Expose yourself no more

Most residents of European cities are exposed to levels of air pollutants considered by the World Health Organization to be dangerous.

These are micro particles, nitrogen dioxide and ozone that are low on the ground. Of these pollutants, microparticles are the main source of diseases and premature deaths in Europe. These particles penetrate the nasal cavity and some of them into the pulmonary tissue and bloodstream.

Experts estimate that in 2012, 432,000 people died prematurely due to their long-term exposure to microparticles, while the life expectancy of every European citizen is reduced by 38 days.

According to studies, air pollution favors the emergence of serious diseases such as heart disease, respiratory problems and cancer. Previous studies have suggested that people with heart failure are mainly those affected by air pollution, especially during peak hours, but recent studies have focused more on cardiac arrhythmias and pulmonary embolism.

Particularly sensitive are people – especially children living on narrow streets with great traffic. Allergic bronchial asthma – and, in general, lung diseases – is the one that primarily affects these children.

Also, asthma sufferers exposed to vehicle pollutants and smoke from fireplaces and wood-bumps may experience significant worsening of their symptoms.

Other studies have pointed out that all types of air pollutants, with the exception of ozone, are associated with an increased risk of stroke and that as the pollution increases, the brains increase.

In particular, imports into hospitals with a stroke and mortality from it increased in proportion to the concentrations of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and concentrations of microscopic suspended particles.

In densely populated areas, where the biofuel companies have no future there, the main source of air pollutants is the car exhaust. However, every European country has its own particularities of the causes of pollution. For example, in Poland the air is contaminated by the coal industry, in Denmark people burn wood for heating, increasing pollutants, while in Germany the problem is mainly found in transport. However, all surveys conclude that 90% of the inhabitants of European cities are exposed to a quantity of pollutants that the World Health Organization considers to be harmful to human health. These are gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen and suspended particles.

However, in recent years there has been enough to clean the air. So emissions of specific particulate matter have dropped across Europe by 15%. But the problem is that pollution remains, we just do not see it, experts say. For example, new diesel cars are equipped with particle filters and most of them are no longer emitted into the atmosphere, but some tiny particles still pollute the atmosphere.

The effects on health from gaseous pollution are based on data from two types of research: epidemiological studies and toxicological studies. Epidemiological studies deal with the effects of pollution on the human population as well as on their health. Toxicological studies are complementary in the sense that they toxicologically investigate substances under controlled conditions, thus enabling us to quickly and positively conclude on the cause of the pollution. In addition, toxicological studies help to better design epidemiological studies. These two types of research provide data to form a proper opinion on the effects of various pollutants on human health.

Apart from the known pollutants, there are also additional sources of pollution, workplace air, house heating or cooking vapors, and cigarette smoke in particular, significantly impede epidemiological studies on gaseous pollutants. These sources give a “personal” pollution of inhaled air containing high concentrations of carbon monoxide and polycyclic aromatic compounds such as e.g. benzopyrenes.

In particular, smoking has shown that, in addition to smokers and non-smokers, they are exposed to high levels of smoke pollution by smokers, especially indoors. It is known that high concentrations of carbon monoxide found in rooms filled with cigarette smoke exceed the permissible limits for carbon monoxide causing severe headaches.