Reply To: Airborne particulates in Hong Kong – health risks


From US Environmental Protection Agency site:

Batteries of scientific studies have linked particulate matter, especially fine particles (alone or in combination with other air pollutants), with a series of significant health problems, including: Premature death; Respiratory related hospital admissions and emergency room visits; Aggravated asthma; Acute respiratory symptoms, including aggravated coughing and difficult or painful breathing; Chronic bronchitis; Decreased lung function that can be experienced as shortness of breath; and Work and school absences.


Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources notes:

Some of the smallest particles, called respirable particulates, lodge in the lung capillaries and alveoli, causing the following effects: Slowing down the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood, causing shortness of breath. Straining the heart, because it must work harder to compensate for oxygen loss. The people most sensitive to these conditions include those with heart problems, or respiratory diseases like emphysema, bronchitis and asthma. The elderly and children are also very sensitive. The adverse health effects from particulate matter exposure are often not immediately noticed. Particulates can accumulate in the lungs after repeated, long-term exposure causing respiratory distress and other health problems.

Particle Pollution: Total Suspended Particulates

from Ontario Ministry of the Environment:

The greatest effect on health is from particles 2.5 microns or less in diameter. Exposure to fine particulate matter has been associated with hospital admissions and several serious health effects, including premature death. People with asthma, cardiovascular or lung disease, as well as children and elderly people, are considered to be the most sensitive to the effects of fine particulate matter. Adverse health effects have been associated with exposure to PM2.5 over both short periods (such as a day) and longer periods (a year or more). Fine particulate matter is also responsible for environmental effects such as corrosion, soiling, damage to vegetation and reduced visibility.

Fine Particulate Matter

Post edited by: Martin, at: 2006/10/31 17:43