Wednesday January 29, 2020

Exposure to Severe Air Pollution Can Lead to Birth Defects

"It is unclear yet what is causing these profound effects, but we speculate that the size of nanoparticles or even the acidity may be the culprit," Zhang said

0
//
Pollution
A number of reports have stated that air pollution has been increasing exponentially in many cities in the country, with Delhi being cited as the world's most polluted capital city. VOA
Exposure to severe air pollution can cause birth defects and even fatalities during pregnancy, new research has found.
According to the World Health Organization, nine out of 10 people worldwide breathe air containing a high level of pollutants, and one of every 9 global deaths can be attributed to exposure to air pollution, totalling over 7 million premature deaths a year.
The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed definitive proof of decreased fetal survival rates, and also shortened gestation rates that can result in smaller body weight, in addition to damage to brains, hearts and other organs in the adult rat models.
The research team used female rats and examined the adverse health effects of exposure to fine particulate matter consisting of ammonium sulfate commonly found in many locations around the world.
During winter months in India and China, where severe haze occurs frequently, fine particulate matter levels were especially high at several hundred micrograms per cubic meter, said the researchers.
India, air pollution, WHO, diwali, Pollution, Delhi, egypt, air quality
A bird flies past the Humayun’s Tomb shrouded in smog in New Delhi, India. VOA
“People typically believe that ammonium sulfate may not be terribly toxic, but our results show large impacts on female pregnant rats,” said Renyi Zhang, Professor at Texas A&M University in the US.
“It is unclear yet what is causing these profound effects, but we speculate that the size of nanoparticles or even the acidity may be the culprit,” Zhang said.
Sulfate is mainly produced from coal burning, which is a major energy source for much of the world in both developed and developing countries. Ammonium is derived from ammonia, which is produced from agricultural, automobile and animal emissions.
“So this certainly represents a major problem worldwide,” Zhang added. (IANS)

Next Story

Air Pollution Associated with More Severe Rhinitis Symptoms: Researchers

Airborne particulate matter and NO2 are both traffic-related pollutants

0
Pollution- climate crisis
Climate crisis has increased due to air pollution and people are facing lung and heart-related problems. VOA

Researchers have found that the nasal symptoms of rhinitis are more severe in people exposed to higher levels of outdoor air pollution.

Rhinitis, a condition that affects between 20 per cent and 50 per cent of the world’s population, is a disorder of the nasal mucosa characterised by congestion, sneezing, rhinorrhoea, nasal irritation and, in some cases, a reduced sense of smell.

“Rhinitis is associated with asthma, which is closely linked to air pollution. That is why we thought it would be interesting to investigate whether long-term exposure to air pollution also plays a determining role in rhinitis,” said study researcher Benedicte Jacquemi from Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain.

For the findings, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers analysed data from 1,408 patients with rhinitis from 17 different European cities, including Barcelona and Oviedo (Spain), Paris (France), Antwerp (Belgium), Umea (Sweden) and Erfurt (Germany).

The participants answered a questionnaire regarding the severity of each one of their rhinitis symptoms and the extent to which the condition interferes with their day-to-day lives.

According to the researchers, airborne particles, the diameter of which can vary from micrometres to millimetres, are solid or liquid bodies present in the air. Particles with a diameter under 2.5 (PM2.5) and under ten micrometres (PM10) are of particular interest in this context.

Delhi Toxic Air
An elderly Indian woman seeks alms as youth wearing pollution masks walk through a shopping area in New Delhi, India. VOA

As the study shows, people living in cities with higher levels of PM10 and PM2.5 report the most severe rhinitis symptoms. An increase of 5 �g/m3 in PM2.5 was associated with a 17 per cent higher probability of severe rhinitis.

These particles were associated with increased severity of congestion, nasal irritation and sneezing, whereas exposure to NO2 increased the severity of nasal discharge and congestion, the study said.

Airborne particulate matter and NO2 are both traffic-related pollutants.

Also Read: Facebook Suffers Major Outage Across the World

“The role of these pollutants in the severity of symptoms is probably linked to oxidative stress, apoptosis (a process by which irreparably damaged cells are eliminated) and inflammation,” said study lead author Emilie Burte.

“Our findings suggest that the effect of airborne particulate matter differs from that of gaseous emissions (NO2), probably because their respective mechanisms of action provoke different inflammatory responses in the respiratory tract; however, more studies are needed to validate this hypothesis,” Burt added. (IANS)