Diseases Caused by Air Pollution Has Been Emphasized Once (Know the Value of Your Nose!)

The Invisible Threat: Air Pollution

A study conducted at the University of Edinburgh in England concluded that nanoparticles in the air could enter the bloodstream and cause disease in people living in areas with air pollution. Inhaler nanoparticles pumped in vehicle exhausts, especially diesel vehicles, can travel to the lungs and bloodstream and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. The most worrying point is that researchers at a London briefing have found nanoparticles to be a coronary people who suffer from heart disease tend to accumulate in damaged blood vessels and can make it worse. According to the World Health Organization, outdoor air pollution of both cities and rural areas is estimated to cause 3.0 million premature deaths worldwide in 2012.

Image source: Toxic air pollution nanoparticles ...
Until now, scientists were not sure how the particles entering the lungs affected their heart health. The new findings published on Wednesday in the ACS Nano Journal are based on earlier evidence and show that airborne particles in the air are in the blood and will be transported to many different parts of the body, including arteries, blood vessels and the heart.

Researchers have also analyzed surgically removed plaques from people at high risk of stroke and have discovered that nanoparticles tend to accumulate in greyish plaques that grow in the blood vessels and cause heart attacks and stroke. It was emphasized that these findings show the importance of reducing emissions and limiting the exposure of humans to nanoparticles.

Researchers have also analyzed surgically removed plaques from people at high risk of stroke and have discovered that nanoparticles tend to accumulate in greyish plaques that grow in the blood vessels and cause heart attacks and stroke. It was emphasized that these findings show the importance of reducing emissions and limiting the exposure of humans to nanoparticles.

Findings can help explain why air pollution increases heart disease and stroke risk. But what is really worrisome is that current legislation and efforts to regulate air pollution indicate that they focus on the wrong particles. While trying to prevent airborne scattering of large particles in the laws issued abroad in order to prevent air pollution, these include preventing nanoparticles from spreading after the combustion of diesel fuel products.

Many studies have shown that air pollution will result in millions of premature deaths each year. Even in Europe with relatively clean air, air pollution is blamed for 400,000 premature deaths annually. Most of these deaths are due to increased risk of cardiovascular disease: short exposure to high pollution can trigger heart attacks and strokes; prolonged exposure causes vascular damage. The big question is, we suspected that some of the nanoparticles that we breathed for a long time could interfere with blood circulation and damage blood vessels, but this has never been shown. These nanoparticles are mostly carbon compounds and it is extremely difficult to find them in our carbon-based life forms.

Particularly in this study, very small particles not covered by environmental pollution laws were investigated. How they proved and did it, the work team volunteered to breathe air full of harmless gold nanoparticles. Within 15 minutes, the nanoparticles began to appear in the blood of the volunteers and after three months they were still found in blood and urine. Team Leader Mark Miller commented: "Three months later we were really surprised that the gold nanoparticle levels were too high".

Gold nanoparticles are a product that is inert (does not enter any chemical reaction in the body); reactive compounds present in air pollution can have any harmful effect from clogging blood vessels to preventing clotting.

It can be said that working has come a long way in explaining why air pollution is causing vascular injuries and illness. If these findings with gold particles reflect the movement of carbon particles produced by exhaust, it is inevitable that the modern production of small particles with the modern engines will be a source of more concern. The next goal of the working team is to investigate whether gold nanoparticles enter the brain ... Air It has been found that brain diseases such as pollution, dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's increase the risk, and in a recent study iron emulsions in human brain could come from vehicle exhausts.

Small Nanoparticles in the Air Difficult to Measure!

Air quality legislation in the European Union and elsewhere specifies a limit of 2.5 micrometres smaller than PM2.5 to measure the amount of particulate matter. However, the boundary is on the total mass of these particles, in a mere cubic meter of air rather than the total number. Thousands of ultra fine particles may have much less weight than relatively large ones. In recent years, PM 2.5 per cubic meter has fallen in rich countries, suggesting that air pollution is rising. However, as the number of diesel vehicles on the European road increases, the number of very fine particles increases during this period. Should air quality legislation change in Europe?

The problem is that it is very difficult to measure the number of very fine particles and it can not be done using widely used road-edge devices to track air pollution. The worker's statement emphasizes: "Ideally we want to measure numbers". "But the technology is not enough." The UK government now wants to postpone publishing its latest plan for fighting air pollution, a plan to produce after losing a set of cases brought by the ClientEarth.

