What Do Scientists Say?

"Particulate matter and ozone have both been found to be associated with admissions for pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease." (Schwartz, Joel. (1994). Air Pollution and Hospital Admissions for the Elderly in Birmingham, Alabama. American Journal of Epidemiology, 139, 589-598.)

"The risks associated with ozone and other air pollutants are especially increased for children and adults with asthma, however, children with no underlying pulmonary diseases also are at risk for adverse health effects associated with these pollutants." (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Children at Risk from Ozone Air Pollution--United States, 1991-1993, April 28, 1995, Vol. 44(16), 309.)

"Studies in the U.S., along with similar research in locations ranging from Brazil to Germany, consistently link higher levels of particulates to increased risks of respiratory-, cardiovascular-, and cancer-related deaths, as well as pneumonia, lung function loss, hospital admissions, asthma, and other respiratory problems. Individuals with existing respiratory conditions appear to be most vulnerable, but the data also show significantly higher death rates for the general population in areas with high levels of particulate matter in the air." (Reichhardt, Tony. (1995). Weighing the Health Risks of Airborne Particulates. Environmental Science and Technology, 29(8), 360-364.)

Impact on Health

  Our Amazing Lungs

  Who's Most at Risk?

  What Happens When We Breathe?

  The Nitty Gritty on the 6 Most Harmful Pollutants

  Air Pollution Allerts

  What the Scientists Say

Impact on Environment

Impact on Economy 

"Researchers also found that mixtures of PM2.5 and ozone are more toxic than either pollutant is separately, suggesting that control of one pollutant alone may not be sufficient to protect human health. Data suggest that long-term exposure to these (ozone and particulates) may have a greater effect on human life expectancy than short-term exposure during peak episodes." (Environmental Science and Technology/News, 1996, Vol.30(9), 382.)

"Epidemiological studies have consistently shown an association between particulate air pollution and not only exacerbations of illness in people with respiratory disease but also rises in the number of deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease among older people." (Seaton, A., et al. (1995). Particulate Air Pollution and Acute Health Effects. Lancet, 345:176-178.)

"In any active individual, high ozone levels can cause restrictive lung dysfunction, and high carbon monoxide levels can impair oxygen delivery. Sulfur dioxide worsens nasal symptoms in people who have allergies and causes bronchospasms in those who have asthma. Airway irritation from fine particulates can lead to bronchospasm. SO2, O3, NO2 and fine particulates are respiratory irritants that can cause bronchospasms; epithelial injury; or an increase in airway reactivity, mucous production, or the frequency or severity of respiratory illnesses." (Gong, H. and Krishnareddy, S. (1995). How Pollution and Airborne Allergens Affect Exercise, The Physician and Sports Medicine, 23(7), 35-42.)

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