Health Desk: 02 February 2018: Pollution is a slow but steady killer. The toxin levels people are exposed to today will likely shorten people's life spans by several days or weeks. Air pollution, in particular, is linked to many health conditions, especially lung cancer.
"According to a recent report, lung cancer constitutes 6.9% of all new cancer cases and 9.3% of all cancer-related deaths in both men and women. It is imperative for each one of us to understand the effects that air pollution have on the lungs and on one's health and overall well-being," said Dr M Udaya Kumar Maiya, Medical Director, Portea Medical.
Lung cancer or lung carcinoma is a malignant lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This can spread further by a process known as metastasis into nearby tissue or other parts of the body.
Air pollutants can have serious impacts on the lungs and the respiratory system. They are absorbed into the circulatory system and pumped all around the body. Further, these air pollutants can also get deposited on soil, plants, and in water, increasing the level of human exposure.
Biological pollutants are mostly allergens that can cause asthma, hay fever, and other allergic diseases. Volatile organic compounds irritate the eyes, nose, and throat.
They can lead to headaches, nausea, and loss of coordination in the longer term and are also known to cause damage to the liver and other parts of the body. It is also associated with exacerbating respiratory disorders such as asthma and lowering resistance to common cold.
When it comes to masks, only the more sophisticated ones such as N95 can prevent the tiny particles from entering the lungs. Another way is to try and stay away from areas where the air quality is not very good.