Smog health effects
These include fatal heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks, and cost billions of dollars.
When there's more smog in the air, there are more fatal heart attacks and strokes.
A new study has identified a primary metabolic pathway that can start these fatal reactions.
Tiny particles in smog from diesel and coal burning, among others, are called particulate matter air pollution.
When inhaled, these tiny particles inflame the lungs.
The inflamed lungs secrete interleukin-6 which causes blood clots in vulnerable people, leading to fatal heart attacks or strokes.
Researchers at Northwestern University exposed mice to particulate smog pollution and found a 15-fold increase in the secretion of interleukin-6 within 24 hours (Mutlu GM, Journal Clinical Investigation, 2007).
Green tea may help
Several studies have shown that green tea reduces interleukin-6 reactions.
One study showed that mice given EGCG, the primary polyphenol catechin from green tea, had less interleukin-6 production, and less heart damage (Aneja R, Molecular Medicine, 2004).
Research also shows tea can prevent up to 75% of strokes.
Do you live in a large city?
Most large cities have substantial levels of particulate smog.
The air near roads can also be high in particulate matter air pollution. Staying indoors helps reduce exposure to smog health effects.
Los Angeles research shows that clean air doesn't cost, it saves.
A recent study of Southern California (Los Angeles Basin) air pollution concluded that man-made ozone and particulates cost the local economy $28 billion every year.
The researchers from California State University at Fullerton found that most of the costs are related to smog-related deaths, hospitalizations, emergency room visits for increased asthma attacks, and loss of work or school absences.
Sources of the smog may include diesel trucks and factories. While preventing pollutants from entering the air may be expensive, in the long run, it could provide economic relief for many communities facing recession.
Los Angeles, California usually ties with Houston, Texas for the worst air pollution in the United States.
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This page last updated by Sharon Jones on September 26, 2012
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