Particulate matter air quality analysis and the possible effects of increasing airborne pollutants on the human respiratory system

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International Journal of Applied Environmental Sciences


This study focuses on the possible effects of airborne pollutants on the human respiratory system. In order to determine whether or not there was any distinct correlation between air quality and respiratory illness, local pollutant level data and hospital records spanning the past two years were obtained. PM10 and PM2.5 particulate measurements were juxtaposed and compared with hospital records of patients who suffered from asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, cough or congestion, upper respiratory infection, wheezing or shortness of breath, or respiratory distress. Several studies have been conducted in the United States which show a correlation between air quality and respiratory health. However, the statistics collected from air samples and hospital records in Laredo do not seem to show any distinct correlation, positive or negative. This inconsistency with similar studies performed in other, more densely populated, urban environments may be due to Laredo's relatively high air quality. The margin of error was also most likely increased by the fact that the sample size for the health data was relatively small. Although the data did not support similar studies in its health data, an association between north/northwest winds and high PM10 values was found. © Research India Publications.

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