Tag Archives: air pollution

Industries and Air Pollution

A few articles relating to various industries and the types of air pollution they cause.  I trust you will find them informative.  Please follow the links provided to read the complete articles at their source.

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Industries and Air Pollution

How Do Factories Cause Air Pollution?

Sciencing – https://sciencing.com/factories-cause-air-pollution-5169.html

Updated April 19, 2018
By Maria Kielmas

“The presence of chemicals, particulates or biological compounds in the atmosphere can harm human and animal health and damage the environment. Factories and other industrial installations have caused such pollution since the dawn of the industrial age by burning fuels, carrying out chemical processes and releasing dust and other particulates. Air pollution can be controlled through the installation of filters and scrubbers to clean exhaust fumes from factory processes, and by taking steps to minimize the generation of pollution at the source.

Energy Sources
Factories need an energy source to power their production processes. In the United States, this has been electricity generated by fossil fuel burning, in particular coal. Air pollutants emitted by coal-fired power plants include nitrogen and sulfur oxides, hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride gases, and arsenic, lead and other metals. Power generation for factories may cause greater air pollution than the factory processes. Natural gas is the least polluting fossil fuel for power generation. It emits nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide on burning but in far lower quantities than coal

Metal Smelting
Metals provide machine components, vehicles, instruments and infrastructure in factories. Metal smelters that process and refine mineral ores and scrap metal create silica and metallic dusts during initial crushing and grinding. Heating and smelting processes produce emissions of sulfur and carbon oxides. Aluminum smelting can emit arsenic particulates, while lead and gold refining produces mercury and cyanide emissions.

Petrochemical Smog
Factory processes involve varied combinations of cleaning, painting and heating, while other raw material or appliance treatments release volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere. These are carbon- or hydrocarbon-based chemicals that quickly evaporate in the air. In the presence of sunlight, they react with other air pollutants like sulfur or nitrogen oxides from vehicle exhausts to create peroxyacetyl nitrates, commonly known as photochemical smog. This looks like a thick brown haze and can linger for days or weeks over urban centers.”

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Air Pollution Caused by Industries

By: Sarah Brumley
Updated January 26, 2019

Bizfluent – https://bizfluent.com/about-5407184-air-pollution-caused-industries.html

“When drilling rigs retrieve oil and gases from deep within the Earth, they bring up a host of flammable gases and chemicals that affect life on the surface. Although the list of air polluters is long, the oil, gas and automotive industries and electricity generation are major players. Even natural events, such as dust storms and wildfires, add to air pollution.

Greenhouse Gases
Many industries contribute to greenhouse gases. Electricity, meaning power generation, is responsible for 31 percent of greenhouse gases; transportation, 27 percent; industry, 21 percent; commercial and residential activities, 12 percent; and agriculture 9 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Carbon dioxide makes up a full 82 percent of greenhouse gases. Methane (10 percent), nitrous oxide (5 percent) and fluorinated gases make up the rest. Over a century, however, methane is 21 to 25 times as effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Oil, gas, coal mining and landfills together produce more than half of U.S. methane emissions, says the EPA.

Oil and Gas
Besides carbon dioxide, oil and gas operations produce nitrogen oxides and hydrogen sulfide, which create smog; and flammable, toxic chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Methane is just one VOC. Oil and gas operations also produce hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) such as benzene, toluene, n-hexane and many others, along with tiny particles of soot.

Fracking operations launch health-threatening silica particles into the air as well. Over time, accumulations of silica in the lungs can cause silicosis, a disabling lung disease, and can contribute to tuberculosis. In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control identified tuberculosis as the most “distinctive” cause of death in Texas, whose economy depends heavily on oil and gas production.

Transportation
One 2013 study from the MIT Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment estimated that air pollution causes 200,000 early deaths a year. The chief source of early death by pollution is road transportation — that is, tailpipe exhaust.

Motor vehicles account for almost half of VOC air pollution, more than half of the nitrogen oxide emissions, and 75 percent of the carbon monoxide emissions, the EPA says. The EPA’s master list of chemical compounds released in road transport runs to 1,162 entries, from (1, 1-dimethylethyl)-benzene to hydrogen cyanide.

One fourth of motor-vehicle pollution comes from heavy-duty trucks, which typically get 5 or 6 miles per gallon and account for about 4 percent of traffic. In June 2015, the EPA proposed new rules to increase fuel efficiency by up to 40 percent for any truck larger than a pickup.

Power Plants
Electricity generation is responsible for almost as many early deaths from emissions as road transportation, according to the MIT study.

Almost 40 percent of the carbon dioxide produced in the United States comes from power plants. Coal-fueled plants are the most polluting. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) states that in 2014, power plants produced 2.04 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, with 76 percent, or 1.56 billion, coming from coal plants. Coal generated 39 percent of U.S. electricity in 2014, according to the EIA.

Power plant emissions have long been unrestricted. However, in 2014, the EPA proposed new rules to cut plant emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

Agriculture
Agriculture is known more for water pollution than for air pollution. The EPA, however, considers crop and livestock dust air pollutants, and agriculture produces more than 90 percent of ammonia pollution, which has multiple adverse health effects, from nose and throat irritation to chronic lung disease. The methane that farm animals produce as part of their digestive processes makes up 26 percent of U.S. methane emissions, and manure management adds 10 percent more.”

 

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Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Air pollution and mental trauma

Keeping with our latest posts theme we are now looking at the effect of air pollution on our health and mental well being.  Enjoy the read!

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Air pollution drives mental trauma
Sipho Kings 03 May 2017

Mail & Guardian

“The air that they breathe kills about 20 000 South Africans each year. The number of those who struggle to breathe, sleep and exercise as a result of air pollution is unknown but international research indicates it is likely to be millions of people.

In addition, most of South Africa’s air quality monitoring stations, confined to the major metros, do not work. That means decisions are made and implemented without knowing the effect the resultant air pollution has on people’s health and mental wellbeing.

New research from the University of York in the United Kingdom, has tried to tackle this. The work — titled Can Clean Air Make You Happy? — found that nitrogen dioxide is “significantly and negatively related to life satisfaction”.

Breathing the gas has the same effect on people’s quality of life as ending a relationship, or having their partner or close family member die.

Nitrogen dioxide is emitted in great quantities by diesel vehicles and coal-fired power stations. Nitrogen dioxide gets trapped in urban areas, and forms a blanket over rural areas. In cities, tall buildings, walls and roads ensure that the gas from car exhausts is funnelled and concentrated. People walking or running down these funnels then breathe the gas in, sucking it deep into their lungs. The gas inflames the lining of their lungs, reducing immunity to lung infections. It exacerbates other conditions such as colds, bronchitis and asthma. And it increases the chances of cancer.

Air pollution tracking by Nasa has shown that Johannesburg and the Pretoria area have the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide in the southern hemisphere.

The report found a correlation between how unhappy people felt and how much bad air they breath.

When people see themselves as being in poor health, the negative effect of being exposed to nitrogen dioxide is compounded — mentally. The research says: “Nitrogen dioxide has a more substantive negative relationship with the life satisfaction of individuals who regard themselves as being in relatively poor health, as opposed to those who classify themselves as being relatively satisfied with their health.”

