There's already a thread here in Pollution forum - Airborne particulates in Hong Kong - health risks. But, especially as Hong Kong Government doesn't seem to want to acknowledge that Dirty Air is Dangerous Air, perhaps useful for another thread, inc on health risks from air pollutants in general, and pollutants other than particulates.
Starting with news report saying that even before they're born, kids may suffer increased risk of asthma because of air pollution. From BBC:
Traffic pollution causes genetic changes in the womb which increase a child's risk of developing asthma, research suggests.
A study of umbilical cord blood from 56 children found "reprogramming" of a gene associated with exposure to compounds in traffic fumes.
The gene was associated with asthma symptoms at age five, the researchers reported in the PLoS ONE journal.
"Our data support the concept that environmental exposures can interact with genes during key developmental periods to trigger disease onset later in life, and that tissues are being reprogrammed to become abnormal later," said Dr Shuk-mei Ho, study leader and director of the Center for Environmental Genetics at the University of Cincinnati.
She said detecting early signs of asthma could help prevent the disease than can affect as many as 25% of children in areas with high levels of traffic pollution.
Dr Elaine Vickers, research relations manager at Asthma UK, said: 'We don't yet know whether air pollution can actually cause asthma and although this study is very interesting, further research is needed before we can say for sure.
"We do know however that pollution triggers symptoms in two thirds of people with asthma, and many say that a reduction in air pollution would make the single biggest difference to their quality of life."