Air Pollutions Damages All of Our Organs and Unborn Babies

Air pollution poses a great environmental risk to health. Outdoor fine particulate matter (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 microns) exposure is the fifth leading risk factor for death in the world, accounting for 4.2 million deaths and over 103 million disability-adjusted life years lost according to the Global Burden of Disease Report. The World Health Organization attributes 3.8 million additional deaths to indoor air pollution.

Air pollution can harm acutely, usually manifested by respiratory or cardiac symptoms, as well as chronically, potentially affecting every organ in the body. It can cause, complicate, or exacerbate many adverse health conditions. Tissue damage may result directly from pollutant toxicity because fine and ultrafine particles can gain access to organs, or indirectly through systemic inflammatory processes. Susceptibility is partly under genetic and epigenetic regulation. Although air pollution affects people of all regions, ages, and social groups, it is likely to cause greater illness in those with heavy exposure and greater susceptibility. Persons are more vulnerable to air pollution if they have other illnesses or less social support. Harmful effects occur on a continuum of dosage and even at levels below air quality standards previously considered to be safe.

Chest Journal – Air Pollution and Noncommunicable Diseases

Air Pollution Bad for Pregnancy and Unborn Babies

Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and reduced fetal growth. A review of over 13,000 pregnancies in Scotland found that exposure to higher levels of PM2.5, PM10, and NO2 were associated with lower infant head size during pregnancy and at birth. Another study across all trimesters of pregnancy reported that the risk of intrauterine growth restriction was increased among women exposed to higher levels of CO, NO2, and PM2.5. A meta-analysis that included nearly 3 million births across 14 centers from nine developed countries found that, after adjusting for socioeconomic status, maternal exposure to particulate air pollution was associated with a higher risk of low birth weight infants.

Air pollution increases the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight independently and additively to other known risk factors, such as lower socioeconomic status, diabetes, hypertension, and smoking.49 Women who are exposed to higher levels of traffic-related air pollution during pregnancy may be at increased risk of preeclampsia, which may be one mechanism explaining the association with preterm birth. Also, increased exposure to O3 and PM2.5 within 5 hours of delivery has been linked to higher risk of premature rupture of membranes, which predisposes women to preterm delivery.

Fertility Impacts

Several studies have found that air pollution is associated with reduced fertility rates and increased risk of miscarriage. A Mongolian study found a dose-dependent relationship between the monthly average SO2, NO2, CO, PM10, and PM2.5 levels during pregnancy and risk of spontaneous abortions. A few studies have shown or suggested that semen or sperm quality is decreased in areas of high pollution.

Poor Impacted More

Exposures to air pollution and other environmental factors and biological susceptibility are the most important factors determining response. People living in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East on average breathe higher levels of pollutants than those in other parts of the world1 and, therefore, sustain a greater health burden.

Sleep Impacts

Sleep efficiency is decreased in most polluted areas, especially with increased exposure to NO2 and PM. Several studies show that air pollution is associated with increased sleep apnea symptoms, possibly because of upper airway inflammation from irritant pollutants and airborne allergens and household biomass smoke.

Air pollution may affect sleep adversely in other ways. Traffic-related air pollution is highest near busy streets, which confounds sleep studies because the environment is more often noisy and illuminated. Pollution may also disturb sleep by exacerbating asthma, COPD, or other respiratory or chronic diseases. In addition, pollutants may lead to an inflammatory reaction in the CNS or directly interfere with neuronal function that may affect sleep.

SOURCES – Chest Journal

35 thoughts on “Air Pollutions Damages All of Our Organs and Unborn Babies”

  1. ok, I get you now, me bad. but define poverty wage? Not possible, it’s completely subjective. So all oil imports from everywhere would be tariffed, because I can assure you folks like Aramco et al are paying dirt poor wages to many, many.

  2. I’m not saying anyone should be paid anything. I’m saying that tariffs should be applied to products from companies that pay poverty wages. No policing necessary.

    Forcing wages higher in the US would not solve anything, not sure why you would suggest this.

  3. wages I disagree with. Why should Poles be paid as much as Manhattanites when the cost of living in Poland is 90% less? Why should an average Chinese car assembly worker be paid 10x a US. equivalent? besides, impossible to police or even construct such a scheme.

    Or, the other way around. Why not “force” the average minimum wage in the US to be $20 an hour like it is in Germany? I bet this will “level the playing field”!

  4. I’ve been saying this for years. Trade sanctions for pollution, environmental degradation, and for human-rights violations, etc. I would also enact tariffs for low wages, level the playing field a bit.

  5. Yes, redundant article – air pollution is bad for your health. Also, air pollution is a global phenom. China’s and India’s etc pollution does not stay there. U.S. generated air pollution is minimal. Folks may want to see PM2.5 globally in real time to grasp this concept.

