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Air Pollution has Negative Impacts on Human and Animal Health: Study

Air pollution linked to heart issues in humans, animals

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Air pollution human animal
Air pollution increases risks of deteriorating heart health in human and animals. Lifetime Stock

Researchers have found that air pollution is associated with detrimental impacts on human and animals health, including increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

The study, published in The Journal of Physiology, by researchers at The University of Manchester in UK, shows that the knowledge people have about how pollution harms the hearts of marine species can be applied to humans, as the underlying mechanisms are similar.

Around 11,000 coronary heart disease and stroke deaths in the UK each year are attributable to air pollution, specifically due to particulate matter (PM), or small particles in the air that cause health problems.

PM2.5 is one of the finest and most dangerous type of PM, is a compound for which the UK has failed to meet European Union limits.

“We know that air pollution can have a hugely damaging effect on heart and circulatory health, and this review summarises mechanisms potentially contributing to impaired heart function,” said study researcher Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation.

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Air pollution can have a hugely damaging effect on heart and circulatory health. Lifetime Stock

For the findings, the researchers looked across all vertebrates and particularly focused on a set of compounds that binds to the surface of PM, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) as its amount on PM is associated with the detrimental affects that air pollution has on the heart.

“Pollution affects all of us living on Planet Earth. Due to the conserved nature of cardiac function amongst animals, fish exposed to PAH from oil spills can serve as indicators, providing significant insights into the human health impacts of PAHs and PM air pollution,” said Holly Shiels, study senior author from the University of Manchester.

Studies after the ‘1999 Exxon Valdez oil spill’ showed that the ecosystem still has not recovered 20 years on.

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According to the researchers, in 2010, research on fish after the ‘Deepwater Horizon oil spill’, which released large quantities of PAHs into the marine environment, showed that the heart’s ability to contract was impaired.

“Reducing air pollution is crucial to protecting our heart health, which is why the British Heart Foundation, is calling on the next Government to commit to reducing air pollution to within WHO limits,” Pearson said. (IANS)

Next Story

Air Pollution Associated with More Severe Rhinitis Symptoms: Researchers

Airborne particulate matter and NO2 are both traffic-related pollutants

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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.

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“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)