ClientEarth investigators are warning about the violations of EU borders for gas nitrogen dioxide rather than particles. However, one of the measures to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels, "removing diesel vehicles from the road", can also help to reduce particle levels.

In today's fast-paced and industrialized world, air pollution has become a pervasive issue that affects the health and well-being of millions. While the visible effects of air pollution, such as smog and hazy skies, are evident, the invisible threats to our health are often underestimated. Our nose, the first line of defense, plays a crucial role in filtering out harmful pollutants from the air we breathe. This article explores the diseases caused by air pollution, emphasizes the importance of understanding its impact on our health, and highlights the invaluable role of our nose in protecting us from these invisible threats.

Air pollution is the presence of harmful substances in the air that can negatively impact human health and the environment. These pollutants can take various forms, including:

Particulate Matter (PM): Tiny solid particles and liquid droplets suspended in the air. They can be inhaled into the lungs and cause a range of health problems.

Ground-Level Ozone: Formed when pollutants from vehicles, power plants, and other sources chemically react in the presence of sunlight. It can irritate and damage the respiratory system.

Carbon Monoxide: A colorless, odorless gas produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels. In high concentrations, it can be fatal.

Nitrogen Dioxide: A reddish-brown gas produced by combustion processes. It can irritate the lungs and lower resistance to respiratory infections.

Sulfur Dioxide: A pungent gas produced by the burning of fossil fuels, particularly in industrial processes. It can irritate the respiratory tract and worsen asthma.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Organic chemicals that can easily evaporate into the air, contributing to air pollution. They can have both short- and long-term health effects.

Heavy Metals: Toxic metals like lead and mercury, which can enter the air from various sources and pose severe health risks.

Air pollution is often categorized into outdoor and indoor pollution, with both types posing significant risks to human health. While outdoor pollution is more visible and has been a subject of public discourse, indoor pollution is equally concerning. It is caused by various factors such as tobacco smoke, household cleaning products, and inadequate ventilation.

The Role of Our Nose: A Natural Filter

Our nose is an incredible organ with a primary role in respiration and the detection of scents. One of its less recognized functions, however, is its role as a natural filter against air pollutants. The following mechanisms explain how our nose protects us from harmful airborne particles and pollutants:

Nasal Hairs: The nostrils are lined with small hairs called cilia, which act as a physical barrier. They trap larger particles and prevent them from entering the respiratory system.

Mucus Production: The nasal passages produce mucus to moisten the air and trap smaller particles, including bacteria and viruses. The cilia then move this mucus, along with trapped particles, towards the back of the throat where it can be swallowed or expectorated.

Nasal Constrictions: When exposed to irritants or strong odors, the nostrils can constrict, reducing the amount of air and pollutants entering the respiratory system.

Olfactory Detection: Beyond its protective function, the nose also detects odors, enabling us to recognize and avoid harmful or foul-smelling substances in the environment.

The Diseases Caused by Air Pollution

Air pollution affects the entire respiratory system, from the nose down to the deepest parts of the lungs. Exposure to air pollutants can lead to various acute and chronic diseases. Let's explore some of the most prevalent ones:

Respiratory Infections: Air pollution can weaken the immune system's response, making individuals more susceptible to respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia. Particulate matter and pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide are often responsible.

Asthma: Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition characterized by airway inflammation and bronchoconstriction. Air pollution, particularly ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter, can trigger asthma attacks and exacerbate symptoms.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Long-term exposure to air pollution, especially cigarette smoke and fine particulate matter, is a significant risk factor for the development of COPD. This progressive lung disease includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Lung Cancer: Exposure to carcinogens in the air, such as benzene, formaldehyde, and heavy metals, increases the risk of lung cancer. Smoking, combined with air pollution, poses an even greater risk.

Cardiovascular Diseases: Air pollution is not limited to affecting the respiratory system; it also has systemic effects. Fine particulate matter can enter the bloodstream, leading to cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks, strokes, and hypertension.

Allergies: Airborne allergens and pollutants can trigger allergic reactions, exacerbating conditions such as hay fever and rhinitis. Persistent exposure can lead to chronic rhinosinusitis.

