Saturday , April 1 2023

Pollution can be as severe for the lungs as a pack of tobacco every day.


Air pollution, especially ozone, which is exacerbated by climate change, can accelerate lung disease as much as smoking a pack of cigarettes daily, a study published yesterday said.

The new study, from the US universities of Washington, Colombia and Buffalo, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), in an article warning that air pollution accelerates the progression of emphysema to the lung.

While previous studies have shown a clear link between airborne pollutants and some lung and heart diseases, the new study demonstrates the association between prolonged exposure to major air pollutants, particularly ozone, and increased emphysema.

Lung emphysema is the destruction of lung tissue, which causes coughing and shortness of breath and leads to decreased oxygenation in the blood, which makes breathing difficult and increases the risk of death.

"We were surprised to see in lung examinations how strong the effect of air pollution was on the progression of emphysema, at the same time as the effects of smoking, which is by far the best known cause of emphysema," said one of the study's top authors. , Joel Kaufman, professor of environmental science and occupational health at the University of Washington.

Research has found that if the level of ozone in the environment rises sharply from a decade ago, it has effects on emphysema similar to smoking a pack of cigarettes daily.

The results of the study are based on extensive 18-year research in more than 7,000 people and a detailed examination of air pollution between 2000 and 2018 in six metropolitan areas of the United States.

Rising temperatures due to climate change also cause a rise in soil ozone, a problem whose solution is to reduce pollutant emissions.

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