Reply To: Airborne particulates in Hong Kong – health risks


A briefing prepared for the World Bank notes:

The PM damage to lung defenses manifests itself in the form of health effects such as acute respiratory infection (both upper and lower respiratory tract infections), chronic obstructive lung disease (especially bronchitis), asthma attacks, cardiovascular disease, and lung cancer. Further, recent research has increasingly shown that particles can also affect other parts of the body, including the nervous system, by physically moving out of the airways and into the blood stream [4]. Thus particle deposition in airways can set off a chain of events, potentially affecting parts of the body other than just the respiratory tract.

As can be expected, the changes in the body are likely to be more severe in cases where the body’s defenses are already weak or previously damaged. Hence, certain population subgroups, such as the elderly, children, and individuals with existing respiratory or cardiovascular diseases, are at increased risk from exposure to PM.

pdf file: The Science of Health Impacts of Particulate Matter [which was] available from South Asia Urban Air Quality Management – Improving health for all urban populations, begins:

South Asian cities record some of the highest levels of outdoor particulate pollution worldwide. Scientific research over the last two decades has demonstrated that particulate matter is the major pollutant of concern from the health perspective. Current research is focusing on questions relating to particulate matter characteristics such as size, number, and composition, and the mechanisms by which it causes health impacts. This briefing note presents the current understanding of the answers to those questions.

Post edited by: Martin, at: 2006/10/31 21:10