Health Care Burden of Cardiorespiratory Diseases Caused by Particulate Matter and Chemical Air Pollutants


Authors: Mihir Invally, Ginpreet Kaur, Gavneet Kaur, Sukhwinder Kaur Bhullar, and Harpal S Buttar
Published in: World Heart Journal, Volume 9 Issue 4 (2017)
Page Range: 303-317
ISSN: 1556-4002

ISBN: N/A Categories: ,

Table of Contents


The public health care burden of cardiorespiratory diseases (CRDs) caused by chemical air pollutants (CO, O3, SO2, CS2, NO2 ) and particulate matter (PM) has escalated during the past few decades in developing countries throughout the world, including India. Air pollution-related CRDs are most often observed in urban areas which have increasing vehicular traffic and population congestion combined with urban sprawl and heavy industry. The high occurrence of both acute and chronic obstructive respiratory disorders (COPD), lung cancer, cardiovascular morbidity and mortality are linked with the adverse effects of air pollution and cigarette smoking. Several experimental, clinical and epidemiological studies have demonstrated increased risk of CRD events after both short- and long-term exposure to inhaled particulate matter (PM < 2.5 μm) found in the air. The fine and ultrafine aerodynamic PM is especially responsible for causing most severe CRDs due to its capacity to transport toxic substances deep into the lower airways. Children and elderly individuals are more prone to adverse health effects of airborne toxicants and often require emergency visits and hospitalization. Chemical air pollution and particulate matter generated by biomass burning, forest fires, automobile exhaust, coal and gas-powered industries is considered a serious health hazard problem worldwide. This universal issue has recently received considerable attention from the medical community, environmental activists, environment protection regulators and law makers. The objectives of this review article are to ponder and reflect on the occurrence and underlying mechanisms of CRDs and COPD caused by chemical air pollutants, airborne micro- and nanoparticles, as well as health care costs of CRDs/COPD in India and globally. Keywords: Chemical air pollution, particulate matter, wood smoke, cardio-respiratory diseases