Saturday, 24 July 2010
INFLAMMATION AND AIR POLLUTION
The final common pathway of metals and particulates (oxidative stress),allergens (asthma) and gases (noxes and ozone).The picture above shows leakage,the black lines, into inflammed tissues
Most people think of inflammation as a small red painful itchy lump, or a swollen knee or ankle. They think of it as local. A real flu gives a hint at how it can be a whole body response. You won’t hear about this in relation to air pollution from the newspapers, TV, parliament or government bodies. Plausible deniability is one of the reasons for “not knowing” why the body’s rhythms of inflammation make a nonsense of the way averages of pollution, and the general numbers game, are played out in London. Self-amplifying cascades are the order of the day. A single peak episode will trigger an unstoppable, uncontrollable immune reaction leaving the whole body more sensitive to the next lot of pollution and awash with activated cells, new cells breeding fast and swamped with little known hormones, some of which stay around for 24 hours or longer. When this pollution becomes long term, or when we have a long heat wave this gets really serious and leads to permanent scarring and damage. If a child has lived long enough in such conditions the lungs never grow properly, the wounded lungs scarring, if it is in the womb its development is affected.Low birth weight,preterm delivery and therefor infant mortality all rise in frequency. Most politicians prefer to talk about the end stage, dying early, rather than the damage that affects babies or youngsters for their whole life ahead.