Responses of humans and other animals
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In this chapter on air pollution effects, we will look at the responses of animals, including people.
10.1 RESPONSES OF PEOPLE
As with plants, our understanding of human responses to air pollutants has come via a number of different routes. First, air pollution disasters where the effects have been clear-cut; second, epidemiological studies of affected populations; third, controlled experiments on individuals and animal models. A number of different types of adverse health effect have been attributed to air pollution, although the severity of response depends greatly on the type of pollution, the level of exposure and individual susceptibility. Typical health effects include
• reduced lung functioning • irritation of the eyes, nose, mouth and throat • asthma attacks • respiratory symptoms such as coughing and wheezing • restricted activity or reduced energy level • increased use of medication • increased hospital admissions • increased respiratory disease such as bronchitis • premature (‘brought forward’) death.