Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Air pollution still causing health problems in Europe

07.10.2005


Air quality has improved in most European countries over the last few decades. Yet, even at current levels, air pollution may aggravate respiratory diseases, shorten life expectancy by up to several months, and possibly increase infant mortality in highly polluted areas.



In October 2005 the World Health Organization (WHO) will reconsider current air quality guidelines. Does the latest research warrant new standards to better protect our health? To answer this key question, WHO experts closely examined three air pollutants that are known to be harmful: particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone.

GreenFacts now provides non specialists with easy access to these recent scientific findings at www.greenfacts.org/air-pollution/, in a reader-friendly structure.


Particulate matter: small is harmful

Air can be contaminated by a range of very different particles such as dust, pollen, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets. Many of them can harm our health, especially smaller particles that may enter deeper into the lungs. Particularly vulnerable people, such as children or asthmatics, may be affected even at very low levels.

Nitrogen dioxide: mainly traffic related

In Europe, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollutes the air mainly as a result of road traffic and energy production. People living near busy roads are thus particularly affected. Apart from giving rise to acid rain and other air pollutants, current levels of NO2 can increase respiratory problems, particularly in children.

Ground level ozone: the effect of the sun

Unlike the ozone layer which shields us from UV rays, ground level ozone is considered an air pollutant. It becomes particularly prevalent on sunny summer days when other pollutants react under the action of sunlight. Exposure to ozone mainly affects the lungs, but it can also affect the eyes, and worsen respiratory allergies.

The combined effects of different urban air pollutants remain uncertain. However, recent research regarding human health impacts of particulates, ozone and nitrogen oxide suggests a need to further reduce pollution levels in Europe’s atmosphere.

Manuel Carmona Yebra | alfa
Further information:
http://www.greenfacts.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
23.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Understanding animal social networks can aid wildlife conservation
23.06.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>