Air pollution is the human introduction into the atmosphere of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause

harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or damages the environment.[1] Air pollution causes deaths[2] and respiratory disease.[3] Air pollution is often identified with major stationary sources, but the greatest source of emissions is mobile sources, mainly automobiles.[4] Gases such as carbon dioxide, which contribute to global warming, have recently gained recognition as pollutants by climate scientists, while they also recognize that carbon dioxide is essential for plant life through photosynthesis. The atmosphere is a complex, dynamic natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on planet Earth. Stratospheric ozone depletion due to air pollution has long been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to the Earth's ecosystems. Sulfur dioxide (also sulphur dioxide) is the chemical compound with the formula SO2. SO2 is produced by volcanoes and in various industrial processes. Since coal and petroleum often contain sulfur compounds, their combustion generates sulfur dioxide. Further oxidation of SO2, usually in the presence of a catalyst such as NO2, forms H2SO4, and thus acid rain.[2] This is one of the causes for concern over the environmental impact of the use of these fuels as power sources.

Threats to Health
Sulfur dioxide acts as an acid. Inhalation results in labored breathing, coughing, and/or a sore throat and may cause permanent pulmonary damage. When mixed with water and contacted by skin, frostbite may occur. When it makes contact with eyes, redness and paiLung cancer is a disease of uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This growth may lead to metastasis, invasion of adjacent tissue and infiltration beyond the lungs. The vast majority of primary lung cancers are carcinomas of the lung, derived from epithelial cells. Lung cancer, the most common cause of cancer-related death in men and the second most common in women,[1][2] is responsible for 1.3 million deaths worldwide annually.[3] The most common symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing (including coughing up blood), and weight loss.[4] The main types of lung cancer are small cell lung carcinoma and non-small cell lung carcinoma. This distinction is important because the treatment varies; non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is sometimes treated with surgery, while small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) usually responds better to chemotherapy and radiation.[5] The most common cause of lung cancer is long term exposure to tobacco smoke.[6] The occurrence of lung cancer in non-smokers, who account for as many as 20% of cases, is often attributed to a combination of genetic factors,[7][8] radon gas,[9] asbestos,[10] and air pollution,[11][12][13] including second-hand smoke.[14][15] Lung cancer may be seen on chest x-ray and computed tomography (CT scan). The diagnosis is confirmed with a biopsy. This is usually performed via bronchoscopy or CTguided biopsy. Treatment and prognosis depend upon the histological type of cancer, the stage (degree of spread), and the patient's performance status. Possible treatments include

surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. With treatment, the five-year survival rate is 14%.[4] n will occur.[11] There are both natural and human sources of atmospheric particulates. The biggest natural sources are dust, volcanoes, and forest fires. Sea spray is also a large source of particles though most of these fall back to the ocean close to where they were emitted. The biggest human sources of particles are combustion sources, mainly the burning of fuels in internal combustion engines in automobiles and power plants, and wind blown dust from construction sites and other land areas where the water or vegetation has been removed. Some of these particles are emitted directly to the atmosphere (primary emissions) and some are emitted as gases and form particles in the atmosphere (secondary em

The effects of inhaling particulate matter has been widely studied in humans and animals and include asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular issues, and premature death. The size of the particle is a main determinant of where in the respiratory tract the particle will come to rest when inhaled. Larger particles are generally filtered in the nose and throat and do not cause problems, but particulate matter smaller than about 10 micrometres, referred to as PM10, can settle in the bronchi and lungs and cause health problems. The 10 micrometer size does not represent a strict boundary between respirable and nonrespirable particles, but has been agreed upon for monitoring of airborne particulate matter by most regulatory agencies. Similarly, particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres, PM2.5, tend to penetrate into the gas-exchange regions of the lung, and very small particles (< 100 nanometers) may pass through the lungs to affect other organs. In particular, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that PM2.5 leads to high plaque deposits in arteries, causing vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis — a hardening of the arteries that reduces elasticity, which can lead to heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems [3]. Researchers suggest that even shortterm exposure at elevated concentrations could significantly contribute to heart disease. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have conducted the largest nationwide study on the acute health effects of coarse particle pollution. Coarse particles are airborne pollutants that fall between 2.5 and 10 micrometres in diameter. [4] The study, published in the May 14, 2008, edition of JAMA, found evidence of an association with hospital admissions for cardiovascular diseases but no evidence of an association with the number of hospital admissions for respiratory diseases. After taking into account fine particle levels, the association with coarse particles remained but was no longer statistically significant. The smallest particles, less than 100 nanometers (nanoparticles), may be even more damaging to the cardiovascular system.[5] There is evidence that particles smaller than 100 nanometres can pass through cell membranes and migrate into other organs,

including the brain. It has been suggested that particulate matter can cause similar brain damage as that found in Alzheimer patients. Particles emitted from modern diesel engines (commonly referred to as Diesel Particulate Matter, or DPM) are typically in the size range of 100 nanometres (0.1 micrometres). In addition, these soot particles also carry carcinogenic components like benzopyrenes adsorbed on their surface. It is becoming increasingly clear that the legislative limits for engines, which are in terms of emitted mass, are not a proper measure of the health hazard. One particle of 10 µm diameter has approximately the same mass as 1 million particles of 100 nm diameter, but it is clearly much less hazardous, as it probably never enters the human body - and if it does, it is quickly removed. Proposals for new regulations exist in some countries, with suggestions to limit the particle surface area or the particle number. The large number of deaths and other health problems associated with particulate pollution was first demonstrated in the early 1970s [6] and has been reproduced many times since. PM pollution is estimated to cause 22,000-52,000 deaths per year in the United States (from 2000) [7] and 200,000 deaths per year in Europe.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful