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UK Against Fluoridation

Monday, May 28, 2007

Israel - Exceeded Air Quality Standards

46% of Factories Checked in 2006 Exceeded Air Quality Standards
Updated: 05/27/2007
For the sixth year running, the Ministry of Environmental Protection has carried out spot checks, including stack sampling, in industrial plants throughout the country. In 2006, out of 334 spot checks conducted in 48 industrial plants, 22 plants (about 46%) violated air quality standards.

Health Hazards of Exposure to Air Pollutants

Total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs): Significant impacts of benzene on human health follow exposure to very high concentrations of benzene (some 160,000 micrograms benzene per cubic meter of air). Long term impacts include chromosomal changes and impaired production of blood cells which may cause leukemia. Hazards related to exposure to low concentrations of benzene are not clear-cut. Occupational exposure to high concentrations of benzene has been proved to be associated with leukemia. Since benzene is recognized as a carcinogen, awareness is rising that low levels of benzene in open air may be related to blood cancer in the general population.
Ethyl Acetate: Short term exposure to high concentrations of ethyl acetate may lead to eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and, in the case of very high concentrations, to loss of consciousness. Long term exposure leads to blurring of vision, damage to lungs and heart, and kidney and liver problems.
Methanol: Short term exposure to high concentrations of methanol may lead to headaches, vomiting, nose and throat irritation, dilation of pupils, loss of muscle coordination, excessive sweating, bronchitis, convulsions and even death. Especially high exposure may lead to loss of consciousness, convulsions and vision problems, sensitivity to light and blindness. Recovery is not always complete and symptoms may recur without additional exposure. Removal of methanol from the body is a slow process and recurring exposures are responsible for accumulation in the body, which may cause severe symptoms. Chronic exposure to low concentrations may harm the central nervous system and cause respiratory system and skin irritation.
Ethanol: Exposure to ethanol causes eye, skin, nose and respiratory system irritation, headaches, vomiting, nausea, drowsiness, depression, inner eye pressure, loss of coordination, involuntary movements, and impacts on the digestive system and on the glands. Exposure to high concentrations suppresses the central nervous system and leads to tertogenic impacts.
Toluene: Toluene exposure causes light eye and respiratory tract irritation. Acute and chronic exposure damages the central nervous system. Acute exposure to high concentrations may also lead to disturbances in heart rate and to liver and kidney damage as well as to fatigue, drowsiness, headaches and nausea. Chronic exposure irritates the upper respiratory tract and the eyes and causes headaches. Toluene exposure is also associated with reproductive system impacts, developmental impacts, neurological impacts and tertogenic impacts. Developmental disturbances and lack of concentration have been observed in children whose mothers were exposed to toluene during pregnancy.
Styrene: Acute exposure to styrene may irritate the mucous in the respiratory system and the eyes and may impact on the digestive system. Chronic exposure may lead to headaches, fatigue, weakness, depression, and reduced hearing. It may impact on the central nervous system including slow reactions and memory loss, and may impact on the motor reactions of the eye. Exposure is also associated with damage to the peripheral nervous system.
Dioxins and Furans: Dioxins are a group of extremely toxic substances even at low concentrations. They may cause cancer and damage to the reproductive and immune systems. In addition, dioxins are persistent substances, which pass through the food chain and accumulate in the fatty tissues of the human body. Exposure of agricultural areas and fish ponds to dioxins may expose the consumers of agricultural produce to the impacts of dioxins as well.
Hydrogen fluoride (HF): Acute exposure to hydrogen fluoride may lead to respiratory system damage including severe lung irritation, edema of the lungs, severe eye irritation, and burning of the skin. Chronic exposure to high concentrations may lead to fluoride accumulation in the skeleton.
Particulate Matter (PM): The wide-scale impacts of particulate matter on public health are expressed in coughing and irritation of the windpipe and of the eyes. Particulate matter exists in different sizes. Larger particles are less dangerous since they are more easily trapped in the nose or throat and are forced out by breathing, coughing or are swallowed. Smaller particles are inhaled into the windpipe and may reach the lungs. Particles that are smaller than 10 microns may lead to reduced lung function as well as to respiratory, cardiac and circulatory disease. Particles that are 2.5 micrometers and less are the most dangerous: they can easily penetrate the most sensitive parts of the lungs and damage breathing. They may also adsorb other toxic substances. Particulate matter is especially hazardous to sensitive populations including people suffering from chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma. The irritation caused by the particulate matter may aggravate their conditions, increasing coughing, infections, and shortness of breath. Particulates increase lower respiratory tract diseases in children. Chronic exposure to small particulates may lead to death from heart and lung diseases and from lung cancer.
Sulfur Oxides (SOx): Exposure to sulfur oxides by healthy people is usually associated with temporary irritation and discomfort. Sulfur dioxide mainly impacts on sensitive populations, such as asthmatics. Research studies show immediate reactions to exposure to relatively low concentrations of sulfur dioxide, including asthma or bronchitis attacks. Research studies conducted among children show that exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide together with particulates may lead to temporary disturbances in lung function. Sulfur dioxide also leads to irritation of the respiratory tract and of the eyes. High concentrations may aggravate respiratory, cardiac and circulatory diseases.
Nitrogen oxides (NOx): Due to its relatively low water solubility, nitrogen dioxide penetrates deep into the respiratory system and may cause different respiratory symptoms. In low concentrations it causes lung and eye irritation. In high concentrations, it weakens the body?s resistance to respiratory diseases such as pneumonia. Research shows that children are the most sensitive to nitrogen dioxide pollution. Children who were exposed to high levels of nitrogen oxide tend to be more prone to respiratory and lung diseases, to develop bronchitis, cough accompanied by phlegm and general respiratory diseases. Asthmatics are also sensitive to nitrogen dioxide as this pollutant lowers their sensitivity threshold to materials which cause a narrowing of the airways. Acute exposure to nitrogen dioxide leads to a decline in lung function. Asthmatics and people with heart-lung disease are especially sensitive. Chronic exposure increases the risk of respiratory disease.
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Previous post is correct about the assault on our health from harmful substances in the air we breathe.


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