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Exposure and Health Effects of Air Pollution - Coursework Example

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"Exposure and Health Effects of Air Pollution" paper states that in order to fully understand the health effect caused by air pollution, a regional ecological study focusing on the spatial association among air quality levels, health effects, and SES is needed.  …
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Exposure and Health Effects of Air Pollution
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Download file to see previous pages Although the monitoring has helped to identify the potential unhealthy levels of air quality at specific areas, and the air quality, in general, has been improved for the past few years, air quality in some areas (such as Houston) fails to meet the Clean Air Act goal (Heidi et al., 2 - 20). More importantly, there were very few public agencies and academic institutions tracking environmental health effects caused by air pollution on a regional scale. This lack of regional-scale environmental health monitoring and studies has raised the concern and awareness of both regional municipal administrations and the general public in recent years. A fundamental assessment of air pollution and related adverse health effects is needed.

Air pollution is a complex mixture of particles and gases that can vary in composition depending on geographic location, season, and time of day. In urban settings, it consists primarily of particulate matter derived from motor vehicle and industrial emissions, primary gaseous pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and the secondary pollutants nitrogen dioxide and ozone (Pope, III and Dockery 709 - 710). Respirable particles are generally classified by aerodynamic diameter and fall into three main modes: a nucleation mode (smaller than 0.1 μm); an accumulation mode (between 0.1 μm and 1 μm); and a coarse model (larger than 1 μm) (Pope, III, and Dockery 709 - 742). Current regulations of particulate matter set limits for the allowable mass of particles per cubic meter below a certain aerodynamic diameter. Hence, a limit for PM10 refers to particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters less than 10 μm, The larger particles account for the greatest proportion of ambient particle mass; however, fine and ultrafine particles are present in much higher numbers and present a greater total surface area per unit of mass to carry reactive co-pollutants and interact with cellular targets. Particle size will determine the probability of deposition in different regions of the airways and may impact on clearance dynamics and physiologic responses.   ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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