HLTHAGE 4Z06 Lecture Notes - Rush Hour, Circulatory System, Hypercapnia

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Published on 19 Apr 2013
School
McMaster University
Department
Health, Aging and Society
Course
HLTHAGE 4Z06
Professor
01/16/2008
Human Health and the Environment
Lecture 2
Only memorize the data numbers shown in the presentations and
talked about
Airborne Hazards
Today we will discuss two types of air pollutants
1) Outdoor air pollution
2) Indoor air pollution
What are the major sources of air pollution? They are natural and manufactured
Natural include forest fires, volcanoes – most of them that we cannot avoid
Manufactured has different kinds of industry and the burning of fossil fuels
Outdoor Air Pollution
Listed are 6 common air pollutants- Ground level ozone, particulate matter,
carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide, lead
They are regulated by the U.S. Act – it is called the Clean Air Act of U.S.A.
A strict threshold is placed on these six pollutants
We will also discuss pollutants that are not regulated in Canada or U.S. as they
still represent a hazard to human health
Ozone
Is a chemical gas that has three oxygen atoms combined
There are two different types of ozone
One is good ozone – ozone layer in stratosphere protects us from harmful
ultraviolet (UV) radiation
There are ozone holes and problems with the pollution (is the good ozone) and
this ozone is not formed on ground level
It is formed in the upper level of atmosphere
What is the subject of concern is the ground level of ozone – ozone formed just a
little bit above the ground and how this ozone is formed
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) react with Nitric Oxides (NOx) and with some
effect of heat and sunlight (this is actually photochemical reaction)
Photochemical Reaction is any chemical reaction that is triggered by light,
sunlight
When heat and sunlight has effect on the formation of ozone we can discuss
where is the higher risk of being poisoned or having adverse effect of human
health on these gas
Hot, warm, sunny climates are a big problem for these types of photochemicals,
photochemical oxidants – i.e. Mexico City
We all know that Mexico City receives a lot of sunshine because of its warmer
climate
In Los Angeles there is also a big problem with photochemical smog
In cold climates the problem is not that, it is less significant
In the morning and in the evening the concentration is lower (ozone
concentration)
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01/16/2008
In the middle of the day especially around rush hour when traffic is heavy heat
is higher and sunshine is combined with pollution thus the concentration of
ozone increases significantly
Ozone is a summertime pollutant even in Toronto or in Canadacontamination
and pollution with the ozone is much higher during the summer
Ozone is transported over very long distances it doesn’t matter where it is
formed (can be formed in Asia or Europe but can affect us here in North
America)
What does the ozone do to our health, to our bodies? It causes lung damage (we
call it lung disease) affect small airways which means in the lower levels of our
lungs some changes and some problems can be seen
This results in shortness of breath, chest tightness (pressure on the chest), awful
cough, nausea and can irritate and damage eyes, nose, sinuses, throat
But we believe that if we go outside if you exercise you will get healthy and
probably more resistant and not be such a vulnerable to this chemical
Scientists and experts found something very interesting that people that
exercise outside a lot are more vulnerable
It is logical because many urban people exercise on the street together with the
emissions and gases and they breathe deeper, take in much more air in their
lungs
Particulate matter (PM)
What is the particulate matter in air? Particles found in the air
Particles can be solid particles or can be liquid particles – aerosols
These particles vary significantly in size from really large with black such as soot
(sticky, soot and black material) – i.e. smoke that is somewhat very visible to
very tiny particles of liquid aerosols
That is why we often find in literature particles and PM10 and PM2.5 – What does
this mean?
PM 2.5 - particles smaller than 2.5 microns
Experts believe that these particles are small enough to be transported in lower
level part of your lungs in the narrower airways because they are so small they
can hurt your lungs more on very small alveoli’s
Bigger particles will stay in upper level - nose, a little bit in the mouth (in the
upper level of the respiratory system)
Major source of particles (particulate matter) are vehicles, vehicle exhaust,
factories, different types of industry, construction sites (demolition,
reconstruction), stone crashing, or burning emit soot and smoke
But not all particle matter is emitted some is actually formed in the air
Serious health effects, why? These particulate matter can be associated with
acidic material – acids as these acids damage the lungs a lot (very dangerous to
our lungs)
Carbon Monoxide
Why does carbon monoxide need more discussion and attention?
You are exposed and it is very hard to know that you are poisoned but it is also
a very common pollutant
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01/16/2008
It is everywhere in outside pollution, outside air, also indoor – big problem indoor
Both critical for indoor pollution as well as for outdoor pollution
Odourless, colourless gas – emitted during the burning process but incomplete
burning, burning of fossil fuels – anything that has carbon as a content and if it
is partially burned process is not finished until end emits carbon monoxide
Couple of examples include heaters indoor, woodstoves, gas stoves, fireplaces
(can be poorly ventilated thus carbon monoxide can spread), water heaters,
automobile exhaust, tobacco smoke
1,000 people die each year in U.S. as a result of CO poisoning
If someone is exposed to the lower dosage of carbon monoxide not something
very visible right away
For a longer time especially for a fireplace that is not ventilated you wont
experience any adverse effect for an significantly long time but what might
happen is you might have symptoms similar to the flu or similar to food
poisoning (vomiting, dizziness, nausea something like that)
Many physicians get confused as it is hard for them to determine/detect what is
going on if you don’t give them some clue (usually you don’t know)
Some people are even more vulnerable – infants, elderly, and people that
already have problems such as heart and respiratory illnesses before that
They experience adverse effects in much lower concentrations than other
healthy people – are at a higher risk
Health effects of Carbon Monoxide
What does carbon monoxide actually do and why do we experience that adverse
affect?
Carbon monoxide interferes with delivery of oxygen because carbon monoxide
has a much higher affinity for hemoglobin (part of our blood, red in colour) …
than oxygen
About two hundred or even more than two hundred times higher affinity for
hemoglobin than oxygen
As a result of this we can experience some health problems – problems include
fatigue, detected or undetected (that we do not know reason for) headaches,
some weaknesses
When a concentration increases in the air then symptoms get worse as there is
confusion, disorientation – i.e. we usually don’t know that we are poisoned and
when we realize that we can’t leave the room or the car because of
disorientation and that confusion – loss of coordination (cannot open the door)
We definitely need fresh air but we cannot leave the car – this is why carbon
monoxide is such a dangerous chemical
If the concentration is increasing this poisoning can result in death, definite
death
Prevention
What to do, how to try to solve the problem?
A couple of informed tips to try to solve the problem – never leave the car
engine running in a shed or a garage (you have definitely heard about that)
because it results in carbon dioxide poisoning
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Document Summary

Only memorize the data numbers shown in the presentations and talked about. They are natural and manufactured: natural include forest fires, volcanoes most of them that we cannot avoid, manufactured has different kinds of industry and the burning of fossil fuels. Is a chemical gas that has three oxygen atoms combined. In los angeles there is also a big problem with photochemical smog. In cold climates the problem is not that, it is less significant. In the morning and in the evening the concentration is lower (ozone concentration) sunlight. It is logical because many urban people exercise on the street together with the emissions and gases and they breathe deeper, take in much more air in their lungs. These particulate matter can be associated with acidic material acids as these acids damage the lungs a lot (very dangerous to our lungs)

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