Miscellaneous Health Consequences of Air Pollution

Updated Oct. 11th, 2019

The video above is from April 17th, when the Utah Air Quality Board considered the latest Regional Haze Rule. Dr. Moench talks about regional haze, a type of haze-inducing pollution that comes from our cars’ exhaust pipes or electric power plant smokestacks, and how it pollutes our air, obscures the beauty of our National Parks and must be addressed seriously. Utah needs a Regional Haze Rule with stronger, more effective proposed actions, but the proposed rule is little more than a do-nothing rehash of past failed rules.

The following are miscellaneous health consequences of air pollution:

  • Immune suppression, inflammatory bowel disease, bacterial and viral infections, lupus, juvenile arthritis, sleep apnea, obesity and suicide are elevated in populations exposed to more air pollution. 
  • Air pollution can induce liver toxicity, accelerate liver inflammation and steastosis.
  • Air pollution causes systemic oxidative stress, triggers the inflammatory chemical cascade, endothelial cell death, cytotoxicity, macrophage infiltration, and increases lipid deposition. Particulate matter penetrates intracellular structures. 
  • Air pollution accelerates the aging process.
  • Air pollution increases infant mortality and SIDS.
  • Wood smoke is uniquely toxic, the most toxic type of air pollution that most people are ever exposed to
  • Air pollution decreases kidney function. 
  • Osteoporosis is associated with air pollution.
  • Pollution exposure in utero or in infancy increases the likelihood of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis decades later in adulthood.
  • Lead exposure (common in urban air pollution) is associated with significant increased adult mortality primarily related to cardiovascular disease.

[Medical References]