    In the meantime, we (ie the kumbaya people of earth) ought to financially sanction the perpetrators – China, India, and others. They are killing our babies, not just theirs. Imagine Trump telling China their imports will come to a halt until China stops killing our babies and stops the cesspool rivers flowing into the Pacific, and stops depleting the fish in the ocean and stops producing an immense island of plastic garbage in the ocean. Economic warfare on environment-destroyers.

  6. I wouldn’t know, what’s it like to open before you’re able to actually contribute anything here?

  7. There are actually lots of papers that don’t provide all of their analyses in the final form, especially online. Much of that is Matlab or other codes, maybe spreadsheets. It is entirely typical to not see every single piece of analytical data. I just got done reading a paper on turinabol metabolite detection times and their charts on detection times, you can’t sit there and reproduce how they arrived at those decay rates. They don’t give you that data, to reverse engineer that. That’s completely typical. You won’t get everything. That’s generally the point of peer review. I had to provide to the reviewer all these spreadsheets of thrust data and ISP tables for papers I wrote that didn’t go into the final publication.

    It is definitely a publication. Live with it.

  8. Not so sure that is actually good news since a comparison to the 2014 data I was referencing indicates that nuclear went down and the difference primarily went into petroleum, not renewables or nuclear.

  9. Mostly leaf blowers here. Use to be used for motor cycles, taxis, and cars in many third world country.

  10. I’m glad you called that point out, as it’s important to know how to read scientific papers. Which is why I wrote my original response.

    We see a lot of articles about science (especially on NBF!) and too many of them are little more than press releases, or ones like this that look like they are sober, thorough investigations of facts – but on closer reading do not stand up to even my moderate scrutiny.

    Did the article “deliver data and analyses”? It asserts the conclusions without providing the level of correlation between the variables, which is required to evaluate the confidence of those conclusions. Nor, except for the Sleep Impact survey, is there a discussion or acknowledgement that other environmental factors may be correlated with the same results. As far as data goes, the only hard number is “13,000 pregnancies.”

    So I still feel confident in characterizing the article as journalism about science, rather than a rigorous scientific paper and how “may” is being used in the article; I still read as a colloquial marker of uncertainty.

  11. What would your position be if you researched a bit and found that a total emissions capture pilot plant burning NG was built and successfully tested? Occidental and McDermott recently have opted for a position in the dealings for commercialization.

    The coal-to-gas process and tweaks to the combustion unit to accept syn-gas have been delegated to certain interests in North Dakota.

  12. You guys have been chugging the Trump kool-aid pretty hard on coal. We still produce roughly 27% of our power from coal, which is more than anything other than natural gas (nuclear is 19%). At the end of the day, you can evade the root question of “should coal be retired?” with non sequitur asides about how much worse it is elsewhere; however, in reality the new technologies available for emission control:

    1. Primarily address SO2 and NOx
    2. Do not directly target particulate matter control (which happens to be what this entire post is about, not acid rain)
    3. Have not been found to collectively bring coal fired plants and pollutants created by coal fired plants into compliance with federal regulations (as of 2014, according to papers at the institute for energy research, the journal for earth science and climatic change, and ucs)

    There is a laughably false implication here that the detrimental (either to the public or the environment) effects of coal power in the United States have been… mitigated? LIke even “kinda”? No, not even remotely. Research does not support that assertion. Coal still puts heavy metals, particulates, mercury and lead into the air in huge amounts (just substantially less huge amounts than prior to 1970).

    Are you taking patriotic offense to the notion that somehow making an effort ‘wasn’t good enough’ and you feel you need to rush to the national defense? Is this a tribal conservative, anti-environmentalist knee jerk reaction that you’re having?

  13. “…declaring sturdy correlations requires an extremely high standard of
    statistical confidence backed up by an extremely large data set…”

    Where are you from. Most people where I’m from only require a deeply held personal belief or a popular rumor among their peer group in order to establish unalterable truths about reality.

  14. A lot of this pollution comes from diesel and two-cycle engines. We need to stop using those technologies.

  15. Not icky, just really very expensive and proven unsafe. These two issues can be fixed but it will take R&D money. It will also take companies and nations willing to make the investment.

  16. Really, you ought to take off your dark glasses, son.  

    What Combinatorics listed is entirely true, each point. India doesn’t “cheat”, it is just so honestly corrupt that it spews endless clouds of black smoke from nearly all its coal-stoked power plants day and night. The Chinese are however more cunning, using the cover of night, storm, wind and season to selectively turn on-and-off the scrubbers.

    By comparison, American new-coal (which amounts to near-none) is sparkly clean in operation. Old coal — because nearly 40 years ago we ‘dealt’ with acid-rain production from coal plants — was radically cleaned up exhaust-gas wise. The fly-ash storage remains a problem, for all coal, worldwide.  