That finding carries with it serious implications for poorer South Africans who live downwind coal-fired power stations and have little effective access to healthcare.

It also means every person living in urban areas has their quality of life reduced by the vehicles driving around them. This is either directly through inhaling nitrogen dioxide and becoming sick and depressed.

To reach their conclusion on the effect of nitrogen dioxide, the research team took the findings from research on life satisfaction, done in the UK, and overlaid it with data on air pollution.

Similar data is not available in South Africa. For starters, air quality monitoring stations are located in large urban areas. Then, they either do not work or are inconsistent and do not give a data record from which any conclusions can be drawn.

In eThekwini, air quality pollution monitors had not reported data since 2013, according to the environment department. This is despite the port and petrochemical plants releasing toxic gases over residential areas south of Durban.

There is also little research into air quality in South Africa. In 2014, the Mail & Guardian published a rare report that had been commissioned for Eskom on the effect of its coal-fired fleet. Mostly based in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, these stations were predicted to kill 617 people a year when fully operational. A further 24 842 people would be admitted to hospital each year. The utility has consistently refused to answer questions about this data, but the research said most of the deaths would be as a result of sulphur dioxide pollution.

Diesel vehicles, the other major source of sulphur dioxide emissions, make up 20% of the South African market but there is no research into their effect on air quality. Data from the World Health Organisation for 2016 showed that Hartbeespoort has the worst air quality in South Africa, followed by Pretoria and Johannesburg. In those three cases, the levels were double that recommended as safe by the organisation.

The University of York’s work is part of a growing field of research into the psychological effect of broken environments. Previous research has shown that living near green areas improves mental and physical wellbeing.

At the moment, findings like these are not used in decision-making. The researchers said: “Unfortunately, environmental amenities often do not have prices and will therefore be typically underprovided by the market.”

So, a green area that might suck up nitrogen dioxide emissions and give people clean air will still be replaced by an apartment block because that block creates tangible profit. Fixing people’s health creates benefits that are hard to track, but still save the state in healthcare costs.

The researchers said more of this kind of work is needed: “In order to provide a clear rationale for environmental management and regulation, it is important to calculate how much value people attribute to environmental features.”

This research could start to nudge development decisions in favour of those that lead to better lives for people.”

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Air pollution kills 20 000 per year in South Africa – as many as in traffic
Sipho Kings 12 Sep 2016

Mail & Guardian

“Air pollution kills 20 000 people in South Africa every year, costing the economy nearly R300-million. This is according to new research from the World Bank.

The research, Air Pollution: Strengthening the Economic Case for Action, concluded that air pollution kills 5.5-million people each year, making it responsible for one in every 10 deaths worldwide. That data comes from the World Health Organisation.

Five million deaths a year make air pollution the fourth leading cause of premature deaths in the world. Only smoking, obesity and dietary issues kill more people.

Writing in the research, lead author Urvashi Narain, said: “The scale of the problem is truly daunting.”

In terms of cost, the bank calculated that premature deaths cost the world economy R3-trillion in lost work days alone. Those are people that are too sick to go to work, mostly from chest problems such as asthma.

The impact of air pollution is, however, much greater when all the costs are included.

Besides the cost of missing work, people also have to spend money on staying healthy by buying things such as asthma medication. This cost is also carried by the state.

By World Bank calculations, the total cost of this to the world economy is R70-trillion a year.

Worst-hit are developing countries, according to the researchers. Over 90% of premature deaths attributed to air pollution happened in these countries, where the same percentage of the population are exposed to “dangerous levels of air pollution”.

The research looked at air pollution between 1990 and 2013, comparing the impacts of pollution in those two years.

“Air pollution is not just a health risk but also a drag on development. By causing illness and premature death, air pollution reduces the quality of life. By causing loss of productive labour, it also reduces incomes in those countries.”

Developing countries – whose rapidly growing economies translate into more pollution from coal-fired power stations and new industry – have borne the brunt of it.

According to the report, 87% of the world’s population lives in areas where the air pollution exceeds the World Health Organisation’s safe levels.

Old people and the poorest are disproportionately affected. “The poor are more likely to live and work in polluted environments, but they are less able to avoid exposure or self-protect.” The researchers said that this part of the population is then stuck, too sick to work and unable to afford medication.

The bank concluded: “Air pollution is a challenge that threatens basic human welfare, damages natural and physical capital, and constrains economic growth.”

The same logic follows in South Africa. The apartheid regime put poor, non-white people downwind of industrial sites. In its 2014 investigation titled Slow Poison: Air pollution, public health and failing governance, nongovernmental group Groundwork said: “People are still polluted and made sick by this pollution.”

Writing in that report, the group’s head Bobby Peek said: “The blueprint for a black neighbourhood was a waste dumpsite, where waste from rich white neighbourhoods and dirty industry was dumped.””

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Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Air Pollution In Johannesburg

SOUTH AFRICA- Aerial view of Johannesburg

Following up on our last post regarding air pollution in China, I’ve brought it closer to home and given you some articles to read on air pollution in Johannesburg.

Again, please follow the links to read the full or original articles.

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Johannesburg Can’t Compromise On Air PollutionHuffPost
Herman Mashaba, Mayor of Johannesburg

“In South Africa, air pollution is more severe in urban areas, and the city of Johannesburg is no exception.

The majority of our country’s population migrates to the cities from rural areas for economic reasons, attracted by employment opportunities available in the urban centers. This results in the mushrooming of dense, low-income, informal settlements –– which are mostly under-resourced and do not have access to basic amenities, including electricity supply.

The city completed a baseline assessment of its air quality, which identified that the city’s air pollution emanates from domestic fuel burning, vehicle emissions, industries, biomass burning and mine storage facilities.

The city has a network of nine ambient air-quality monitoring stations that include stations in Alexandra, Ivory Park, Diepsloot, Jabavu, Orange Farm, Buccleuch, Davidsonville, Delta Park and Newtown. Seven of the stations are in residential areas, and two are traffic-emission stations. The data from these monitoring stations is compared to the national applicable standards, which are set to protect the public’s health and well-being.

Unfortunately, the city’s poorest communities often bear the brunt of higher levels of poor air quality. Over time, the monitoring stations located in the city’s residential areas have observed record pollution levels higher than the national standard, especially during the cold winter months, when most people still use fossil fuel for heating.

It is the city of Johannesburg’s priority to improve the city’s air quality –– to ensure pro-poor development that addresses inequality and poverty, and provides meaningful redress. Unfortunately, air pollution affects more of our poor communities in the city because of inequality and years of poor infrastructure planning.

To improve the city’s air quality, we have completed a review of our air quality management plan and our air pollution control bylaws. The plan provides the city’s vision and goals for the next five years. A regulatory framework has been developed to manage other sources of air pollution in the city. The two documents are in the final stage of completion, and public consultations will take place prior to their finalization.

In terms of the national Air Quality Act 39 of 2004, the city is responsible for air quality management ― both in terms of regulations and compliance enforcement. In terms of the city’s regulatory function, all the industrial activities that are identified in the act as significant emitters that contribute to poor air quality are licensed, and a total of 37 such facilities exist in the city. These facilities are issued with atmospheric emission licenses, which set out emission limits that are regularly monitored for compliance. Those that are found to be noncompliant are subject to enforcement actions.

