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Pollution and Health

Pollution and Health


Environmental pollution is defined as the accumulation of a substance in the air at a concentration that is harmful to health. These substances come primarily from the improper combustion of fuel in automobiles, energy production plants, etc. In the last decade, air quality has improved significantly in urban areas of United States. However, approximately 70% of smog problem in the United States is caused by vehicles and other mobile sources with internal combustion engines, including trucks, buses, farm equipment, construction equipment and garden equipment and lawn mowers that run on gasoline. With 15 million residents and 11 million vehicles, drivers of the inlet conduct more than 318 million miles each day. Future growth implies the existence of more vehicles on our roads by adding pollution to the air we breathe.

The negative effects of air pollution on respiratory health depend on the duration and intensity of exposure, the contaminant and the characteristics of individuals (healthy or previous respiratory disease) (Jonathan, 2007). Thus, exposure to high concentrations of some pollutants for short periods of time have been associated with increases in mortality, whereas prolonged exposure to moderate doses cause an increase in respiratory symptoms and impaired lung function. Particles with a diameter less than 10 microns (called PM 10) can reach the distal airways and thus have a deleterious effect on health. The larger particles are retained in the upper airway and are quickly eliminated. Epidemiological studies show a positive correlation between the concentration of the finer fraction of particles and mortality cases in the cities. Conditions that have documented the effect of pollution are, among others, various cardiovascular diseases, exacerbation of asthma attacks, lung cancer and other lung diseases.

At any time, you can be surrounded by millions of these tiny particles. They include pollen, dander, dust, chemicals, and a whole host of other things. The dangers of these particles are real. Not only do some particulate matter contribute to allergies and other low-level respiratory problems, but they also contribute to a reduction in life expectancy by helping facilitate and promote the risk of cardiopulmonary and lung cancer ailments (Lippmann and Schlesinger, 2003). According to Pope (2002) “These studies suggested that air pollution, even at moderate levels common to U.S. cities, remained a public health concern”.

In recent years, it has made ??a great effort by health authorities to maintain a clean atmosphere at national and international level. This has led most governments to have legislated legal regulations, in establishing maximum levels of air concentration for each substance and at the same time allow for control measures in case of exceeding this maximum. However, it is given that particle matter air pollution is harmful to human health; but how to combat the particle matter pollution is a source of conflict in the research.


The effect of air pollution on health is an issue of importance to public health and policy environment. It has been shown that fine particulate matter increases the risk of ...
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