Source: Industry Today
New research published in the most recent editions of The Lancet and The Lancet Oncology journals has once again underscored the negative health effects of long-term and short-term exposure to air pollution, especially pollutants from traffic exhaust fumes in urban environments. Two studies link air pollution to a higher risk of lung cancer and now even heart failure.

The first study, covering nine European countries, states that air pollution increases the risk of lung cancer even at levels lower than those recommended by the European Union, which are currently 25 micrograms per cubic metre of air for PM2.5 particles and 40 micrograms per m3 for PM10. It looked at the effect of long-term exposure to nitrogen oxides and PM2.5 and PM10 particulate matter. The researchers found that for every increase of five micrograms per cubic metre of PM2.5 pollution, the risk of lung cancer rose by 18%. For every increase of 10 micrograms per cubic metre in PM10 pollution, the risk increased by 22%.

The second study concluded that air pollution was harmful for people with failing hearts. The research looked at 35 studies with data on thousands of heart patients in 12 countries, including the U.K., the U.S. and China. While air pollution has been linked to heart attacks, the new research now ties it to heart failure - a potential consequence of heart attacks.

The study assessed the link between daily increases in pollutants with increased heart failure, including hospitalization and heart failure mortality. It particularly focused on the effects of exposure to carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and PM2.5 and PM10 particulate pollution.

The review found that people with already weakened hearts, who are exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate air pollution from vehicular exhaust fumes, are more susceptible to heart failure. These pollutants are particularly harmful, as they tend to penetrate the lungs deeply and enter the bloodstream.

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