Good ventilation is important. There are signs that can indicate your home may not have enough ventilation: moisture condensation on windows or walls, smelly or stuffy air, dirty central heating and air cooling equipment, and areas where books, shoes, or other items become moldy. To detect odors in your home, step outside for a few minutes, and then upon reentering your home, note whether odors are noticeable.
There are 5 main pollutants active in your home or office that you should be aware of, and do something about. They are: mildew, cooking odors, pets, tobacco smoke and heating and air conditioning filter vents. Let’s look at each active air pollutants, its source, and its remedy.
Mildew is a big contributor in indoor air pollution. Mildew spores will grow anywhere there is moisture. You will find it in carpets, upholstery, a damp wall and bathroom. Mildews release disease-causing toxins. As it grows it spreads bacteria, which become airborne that causes health problems, such as allergies.
Cooking odors, are a combination of steam, oils and smoke. It is easy for these odors to travel around the house, and cling to walls and furniture. Soon the odors will age.
It can be a buffet for insects, like cockroaches. The cooking odors can be diminished by proper ventilation and clean oven air filters.
Pet odors are the most offensive odors in a house. Dogs rubbing their backs on the carpet, or sleeping near or on a sofa will leave their body oils and dander. Male cats marking their territory with pungent urine scent. These pet odors are hidden deep in your carpet and upholstery that will attract fleas, dust mites and lice, and creates a health hazard. Health experts claim that many health problems that children have come from playing on dirty carpets. It can cause allergies and rashes.
To remedy this problem, have your carpets vacuumed at least 3 times a week. For deep cleaning of your carpet, have a professional carpet cleaner do the job. Your carpet will be fresh and clean, which will reduce many health problems.
Tobacco smoke is one of the unhealthy indoor air pollutes in homes and offices. The smoker is inhaling a complex mixture of over 4,000 compounds, more than 40 of which are known to cause cancer. Tobacco smoke lingers on for days. It has the nature to cling on fabrics and walls. I have seen darkened walls at homes and apartments of people who smoked. The unhealthy fact is that nicotine and carbon monoxide are present in the sticky oily residue tobacco leaves behind on fabrics and walls.
Heating and air conditioning filters, are culprits, which cause unhealthy indoor air pollution in homes and offices.
Mechanical ventilation systems in large buildings are designed and operated not only to heat and cool the air, but also to draw in and circulate outdoor air. Inadequate ventilation can occur if the air supply is blocked in such a way that outdoor air does not actually reach the breathing zone of building occupants. Improperly located air intake vents can also bring in air contaminated with automobile and truck exhaust, fumes from dumpstors, or air vented from restrooms. These air vents can also become a breeder for bacteria, mold and mildew. These toxins are airborne making it unhealthy in working and living environments.
To insure your safety and those around you, invest in a good air cleaner. Air cleaners with a HEPA filter removes 99.9% of tobacco smoke, pollens, bacteria, harmful fibers, allergens and pollutants. There are many types and sizes of air cleaners on the market, ranging from relatively inexpensive tabletop models to sophisticated and expensive whole-house systems.
Indoor air pollution can be reduced, and make your home or office a healthy environment for your family and co -workers.
Asthma is a horrible condition where periodic lung inflammation occurs leading to breath shortening, chest pains and coughs.
One of the fastest growing allergies, currently one in six children develop it. Having the ability to change the way we live our lives, this potential killer should be minimized at all times. Causes of asthma can be minimized in the home environment.
Dust, a term covering all the air-borne particles in a house, is often found at 3 million particles per cubic foot of air. When inhaled this dust can act to aggravate our air passages inducing allergies, one of which is well known, asthma.
Dust can consist of viruses, cigarette smoke, bacteria, dust mites, dead skin flakes, talcum powder, materials fabrics, solvents, kitchen waste, dry pet food or bedding, and pollen. All these constituents range in size massively from just under 0.001um, typical of many viruses, to just above 100um, e.g. dust mites.
Hayfever, asthma and other similar allergies are often aggravated in people by pollen. Pollen tends to be around 20-60 micron in diameter and therefore relatively easy to remove from the air column with an air purifier. Pollen, spores and mildew are routinely removed with many purifier models. HEPA and electrostatic air cleaners are best used to reduce these air pollutants.
Pathogens like bacteria and viruses can be removed with some powerful air purifiers. Common pathogens like E-coli, Staphylococcus, Influenza, Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Bacillus subtilis are able to be targeted and eliminated. Air purifiers with ultra violet capabilities are effective at destroying pathogens.
Noxious gasses such as formaldehyde, car exhaust fumes, cigarette fumes and the like can be combated by effective air purifiers in a number of ways. High speed electrons can be used to break down odors, photocatalytic filters with titanium apatite can absorb polluting particles, further breakdown can be promoted with yet more deodorizing catalytic action. Specific air purifiers aimed at reducing this type of pollutant are Blueair and IQAir GC Multigas air purifiers with SmokeStop filters, and Austin Air Plus purifiers.
Pet odors can be reduced by regularly cleaning their bedding, toys, food bowls, clumps of fur on or around the animal. This reduces all kinds of irritant particles, namely the air-borne dried saliva that has a large effect on allergy sufferers. HEPA and electrostatic air purifiers work best here.
As with all filtering machines, constant servicing is essential, i.e. cleaning or replacing the filters and other cleaning mechanisms regularly. A whole range of air purifiers exists from the basic heavy, loud operating mid to low effectiveness models to state of the art lightweight, quiet, multifunctional and effective, prices increase correspondingly.