The interventions that deal with emissions from domestic fuel burning are complex and require a multifaceted approach. Materials used for domestic fuel are often not by choice, since in many cases people don’t have access to electricity –– and even when it is available, they can’t afford it.

To mitigate against this, the city has prioritized the upgrade of informal settlements, which includes the provision of electricity and other amenities for those registered on the city’s indigent register. The interventions are aimed at improving our communities, while simultaneously improving the quality of air. Additionally, the city has allocated budget for new housing units that are insulated and require less energy for interior heating, and are fitted with solar water heaters.

The city’s approach to dealing with air pollution involves programs that respond to specific pollution sources. Small industries and vehicles are included in our draft bylaws to ensure control, and they set out appropriate operational conditions to ensure the reduction of emissions in these sectors over time. These measures include permits and the creation of smoke-free zones in an attempt to reduce the city’s air pollution. The city is also collaborating with other spheres of government to deal with issues such as dust from mine storage facilities.

Domestic waste burning is a result of illegal waste dumping. Although the city has various programs and interventions to resolve illegal dumping, our most significant intervention is the city-wide A Re Sebetseng monthly cleanup campaign. This monthly campaign is a ward-based cleaning initiative on the last Saturday of every month that encourages residents and communities to reduce their communal carbon footprint.

The project enhances the city’s investment of 50 million rand into Pikitup for a third cleaning shift within the city. This investment is expected to grow to 82 million rand in the medium term. A Re Sebetseng is modeled on the Rwanda Umuganda, which is also a monthly campaign where all residents come together to clean Kigali. Through this campaign, the city of Kigali is now known as the cleanest city in Africa.”

For the complete article, follow the link above.

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Joburg plans to clear the air
A partnership between Johannesburg and IBM will give the city automated, real-time data on air pollution
22 MARCH 2018 – 11:59 KATE FERREIRA

Financial Mail

“As more and more people flock to cities, the threat of environmental pollution and its associated health risks grow — conjuring images of swarms of people in pollution masks.

Compounding this is the growth in “dirty” industry and urban sprawl that brings people in closer contact with factories, mines and manufacturing plants — and the pollution they produce. But technology presents city management with a new tool to measure and even combat this. One such project is playing out on the streets of Johannesburg.

Exposure to air pollution is a risk factor in respiratory complaints, heart disease, stroke and cancer. The World Health Organisation (WHO) calls it the world’s single biggest environmental health risk, and in 2012 attributed around 7m deaths to its effects — with the majority of these in low-and middle-income countries.

The World Bank estimates air pollution kills around 20,000 people annually in SA, and puts the cost to the economy, through factors like health-care costs and lost productivity, at R300m.

SA has standards in place to try to curb this. Gauteng subscribes to a provincial air quality control management plan — drawn from the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act — that prescribes limits to things like particulate matter and the levels of certain compounds and elements, including sulphur dioxide, ozone, lead and carbon monoxide, in the air. But measuring these, and potentially identifying and punishing transgressors, remains a challenge.

Here the power of the Internet of Things and big data gives us the kind of insight that city governments and regulators could previously only dream of.

That’s the crux of a Joburg air quality project being run by the City of Johannesburg and IBM Research. At the IBM Research lab in the Tshimologong precinct in Braamfontein, Tapiwa Chiwewe is using machine learning and analytics to measure several air quality factors, forecast potential poor air quality events, and even use “reverse-forecasting” to pinpoint culprits not sticking to the standards.

The lab was established in 2016, as IBM’s second research facility on the continent. Chiwewe is its manager for advanced and applied artificial intelligence.

“We like to speak about solving Africa’s grand challenges, and one that we identified is air pollution.”

The idea first sparked for Chiwewe on his daily commute into town from Pretoria, when he noticed the haze hanging over the city. From there they reached out to the city authorities, who Chiwewe describes as progressive in their thinking about the issue.

They struck an agreement to draw pollutant monitoring data from six air quality monitoring stations around Johannesburg, as well as historical data from the city dating back to 2004, and further data from the Vaal Triangle and City of Tshwane monitoring stations. The stations also monitor other parameters, such as weather conditions.

Unlike some big data applications, a key element here is not the size (in terabytes, for example) of data being crunched, but the rate, says Chiwewe. Each of the stations is taking multiple readings an hour (some every 10 minutes) and these feed back to IBM and are processed for near real-time insight.

City of Johannesburg spokesman Nthatisi Modingoane says the analytics and forecasting strengthen the city’s air quality management strategies. Among other things it enables an early-warning system and tracks the effectiveness of intervention strategies. “In future it will change the way air-quality information is communicated to the public,” he says.

“Air quality data is meaningful only if it’s easily interpreted and readily available. It is at this level that it changes the lives of people, as forecasting can enable members of communities that are sensitive to poor air quality to [choose] whether to expose themselves or not,” he says.

In exchange for data access, the city gets access to a platform IBM developed that stores and crunches the data. This can produce an air quality index and alerts, and show location and temporal trends in air pollution that can be mapped onto the city, and could potentially be a tool to check actual emissions against the values on an emissions licence. It also feeds into city and developmental planning. This transforms the monitoring from a manual process — using spreadsheets and pivot tables — to one showing real-time data visualisations.

The platform is not public, but it has the potential to feed into public-facing applications, such as websites or apps that could colour-code the air quality status to be less scientific and more user-friendly, or issue alerts for certain areas if they anticipate an “adverse pollution event”.

There are many similar projects running throughout the world – both private and publicly backed – as the Internet of Things becomes mainstream. In SA, Open Data Durban won a grant to install air-and water-quality sensors in a Durban township for monitoring and data journalism purposes. The City of Cape Town also makes a portion of its historical air quality data (2013–2016) publicly available online.”

Please follow the link to the original article to read it in full.

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Air Pollution in China

Air pollution in China

Here are some interesting article on the issue of air pollution in China.  Please follow the links provided to the original articles.

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Impact of ambient fine particulate matter air pollution on health behaviors: a longitudinal study of university students in Beijing, China.

PubMed NCBI

“OBJECTIVES:
Poor air quality has become a national public health concern in China. This study examines the impact of ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution on health behaviors among college students in Beijing, China.

STUDY DESIGN:
Prospective cohort study.

METHODS:
Health surveys were repeatedly administered among 12,000 newly admitted students at Tsinghua University during 2012-2015 over their freshman year. Linear individual fixed-effect regressions were performed to estimate the impacts of ambient PM2.5 concentration on health behaviors among survey participants, adjusting for various time-variant individual characteristics and environmental measures.

RESULTS:
Ambient PM2.5 concentration was found to be negatively associated with time spent on walking, vigorous physical activity and sedentary behavior in the last week, but positively associated with time spent on nighttime/daytime sleep among survey participants. An increase in the ambient PM2.5 concentration by one standard deviation (36.5 μg/m³) was associated with a reduction in weekly total minutes of walking by 7.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 5.3-9.4), a reduction in weekly total minutes of vigorous physical activity by 10.1 (95% CI = 8.5-11.7), a reduction in daily average hours of sedentary behavior by 0.06 (95% CI = 0.02-0.10) but an increase in daily average hours of nighttime/daytime sleep by 1.07 (95% CI = 1.04-1.11).

