Health Effects of Air Pollution

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Health Effects of Air Pollution
Air pollution could affect the climate, the environment, and human health. Among these areas, the health is the main focus of this (Thomson Scientific, 2005).
Polluted air may contain one or more hazardous substances that affect human health. The term of measurement for this is ``particulate matter'' or the number of particles of potentially hazardous substances as percentage of air. This includes a wide range of pollutants. Examples of particulate matter includes road dust, diesel soot, fly ash, wood smoke, nitrates in fertilizers, sulfate aerosols, lead, and arsenic to name a few. The suggested Federal limit of an ``average'' of 50 micrograms of ``particulate matter'' per cubic foot of air in one year period is considered poor air quality {Gore, 2005).

Health effects of air pollution could be short-term or long-term. Effects will depend on the individual's sensitivity. When it comes to the extent of harm, it usually depends on the chemicals. Short-term effects may include simple symptoms such as headaches, nausea and allergic reactions. These symptoms could lead to irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. There are also severe cases which could lead to upper respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis. It may be short-term but the effects are severe and will need more medical attention. Air pollutants also have long-term effects which include lung cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and heart disease. These effects could even damage the brain, nerves, liver or kidneys. According to the National Resources Defense Council, some 64,000 people in the USA may be dying prematurely each year from cardiopulmonary causes linked to air pollution (Gore, 2005). The most affected people were the children, and the elderly. In addition, people with health problems such as asthma, hearth disease also suffer more when air is polluted. In 1995 study by the American Cancer Society and...
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