Air pollution and respiratory diseases – a problematic risk factor

Florin Mihălţan, Oana Deleanu, Roxana Nemeș, Ruxandra Ulmeanu


Pollution was a neglected factor for years in all the research that took in the viewfinder was examined in the risk factors in of respiratory diseases. Considering the concerns of politicians, scientists, doctors, which have intensified upgraded especially after the last climate “summit”, “summit” climatological we found it necessary to have a review of the effects of pollution, pathogenic mechanisms of interaction, and some diseases strongly influenced by pollutants such as COPD, asthma, bronchialand bronchial and lung cancer.


air pollution, respiratory diseases, risk factor  

Air pollution, or “self-pollution” for that matter (people being the main cause of pollution) and its relationship with respiratory and heart diseases is indisputable. Analyzed as a risk factor for respiratory diseases it is second on the list. The epidemiological and therapeutic connections of pollution, as well as the influences as a risk factor, were studied and analyzed much later compared to the main cause of respiratory disease, smoking. In these circumstances a positioning is necessary in relationship with respiratory diseases and also in the Romanian pneumology, especially since several medical associations (most recently the SPLF - the French Language Society of Pneumology, Société de Pneumologie de Langue Française), impressed by the great event that took place in Paris (the 21th climate conference of December 10th, 2015), published entire issues in specialized magazines.

General data
Pollutants come from various sources and take different forms, from particles to gases(1):
The particulate matter (PM) (a blend of solid particles and liquid drops floating in the air, emitted by a specific source or formed in complicated chemical reactions in the atmosphere) taken into consideration is the one fluctuating between 0.1-2.5 μm. Some particles are produced by a specific source, while others are formed in complicated chemical reactions in the atmosphere. The range
of particulate matter is extremely diverse – fine particles 15 μm (originating from soil erosions, oceans, volcanoes, forest fires, industrial or household combustion, incinerators, traffic) –, with norms required by the WHO of annual mean concentrations of 10 μg/m3 for PM10 and 10 μg/m3 for PM2.5; and of daily mean concentrations of 50 μg/m3 for PM10 and 25 μg/m3 for PM2.5.
2. SO2, a colourless gas originating from volcanoes, the industrial or household combustion of fossil material, with an annual level of 24 μg/m3 or a 10 minute-mean of 500 μg/m3
3. NO2, another gas with oxidising properties coming from urban areas, emitted mainly by cars in traffic, with an annual accepted level of 40 μg/m3 and an accepted 1-hour level of 200μg/m3
4. O3, a dangerous oxidising agent released in photochemical reactions between hydrocarbons and nitric oxide with an 8 hours–mean of 100 μg/m3

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