A Million Fall Victim to Air Pollution Every Year

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), December 11, 2006 | Go to article overview

A Million Fall Victim to Air Pollution Every Year


Byline: By Madeleine Brindley Western Mail

The World Health Organisation estimates that over a million people in developed countries die prematurely every year from respiratory infections, lung cancer and heart disease caused by air pollution.

High air pollution in cities worldwide has been associated with an increase in hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease.

Gases such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide, as well as tiny particles found in air, are thought to be the cause.

These are all by-products of the industries and activities that support modern lifestyles.

While ozone in the atmosphere protects us from harmful solar radiation, it can be harmful once inside our bodies and may contribute to the build- up of plaque in our arteries - the furring up process known as atherosclerosis.

Researchers have suggested that the ozone breathed in a polluted environment could interact with the cholesterol in our bodies to produce atheronals, substances that may cause white blood cells - our body's defence cells - to build up existing plaque and narrow the arteries further. …

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