AIR POLLUTION....STILL a MAJOR problem!!



YOUR  REAL  AGE

The Air You Breathe: Age Pollutants


According to a report published in 1991 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 164 million Americans, fully two-thirds of the population, live in areas where the air quality does not meet federal air-quality standards. That means that the majority of us are affected by ageing that is due to pollution. Just how much? That depends on where you live.

The effects of pollution are difficult to quantify because air quality varies so much from area to area, even block to block, and day to day. If one were to generalize about the effect by determining the difference in deaths from all causes in areas with heavy pollution versus areas with little pollution, the RealAge differnce would be 2.8 years.

That statistic, though, can be misleading, as different health effects are brought about by different pollutants. (in addition, heavily polluted areas may have other kinds of factors that affect mortality as well, like higher population density or increased crime.) Nevertheless, pollution appears to have a measurable ageing effect. The different kinds of pollutants include sulfates, ozone, large particulate matter, small particulate matter, lead, asbestos, and aerosols.


Air pollution can aggravate arterial and respiratory problems. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that changes in the level of air pollutants, specifically ozone and black smoke, led to an increase in mortality from all causes, primarily because of an increase of as much as 5 percent in cardiovascular and respiratory ageing. Air quality may also significantly influence the development of asthma, a disease affecting as 15 million Americans. Researchers suspect that some people have a genetic predisposition to asthma, which manifests when the body is confronted by the wrong stressors. Asthma rates are increasing in intensely urban areas, such as in the inner cities of New York and Chicago, suggesting that poor air quality may trigger the onset of the disease. Air quality also affects the number of sinus infections and respiratory illnesses people suffer.


Air quality is measured in particulate matter (PM). The higher the concentration of particulate matter of a certain size, the more likely you are to suffer from premature ageing from heart and lung disease. The smaller the particle, the more potentially injurious. Particles that are 10 microns (PM-lOs) or less in diameter are the most easily (and therefore the most commonly) measured particles for analysis of air pollution. (See Tables 6.3 and 6.4.)


Air pollution does not occur only outdoors. Generally, it has been shown that indoor air pollution parallels that of the air outside. Sophisticated air-filtration systems don't seem to make much difference. Sometimes the indoor air quality is actually worse. 'Building sickness,' essentially a malady caused by poor indoor air quality, is a real illness. Those who work in poorly ventilated buildings have more respiratory infections and complain of fatigue, headache, and nausea more often. If you work or live in a building you think could be causing you health problems, have the building checked.


A particularly notorious indoor pollutant is radon, a naturally occurring gas that is a known carcinogen. Radon, the product of decaying radium and uranium in the soil, seeps into houses from the ground below. A 1995 report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute estimated that exposure to radon contributed to as many as 10 percent of the deaths from lung cancer. A more recent report by the National Research Council (NRC) boosted that figure to 12 percent. The report also said that smokers are at a particular risk because smoke and radon interact. The NRC report estimated that 6 percent of American homes had excessively high levels of radon. How do you know if your home is one of them? You can buy a radon-testing kit at your local hardware store for about fifty dollars. Choose one that is certified by either the EPA or the state. The best variety are the 'alpha-trak' or 'electret' versions, which are used for ninety days. These versions give a better reading than short-term monitors that do not track changes in gas levels, which can vary over the year. If your house has high levels of radon (over 4 picocuries per liter of air), call the local public health board or the EPA hot line (800-426-4791) to find out how to fix the problem. The usual remedies include having the basement foundation properly sealed and having appropriate ventilation systems installed.


Asbestos is another indoor pollutant, and one that has been associated with higher incidences of lung cancer and other cancers. Asbestos is found in many houses and apartment buildings, especially those built in the 1940s through the 1970s, when asbestos was a major component of many building materials. It is found in insulation, such as that used to wrap water pipes; in certain kinds of flooring; textured paints; old roofing materials; and other sources. Asbestos is not a risk as long as it is contained in a properly sealed wrapping. However, those protective wrappings can crack with age, causing asbestos fibers to leak into the air. As airborne fibers, asbestos particles are extremely carcinogenic. Since it is so expensive to have asbestos removed from your home, most experts recommend leaving it alone unless it is exposed. There are ways of sealing asbestos-containing materials so they present no health risk. For more information, call your local health board or the EPA at the number provided earlier.


Other air pollutants that can cause ageing are smoke and carbon monoxide. These are a particular risk at home. Some toxic fumes are specific to your choices at home: household cleaning fluids, laundry detergents, exterminator pesticides, garden sprays, and dry-cleaning and rug-cleaning fluids. Others are more generalizable. About 15 percent of all deaths of adults from poisoning are due to the inhalation of such vapors as carbon monoxide and gas. Buy a smoke detector and keep it in good working order, with fresh batteries. Smoke detectors have been shown to reduce the risk of death and injury from smoke inhalation by as much as 70 percent in home and apartment fires. Having a carbon monoxide monitor in the home is another quick and easy way to protect your youth. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control found that having a functioning and well-maintained carbon monoxide monitor could cut the risk of inadvertent carbon monoxide poisoning in half. Since deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation are relatively rare, the RealAge benefit is just six to ten days. Nevertheless, why risk that kind of ageing when having two silent monitors can protect you?


