Quitting Smoking Reduces Risk Of Lung Cancer
Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a major indoor pollutant. Both the National Research Council (NRC) and USEPA have indicated that passive smoking significantly increases the risk of lung cancer in adults and respiratory illness in children. It is composed of irritating gases and carcinogenic tar particles. Nonsmokers breathing ETS are called involuntary smokers, passive smokers, or second-hand smokers. There are more than 4700 chemical compounds in cigarette combustion products, such as carbon monoxide, carcinogenic tars, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, and arsenic. Of the chemicals, 43 have been recognized as carcinogens. Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a suspected source of many pollutants causing impaired health. A plant manager should either ban indoor smoking, or assign smoking areas at an industrial site. The most common impact in children from ETS is the development of wheezing, coughing, and sputum. According to 1986 reports by NRC, the risk of lung cancer is about 30...
A number of studies have documented that concentrations of some of the directly emitted species found in outdoor atmospheres can be quite high indoors if there are emission sources present such as combustion heaters, gas stoves, or tobacco smoke. In addition, there is evidence for chemistry analogous to that occurring outdoors taking place in indoor air environments, with modifications for different light intensities and wavelength distributions, shorter residence times, and different relative concentrations of reactants. In Chapter 15, we briefly summarize what is known about the chemical composition and chemistry of indoor atmospheres.
Health concerns associated with air and water pollution, water supply and sanitation, waste disposal, or chemicals and food may be particularly relevant at the local or micro level (e.g., lead in household dust or environmental tobacco smoke) or may be important at the regional or global level (e.g., depletion of the ozone layer, global climate change, long-range transport of air pollution, or marine pollution). The problems to be dealt with are often simultaneously global and local. Global economic activities, escalation of travel and trade, and the changing use of technology all have significant implications for health and the environment.
A separate group of fluid vents are associated with low-temperature hydrothermal sources. In these vents, not only are hydrocarbon-rich fluids observed, but carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide rich fluids are also found. In the near-bottom deposits near the hydrothermal vents, authigenic minerals of barite, sulfur and silica also occur. Rare, naturally occurring carbon dioxide gas hydrates have been sampled from the sea-bottom in one of the low-temperature hydrothermal vents of the so-called black smokers in the Okinawa Trough in the East China Sea (Sakai et al., 1990).
The range of novel plant chemicals available for screening can be enhanced by manipulation, for example by the induction of repressed pathways (Tallamy and Raupp, 1991) or through techniques of tissue culture. 4-Ipomeanol, which shows activity against human non-small cell lung cancer lines (Kingston, 1992), is not present in healthy specimens of the sweet potato (Ipomea batatas), but its production is induced by infection with a fungus. Plant cell cultures may also synthesise secondary products not formed in the intact plant or present in only very small amounts, indicating the presence of repressed pathways (DiCosmo and Towers, 1984 Banthorpe and Brown, 1989).
In addition to bringing organic molecules to Earth, the energy from impacts certainly destroyed much of any biosphere that attempted to establish itself on the early Earth. Even the late, very minor K-T impact at Chicxulub had major repercussions for life on Earth. Certainly the early bombardment characterized by many very large impacts would have had a more profound effect on life. Any life that had established itself on Earth would need to be sheltered from the harsh surface environment, perhaps finding refuge along the deep sea volcanic systems known as black smokers, where temperatures remained hot but stable, and nutrients in the form of sulfide compounds were used by early organisms for energy.
The recognition of occupational disease and the steps leading to it is the key element in the prevention of the disease. Many occupational diseases are attributed to specific etiology and therefore are relatively easy to identify. Physical agents such as electron beam sources that lead to mutations are easily identifiable. Other hazards arise from known exposures to identified air contaminants. For instance, eye and respiratory tract irritation arise from acute exposure to hydrogen sulfide in the petroleum industry. Asbestosis or lung cancer can result from years of handling asbestos insulation. Other work-related adverse health effects have multiple causes or unknown causes. For instance, increased renal cancer deaths in the petroleum and steel industries have not been related to a specific agent 2 .
The increasing sophistication of our technologically-dominated society raises many problems that are likely to affects millions of people. For example, shall we welcome genetically-modified foods Should we rely on wind-power for our future energy supplies Should we forbid smoking because it causes lung cancer How can we obtain the best answers to these and many other questions We can try to do this democratically, by a popular vote, or we can ask experts to decide for us.
In developing countries, fuels are often burned in inefficient stoves, with inadequate or in many cases non-existent chimneys. The resulting indoor air pollution exposes families to particulates, carbon monoxide and other products of combustion. The costs of the failure to recognize the energy development linkage is evident in the nations' health statistics. Studies indicate high risk, such as acute respiratory infections (ARI), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer and also tuberculosis (TB), asthma and blindness. In India, conservative estimates indicate that some 400 550 thousand premature deaths can be attributed annually to the use of biomass fuels in these population groups. Using a disability-adjusted lost life-year approach, the total is 4 6 per cent of the Indian national burden of disease, placing indoor air pollution as a major risk factor in the country. In a more recent study, respiratory diseases across all age groups cost the South African Department...
Radon is a poisonous gas released during radioactive decay of the uranium decay series. Radon is a heavy gas, and it presents a serious indoor hazard in every part of the country because it accumulates in poorly ventilated basements and well-insulated homes that are built on specific types of soil or bedrock rich in uranium minerals. Radon causes lung cancer, and since it is an odorless, colorless gas, its presence can go unnoticed in homes for years. However, the hazard of radon is easily mitigated, and homes can be made safe once the hazard is identified. Uranium is a radioactive mineral that spontaneously decays to lighter daughter elements by losing high-energy particles at a predictable rate. uranium decays to radium through a long series of steps with a cumulative half-life of 4.4 billion years. During these steps, intermediate daughter products are produced, and high-energy particles including alpha particles, consisting of two protons and two neutrons, are released, producing...
As shown in Table 4.2, nearly half the radiation exposure due to the natural background is attributable to radon. This is a radioactive gas formed by the radioactive decay of uranium. In regions where the soil contains uranium the radon seeps upwards into the atmosphere or into our homes where it collects unless the house is well ventilated. Radon decays with the emission of alpha-particles and when breathed in can irradiate the inside of the lung, causing lung cancer. According to the National Radiation Protection Board a radon gas concentration level of 200 Bq m3, equivalent to an effective dose of 10 mSv per year, is the level at which action should be taken to reduce the level. This involves creating a cavity under the floors and pumping out the radon at a cost of up to 1000. Many local authorities are now recommending that such action be taken. However, before doing this, it is necessary to establish the relation between the level of exposure and the probability of lung cancer....
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and was widely used as an insulation material in building construction 35 . Asbestos possesses a number of good physical characteristics that make it useful as thermal insulation and fire-retardant material. It is electrically nonconductive, durable, chemical resistant, and sound absorbent. However, lung cancer and mesothelioma have been found to be associated with environmental asbestos exposure. USEPA has listed asbestos as a hazardous air pollutant since 1971. The major route of exposure is the respiratory system. Adverse health effects include asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other diseases. The latency period for asbestos diseases varies from 10 to 30 years 33 .
Formaldehyde (HCHO) is a colorless gas with a pungent odor. Formaldehyde has found wide industrial usage as a fungicide and germicide, and in disinfectants and embalming fluids. The serious sources of indoor airborne formaldehyde are furniture, floor underlayment insulation, and environmental tobacco smoke. Urea formaldehyde (UF) is mixed with adhesives to bond veneers, particles, and fibers. It has been identified as a potential hazardous source.
Kicking the Habit
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