How is air pollution linked to heart problems?

With various articles and studies about air pollution, we all know that high exposure to poor quality air harms our respiratory system. However, there are also new studies that have shown how air pollution creates heart problems and increases death rates. According to the WHO (The World Health Organization ), 9 out of 10 people are exposed to air containing high amounts of pollutants. The study mentioned that high exposure to air’s small polluted particles is responsible for 7 million deaths each year. Minuscule air pollutants have the facility to enter through our respiratory system, pass through our lungs and enter our cardiovascular system.

Air pollutants present in our cardiovascular system can generate health problems such as lung cancer, pulmonary diseases, heart illnesses, and of course, pneumonia and other respiratory complications. WHO’S findings highlighted the seriousness of air pollution by giving the percentage of deaths caused by air contamination: 24% of adults die from heart problems, 29% from lung cancer, and 43% from pulmonary disease.

Air pollution might be a topic that we all know of, but it is essential to constantly learn due to the significant threat to our health. The purpose of this article is to inform how air pollution affects our cardiovascular system and learn how to mitigate the negative effects poor air causes on us.

Cardiovascular problems and air pollution

Particulate matter, also known as PM 2.5, are minuscule toxins smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter linger in the air. Since they are small, they have the facility to enter our respiratory system with a simple inhale. Each time we breathe in a polluted area, small PM 2.5 particles enter our respiratory system reaching our heart and circulatory system. If toxic air pollutants reach our heart, there is a high probability of health risks such as heart attacks, strokes, and arrhythmia. According to The European Society of Cardiology (ESC), 40-80% of deaths in 2015 were due to cardiovascular diseases linked to air pollution.

Other pollutants that harm our health 

Sulfur Dioxide

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a gas pollutant released by gas and coal emissions into the air. SO2 is in the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels by power plants and other industrial facilities. Industrial processes, such as extracting metal from ore; natural sources, such as volcanoes; and locomotives, ships, and other vehicles and heavy equipment that consume sulfur-rich fuel are responsible for emitting SO2 in the air. In China, scientists of Shanxi University  in China discovered that heart diseases, heart failures, and arrhythmia are linked to high exposure to sulfur dioxide.

Nitrogen Dioxide

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) is in the air due to burning fuels, and is emitted by power plants, cars, trucks, buses, and other transportations. Researchers from the University of Massachusett’s clinical laboratory found that NO2 is associated with the hospitalization of cardiovascular problems that lead to death. Their study indicated that NO2 levels are linked to daily hospital emergency transports for ischemic heart disorders such as myocardial infarction and cardiac insufficiency, and arrhythmia. The adverse effects that NO2 causes are seen in individuals 65 years or older.

How can we mitigate the risk of heart diseases?

People might think that it is almost impossible to protect our health from pollution due to the daily exposure we have to it. But according to Dr. Taliciero, powerful machines such as air purifiers could mitigate the health risks that air pollution causes, “Purifiers have shown to alter the blood chemistry in a way that may benefit heart health, too.” Researchers from China also demonstrated how air purifiers  improve our health by improving our blood pressure and the function of our lungs.

Air purifiers  will not eliminate outdoor pollution, but they do eliminate indoor air pollution and the health risks that come with them. Most importantly, they guarantee safe and clean air.

AIR8 offers a wide range of products that are highly suitable for allergy sufferers. Check out our products here.