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Environmental, Air Pollution and Health related reports and papers                                      



 

In-Car Toxic Air Pollution—a New Cancer Risk?
By Britta Aragon on June 16, 2011 | 3 Comments
 
I got an email a short time ago that warned me to open the windows in my car to let it air out before turning on my air conditioning, to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals like benzene. As with all these email warnings, I always wonder—is there any truth in it, or is it just another misinformed message?
In this case, I found some truth—important enough to share with Cinco Vidas readers. Here’s the real deal.
Your car—like any enclosed area—tends to trap air inside when it’s left for hours or even days and weeks without being opened. In addition, particularly when you’re driving in heavy traffic, the interior of your car, simply because it’s less ventilated then the air outside, can become more concentrated with toxic pollution. You may have heard of indoor air pollution in your home. Well, this is something similar, only now we’re talking about “in-car” air pollution. (By the way, none of this has anything to do with the air conditioning—it’s strictly about pollutants being trapped inside the car.)
A report by the International Center for Technology Assessment reviewed 23 studies covering the main pollutants found in cars, including particulate matter (which can include smoke, dirt, dust, mold, spores, and pollen), volatile organic compounds (VOCs like benzene, which has been linked with cancer), carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and ozone.1 You can read the report for all the details, but here are a few highlights:
• Concentrations of VOCs were over 6 times higher in cars than at fixed-site measuring stations and nearly 2 times higher than at the side of the road.
• Car commuters were exposed to more benzene than subway commuters, even though subway commutes were shorter.
• Two studies showed higher benzene concentrations in passenger cars during urban driving than during suburban or highway driving.
• Improperly maintained vehicles had higher in-vehicle concentrations of benzene.
• A 1995 study found that most in-car VOCs come from outside exhaust (not dashboards and seats as the email implied).
• Carbon monoxide levels inside cars showed consistently higher than in ambient air. Driving on urban streets caused higher in-car exposures than rural roads or interstates.
A quote from the center: “This report found that pollution levels inside cars are often much higher than those detected in the ambient air, at the roadside, and in other commonly used vehicles.”
The email I received mentioned a Korean study that also detected toxic chemicals like benzene, toluene, and methl-tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) inside of cars during commutes.2 They weren’t sure of the source of these chemicals, however.
After reviewing these reports and studies, it makes sense to me. Your car can trap airborne chemicals inside. If you’re driving in busy traffic, especially, your exposure to some of these toxins is probably going to be higher than if you’re on the highway or driving through the country. If you leave your car sitting for awhile without ventilation, the air is likely going to become more concentrated with dangerous chemicals.
Here are some easy tips to lower your risk of in-car toxic pollution:
• Drive less—walk or bike to work if you can.
• Keep your vehicle properly maintained. Vehicles that spew more exhaust because of faulty engine operation are likely to expose you and those around you to more toxic chemicals.
• Use public transportation. Though the Korean study showed some exposure to toxic chemicals on the bus, they were lower than that within a commuting car.
• When you get in your car, roll the windows down and let it air out before closing it up.
• Encourage your elected officials to support public transportation projects in your area, particularly if you live in a large city with a lot of traffic.

 

THE FLU VIRUS DANGERS
 Many people think Influenza is just a seasonal nuisance. It is not just a nuisance . It is ONE OF THE WORST VIRAL INFECTIONS KNOWN TO MAN!

Even with modern Man's advanced medical technology, it kills over a million people world wide every year with over 200,000 birth defects and with over 35,000 deaths in the US alone! For some unfathomable reason it is not A REPORTING DISEASE as designated by the CDC. No accurate records are kept. The worldwide economy also loses over a TRILLION....that is a thousand BILLION dollars a year in unrealized productivity yearly.

If H5N1 mutates to become the next pandemic ( this has happened three times in the last hundred years ) it could destroy the entire world economy for years.

