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Does Air Pollution Affect Asthma

How Does Air Pollution Affect Africa

Does Air Pollution Cause Asthma?

Air Pollution in Africa: Facts

A report by UNICEF notes that deaths from outdoor air pollution in Africa have increased by 57% in less than three decades, from 164,000 in 1990 to 258,000 in 2017, resulting in a GDP loss of over $215bn annually. The pollution has also cut short the lives of children by 24 months.

Search Strategy And Selection Criteria

We searched Pubmed from Jan 1, 2009, to Feb 28, 2014, with the search terms âAsthmaâ and any of the following specific terms: âAir Pollutionâ, âParticulate Matterâ, âPM2·5â, âPM10â, âOzoneâ, âO3â, âSulfur Dioxideâ, âSulfur Oxidesâ, âSO2â, âSOxâ, âNitrogen Dioxideâ, âNitrogen Oxidesâ, âNO2â, âNOxâ, âTrafficâ, âDieselâ, âElemental Carbonâ, or âBlack Carbonâ. We searched the reference lists of recent reports and review articles produced with this search strategy to include relevant publications older than 5 years. Additionally, we included frequently referenced older publications with a high impact based on our knowledge of the subject area, particularly when more recent publications on the same subject were not available.

Asthma And Air Pollution




  • Lung cancer
  • Early death

Forms when pollutants from cars and trucks, power plants, factories, and other sources come in contact with each other in heat and sunlight. Factors such as weather conditions and intensity of sunlight also play a part in how ozone is formed. Ground-level ozone is one of the biggest parts of smog, and it is usually worse in the summer months.

People with heart or lung disease, infants, children with asthma or who spend a lot of time outdoors, older adults, and active people of all ages who exercise or work hard outdoors.

  • Check the daily air quality forecast via newspaper, TV, radio, or online at to learn when particle levels are unhealthy
  • Reduce the amount of time outside when pollution is high
  • Plan outdoor activities when ozone levels are lower, usually in the morning and evening
  • Exercise away from roads and highways. Particle pollution is usually worse near these areas
  • Do easier outdoor activities, such as walking instead of running or using a riding lawn mower instead of a push mower

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Question: How Does Air Pollution Affect South Africa

  • What are the 3 main causes of air pollution?
  • Air pollution is a well-known cause of breathing problems. In the South African city of Durban, children living in industrial areas with higher levels of outdoor air pollution have more asthma and asthmatic symptoms than children living further away from industrial areas.

    Other Ways To Reduce Asthma Symptoms

    How does air pollution affect asthma?

    Your air conditioner will do the large part of the work for you during warm weather, so its imperative you have it regularly maintained. Even so, theres still more you can do to eliminate asthma triggers. Wash bedding in hot water and dry on the sanitize cycle. Vacuum furniture and carpets at least once a week with a machine with a HEPA filter.

    Check for water leaks and signs of mold frequently. Maintain indoor humidity at 30-50 percent you can keep an eye on this with a hygrometer.

    Keep pets out of your asthmatics room. Dont allow dogs or cats on the furniture. Vacuum carpets and furniture when the individual with asthma isnt around. Keep pets clean and brushed.

    Make sure to use vent fans when cooking and in the bathroom. Regularly check your dryer vent making sure its connected.

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    So Is Air Conditioners Good For Asthma

    Although the air conditioning does not filter the air, it helps people with asthma, because the doors and windows are kept closed, which helps keep pollen and other external irritants and allergens House. A sudden change in the cold to hot temperatures may also cause an asthma attack.

    Air conditioners are nice. They keep the freshness of the air and refreshing. They can reduce moisture and trigger airborne. The combination of these effects may improve asthma control. They can make breathing easier. But they can also trigger asthma if aircon cleaning is not properly done.

    What Are Five Effects Of Air Pollution On Humans

    Air pollution is considered as the major environmental risk factor in the incidence and progression of some diseases such as asthma, lung cancer, ventricular hypertrophy, Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases, psychological complications, autism, retinopathy, fetal growth, and low birth weight.