CONCLUSIONS:
Ambient PM2.5 air pollution was inversely associated with physical activity level but positively associated with sleep duration among college students. Future studies are warranted to replicate study findings in other Chinese cities and universities, and policy interventions are urgently called to reduce air pollution level in China’s urban areas.”

Copyright © 2018 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Is air quality in China a social problem?ChinaPower

“The human and fiscal cost of air pollution is irrefutable. Since 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) has tracked air quality to measure its effect on heart disease, strokes, lung cancer, and other respiratory illnesses. China and India each had 1.1 million air pollution-related deaths in 2015, accounting for half of the world’s total air pollution deaths that year.

Chinese leaders face the difficult choice of prioritizing either economic growth or environmental and social welfare. For the past several years, Beijing has a made a concerted effort to reduce high concentrations of air pollution across China.

An Air Quality Index (AQI) is a measure for reporting the safety level of air in a specific location. The AQI provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses “breakpoints” that correspond to a defined pollution concentration. Breakpoints are scaled between 0 and 500.

How does air quality in China compare with other countries?
Countries with a developed or developing industrial sector often face a tradeoff between rapid economic growth – without the constraints of environmental regulations – or public and environmental welfare measures. This challenge is not a recent phenomenon. Advanced economies, like the UK and Sweden, continue to work toward environmental protection while supporting their economic and industrial sectors. The challenge arguably has greater repercussions for developing countries, as their economic development often depends on industrial output.

Most advanced economies began to regulate air pollution after de-industrialization was already underway. This period coincided with better public awareness of the health consequences of pollution. After the 1952 “Great Smog of London” was estimated to have killed at least 4,000 people, the UK introduced the Clean Air Act of 1956 to restrict emissions. Due to the lack of consistent data, the extent to which the act directly contributed to air-quality improvements is unknown, but the post-1960 difference was dramatic; urban concentrations of smoke fell by 80 percent and sulfur dioxide by 70 percent within 20 years.

In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency introduced the Clean Air Act in 1970, with subsequent amendments in 1977 and 1990. The Clean Air Act established national air-quality standards, and has been associated with reductions in sulfur dioxide and other pollutants, leading to an immediate reduction in infant mortality rates. In 1972, an estimated 1,300 infants survived as a consequence of the Clean Air Act.2 Although the U.S. public has benefited from this regulation, economic losses were incurred during this transition. In the 15 years following the 1970 and 1977 Clean Air Act amendments, it is estimated that American counties found in violation of regulation lost about 590,000 jobs, $37 billion in capital goods, and $75 billion in production.”

For the complete article, please follow the link to the site.

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Africa has an air pollution problem

Air pollution

Something interesting to read about ………..  Enjoy your day!

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Africa has an air pollution problem but lacks the data to tackle it – University of Pretoria

By – Prof Janine Wichmann

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently launched BreatheLife, a campaign to make people more aware about the fact that air pollution – which it calls the invisible killer – is a major health and climate risk.

‘Invisible’ may refer to the lack of awareness that air pollution is a major health risk. In fact, air pollution levels exceeding the WHO air quality guidelines are often very visible, particularly in developing countries. This is especially true for billions of people living in close contact with air pollution sources. Those who, for example, cook on inefficient stoves with fuels such as coal. Or live in an industrial area.

The WHO has air quality programmes for most of the world’s regions. These review the effects of air pollution on health and help countries develop sustainable air quality policies. But none exists for sub-Saharan Africa. It is not clear why. A possible explanation may be that environmental health risk factors are overshadowed by other risks like malnutrition, HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

Despite this, we do know something about the continent’s air pollution levels. In the first major attempt to estimate the health and economic costs of air pollution in Africa, an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report found that air pollution in Africa already causes more premature deaths than unsafe water or childhood malnutrition. It warned that this could develop into a health and climate crisis.

But how bad are air pollution levels in Africa? Which countries have the worst air pollution levels? What are the main sources and drivers of air pollution? Are the main sources and drivers of air pollution different from those on other continents?

The answers to these questions are severely hampered by a lack of data as well as poor regulation and laws in African countries. The only country on the continent that has ambient air quality standards enforced by air quality laws and regulations is South Africa. Other countries have either ambient air quality standards or air quality laws and regulations, or none at all.

What’s known

Air pollution is a complex mixture of many components.

The WHO’s air quality guidelines, as well as country-specific laws, have identified a few air pollutant components: particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometer (PM2.5) and 10 micrometer (PM10) in aerodynamic diameter, sulphur dioxide (SO2), ground-level ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), benzene, lead and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

The most dangerous are PM2.5 and ultrafine particles (UFP); the latter are smaller than 100 nanometer in aerodynamic diameter. PM2.5 and UFP penetrate deeper into the lung alveoli and may pass into the bloodstream. PM10 and PM2.5 are important indicators of long-term air quality and of health risks.

Based on data of ground measurements conducted in 2008-2015, Africa’s PM10 levels are not the highest in the world.

The database is the largest of its kind and covers over 3 000 human settlements – mostly cities – in 103 countries. The number one spot belongs to the Eastern Mediterranean region, followed by the South-East Asia region and then Africa. But the WHO acknowledges numerous limitations to the data sources. Fewer sites globally measure PM2.5, hence the focus is on PM10.

The PM2.5 data based on the WHO air quality model show that the number one spot again belongs to the Eastern Mediterranean region, followed by the South-East Asia region and then Africa. Given the lack of PM2.5 ground measurements in Africa, the PM2.5 data derived from the WHO air quality model for Africa should be viewed with caution.

Where is the air worse in Africa?

It is hard to say what the real picture is. The modelled PM2.5 data supplements the data from ground monitoring networks, especially in regions with no or very little monitoring, as is the case in Africa.

The PM10 data, based on ground measurements conducted between 2008 and 2015, show that all African countries with PM10 data exceeded the WHO annual guideline of 20 microgram/cubic meter (µg/m³).

Onitsha in Nigeria had the highest yearly PM10 level of 594 µg/m³ globally, nearly 30 times higher than the WHO annual guideline. But the quality of the data is questionable. The level for Onitsha is based on PM10 data collected only in 2009 and only at one site. The database also does not mention on how many days the 2009 yearly level is based as missing data can lead to a distorted yearly level. The lowest yearly PM10 level was recorded at Midlands in Mauritius (20 µg/m³). But this is based only on 2011 data collected again at only one site without mention of how many days in 2011 were measured.

It is also difficult to know exactly what the contribution of different sources of air pollution are in Africa.

The amount of air pollution in any given location is affected by a combination of local, regional and distant sources. It is also affected by the dispersion of pollutants, which in turn depends on numerous weather conditions such as wind direction, temperature and precipitation.

A recent review indicated that very few studies in Africa conducted source apportionment of PM2.5 and PM10. The review concluded that (based on the few studies) 17%, 10%, 34%, 17% and 22% of PM2.5 levels in Africa are due to traffic, industry, domestic fuel burning, unspecified source of human origin and natural sources – such as dust and sea salt. For PM10 the corresponding source distribution is 34%, 6%, 21%, 14% and 25%, but should be viewed with caution due to the few studies.

