Air QualityAir is a mixture of gases and aerosols. Humans add thousands
of volatile gases to air, creating a chemical soup that changes light
transmission through the atmosphere and exposes all living creatures to toxins
and carcinogens. Suspended particles in the air (aerosol) are important to the
behavior of whole atmosphere and play a key role in determining human disease.
Over land up to a quarter of the total airborne particulates are pollens, fungal
spores, bacteria, viruses, plant and animal matter. Air inside buildings
contains local aerosols that are often more concentrated and more toxic than
outdoor air. The term dust refers to the larger particles in the aerosol that
settle on walls and furniture. A smoker in the living room of a house produces a
toxic aerosol that permeates the rest of the house. Smoke particles settle on
walls and every object in a room so that a smoker leaves a trail of
contamination that non-smokers smell as soon as they enter the room.
Indoor air contains a living aerosol of microorganisms that infect or trigger
allergic reactions. Spores of bacteria and fungi are microscopic and may persist
for months or years. You can see the indoor aerosol under the right lighting
conditions, such a sunlight streaming through a window. The abundance of
microorganisms, even in a very clean house, surprises most people who have tests
done to assess air quality.
Ozone: In the 20th century, it became obvious that gases created by human
activity changed the chemical composition of the troposphere and stratosphere
with negative impacts on human survival. Large ozone holes appeared over the
Antarctic and the Arctic Polar regions. Smaller areas of ozone depletion were
recorded over other, more-populated regions of the Earth. Increases in surface
UV-B radiation have been recorded wherever stratospheric ozone was depleted. A
scientific consensus was reached that human-produced chemicals were responsible
for ozone depletion. Combinations of volatile chemicals containing chlorine,
fluorine, bromine, carbon, and hydrogen were responsible; carbon tetrachloride,
and methyl chloroform were used in refrigeration, air conditioning, and as
solvents. Halons, which contain carbon, bromine, fluorine, and chlorine were
also implicated. An international agreement was achieved so that many
governments outlawed CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform.
Re Ozone See World Meteorological Organization/United Nations Environment
Programme report, Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 1998 (WMO Global
Ozone Research and Monitoring Project-Report No. 44, Geneva, 1999).
- Discussions of Environmental Science and Human Ecology were developed by
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Air and Breathing
- The Environment
- Air and Breathing helps you understand breathing, respiratory
diseases, air quality issues, airborne infections and other causes of breathing disorders. You will find
detailed information about the respiratory tract, atmosphere, air pollution,
airborne infection, air quality allergy, lung diseases and airborne hazards at home.
2018 edition 106 pages.
Air and Breathing
Print Edition for Download.
In the book, The Environment, you will find detailed information about the weather,
climate change, soils, forests, energy sources, oceans, the atmosphere, air pollution, climate change,
air quality and the politics of the environment. The Environment is
available as a Printed book or as an eBook Edition for download.
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The Author Stephen J. Gislason MD
Not all respiratory diseases are caused by airborne pathogens. If asthma,
bronchitis and/or nose sinus congestion is chronic or attacks occur frequently
in all seasons and are not related to airborne exposure, then consider delayed
pattern food allergy as the cause and do diet revision using the Alpha Nutrition
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