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    Can Air Conditioning Cause Sinus Problems

    Sick building syndrome and the problems that can arise from neglecting maintenance on the AC system can cause more than headaches. People report sinus infections, too, in such buildings. As you may have guessed, damp, moldy buildings are breeding grounds for the type of germs that cause sinus issues.

    The remedy? Changing the filters more often, getting your AC system checked regularly by a professional, and setting up a cleaning and maintenance service. This will enable you to breathe cleaner air thats less likely to cause sinus problems.

    Should I Be Concerned About Air Pollution In My Home

    Ozone Pollution & Your Health: How Air Quality Affects those with Asthma

    Yes. Your home might even be a high priority public health risk. This is probably where you are exposed to most allergens and irritants.

    Home is where you cook, eat, sleep, bathe, groom, relax and play with pets. Indoor air pollution can pose a health risk. Your home may have small particles in the air or damaging gases such as carbon monoxide.

    • Household cleaners and air-freshening sprays or devices
    • Fuel-burning heat sources
    • Smoke from cooking, candles, fireplaces or tobacco
    • Toxic fumes that are off-gassing from new products
    • Attached garages that store cars, motorcycles or lawnmowers
    • Building and paint products
    • Pesticides
    • Radon
    • Humidity that allows mold to grow
    • Cosmetics, perfumes and hair sprays

    To reduce your homes indoor air pollution:

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    Can Air Conditioning Make You Cough

    The most common myth is that air conditioning can cause illnesses such as the common cold and flu. This is, of course, untrue, youre just as likely to catch an illness with or without air conditioning. However, there is some truth when it comes to regular coughing which can be caused through the use of an air conditioner unit.

    This is for two main reasons, firstly, air conditioning units can cause the air to be drier as they remove moisture from the room. This dry air can irritate our throat which benefits from humidity and causes a cough. This is why modern AC units often have a humidifier inbuilt to allow for moisture to be re-entered into the air which avoids this problem. If you struggle with this issue, we recommend upgrading your system or installing a humidifier.

    The other cause for this can be old, dirty air filters within the air conditioning system. This can add particulates or simply deliver unclean air. This again can cause irritation within the throat which leads to coughing. Its important to ensure your air filter stays clean and is replaced when necessary.

    How Can Air Pollution Affect My Asthma


    Ozone, a gas, is one of the most common air pollutants. Ozone contributes to what we typically experience as “smog” or haze. It is most common in cities where there are more cars. It is also more common in the summer when there is more sunlight and low winds.

    Ozone triggers asthma because it is very irritating to the lungs and airways. It is well known that ozone concentration is directly related to asthma attacks. It has also caused the need for more doses of asthma drugs and emergency treatment for asthma. Ozone can reduce lung function. Ozone can make it more difficult for you to breathe deeply.

    Airborne particles

    Other forms of air pollution may also trigger your asthma. Small particles in the air can pass through your nose or mouth and get into your lungs. Airborne particles, found in haze, smoke and airborne dust, present serious air quality problems. People with asthma are at greater risk from breathing in small particles. The particles can make asthma worse. Both long-term and short-term exposure can cause health problems such as reduced lung function and more asthma attacks.

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    How Does Air Pollution Affect The Lungs

    Breathing in air pollutants can irritate your airways and may cause shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, asthma episodes and chest pain. Exposure to air pollution puts you at risk for lung cancer, heart attacks, stroke and in extreme cases, premature death.

    Air pollution is a danger to lung health, particularly for:

    • Babies and children, whose normal breathing is faster than older children and adults
    • The elderly, who may have higher respiratory rates
    • People who work or spend time outdoors and
    • People with heart or lung disease.

