The limit values for oxides of nitrogen and fine dust are too high, too low or just right? About experts discuss currently. For 112 lung specialists explained now: The pollutants are so harmful. FOCUS Online explains what cause the small particles in the body.
Fine dust in the environment
Fine dust is virtually everywhere: He passes from the engines of cars in the air, by the abrasion of brakes and tyres, and flows from power plants, metal and steel. Indoors, candles, wood stoves, fireplaces, laser printer, or a Toaster to increase the load of fine dust. Also cigarettes generate microscopic dust.
So fine dust get into the body
Fine dust is so small that it is the natural filter of the body, such as mucous membranes and cilia, can’t stop. We breathe in him, he will be taken, depending on the size of different parts of the body. In the case of a so-called aerodynamic diameter of ten micrometers (PM10) can penetrate fine dust in the bronchi.
Smaller particles under 2.5 micrometers (PM2. 5) can the alveoli in the lungs and bronchioles. Respiratory bronchioles are the finest Terminal in the lungs. Its diameter is less than 0.1 microns, can reach the dust even in the lung tissue and the bloodstream.
The health effects of fine dust
Depending on how big the particles are and in what area of your body you land, you can have different health consequences. It may also be the source plays a role – so, for example, fine dust from the car could affect engines differently on the body as a fine dust from coal-fired power plants.
Generally speaking, experts estimate that, in Germany, from 2007 to 2015, each year, an average of 44.900 people prematurely died because they were exposed to ne dust. The German Federal environment Agency reported. The world health organization confirmed: “There is a close quantitative relationship between exposure to high concentrations of small particles (PM10 and PM2. 5) and increased mortality or morbidity,” it says in a statement. “Conversely, mortality decreases when the concentrations are reduced to fine particles, provided other factors remain unchanged.”
- Heart disease: A Europe-wide investigation of the Helmholtz Institute for epidemiology 2015 to the conclusion that people Who over a long period the fine dust is exposed, has an increased risk for coronary heart disease, i.e. a disease of the coronary vessels. Thus, the probability of suffering a heart attack increases. The Institute had studied in the same year, the fine dust pollution specifically in Augsburg. An increased risk of heart attacks showed a short-term PM10-concentration.
- Infections of the lower respiratory tract: such As the world health organization (WHO) reported that there is a connection between the fine dust from an open fire or traditional cooking areas and an infection of the lower respiratory tract. This was seen especially in countries with low and middle income.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer: a connection between the small particles and serious lung diseases such as cancer according to the WHO. The American Lung Association is convinced.
Oxides of nitrogen in the environment
"Stickoxide" is a collective term for nitrogen monoxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), two toxic gases. You will be directed mainly by the combustion processes in the environment, such as in a power plant in the engines of vehicles or home Heating with a fireplace. Candles, gas stoves, oil Stoves and cigarettes emit nitrogen oxides.
So stick reaches oxide in the body
Nitrogen dioxide is irritating to the eyes and passes through the mouth and nose into the body. There, it attacks, first, the mucous membranes of the respiratory organs, and then penetrates deep into the respiratory tract where it can cause cell damage in the lung tissue, and inflammatory processes, and the bronchi can irritate, warns the Federal environment Agency.
Nitric oxide interferes with less of the lung tissue as the blood vessels. It is distributed with the blood in the body and the blood can affect vascular tension. Possible consequences are attacks and strokes. Since the body itself, nitric oxide as a messenger, forming fabric, can interfere with externally supplied quantities of the natural NO processes in the body.
The health effects of nitrogen oxide
The Federal environment Agency warns of the many health consequences, such as
- Shortness of breath
- Pulmonary edema
- increasing susceptibility to respiratory infections, and allergies
- Lung function impairment
- Cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes
- higher mortality
To be at risk, especially people who already have damaged respiratory system. Europe was set for nitrogen dioxide a limit value of 40 micrograms per Meter, but even the smallest amounts, according to the environmental protection Agency concern: “recent studies indicate that NO2 is no threshold below which health effects can be excluded. Thus, there is a need for low NO2 values from negative impact on health.“