Based on the limited number of PM10 and PM2.5 source apportionment studies in Africa, these tentative conclusions can be drawn. Traffic is a major source of PM10 levels in Africa as in many other global regions. The other two major sources of PM10 in Africa are domestic fuel burning and natural sources. In other regions of the world, industry and the ambiguous ‘unspecified source of human origin’ contribute more.

Domestic fuel burning is the major source of PM2.5 in Africa, followed by traffic and natural sources such as dust. In other regions of the world, traffic, industry and the ambiguous ‘unspecified source of human origin’ contribute more to PM2.5 levels.

Air quality interventions

Regardless of the exact global source contributions, the main sources of air pollution should be tackled globally in management plans and interventions.

Obvious interventions include clean energy technology such as solar power, to minimise domestic fuel burning and emissions from coal-fired power plants. Other initiatives include clean public transport, bicycle lanes to cut traffic emissions, recycling and controls on industrial emissions.

Air pollution does not stop at country or continental borders. It is a major risk factor for climate change. A disregard for air pollution levels in Africa may have a major impact on global climate change in the years to come.”

“Prof Janine Wichmann is an Associate Professor at the School of Health Systems and Public Health at the University of Pretoria.

This article originally appeared on The Conversation.”

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Measuring Africa’s Air Pollution – The New York Times
By Kate Galbraith 2014

“When Jenny Linden, an air quality scientist, tried to measure the pollution in Burkina Faso’s capital city, one of her instruments clogged up. It was designed for road dust in Arizona, but the dust in Ouagadougou far exceeded the machine’s limit, and it had to be sent to the United States for repair.

The instrument “could not take the level of pollutants they had there,” recalled Dr. Linden, who took measurements in Ouagadougou between 2003 and 2007 and is now a research associate in urban climatology at the University of Mainz, in Germany. So intense was the dust, she added, that “you don’t have a cold but you have an irritated nose the whole time.”

Air pollution in Asia and Europe has grabbed headlines. But as Dr. Linden’s experience suggests, the problem is pervasive across Africa as well. Africa is urbanizing quickly, and pollution from sources like vehicle exhaust, wood burning and dusty dirt roads has reached worrisome levels in many cities. Equally or more troubling is air pollution inside homes, caused by cooking with wood or other sooty fuels. But few nations outside South Africa have imposed regulations to address the problem, experts say.

“We do know that in Africa, there’s a very major problem with indoor air pollution,” said Dr. Carlos Dora, an official with the World Health Organization’s Department for Public Health and Environment. Data for outdoor air pollution in cities, he added, is less available and may not capture the scope of the problem.

Dirty air can cause lung damage as well as heart disease, strokes and cancer. Last month the W.H.O. estimated that one in eight deaths worldwide resulted from air pollution. The organization found that air pollution in African homes contributed to nearly 600,000 deaths in 2012. Africa had the third highest level of deaths per capita from indoor air pollution of any region of the world, though it was still well behind areas of the western Pacific region (including China) and Southeast Asia.

The W.H.O. figures for deaths per capita from outdoor air pollution in Africa are well below the world average, but the lack of data is a barrier. Pollution monitoring is minimal on a continent that is mostly focused on other problems. Instruments are expensive, and academics say they often struggle to get grants to study the problem. The W.H.O. assesses outdoor pollution in Africa by drawing from satellite data, inventories of pollution sources, air-current modeling and occasional ground monitors, Dr. Dora said. Continentwide data is stronger than that for individual countries, he added.

In Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, normal levels of fine dust (meaning particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, about 1/30 of the width of a human hair and a significant health threat) are usually five times as high as those in Gothenburg, Sweden, according to Johan Boman, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Gothenburg. The Nairobi pollution doubles near the central business district, he said, reflecting high pollution from vehicle exhaust.

“It’s certainly not as bad as what we see from China,” he said. “On the other hand, in China it’s very much seasonal,” whereas Nairobi, with its relatively stable climate, has less variation.

A survey several years ago by the W.H.O. showed Gaborone, Botswana, as having the eighth-highest level of particulate pollution (particles of up to 10 micrometers in diameter) among a list of world cities. But the W.H.O. stresses that it is an incomplete list, since many cities did not provide data — including some of the most polluted.

The outdoor pollution problem is growing, as more Africans move to cities. Ms. Linden, who did research in Burkina Faso until 2007, said that “the situation is likely worse now” because Ouagadougou’s population has swelled by more than 50 percent since then. Major outdoor sources of pollution include old vehicles; the burning of wood and trash; industrial activities; and even dust from dirt roads, a serious issue in Ouagadougou. In West Africa, a wind called the harmattan adds to the problem in the winter, coating the region in Saharan desert dust.

One recent study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, estimated that Africa could generate 20 percent to 30 percent of the world’s combustion-driven sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by 2030, up from about 5 percent each in 2005. Other pollutants are growing too: Organic carbon from Africa could rise to over 50 percent of the world’s combustion output, from 20 percent, the study said. The authors did their calculations using estimates about fuel consumption, growth and other emissions factors, and warned of “a considerable increase in emissions from Africa” in the absence of regulations.

One of few countries to put regulations in place is South Africa, where ozone and tiny particles are particular worries. Air quality standards went into effect in 2009. Restrictions on particles will tighten in 2015 and 2016, according to Rebecca Garland, a senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria.

Elsewhere, action is lacking as African nations grapple with other problems. Dr. Dora of the W.H.O. said that in countries like China, the pressure to stem pollution comes from businesses, and “from what I know, there’s still not that pressure from businesses in Africa,” he said. However, some leaders are aware of the issue and want to address it, he added.

One initiative that has gotten considerable attention is cleaner cookstoves. The current fuels, including wood, charcoal, animal dung and crop residues, create smoke and soot. The W.H.O. is releasing information soon about how various technologies can improve indoor air pollution. The concept of cleaner cookstoves has been getting high-profile attention; however, some experts caution that some of the new cookstoves may be focused less on reducing air emissions than on other benefits like increased energy efficiency and preventing forest degradation.

“I don’t think anybody’s really demonstrated that they’re clean enough” to play a serious role in improving public health, said Darby Jack, an assistant professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.”

Particulate air pollutants associated with numerous cancers

Here is another post related to our one from last week on how air pollution is damaging our health.  This article discusses how exposure to particulate air pollutants are being associated with numerous cancers.

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Particulate air pollutants associated with numerous cancers – University of Birmingham 

“Researchers have found that long-term exposure to environmental pollutants was associated with increased risk of mortality for many types of cancer in an elderly Hong Kong population.

The study between the University of Birmingham and University of Hong Kong, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, adds to growing concern around the health risks of prolonged exposure to ambient fine particulate matter.

Particulate matter is the term for particles found in the air, including hydrocarbons and heavy metals produced by transportation and power generation, among other sources. This study focused on ambient fine particulate matter, or matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5).

For every 10 microgram per cubic meter (µg/m³) of increased exposure to PM2.5, the risk of dying from any cancer rose by 22 percent.

Dr Neil Thomas, from the Institute of Applied Health at The University of Birmingham, said, “The implications for other similar cities around the world are that PM2.5 must be reduced to reduce the health burden. Air pollution remains a clear, modifiable public health concern.”

