Air pollution damages the kidneys

How does dirty air damage the blood vessels?

MAINZ. Which components of air pollution - fine dust, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide - are particularly harmful to the cardiovascular system and which mechanisms are used to damage the blood vessels? Researchers from Germany, England and the USA have now investigated these questions (European Heart Journal 2018; online August 14).

"In summary, it can be stated that - with regard to the vascular damaging effects of air pollution - fine dust plays an outstanding role", comments Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Münzel, Director of Cardiology I at the Center for Cardiology at the University Medical Center Mainz, presented the study results in a communication on the publication of the study. "We are particularly concerned about ultrafine dust. It is the size of a virus.

When the ultrafine dust is inhaled, it immediately goes through the lungs into the blood, is absorbed by the vessels and causes local inflammation.

This ultimately causes more atherosclerosis and thus leads to more cardiovascular diseases than heart attacks, acute heart attacks, cardiac insufficiency or cardiac arrhythmias. "

It is certainly also interesting that, with regard to the much discussed diesel exhaust gases, it is primarily fine dust and not nitrogen dioxide (NO2), both of which result from the combustion of diesel fuel, have negative effects on vascular function, said Münzel in a statement from the Mainz University Medical Center.

Professor Jost Lelieveld, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (MPIC) in Mainz, comments: "The ultra-fine dust particles are mainly formed chemically in the atmosphere from emissions from traffic, industry and agriculture. In order to achieve low, harmless concentrations, the emissions be reduced from all of these sources. " (eb)