Study finds that long-term pollution exposure could increase risk of acute respiratory disease syndrome
Researchers in the USA have found that critically ill people are more likely to develop acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS) if they are exposed to higher levels of ground-level ozone, a type of pollution.
ARDS is a life-threatening condition where the lungs are unable to provide enough oxygen for the rest of the body properly.
The study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, involved 1,558 people who were critically ill. Of this group, 563 went on to develop ARDS.
The researchers analysed the levels of ozone that the participants were exposed to, to see if it had any bearing on their likelihood of developing ARDS. They found that those who were exposed to higher levels of ozone on a long-term basis were most likely to develop ARDS.
Ground-level ozone is a type of pollution created by chemical reactions between the sun's rays and organic gases and oxides of nitrogen emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants and other sources. This study adds to a wealth of evidence highlighting the range of negative impacts it can have on our health.