The effects on human health due to poor air quality mainly involve the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system. Individual reactions to air pollution depend on the type of pollutant a person is exposed to, the degree of exposure, the individual's health and genetics.
Indoor air pollution and poor urban air quality are listed as two of the worst toxic pollution problems in the world in the 2008 report. Outdoor air pollution causes 2.1 to 4.21 million deaths every year. Overall, air pollution causes the deaths of approximately 7 million people worldwide each year and is the single largest environmental health risk in the world.
The negative effects of carbon monoxide on human health are related to the ability of CO to join blood hemoglobin to form carboxyhemoglobin (COHb). In this way the CO occupies the place normally occupied by oxygen, so as to reduce the ability of the blood to transport oxygen and consequently the amount of oxygen that the blood leaves in the tissues.
Furthermore, there is the possibility that CO joins with some compounds present in the tissues themselves, reducing their ability to absorb and use oxygen. Urban Air Pollution and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Adolescents and Young Adults, research published on the The Journal of adolescent health: official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, explained: "The contribution of air pollution to subclinical atherosclerosis in a young population remains limited.
This study aimed to assess whether long-term exposure to urban air pollutants increases carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) in adolescents and young adults. This study included 789 subjects between the ages of 12 and 30 years who lived in the Taipei metropolis from a cohort of young Taiwanese individuals.
Residential addresses were geocoded, and annual average concentrations of particulate matter (PM) of different diameters, e.g., PM10, PM2.5-10, PM2.5, and nitrogen oxides (NOX), were assessed using land use regression models.
The generalized least squares strategy with error term to consider the cluster effect of living addresses between individuals was used to examine the associations between urban air pollution and CIMTs. After adjusting for potential confounders, we found that interquartile range increases in PM2.5 (8.2 μg / m3) and NOX (17.5 μg / m3) were associated with 0.46% (95% CI: 0.02-0.90) and 1.00% (95% CI: 0.10-1.91) higher CIMTs, respectively.
Stratified analyzes showed that the relationships between CIMT and PM2.5 and NOX were more evident in subjects who were 18 years or older, female, nonsmoking, nonhypertensive, and nonhyperglycemic than in their respective counterparts.
Long-term exposure to PM2.5 and NOX is associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in a young population. Age, sex, and health status may influence the vulnerability of air pollution-associated subclinical atherosclerosis."