We've considered what you can do to minimize ageing from toxins, pollution, and accidents, but that's no fun! Let's look now at the RealAge risks and benefits of sex and drug use. Although drug use makes you age, sex (safe sex) makes you younger. The more, the better!

(THE  ONLY  WAY  WITHIN  THE  LAW  OF  GOD  FOR  MORE  SEX  THE  BETTER  IS  WITHIN  MARRIAGE.  THERE  ARE  MANY  OTHER  WAYS  TO  KEEP  YOUNG  OTHER  THAN  SEX.  I'VE  BEEN  DIVORCED  SINCE  1997  AND  HAD  NO  SEXUAL  RELATIONS  SINCE.  I'M  STILL  MIGHTY  YOUNG  LOOKING,  AND  VERY  FIT.  SEE  MY  FACEBOOK  TO  SEE  PHOTOS  OF  ME  TODAY  -  Keith Hunt)


Table 6.3

The RealAge Effect of Air Pollution

For Men



Of Exposure to the Following Concentration of Air Pollution Particles per Cubic Meter of Air (ug/m3)*


Less              9 to             15.6 than9            15.5           to 20.7

20.8             More to 28.4       than 28.4

Calendar Age

RealAge


35

34.2             34.7               35

35.2             35.4

55

52.8            54.4              55

55.2             55.6

70

68.8            69.2              70

70.2             70.7



  

For Women


Of Exposure to the Following Concentration of Air Pollution Particles per Cubic Meter of Air (uglm3)*



Less than 9

9 to 15.5

15.6 to 20.7

20.8 to 28.4

More than 28.4

Calendar Age



RealAge



35

34.5

34.7

35

35.1

35.3

55

53.0

54.6

55

55.1

55.5

70

68.9

69.3

70

70.2

70.7



*In these tables, the concentration of air pollution has been expressed as the amount (in micrograms) of particles that are smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, per cubic meter of air (ug/m'). You can obtain the numbers for your specific area by consulting the PM-10 pollution numbers at the Web site of the Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/greenbk/pr/state.html) or the 1996 publication of the National Resources Defense Council: Breathtaking: Premature Mortality Due to Particulate Air Pollution in 239 American Cities (see Web site www.nrdc.org/nrdcpro/bt).


Table 6.4

The Ten Worst Metropolitan Areas in the United States (1990-94)



Highest Concentration of Air Pollution  (PM- 10s 

or smaller)


Average Annual


PM-10 Concentration


(ug/m3)

Visalia-Tulare-Porterville, California

60.4

Bakersfield, California

54.8

Fresno, California

51.7

Riverside-San Bernardino, California

48.1

Stockton, California

44.8

Los Angeles-Long Beach, California

43.8

Phoenix, Arizona

39.5

Spokane, Washington

38.7

Reno, Nevada

38.5

Las Vegas, Nevada

38.3


Highest Annual Per Capita Death Rates Attributable to Air Pollution


Deaths Per 100,000

Visalia-Tulare-Porterville, California

123

Bakersfield, California

122

Fresno, California

115

Riverside-San Bernardino, CA

95

Stockton, California

93

Los Angeles-Long Beach, California

79

Steubenville, Ohio/Weirton, West Virginia

78

Las Vegas, Nevada

76

St. Joseph, Missouri

76

Phoenix, Arizona

74




Other cities and areas among the top fifty for premature deaths attributable to particulate-matter air pollution include: Spokane, Washington (ranking, 14); Cleveland, Ohio (20); Reno, Nevada (20); Tampa-St. Petersburg (22); Philadelphia (25); Pittsburgh (28); San Diego, California (28); Providence, Rhode Island (32); Omaha, Nebraska (34); St. Louis, Missouri (34); Chicago (37); Detroit (37); Nashville, Tennessee (37); Atlanta, Georgia (44); and Mobile, Alabama (46).



....................


THE  ABOVE  CHARTS  ARE  OF   COURSE  OUT  OF  DATE  AS  THIS  BOOK  WAS  PUBLISHED  IN  2000.


BUT  ON  THE  NEWS  TONIGHT  [MARCH  25 - 2014]  WAS  THE  NEWS  THAT  AIR  POLLUTION  WORLDWIDE  IS  EPIDEMIC  -  1  IN  8  DEATHS  WORLDWIDE  ARE  CONTRIBUTED  TO  AIR  POLLUTION.  EVEN  IN  A  SMALL  POPULATION  OF  CANDA [ABOUT 33  MILLION]  THEY  SAY  10  MILLION  ARE  EFFECTED  BY  AIR  POLLUTION;  TOO  MANY  CANADIANS  LIKE  TO  LIVE  NEXT  TO  ROADS - SMALL  AND  MAJOR  ROADS.


Keith Hunt