    Just saying,
    GoatGuy ✓

  17. I don’t know why you’d even bother to waste the time and ethical dubiousness arguing that American coal is “cleaner than” coal power elsewhere if your intent is not to defend the continued operation of coal power plants? It seems like a waste of mental energy in the pursuit of a tribal “win”. Maybe you just need to admit that political efforts expended to try and keep coal alive, even if from your political allies, are stupid, corrupt, childish and irresponsible. It is, after all, entirely possible to admit that someone you like for other reasons has crap ideas in one specific area.

  18. Actually, “may” is the rhetorically correct and scientifically rigorous way to relate scientific results because proclaiming and declaring sturdy correlations requires an extremely high standard of statistical confidence backed up by an extremely large data set, typically across numerous populations and including many different methodological approaches. The use of the word “may” is not a scapegoat for loose data, rather, it is an accurate way to deliver data and analyses that is not overly presumptuous or assumptive.

  19. But we can’t use nuclear power – it’s icky. Besides – Chernobyl! Hiroshima! Nagasaki! Fukushima! (Yeah, Chernobyl was sheer stupidity, next two were war targets, last one was a plant rated for a Richter 8 earthquake that surivied a Richter 9 AND a tsunami, and would have been okay if they’d been able to get fuel for the emergency generators through the utter devastation left behind by the tsunami.)

    It’s far better we go with the ecologically friendly (until you look at the costs and wastes of building them) solar panels and windmills! /sarc

    Modern nuclear plants would solve a lot of problems – but the greens are going to fight them tooth and nail. I’m thinking they don’t WANT the problem solved – because it’s about the power to force us into the solutions THEY want, which include a tax for green power, taxation for CO2 emissions, taxation to fund the next crazy Nude Green Eel.

    Because all those taxes REALLY help the planet.

  20. One must wonder how people managed to keep their houses warm a twenty years ago before they were chopping trees down to warm their houses.

  21. Not really.

    1. Coal is dying due to economics of competition with methane.
    2. US coal plants are quite clean relative to coal plants in much of the world.
    3. To understand this article, think about China and India.
  22. I think environmental endocrine disruptors are actually a bigger issue in developed countries. The effects are just less conspicuous, due to being long term rather than acute.

    Air polition is more of an issue in 3rd world and developing countries, and very localized circumstances in the developed world.

  23. An article that summarizes a survey of studies published in the “The Chest Journal” , by the American College of Chest Physicians. That seems to be a reliable source, as it’s been around since 1935.
    The recurring theme in the studies is the effects of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and nitrogen oxides. Which is a bit redundant as the EPA lists chemical reactions with nitrogen oxides as the primary producer of PMs.
    The US has not relaxed PM standards recently
    Nor do the studies support 1st world air quality as being particularly problematical, as they point out the worst air pollution is in undeveloped and developing areas. “People living in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East on average breathe higher levels of pollutants “
    Most studies are of course done in the 1st world as that is where the bulk of the research facilities and grant money is located.
    The article trumpets the effects on pregnancies and children – or more accurately trumpets possible effects – as a close reading shows the indecisive adverb ‘MAY’ shows up several times in the article.
    In short this article is a sadly typical piece of journalism written more to create an emotional response than to inform.
    My take away is that it will be wise to invest in energy generating technology that reduces NO2 emissions; nuclear anyone?

  24. Try a rocket mass heater. No smoke, massively efficient and will keep your house warm for a couple of days instead of hours. You will also burn 1/5th to 1/10th of the wood.

  25. Here in Germany they promote climate friendly heating methods, like burning wood and wood pellets. The stench is horrible. You can’t open the windows after showering because within a few minutes you have a smoked bathroom. I’m quite sure that the burning of heating oil through modern heating systems is less harmful and produces less pollutants than burning wood in furnaces.

  26. So does water pollution, chemical pollution from chemicals in cosmetics, plastics, processed food, pesticide, emotional stress due to modern social life style etc. etc. etc. We did not even create the proper matrix to measure the effect of modern live on our body. It is only understood by holistic medicine practitioners on the margin. We have an array of disease that almost did not exist till few centuries ago and it is not only because we live longer. Actually our life span has reached a peak recently although our medicine continue to advance. Most of us are fool enough to believe that we will continue to live longer with new medicine to tackle even more disease instead of recreating the conditions where our body function properly. And we have created a medical orthodoxy that have served us for a while and completely don’t acknowledge the circumstances we are in now focusing instead on creating medicine based on simplified understanding of disease although there is a lot of research already done to change direction. I am not going to bring any evidence for that, not going to write a PHD here, whoever is interested can find it online. It is all over the internet, it is in fact a common knowledge.

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