New research from Hopkins Universty School of Medicine reveals insight of how a variety of air pollution affect breathing, sinuses, and other areas of the body.
If your nose runs year-round, air pollution could be part of the problem. A new study in mice shows how tiny airborne particles affect the nose and sinus areas. Those particles can also build up within fatty deposits in blood vessels, a second new study finds. Boosting these fatty build-ups could lead to more strokes and heart attacks. Together, these new data show that when inhaled, teeny particles can lead to big harm.
Particulates (Par-TIK-yu-lets) are a big category of small pollutants in the air. They include soot, smoke, dust, mists and other specks of material. Huge amounts come from burning coal, oil and wood. Particulates also spew from factories, farms and construction sites. Because of particulates, air pollution is the fourth leading cause of deaths worldwide, scientists reported last year.
Even when this pollution doesn’t kill, it can harm health, notes Murray Ramanathan. He’s a head and neck surgeon at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md.In one of the new studies, Ramanathan’s team showed how particle pollution can cause or worsen chronic sinusitis (Sign-yu-SY-tis). More than 29 million people in the United States alone have the illness, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This disease “has a huge impact on quality of life,” Ramanathan says.