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Health effects of air pollution - Essay Example

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Emissions from industries, automobiles and tobacco smoke are some of the major outdoor air pollutants, released in form of noxious gases, aerosols, particulate matter, and smoke in the…
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Health effects of air pollution
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Download file to see previous pages Inhalation of air pollutants causes distress to the respiratory system, which lead to development of chronic respiratory infections, and aggravation of ailments affecting the system. The air pollutants cause respiratory problems in various ways including blocking the air pathways after being deposited in the lungs, irritation and inflammation of the respiratory tract resulting to production of mucus and coughing. These effects increase the vulnerability of the affected person to developing infections of the respiratory system.
Numerous medical research studies on the effect of air pollution on children indicate that their health is more prone to the emissions than adults are (WHO, 2005). Polluted air causes adverse effects to the growth and development of both unborn and born children. Several factors contribute to the increased vulnerability of children’s health to air pollution. These include the continuing growth and development process of the lungs, incomplete metabolic systems and undeveloped immune systems that makes them susceptible to respiratory infections (WHO, 2005). These factors could lead to higher exposure of the children to air pollutants and increase the toxicity of the substances once they enter into the respiratory system. According to WHO (2005, p18) the effectiveness of the detoxification system in children improves with time, during prenatal and postnatal period. Hence, children at prenatal stage are most susceptible to air pollution because the lungs and the respiratory system are at critical stage of growth and development. When the developing lungs are exposed to air pollution, their optimal functional ability reduces and the abnormality continues to adulthood, causing reduced functional reserve of the lungs (WHO, 2005). Reduced functional reserve in adulthood increases the vulnerability of infections due to ageing and exposure to other pollutants, such as smoking and work related exposures (WHO, 2005, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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