Air Pollution and Asthma - Discussion

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What is the link between air pollution and asthma?

While asthma is probably caused by a combination of various factors, it cannot be denied that pollutants and chemicals in the air play a significant role in the development and prevalence of the disease, as well as in triggering asthma attacks.

Asthma is, generally speaking, a hypersensitive response most likely brought about by contact with or exposure to irritants; many of these irritants are airborne. Particles such as those present in animal fur, smoke, dust, pollen, mold, fungi and other potential allergens have been linked to asthma. Dust mites, synthetic chemicals found in synthetic pillows as well as plasticizers which are present in plastic materials have also been associated with increased asthma risk.

In the external environment, i.e. outside the home, the correlation between higher levels of air pollution and asthma incidence is quite clear, with higher numbers of asthmatics being found in areas with dirtier air.

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A note about Air Pollution and Asthma - Discussion

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.

In one particular recent study (2008) conducted at the Columbia University, it was found that for every additional 343 trees in every square kilometer, asthma rates among children in New York aged 4 and 5 decreased by 25%. Although the research team was not entirely sure why the link existed, this could most likely be down to two possible reasons - trees encourage children to play outdoors, while, significantly, more trees also serve to improve air quality. Trees not only produce oxygen, but they also trap dust particles and other air pollutants.

In the internal environment, i.e. within one's house, too, can a link between dirty air pollution and asthma incidence be observed. A few recent studies have linked chemicals, cleaning agents and air fresheners commonly used in homes to increased risk of developing asthma.

A factsheet on asthma provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease a few years ago, which discussed asthma and its possible environmental causes and triggers, estimated that some 10 million Americans suffer from allergic asthma. Compare this with the 2005 asthma figures released by the American Lung Association, and we find that about 50% of all cases are recognized to be allergic asthma. In reality, if you ask me, I would say that environmental factors play an even bigger role than these statistics imply.

It all makes perfect sense - asthma is a lung and breathing disorder. That being the case, it does not take a very intelligent person or a rocket scientist to figure out that unclean air particles which pollute the atmosphere play a huge role in influencing the disease, whether in its development, its relapse, failure of recovery, or continued asthma attacks.

Of course, the risk factors also go beyond merely air pollution and asthma - other forms of "pollution", i.e. chemicals and toxins which come into contact with our skin, or which are present in our food, also play a big part in causing asthma. The body is a highly intricate interlinked organism, and undesirable substances which enter via one channel often end up clogging up other channels, too.

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