    Can Air Conditioning Trigger Asthma

    The Immediate Impact of Air Pollution on Asthma &  COPD

    For very many years now, it has become general knowledge that the combination of cold air and humidity leads to the swelling of the trachea and the voice box. Asthma patients usually have very sensitive airways and may find that when the North Carolina summer temperatures soar, along with the humidity levels, their asthma signs begin to act up and worsen.

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    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

    Exposure to particle pollutants may cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease . According to the WHO, air pollution causes 43% of COPD cases and deaths worldwide.

    COPD is a group of diseases that cause breathing-related difficulties, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. These diseases block the airways and make it difficult for a person to breathe.

    There is no cure for COPD, but treatment can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

    How Can I Help My Child

    Check the Air Quality Index

    If you live in an area with poor air quality, pay attention to pollution levels. You can get daily information from weather reports or by visiting the Environmental Protection Agency at

    The EPA’s Air Quality Index report measures the levels of:

    • ground-level ozone

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    What Makes Air Quality Poor

    You’ve probably heard about the ozone layer and how we need to protect it. The ozone layer is up high in the atmosphere and protects us from the sun’s rays. But there’s a different layer of ozone closer to the ground called ground-level ozone.

    Ground-level ozone forms when chemicals from cars, power plants, and factories mix with sunlight. This “ozone pollution” is a main part of smog the brownish-yellow haze often seen hanging over cities on the horizon. It can irritate the lungs and cause breathing problems.

    Particle pollution also makes the air dirty. Particle pollution is created when tiny bits of dust, dirt, smoke, soot, and other stuff hang in the air. The smaller the particles, the deeper they can get into the lungs and cause breathing problems.

    Air Pollutants And Asthma

    Air Quality and Asthma

    Air pollution is a trigger for many people with asthma.

    There can be many different kinds of asthma trigger in the air. Not just factory smoke and exhaust fumes but also things like cigarette smoke, strong perfumes or scents, aerosols, cleaning sprays and insect repellents.

    It is also possible that some building materials or home furnishings may give off fumes that might affect your asthma.

    Contaminated air is linked to an increase in the frequency and severity of respiratory conditions such as asthma, COPD and lung cancer as well as reduced lung function in young children

    ASI – Asthma & Indoor Air Quality Study

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    Top Asthma Tips For High Pollution Days

  • Stick to your preventer routine so you can cope better with pollution, and your other triggers.

  • Carry your reliever inhaler with you to quickly deal with any symptoms.

  • Check the pollution forecast in your area with DEFRA’s UK-wide forecasts, or on a weather app.

  • Avoid pollution hotspots like main roads, junctions, bus stations and car parks, and use quieter back streets as much as possible. If you can, go out earlier before pollution levels have had a chance to build up.

  • See your GP if youre getting symptoms three or more times a week whether its pollution or something else triggering them.

  • The Risks Of Living Near Traffic

    Studies have shown that people who live, work, or attend school near major roadways have an increased incidence and severity of health problems, including asthma, cardiovascular disease, low birth weight, pre-term newborns, reduced lung function and impaired lung development in children, and premature death.

    Areas within 1,000 to 1,600 feet from highways and other major roads are most impacted by traffic-related pollution. An estimated 30% to 45% of people in large North American cities live within such zones. The MDH Public Health Data Access portal provides traffic exposure estimates for every Minnesota census tract, zip code and county.

    About 10-15% of passenger vehicles older, dirtier vehicles are responsible for more than half of fine particle emissions from on-road vehicles. Identifying and repairing or retiring these high-polluting vehicles has positive impacts on both local and regional air quality.

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    Can Air Pollution Cause Asthma

    Research shows that high levels of air pollution can cause asthma in both children and adults.

    Children living in areas with high pollution are more at risk. And if youre exposed to high levels of pollution when youre pregnant, whether you have asthma yourself or not, your baby could be more likely to develop asthma.

    Control The Indoor Humidity

    Asthma And Indoor Air Pollution In The Latino Community

    High humidity makes you feel hotter by a few degrees than the actual room temperature. For asthma sufferers, especially children, it can easily irritate and restrict the air passage, triggering asthma attacks. Furthermore, high humidity also causes condensation on walls and windows, creating a favorable environment for mold growth.