It remains one of the top ten causes of death in the United States. During an ordinary flu season in the USA, over 25% of the population is infected with ordinary type A Influenza in spite of Flu shots . That is in a good year. The shots are only 50% effective for Americans 50 or older and that is if the yearly vaccine components are accurately gauged against the prevalent strains coming from Asia. The chicken egg vaccine production is also outmoded and incapable of ramping up for any extraordinary Public Health threat such as human to human transmissible Avian Influenza like H5N1. This ancient vaccine formulation method developed about 50 years ago, depends on GUESSES by the epidemiologists and is composed of a cocktail of three or four dominant strains based on the viral coatings of these strains which change each year. If they guess wrong as has happened then there is minimal protection.

None of these Methods are applicable to N5N1 as Humans have no resistance to this new emerging disease.
H5N1 virus has over 52% mortality. It can become airborne and it is rapidly mutating to become the next worldwide PANDEMIIC. There is now a raging scientific/medical controversy whether in fact any of the anti viral medicines work against this killer virus.

1918 PANDEMIC

Avian flu struck in 1918 and wiped out over 50 million people in less than six months. This was the worst epidemic in human history and it happened in the 20th century. It was far worse than the BLACK DEATH in Europe. Sars has a mortality of about 10%, 1918 flu about 15%. H5N1 about 52%.

If it happens again as most epidemiologist say it will , we will be almost defenseless. WE ARE RIPE FOR ANOTHER PANDEMIC RIGHT NOW

VIRULENT INFLUENZA MUTATIONS CAN KILL IN HOURS!

In 1918 a person could wake up feeling fine and be dead that evening and turning blue.

 

AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION STATE OF THE AIR 2011 23 Health Effects of Ozone and Particle Pollution

 

Ozone and particle pollution are the most widespread air pollutantsand among the most dangerous. Re­cent research has revealed new insights into how they can harm the bodyincluding taking the lives of infants and altering the lungs of children. All in all, the evidence shows that the risks are greater than we once thought.

 

Recent findings provide more evidence about the health im­pacts of these pollutants:

 

■ ■Ozone pollution can shorten life, a conclusion confirmed by a 2008 scientific review by the National Research Council.1 Evidence warns that some segments of the popu­lation may face higher risks from dying prematurely because of ozone pollution, including communities with high unem­ployment or high public transit use and large Black/African- American populations.2

 

■ ■Good news: Reducing air pollution has extended life expectancy. Thanks to a drop in particle pollution between 1980 and 2000, life expectancy in 51 U.S. cities increased by 5 months on average, according to a 2009 analysis.3

 

■ ■Growing evidence shows that diabetics face a greater risk from air pollution than once believed. Several stud­ies found increased risk of several factors associated with cardiovascular risks in people with diabetes.4 Some new research with animals indicates that fine particle pollution may impact insulin resistance and other factors.5

 

■ ■Lower levels of ozone and particle pollution pose bigger threat than previously thought. A Canadian study showed that levels well below those considered safe for these pol­lutants triggered asthma attacks and increased the risk of emergency room visits and hospital admissions for children with asthma.6 Another study found that low levels of these pollutants increased the risk of hospital treatment for pneu­monia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).7

 

Busy highways are high risk zones. Not only may they worsen diseases, but some evidence warns that years of breathing the pollution near busy roads may increase the risk of developing chronic diseases.

 

A growing body of evidence suggests breathing pollution from heavy traffic may cause new cases of asthma in children.8

 

Some emerging research has found particle pol­lution associated with increasing the risk of new cases of three chronic diseases in adults: adult-onset asthma,9 diabetes,10 and COPD, especially in people who already have asthma or diabetes.11

 

Research had already connected pollution from heavy highway traffic to higher risks for heart at­tack, allergies, premature births and the death of infants around the time they are born.12 Evidence of the impact of traffic pollution, even in a city with generally cleaner air, expanded the concern over the health effects of chronic exposure to exhaust from heavy traffic.13

 

Two types of air pollution dominate the problem in the U.S.: ozone and particle pollution. They arent the only serious air pollutants: others include carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide, as well as scores of toxins such as mercury, arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, and acid gases. However, ozone and particle pollution are the most widespread pollutants.