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10 ways in which environmental health hazard can impact negatively on one's health
If one includes tobacco smoke as an environmental hazard then it probably represents the single biggest known airborne chemical risk to health, whether measured in terms of death rates or ill-health (from lung cancer, [ [ other lung disease such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and disease of the heart, especially, and of blood vessels and other parts of the body). To a much lesser degree of
risk, these adverse effects apply to non-smokers exposed passively to sidestream tobacco smoke. General airborne pollution arises from a variety of causes but can usefully be subdivided into pollution from combustion or from other sources. The image shows the silhouette of a power station - an important source of airborne products of combustion. Combustion of coal and other solid fuels can produce smoke (containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons - PAH) and sulphur dioxide besides other agents such as those also produced by: Combustion of liquid petroleum products which can generate carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and other agents. Industry and incineration can generate a wide range of products of combustion such as oxides of sulphur and nitrogen, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins etc. Combustion of any fossil fuel generates varying amounts of particulate matter. It also adds to the environmental burden of carbon dioxide - an important "green house" gas but in these low concentrations it does not affect human health directly. Combustion of fuel can also generate hazardous substances in other ways, besides by chemical oxidation, such as by liberating benzene (from the "cracking" of petrol) or lead (from leaded petrol). Some of the primary pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide can, under the influence of UV light generate secondary pollutants notably ozone (an allotrope of oxygen).Find out more about air quality in relation to these substances. Health effects of concern are asthma, bronchitis and similar lung diseases, and there is good evidence relating an increased risk of symptoms of these diseases with increasing concentration of sulphur dioxide, ozone and other pollutants. ] ]
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