Air Pollution's Effects On Human Health & Mortality

1395 words - 6 pages

Introduction:Environmental pollution is a term that refers to all the ways that human activity harms the natural environment. It is one of the most serious problems facing humanity and other life forms today. Thick, brown haze wraps around cities. Unwanted tires, appliances and other refuse float in streams. Oil spills kill thousands of wildlife each year. All of these are examples of environmental pollution. Many of the health problems on the increase today are directly linked to how we are treating the environment.Air pollution is defined as the contamination of the air by such substances as fuel exhaust and smoke. It can also be produced naturally when forest fires and volcanic eruptions ...view middle of the document...

The atmosphere in Azusa and surrounding communities contain complex mixtures, both in terms of size and chemical composition of the ambient aerosol and the concentrations and ratios of gas phase photochemically active compounds such as nitric acid, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. The study was undertaken to examine, under controlled conditions, the effects of 6 month exposure to an atmospheric condition modeling the ambient atmosphere in or near the city of Azusa, California. The mixture and exposure protocol of the experiment were based on air monitoring data in a heavily polluted region in South Coast Air Basin of California.In this experiment laboratory rats (male, barrier-reared and specific pathogen free Fischer 344/N) were exposed to a mixture containing ozone, nitrogen dioxide, nitric acid vapor, ammonium bisulfate aerosol and carbon particles. Groups of rats were also exposed to .3 ppm ozone alone, and as controls, they were exposed to purified air. The exposure pattern was in episodes of 4 hr/day, 3 days/week. An initial 1 month dose-response exposure was performed using this 5 component mixture and including component concentration factors of .5(low), 1.0(med), and 2.0(high) of the levels used in the 6 month exposure. At the end of the 1 month dose-response exposure, at the end of the 6 months exposure, and. 1 month following the 6 months exposure, the biological effects on a variety of respiratory tract structural and functional measures were analyzed. Biological endpoints expected to be indicative of processes leading to the development of lung diseases were measured immediately following the end of the 1 month does-response exposure and at the end of and one month following the 6 month exposure.Data:The 6 month exposure to the mixture induced and elevated breath frequency on the third days of episodes, and at end-exposure, there was a depression of mucus(glycoprotein) density in the tracheal epithelium, increased numbers of mast cells in lobar bronchi, elevated cell proliferation in the terminal bronchioles and alveoli, depression of pulmonary macrophage Fc receptor binding capacity, trends of increased permeability of the nasal epithelium, and decrease in long-term particle clearance rate (Mautz). Exposure to O3 alone did not significantly alter these variables. Both the mixture and O3 alone produced trends of change in morphometric measures of lung fine structure and in alterations of fixed lung volume (Mautz). All of the significant effects of the mixture showed recovery at 1 month post-exposure except for elevated mast cell numbers in lobar bronchi and cell proliferation in the alveolar zone. Trends of change in lung morphometric variables in the mixture and O3 exposure were still present at 1 month post-exposure. Although comparisons of effects of the mixture on biological variables were associated with mean values for O3 exposure groups lying intermediate to mixture and purified air control means. In these cases there was nearly...

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