Ozone effects on the respiratory system
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Ground level (tropospheric) ozone, an air pollutant and key ingredient of urban smog, has a negative impact on human health worldwide. Many studies have reported increases in emergency-room visits, hospital admissions, and mortality for patients with these conditions, associated with days of increased ozone. Short-term exposures to ozone irritate the respiratory system and may cause health problems by damaging lung tissue, reducing lung function, increased airway inflammation and making the lungs more sensitive to other irritants. It not only affects people with existing breathing problems, but also can affect healthy children and adults. Persons especially sensitive to ozone exposure are the elderly, infants, children, persons with existing respiratory issues such as diabetes mellitus, asthma or allergies, asthmatics, chronic respiratory patients, pregnant women, smokers, and persons with lung cancer, cardiovascular disease or immune system deficiency. Furthermore, recent research studies suggest that long-term exposure to ozone may be associated with lung cancer. This possibility is expected to be further explored.
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