Dr Thuan Quoc Thach, from the University of Hong Kong, said, “Long-term exposure to particulate matter has been associated with mortality mainly from cardiopulmonary causes and lung cancer, but there have been few studies showing an association with mortality from other cancers. We suspected that these particulates could have an equivalent effect on cancers elsewhere in the body.”

The researchers recruited 66,280 people aged 65 or older between 1998 and 2001, and followed the subjects until 2011, ascertaining causes of death from Hong Kong registrations. Annual concentrations of PM2.5 at their homes were estimated using data from satellite data and fixed-site monitors.

After adjusting for smoking status, and excluding deaths that had occurred within three years of the baseline to control for competing diseases, the study showed that for every 10 µg/m³ of increased exposure to PM2.5, the risk of dying from any cancer rose by 22 percent. Increases of 10 µg/m³ of PM2.5 were associated with a 42 percent increased risk of mortality from cancer in the upper digestive tract and a 35 percent increased risk of mortality from accessory digestive organs, which include the liver, bile ducts, gall bladder, and pancreas.

For women, every 10 µg/m³ increase in exposure to PM2.5 was associated with an 80 percent increased risk of mortality from breast cancer, and men experienced a 36 percent increased risk of dying of lung cancer for every 10 µg/m³ increased exposure to PM2.5.

The team believe that possible explanations for the association between PM2.5 and cancer could include defects in DNA repair function, alterations in the body’s immune response, or inflammation that triggers angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels that allows tumours to spread. In the case of the digestive organs, heavy metal pollution could affect gut microbiota and influence the development of cancer.

The large scale of the study, as well as its documentation of cancer-specific mortality, enables a detailed investigation of the contribution of particulate matter to these cancers and counters the common problems associated with research into mortality via specific types of cancer in a population.

Dr Thomas added, “The next step is to determine whether other countries experience similar associations between PM2.5 and cancer deaths. This study, combined with existing research, suggests that other urban populations may carry the same risks but we’d be keen to look into this further.”

Dr Thach concluded, “The limitation to this study is the sole focus on PM2.5. Emerging research is beginning to study the effects of exposure to multiple pollutants on human health. We must be cautious though, as pollution is just one risk factor for cancer, and others, such as diet and exercise, may be more significant and more modifiable risk factors.””

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How air pollution can cause cancer – Cancer Research UK

“Air pollution increases the risk of lung cancer. For each individual person, the increase in risk of cancer is small. But because everyone is exposed to some air pollution, when we think about big numbers of people, like the population of a country, air pollution has a much bigger effect.

And air pollution isn’t only linked to lung cancer, there is also good evidence that it can increase the risk of other diseases, mainly respiratory diseases and heart disease.

However, it’s important to keep the risk in perspective. Smoking has a much bigger effect on the risk of developing lung cancer than air pollution.

What is air pollution?

Air pollution is the harmful things that are found in the air we breathe.

It is a mixture of many different substances and the exact contents vary depending on its source, your location, the time of year and even the weather. Air pollution can be man-made, such as fumes from cars and smoke from burning fuels like wood or coal. But it also includes natural substances, like desert dust that travels to the UK all the way from the Sahara desert.

Air pollution is often separated into outdoor and indoor air pollution. Both indoor and outdoor air pollutants have been shown to increase the risk of cancer. Air pollution is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. Although the increased risk of cancer is small for individuals, because everyone is exposed to some air pollution, it has an important effect across the population as a whole.

Outdoor Air Pollution

In 2013, outdoor air pollution was identified as a cause of cancer by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). It’s responsible for far fewer cases of cancer than other risk factors, such as smoking and obesity, but air pollution affects everyone.

The research shows that tiny dust-like particles – called ‘particulate matter’, or PM – are an important part of air pollution. The smallest particles – less than 2.5 millionths of a metre across, known as PM2.5 – appear to be behind lung cancers caused by pollution.

The risk of developing lung cancer increases as the level of PM2.5 in the air increases.”

To read further please follow the above link to the article.

Air Pollution Is Destroying Your Health

We all know air pollution is causing us health problems.  Here are a few consequences you might not have been aware of…………..

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“5 Ways Air Pollution Is Destroying Your Health – Dr Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM – Global Healing Center

You probably already know about some of the dangers that severe air pollution exposure can cause and how places like stoplights at intersections can increase your exposure to harmful air particles up to 29 times more than the open road. While these facts are startling, you probably don’t know about the almost invisible dangers.  Namely the numerous diseases and cognitive issues now being linked to air pollution. Here we’ll get into five ways you’re letting air pollution destroy your health.

The Hidden Dangers of Air Pollution
Despite the slow turn to more sustainable forms of agriculture and industry, air pollution is still a big problem. Here are just some of the ways air pollution negatively affects your health.

1. Air Pollution is Linked to Suicide
It may seem crazy to think that air pollution could lead to something as serious as suicide, but studies in Taiwan, South Korea, China, and now Utah suggest a link. Not only is suicide the 10th leading cause of death in the US, it is the number 8th cause of death in Utah.  Obviously, there are many factors that must be considered when discussing causes of suicide; however, suicide rates increased in Utah during the spring and fall (a time when certain aspects of air pollution can be worse).

2. Air Pollution Slows Cognition in Schoolchildren
We all know that air pollution can exacerbate symptoms of asthma and other respiratory-related illnesses and diseases, but did you also know that it can affect brain development? Dr. Jordi Sunyer did a study to see just how affected schoolchildren are by air pollution (specifically traffic pollution). The study concluded that children who attended schools in polluted areas showed overall slower cognition in comparison to those who attended schools in areas with less traffic pollution. “The associations between slower cognitive development and higher levels of air pollutants remained after the researchers took factors such as parents’ education, commuting time, smoking in the home and green spaces at school into account.”

3. Significant Risks to Frequent Flyers
Those who fly frequently (especially pilots or other airline staff) could potentially be more at risk for certain issues, dubbed “aerotoxic syndrome.” Most planes have a mechanism that compresses air from the engines and uses that as air in the cabin, but sometimes, these mechanisms malfunction and allow oil particles to taint the cabin air. Many airline employees have mentioned this, but one pilot, Richard Westgate, passed away in 2012 after claiming to be a victim of poisonous and toxic cabin fumes.

4. Cremations Release Mercury Into the Air
With land for burials becoming more scarce (and also more expensive), many people turn to cremation as an alternate form of honoring the body of a loved one who has passed on. The unfortunate side effect of cremation is mercury emissions. Honoring a fallen loved one should not come at the price of endangering yourself and others, but there are alternatives such as alkaline hydrolysis or “liquid cremation” that are far healthier for the environment and for you.

5. Air Pollution Linked to Autism
Autism and related disorders have been on the rise for some time and research suggests air pollution may be a contributing factor. Several reports noted a link between exposure to toxic metals and other pollutants in children who were more at risk to develop autism. Other studies focused on pregnant women and how closely they lived to freeways and other sources of heavy pollution. All of the studies found similar exposures to a handful of particular pollutants that seemed to increase the risk of autism in newborns.