Reduced Lung Function: Air pollution can lead to decreased lung growth and reduced lung function in children, potentially resulting in long-term health implications.

Mental Health Impacts: Emerging research suggests a link between air pollution and mental health issues, including cognitive decline, depression, and anxiety.

It's evident that air pollution affects not only the respiratory system but also overall health, emphasizing the need for effective prevention and mitigation strategies.

The Importance of Prevention

Preventing the diseases caused by air pollution is a collective effort that involves individuals, communities, governments, and industries. Here are some essential preventive measures to consider:

Reducing Emissions: Governments and industries play a pivotal role in reducing air pollution through stricter emissions regulations and the transition to cleaner energy sources.

Alternative Transportation: Using public transport, carpooling, or cycling can reduce the number of vehicles on the road, thereby decreasing air pollution.

Indoor Air Quality: Maintaining good indoor air quality by avoiding tobacco smoke and using air purifiers can minimize exposure to indoor pollutants.

Respiratory Protection: When air quality is poor, wearing masks or respirators can help reduce exposure to harmful particulate matter and pollutants.

Supporting Green Initiatives: Promoting tree planting and green spaces in urban areas can help absorb pollutants and improve air quality.

Education and Advocacy: Raising awareness about the health risks of air pollution and advocating for cleaner air is essential for driving change at all levels.

Importance of Our Nose in Polluted Air

Image source: The Nose: Hey, FWay
There are a total of 6 nasal turbinates in our nose (total 3 in each nasal cavity). These noses work like a unique machine that conveys, heats, moisturizes and pressurizes air when the outside air enters the nose. There is a mucus layer covering nasal flesh and a siliceous system that moves this mucus layer backward on the outermost epithelium surface. That is, when air is taken from our nose, our nose increases resistance to air, it keeps harmful particles, air is purged, heated and pressurized to the lung end airways. In the article "Your Nose, the Guardian of Your Lungs" of the American Academy of Nursing, emphasis was placed on healthy nose for lungs. Respiratory nanoparticles are responsible for pulmonary inflammation and depression due to particle size after inhalation. Specifically, people living in areas such as the People's Republic of China where there are dirty weather conditions need to wear masks and wash their regular noses with salt water. During nasal surgery, it is very important to minimize the volume of nasal turbinatesand to avoid the total or partial removal of the nasal turbinates. In the case of complete removal of nasal turbinates (empty nose syndrome) or a hole in the nasal septum, a very rapid decrease in nasal function may be seen as a result of increased airflow (hyperventilation) in the nasal air. Patients with nasal features in this way are more susceptible to air pollution and the risk of airborne nanoparticles spreading to the lungs and body is higher.

In the fight against air pollution, our nose serves as a valuable and often overlooked ally. It acts as a frontline filter, preventing many harmful particles from entering our respiratory system. Understanding the diseases caused by air pollution and the vital role our nose plays in protection can motivate individuals and communities to take action.

Our responsibility to protect our health and the environment goes hand in hand with collective efforts to reduce air pollution. By working together, we can mitigate the health risks associated with air pollution and breathe cleaner, healthier air. In doing so, we prioritize not only our well-being but also the well-being of future generations. It's time to value our noses as more than just sensory organs; they are the gatekeepers of our health in an increasingly polluted world.

Source scientific study link:

Mark R. Miller*†∞∇ , Jennifer B. Raftis‡∞∇, Jeremy P. Langrish†, Steven G. McLean†, Pawitrabhorn Samutrtai§, Shea P. Connell†, Simon Wilson†, Alex T. Vesey†, Paul H. B. Fokkens∥, A. John F. Boere∥, Petra Krystek⊥, Colin J. Campbell§, Patrick W. F. Hadoke†, Ken Donaldson‡, Flemming R. Cassee∥#, David E. Newby†, Rodger Duffin‡∇, and Nicholas L. Mills

Inhaled Nanoparticles Accumulate at Sites of Vascular Disease

ACS Nano, 2017, 11 (5), pp 4542–4552
DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.6b08551
Publication Date (Web): April 26, 2017


Other resource links:

  • Pollution nanoparticles may enter your blood and cause disease

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  • Air legislation in Europe - European Environment Agency - Europa EU
  • Air Quality Legislation and Standards in the European Union ...
  • ClientEarth to sue Government over 'flawed' air pollution plan for third ...
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