Air Quality, Pollution, Respiratory Health and Luo Han Kuo
The following is an excerpt from The Willner Window radio program, originally broadcast on May 16th, 2004.
The Willner Window can be heard every Sunday afternoon, from 2 pm to 4 pm, on WOR (710 AM) radio. It can also be heard over the internet on www.wor710.com.
Arnie: Good afternoon everyone, this is .... Welcome to The Willner Window. For those of you who might be first-time listeners, the focus of this show is nutritional supplements–vitamins, herbs, homeopathic remedies–and their proper usage. With me this afternoon is . .
We want to start off today's show with a discussion of air quality, pollution, and it's effect on our health. . . . our lungs. . . . and what we can do to protect ourselves.
Sam: This is a growing concern in this country, . . .especially, perhaps in this area, with what has gone on in New York in connection with 9-11. But 9-11 is just one small part of the story. We seem to be getting at least one call each week with someone struggling with asthma, chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, emphysema, or COPD, which stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Arnie: Our respiratory system is the first line of defense against airborne pollution, bacteria and viruses. As you would expect, the lungs are especially sensitive to pollutants, and the discomfort and irritation caused by constant exposure to pollutants and lead to long term consequences, including systemic responses.
So what can we do about this?
Sam: Well, there isn't much we can do to avoid airborne pollutants. It's everywhere, indoors and outdoors. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the largest contributor to unhealthy air is transportation-related pollutants such as ozone, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. All are respiratory irritants, but ozone is the main culprit.
According to the American Lung Association, "research on the effects of prolonged exposure to the relatively low levels of ozone has found reductions in lung function, inflammation of the lung lining and breathing discomfort."
Arnie: If you think staying indoors will help, think again. The Environmental Protection Agency says scientific studies show pollution exposure can be at its greatest indoors, where many people spend 90% of their time. This is due to molds, toxins from household cleaners, dust and dirt, building materials, aerosol products, smoke and outdoor pollution finding its way indoors.
Some people t