Air Pollution: No Simple Solution
It’s difficult to remove all air pollution from your life, unfortunately, but you can monitor and limit your exposure. Keep abreast with local news about your city or even check in on a Breathe Cam. Keep plants inside your home to help remove harmful pollutants. Consider an air purification device, they can be a great active approach for purifying the air in your home.

Air pollution

“Autism Risk Linked to Particulate Air Pollution – Scientific America

Children whose mothers were exposed to high levels of fine particulate pollution in late pregnancy have up to twice the risk of developing autism as children of mothers breathing cleaner air, scientists reported

NEW YORK, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Children whose mothers were exposed to high levels of fine particulate pollution in late pregnancy have up to twice the risk of developing autism as children of mothers breathing cleaner air, scientists at Harvard School of Public Health reported on Thursday.

The greater the exposure to fine particulates emitted by fires, vehicles, and industrial smokestacks the greater the risk, found the study, published online in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Earlier research also found an autism-pollution connection, including a 2010 study that found the risk of autism doubled if a mother, during her third trimester, lived near a freeway, a proxy for exposure to particulates. But this is the first to examine the link across the United States, and “provides additional support” to a possible link, said Heather Volk of the University of Southern California Children’s Hospital, who led earlier studies.

U.S. diagnoses of autism soared to one in 68 children in 2010 (the most recent data) from one in 150 in 2000, government scientists reported in March. Experts are divided on how much of the increase reflects greater awareness and how much truly greater incidence.

Although the disorder has a strong genetic basis, the increasing incidence has spurred scientists to investigate environmental causes, too, since genes do not change quickly enough to explain the rise.

The Harvard study included children of the 116,430 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II, which began in 1989. The researchers collected data on where the women lived while pregnant and levels of particulate pollution. They then compared the prenatal histories of 245 children with autism spectrum disorder to 1,522 normally-developing children, all born from 1990 to 2002.

There was no association between autism and fine particulate pollution before or early in pregnancy, or after the child was born. But high levels of exposure during the third trimester doubled the risk of autism.

Evidence that a mother-to-be’s exposure to air pollution affects her child’s risk of autism “is becoming quite strong,” said Harvard epidemiologist Marc Weisskopf, who led the study, suggesting a way to reduce the risk.

It is not clear how tiny particles might cause autism, but they are covered with myriad contaminants and penetrate cells, which can disrupt brain development.

Last year the Environmental Protection Agency, citing the link to asthma, lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, tightened air quality standards for fine particulate pollution. States have until 2020 to meet the new standards. (Reporting by Sharon Begley; editing by Andrew Hay)”

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Have a great day! Chris

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Harmful Toxins in Air

There are a lot of toxins in the air that can cause lung damage, here is an article describing the top 5 and then below is an article from the same source with tips for keeping your lungs clean.  I hope you find these articles informative and helpful.  They were both written by Dr. Edward Group (DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) and sourced from Global Healing Centre.

The Top 5 Harmful Toxins in Airhttps://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/the-top-5-harmful-toxins-in-air/

“A major part of how healthy we are comes from how clean the air we breathe really is. Fumes and carcinogens from factories and automobile exhaust, and tons of other harmful gases are all around us. These are dangerous molecules to inhale, and they also decrease the actual amount of oxygen in the air. Now, consider this: most of our airborne toxins are inhaled while we’re inside because we spend most of our lives indoors whether it’s in offices, homes, schools, churches.

And since that’s where most of our time is spent – at home, in stores, restaurants and more, it’s important to be aware of what’s in that air you breathe most often: smoke, pet dander, paint fumes, mold, mildew and possibly billions of microorganisms.

Oxygen is the major component that the body uses to neutralize toxins and remove them from the body. The air we breathe is low in oxygen content when it is polluted with carcinogens; toxic factory and auto exhaust fumes, and many other things. We are suffocating. “Dirty” air presents less than adequate oxygen levels for your body to perform its tasks optimally. That means less oxygen and more toxins to the bloodstream, and the colon, which is responsible for eliminating toxins from your body.

There is very little chance that you or a group of you will make any significant changes in the way that factories burn off waste, or change the way that car manufacturers design their exhaust systems in a significantly short amount of time. Because most of your toxic molecules are inhaled while inside anyway, we are going to focus the top 5 toxins from indoor air.

1. Tobacco Smoke
Almost no one argues against the fact that cigarettes are bad. Not anymore, anyway. And unfortunately for us all, we now know that quitting doesn’t save us all. We know that there is danger in smoking. We are now attending to the secondhand smoke dangers as well. Secondhand smoke is a real problem that requires uncomfortable ways of living in order to compensate for it.

For many years smoking has been linked to lung cancer. It’s also been linked to colorectal cancer. Polyps become enlarged and irritated with secondhand smoke inhalation. The larger the polyp, the greater is the risk of it metastasizing into cancer. People are paying attention to the dangers of secondhand smoke. This awareness is the reason that you now experience ‘SMOKE FREE’ restaurants and workplaces and homes. When you inhale cigarette smoke, you are breathing in tar and other additives which are difficult to expel from your body. In the human body they can cause cancer, in children, there is the added danger of causing damage to their still-developing organs.

2. Paint Fumes
The dangers of lead and mercury added to paints have been assessed and addressed by eliminating them from paint formulas. Some paints on the market give off fumes called Volatile Organic Compounds which is unsafe for inhaling. Even with a high vapor pressure causing it to dissipate quickly, there are times when it is inhaled. Over time, the buildup of these VOC’s causes toxins to build up in the body which can lead to headaches, loss of coordination, liver damage and other disorders. You should know that there is a danger to breathing in these fumes even outdoors. However, the greater threat is indoors, which is why many paints come with the warning that you should use them only in well ventilated areas.

An even better solution is to buy paints that do not contain these compounds. Know too that the fumes don’t come only from some paints. The EPA has a long list of common products that emit these harmful fumes, such as, minerals, varnishes, enamels, lacquers, stains, latex, and water colors. It really would be an impossible task to eliminate the threat from all products that contain these volatile compounds. For that reason you should make the effort to reduce them in your home by using VOC-Free Paints.

3. Micro-Organisms
According to the EPA, biological contaminants are “living organisms or their derivatives,” and they include mold, mildew, bacteria, dust mites, animal dander and viruses. These organisms build up in the body to toxic levels and they can cause respiratory problems among other things. Children, elderly and people with weakened immune systems are especially susceptible to airborne biological contaminants.

4. Pet Dander
Pet dander is dead animal skin cells, reminiscent of human dandruff, which sloughs off naturally as the animal’s skin becomes dry. These skin cells are found in concentrated amounts around the animal’s sleeping area. Once airborne these particles can be inhaled or swallowed. It’s estimated that 30% of allergy sufferers are pet owners. So they definitely need to reduce the airborne particles from their pets.

5. Mold & Mildew
Mold is naturally occurring outdoors. It’s only natural that some of the spores will get into your home just as a matter of moving in and out. When they enter and begin to multiply then there is the danger of inhaling dangerous quantities. The threats from the spores of mold and mildew can include: respiratory ailments, headaches, nausea and diarrhea. Mold found in damp areas like bathrooms are generally referred to as mildew. These spores are unclean and unsightly. When you go in and scrub them away, you are actually making them airborne and that’s when there’s a chance that you will inhale them.

