Σύμφωνα με τις εκτιμήσεις του Παγκόσμιου Οργανισμού Υγείας, 2.4 εκατομμύρια άνθρωποι πεθαίνουν κάθε έτος από νοσήματα τα οποία άμεσα ή έμμεσα συσχετίζονται με την ατμοσφαιρική ρύπανση.
Πρόσφατα δημοσιεύθηκαν στην περιοδική έκδοση «Respirology», τεύχη Φεβρουαρίου και Οκτωβρίου 2012, δύο άρθρα ανασκόπησης με θέμα την επίδραση της ατμοσφαιρικής ρύπανσης στον αναπνευστικό σύστημα.
Η πρόσβαση στην ύλη των άρθρων που θα βρείτε παρακάτω είναι ελεύθερη από την ιστοσελίδα του εκδότη τους.
Sierra-Vargas MP, Teran LM.
Air pollution: Impact and prevention.
Respirology. 2012 Oct;17(7):1031-8.
Air pollution is becoming a major health problem that affects millions of people worldwide. In support of this observation, the World Health Organization estimates that every year, 2.4 million people die because of the effects of air pollution on health. Mitigation strategies such as changes in diesel engine technology could result in fewer premature mortalities, as suggested by the US Environmental Protection Agency. This review: (i) discusses the impact of air pollution on respiratory disease; (ii) provides evidence that reducing air pollution may have a positive impact on the prevention of disease; and (iii) demonstrates the impact concerted polices may have on population health when governments take actions to reduce air pollution.
Ristovski ZD, Miljevic B, Surawski NC, Morawska L, Fong KM, Goh F, Yang IA.
Respiratory health effects of diesel particulate matter.
Respirology. 2012 Feb;17(2):201-12.
Particulate matter (PM) emissions involve a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles suspended in a gas, where it is noted that PM emissions from diesel engines are a major contributor to the ambient air pollution problem. While epidemiological studies have shown a link between increased ambient PM emissions and respiratory morbidity and mortality, studies of this design are not able to identify the PM constituents responsible for driving adverse respiratory health effects. This review explores in detail the physico-chemical properties of diesel PM (DPM) and identifies the constituents of this pollution source that are responsible for the development of respiratory disease. In particular, this review shows that the DPM surface area and adsorbed organic compounds play a significant role in manifesting chemical and cellular processes that if sustained can lead to the development of adverse respiratory health effects. The mechanisms of injury involved included inflammation, innate and acquired immunity, and oxidative stress. Understanding the mechanisms of lung injury from DPM will enhance efforts to protect at-risk individuals from the harmful respiratory effects of air pollutants.
The Authors. Respirology © Asian Pacific Society of Respirology.
Να υπενθυμίσουμε δύο παλαιότερες ανασκοπήσεις οι οποίες δημοσιεύθηκαν στο «Journal of Ιnvestigational Αllergology and Clinical Immunology» με θέμα την επίδραση της ατμοσφαιρικής ρύπανσης ειδικά στα αλλεργικά αναπνευστικά νοσήματα :
D’Amato G, Cecchi L, D’Amato M, Liccardi G.
Urban air pollution and climate change as environmental risk factors of respiratory allergy: an update.
J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2010;20(2):95-102.
The incidence of allergic respiratory diseases and bronchial asthma appears to be increasing worldwide, and people living in urban areas more frequently experience these conditions than those living in rural areas. One of the several causes of the rise in morbidity associated with allergic respiratory diseases is the increased presence of outdoor air pollutants resulting from more intense energy consumption and exhaust emissions from cars and other vehicles. Urban air pollution is now a serious public health hazard.
Laboratory studies confirm epidemiologic evidence that air pollution adversely affects lung function in asthmatics. Damage to airway mucous membranes and impaired mucociliary clearance caused by air pollution may facilitate access of inhaled allergens to the cells of the immune system, thus promoting sensitization of the airway. Consequently, a more severe immunoglobulin (Ig) E-mediated response to aeroallergens and airway inflammation could account for increasing prevalence of allergic respiratory diseases in polluted urban areas.
The most abundant components of urban air pollution in urban areas with high levels of vehicle traffic are airborne particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone. In addition, the earth’s temperature is increasing, mainly as a result of anthropogenic factors (e.g., fossil fuel combustion and greenhouse gas emissions from energy supply, transport, industry, and agriculture), and climate change alters the concentration and distribution of air pollutants and interferes with the seasonal presence of allergenic pollens in the atmosphere by prolonging these periods.
Bartra J, Mullol J, del Cuvillo A, Dávila I, Ferrer M, Jáuregui I, Montoro J, Sastre J, Valero A.
Air pollution and allergens.
J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2007;17 Suppl 2:3-8.
It is well known that the prevalence of allergic diseases has increased in recent decades in the industrialized world. Exposure to environmental pollutants may partially account for this increased prevalence. In effect, air pollution is a growing public health problem. In Europe, the main source of air pollution due to particles in suspension is represented by motor vehicles–particularly those that use diesel fuel.
Diesel exhaust particles (DEPs) are composed of a carbon core upon which high-molecular weight organic chemical components and heavy metals deposit. Over 80% of all DEPs are in the ultrafine particle range (< 0.1 pm in diameter). Air pollutants not only have a direct or indirect effect upon the individual, but also exert important actions upon aeroallergens. Pollen in heavily polluted zones can express a larger amount of proteins described as being allergenic.
Through physical contact with the pollen particles, DEPs can disrupt the former, leading to the release of paucimicronic particles and transporting them by air–thus facilitating their penetration of the human airways. Climate change in part gives rise to variations in the temperature pattern characterizing the different seasons of the year. Thus, plants may vary their pollination calendar, advancing and prolonging their pollination period. In addition, in the presence of high CO2 concentrations and temperatures, plants increase their pollen output.
Climate change may also lead to the extinction of species, and to the consolidation of non-native species–with the subsequent risk of allergic sensitization among the exposed human population. In conclusion, there is sufficient scientific evidence on the effect of air pollution upon allergens, increasing exposure to the latter, their concentration and/or biological allergenic activity.
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