21 June 2011 27 Comments

Link b/w uncontrolled asthma and air pollution exposure

Upon reading the title you might be thinking, “Well duh!” But not so. Actually there has been a lot of debate as to what exactly causes asthma and what makes it worse. Sure, there are statistics all over the place showing that people in urban, city areas, where cars, trucks, factories are located, are more likely to have asthma than those who do not live in the urban jungel; but still researchers and scientiests don’t know exactly if the two are connected.

A study, by Christian Nordqvist, that was published just yesterday on the Medical News Today Website from the Journal of Epidemilogy and Community Health clearly showed the correlations between poorer asthma control and exposure to ozone and particulate matter. The study found that long-term exposure to ozone exposure raises a asthma patient’s liklihood to have uncontrolled asthma by 69%, and that long-term exposure to particulare matter raises the risk by 35%. Wow! 

Previous studies did demonstrate a connection between air pollution and respiratory symptoms, increased hospitalizations, and increased use of prescription drugs- however this is the first study to examine the impact of long-term air pollution on asthma control.

The scientists calculated of O3 (Ozone), NO2 (Nitrous Oxide) and PM10 (Particulate matter) that each individual was exposed to where they lived. They measured asthma control according to information taken on symptoms, asthma attacks, and lung function tests. Both ozone and particulate matter strongly influenced poorer asthma control. Women and older people were more likely to experience poorly controlled asthma.

The researchers concluded, “Our results indicate that both ambient O3 and PM10 concentrations jeopardize asthma control in adults. The results are robust.”

This study means a lot to us because we have written one blog post after another about the air and pollution issues in the East Bay Area and Bayview Hunters Point. Environmental Justice is a huge issue here.

How does this article make you feel? Is there anything we can do?

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