August 2019

Air Pollution Exposure Is Similar to Smoking Cigarettes

A new report in JAMA says being around high levels of air pollutants for long periods of time could cause the lung condition emphysema. Specifically, researchers say development may be as quickly as getting emphysema from smoking a pack of cigarettes daily. For the extensive decade-long study, the health of 7,000 human subjects was analyzed in six U.S. cities. The ages of all the subjects, whose health conditions were normal at the start of the report, ranged from 45 to 84 years old. Researchers then used CT scans to discover the connections between air pollutants and emphysema development. The report adds that exposure to one such pollutant, ground-level ozone, showed the strongest connection to those with worsening lungs. Dr. R. Graham Barr, via CNN Study co-author Dr. Joel Kaufman says the biggest surprise of the report is that air pollution is on the same level as cigarette smoke in terms of harm to our health. Dr. Joel Kaufman, via CNN