THE RELATION BETWEEN OZONE AND ASTHMA

THE RELATION BETWEEN OZONE AND ASTHMA

No one really knows what causes asthma.  We do know asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways.  Causes of asthma symptoms vary for different people.  Still, one thing is consistent with asthma: when airways come into contact with an asthma trigger, the airways become inflamed, narrow, and fill with mucus.  Allergies with asthma are common problem.  Eighty percent of people with asthma have allergies to airborne substances such as tree, grass, and weed pollens, mold, animal dander, dust mites, and cockroach particles.  In one study, children who had high levels of cockroach droppings in their homes were four times more likely to have childhood asthma than children whose homes had low levels.  Asthma exacerbation after dust exposure is usually due to dust mite allergy.”

Questions about relationships between air pollution (ozone) and asthma is posted in the May 7, 2004 article in the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s website by University of Georgia Emeritus Prof. R. Harold Brown “Commentary:  Asthma and Pollution:  a Puzzling Picture”.  Prof. Brown pointed our urban areas in Georgia had less hospitalizations for respiratory illness than rural areas.  In addition, Prof. Brown wrote, “asthma rates increased in the 1980s and 1990s, at a time when Georgia’s air was becoming cleaner. Across the nation, asthma cases increased from about 35 per 1,000 population in 1982 to 55 in 1996.”  Finally Prof. Brown pointed out the timing of asthma hospitalizations did not match air pollution.  Ninety percent of the days air pollution exceeded the 85 ppb eight-hour ozone standard occurred in June-July-August; while 83 percent of hospitalizations occurred in other months.

Source

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