I highly recommend cleansing the air in your home with the REME+ advanced air purification unit. I also suggest regular lung cleansing with a product such as Allertrex®.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.”

Harmful Toxins in Air

6 Tips for Keeping Your Lungs Cleanhttps://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/6-tips-for-keeping-your-lungs-clean/

“Keeping your body clean on the inside is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy and, as such, many people regularly perform colon cleansing and liver cleansing routines. Harmful organism cleanses and toxic metal cleanses are also common, beneficial, and recommended. But did you know there are measures you can take to keep your lungs clean too?

It’s important to have healthy lungs, as a pair, they’re one of the most active organs in the body and certainly one of the most important. We can go weeks without food, and days without water… but not very long without air. Here are 6 easy tips you can implement right away to keep your lungs at peak performance.

6 Tips for Keeping Your Lungs Clean
1. Don’t Smoke
This one is a no-brainer, the detrimental effect of cigarette smoke on the lungs has been known and documented for over a hundred years… yet some people continue to do it. Smoking deposits harmful and obstructive tar in the lungs, not to mention a phone-book sized list of chemicals. The chemicals in cigarette smoke, like carbon monoxide, inhibit mechanical lung function and contribute to the development of big, big problems like emphysema and cancer. Smoking is bad for your health and it’s bad for everyone around you. There’s no need to rehash what we all know, let’s just shut the book on this one- don’t smoke!

2. Perform Lung Cleansing Exercises
Did you know breathing exercises can strengthen your lungs and help clear toxins? Just as bicep curls will strengthen your arms, deep breathing exercises will strengthen your lungs and clear your airways. Deep breathing provides a secondary benefit in that they deliver more nourishing oxygen to your body. Shallow breathing is often a product of weak lung function or sedentary habits. It’s a bad habit and if you’re guilty, stop! Once or twice a day, find a quiet place and perform the deep breathing exercises that tap into the full capacity of your lungs!

3. Eat Lung Cleansing Foods
Did you know pistachios, plantain leaf, and cayenne pepper are all foods that promote healthy lung function? Pistachios contain gamma-tocopherol, a type of vitamin E that is believed to reduce risk of lung cancer. Plantain leaf, popular in Latin American cuisine, is useful suppressing mucous and may help respiratory problems that involve congestion. Cayenne peppers are potent foods whose benefits are equal to their heat. Cayenne has been shown to relieve irritation which is great news when you’re suffering from coughs and sore throats.

4. Reduce Your Indoor Air Pollution Exposure
Indoor environments can be contaminated with over 1,000 species of mold and mildew. Pet dander is a common indoor pollutant that is notorious for antagonizing allergies. Synthetic, chemical-based cleaning products are toxic substances with toxic fumes, just check the warning label! (and make your own natural alternatives instead). Upholstery, carpet, paint, and building materials are also all common sources of indoor pollution. The indoor air pollution problem is compounded by the fact that home construction has become more airtight in the last 30 years which traps pollutants inside. A drafty house may not seem the most efficient when the electricity bill arrives but there is something to be said about the constant airflow. Aside from ridding your home of the sources of pollution, air exchange systems and indoor air purification systems are good proactive approaches to purifying the air in your home.

5. Make a Castor Oil Pack for Lung Cleansing
Castor oil packs are easy to make at home and work great for drawing toxins out of the body! Castor oil has long been appreciated as a general health tonic and is believed to stimulate lymphatic circulation and waste elimination. Castor oil packs are placed on the chest, perhaps similar to vapor rubs, and are thought to break up congestion and toxins. Easy, effective, and inexpensive, try it!

6. Take Lung Cleansing Herbs
Plants like oregano, orange peel, elecampane, eucalyptus, peppermint, lungwort, osha root, chaparral, and lobelia have been used for hundreds of years, if not longer, as natural remedies for respiratory conditions. Individual herbal tinctures and extracts are available, or, rather than purchasing and taking each separately, Allertrex® is a natural lung cleansing supplement that contains organic and wildcrafted herbs known to support respiratory ailments, help with normal lung functions, and cleanse your lungs of harmful agents.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

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Regards, Chris Loans

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Why Nairobi’s air pollution is deadly

Nairobi is an extremely dangerous city to live in. Not because of thuggery. Our capital’s urban violence is amongst the lowest of all cities worldwide, in actual fact. But because of the air, the filthy, contaminant laden, toxic, death inducing air that we all breathe in and out of our bodies every waking day.

The biggest channel from there to the morgue are respiratory diseases, which kill 12 per cent of us, across asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, laryngitis, pneumonia and influenza.

But the deaths from our particular type of heavy pollution don’t end there. Our air quality is causing cancer, and heart disease. It’s messing up our hormonal balance, and damaging our reproductive system. And just in case anyone had a plan for some way to stop breathing the city’s air, its polluting the plants and animals we eat, and poisoning us through what we eat too.

Indeed, one Nairobi study found eggs in Dandora so loaded with cancer-causing pollutants that they topped the World Health Organisation (WHO) health limits many times over – so we’re eating the poisons from our air, even as we breathe them too.

None of it is good for our daily health or life expectancy. But why is Nairobi’s pollution so very much worse that other global cities – 30 times worse than London, according to the occasional studies that independent researchers bother with?

The drivers are several. A prime cause is our vehicles. Kenya is one of very few countries in Africa to have banned leaded petrol that filled the air with sulphur.

But many of our vehicles run on diesel, which has been proven to be more damaging still to human health, not only causing cancer, heart and lung damage, but affecting our mental faculties.

Our diesel load is made higher still by generators. We have one of the cleanest electricity generating systems in the world – 87 per cent of our national grid power is produced from geothermal heat, water and wind. Yet the grid’s unreliability sees hundreds of thousands of homes and offices running diesel generators that are little cancer-causing spots all in their own right.

The age and state of our vehicles, that become more polluting the older and more faulty they get, and the levels of traffic congestions, which sit we city dwellers in intensive vehicle pollution for hours on end from Mombasa Road to Thika Road, make things worse again.

And we also have another factor pushing up our toxic air levels, in open burning. That weird smell that comes from burning plastics and rubber isn’t just a weird smell, it’s one of the most toxic pollutants to mankind, loaded with dioxins and furans that are a straight line to cancer, impotence and allergies of all kinds.

Says the WHO: “Once dioxins have entered the environment or the body, they are there to stay due to their uncanny ability to dissolve in fats and to their rock-solid chemical stability.”

In short, every single plastic fire you smell is an extra toxic load you’ve taken in for the rest of your life.

It puts a different perspective on your neighbours’ burning habits, or all those businesses, and even hospitals – amazing, but absolutely true – running unfiltered incinerators as a way of managing refuse.

Then the extra killer again, is the burning in homes, kerosene stoves, even open wood and charcoal burners, that are a smash to everyone’s lungs and bodies inside the home and then far beyond it too, as the particulates generated rove off for sharing everywhere.

When it comes to plastic bags, Kenya has gone further in now eradicating them, by law and by penalties, than any other country in the world.

But when it comes to our air, which we all have no choice but to breathe – from the President to every resident of Kibera – we continue to look the other way, and visit our dying friends and relatives in hospital.

So here’s to toxic Nairobi: a poison pill you wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Source – Business Daily Africa

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.