    Relative humidity in your Alabama home should be between 40 and 50 percent. Though your air conditioner reduces humidity to some extent, consider installing a whole-home dehumidifier for rapid and more efficient dehumidification.

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    Carbon Monoxide And Carbon Dioxide

    CO and CO2 are produced by fossil fuel when combustion is incomplete. Higher temperatures and amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere are major factors that have been linked to an increased duration of pollen seasons, quantity of pollen produced by plants, and possibly allergenicity of pollen. It has been demonstrated that birch pollen extracts from trees grown in warmer temperatures had stronger IgE binding intensity. Enhanced ragweed pollen production as a function of increasing CO2 levels has also been established. The growth of Alternaria species can become more abundant and produce more allergens in an enhanced CO2 environment. These changes could affect allergic asthma. A potential link with thunderstorm-related asthma epidemics could be suspected .

    Evidence suggests an association between exposure to CO and moderate or severe asthma exacerbations in adults , but the link was not confirmed in children. Significant associations were observed between decreasing death rates of asthma and lower CO levels .

    Air Conditioning Tips For Asthma Sufferers

    Be sure that you dont run your central AC on the fan only setting, as this means the air recirculates without any dehumidifying or cooling functions. You want the unit to condition the air and remove those asthma-triggering particles. If youre worried about the costs of running your AC all summer long, invest in a smart thermostat.

    Change the air filter monthly, especially if you have pets. While most experts recommend changing the filter once every three months, this simply wont do for most asthma sufferers. Changing the filter once a month ensures your air conditioner is operating at peak efficiency without being bogged down by clogs.

    Dont suffer through your asthma symptoms any longer. Call Air Treatment Inc. at 336-790-3206 to schedule your annual air conditioning maintenance or repair service. Well have you breathing easier in no time.

    Image provided by Shutterstock

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    Pollution Levels And The Weather

    Summer or winter, what the weathers like can make a difference to how much pollution there is hanging around.

    For example:

    • Unsettled, windy or blustery weather usually keeps pollution levels low.
    • Pollution might affect your asthma more when its a warm, still day, especially if you also have an allergy to pollen.
    • Pollution on a cold, still, foggy day might affect you more, especially if cold air also triggers your symptoms.

    If youre affected by weather and pollution, try using an app or website which gives you daily forecasts of both, for example BBC weather, or the Met Office.

    Take time to note down any symptoms you get, and include that days pollution levels, and weather. You might see a pattern of when your asthma gets worse, or identify which season its worse for you, says Dr Andy.

    It could help you plan ahead, with your GPs help, to make sure your asthma isnt so affected.

    What Do I Need To Consider

    How does air pollution affect us?

    Size of your room

    This a good starting point because if your room is very large, then maybe a portable air conditioner isnt the best choice for you. You may be able to find a unit capable of cooling your large area, but the cost may be prohibitive. Instead, if you have the ability to window mount, consider a window unit.

    Choosing the right size unit for your space is critical to success. The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is generally measured in British thermal units , a measurement of how much heat a unit can remove from a space per hour. Portable air conditioners use this unit to measure their cooling power, so the higher the BTU rating, the larger the room an air conditioner can cool. On average, an AC unit needs about 20 BTUs per square foot of living space to keep things cool. Dont be tempted to just choose the most powerful unit, as this can lead to its own problems. An oversized unit will reach the demanded temperature too quickly, and will lead to short-cycling and premature breakdowns. On the other hand, if you choose too small a unit, it will have to be run on full power to keep up with demands and your energy bill is not going to be pleasant.

    Then, factor in some other variables

    • Climate: hotter climates need more cooling
    • Number of windows: a lot of windows means a space will need more cooling
    • Occupancy: if there a lot of people, temperature will rise
    • Heat generating appliances: does your room have many other appliances in it that generate heat?


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