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CABI Book Chapter

A handbook of environmental toxicology: human disorders and ecotoxicology.

Book cover for A handbook of environmental toxicology: human disorders and ecotoxicology.

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Chapter 5 (Page no: 75)

Ozone I. Human disorders: an overview.

Ground-level ozone is one of the most widespread pollutants in the world. Millions of people are exposed to unhealthy levels of ozone air pollution on a daily basis. Often called 'smog', ozone is harmful to breathe and is associated with the development and exacerbation of pulmonary and cardiovascular disease. Scientists have studied the effects of ozone exposure on human health for decades. Hundreds of research studies have confirmed that ozone harms the human body when inhaled at levels currently found in many cities and countries. Ozone is a gas molecule composed of three oxygen atoms that is formed by a reaction between atmospheric oxygen and organic volatile compounds from vehicle and industrial emissions in the presence of sunlight. When inhaled, ozone aggressively attacks lung tissue and triggers systemic inflammation that can result in a series of health complications, ranging from inflammation and injury of the airways to alterations of vital functions at the cardiovascular, immune, endocrine and neurological levels and even death. In women, exposure to ozone can also affect fertility, cause pregnancy complications and alter fetal development. It has also been noted that susceptibility to ozone varies with age, gender and health status and studies have indicated that sex hormones can contribute to the damaging effects of ozone in the lung. Patients suffering from inflammatory lung disease, including asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung infection, are at significantly higher risk for negative health effects associated with ozone exposure. Numerous studies in cells and animal models have helped to elucidate some of the mechanisms of ozone toxicity and have identified cell receptors and inflammatory cytokines that activate the inflammatory response upon ozone exposure. These have also provided information for environmental agencies to control emissions and warn the population about unhealthy levels. In this chapter, we summarize the known effects of ozone exposure on human health, as well as the main results from clinical and animal studies testing ozone exposure at different doses. We also discuss current policies and regulations aimed to control emissions and potential harm to various populations. A better understanding of the negative effects of ozone exposure on human health and of the mechanisms associated with its toxicity will likely inform policy makers to introduce new guidelines to control environmental emissions and will allow for the development of strategies for symptom management and potential therapeutics for different individuals exposed to unhealthy ozone levels.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 3) Phytotoxins. Author(s): D'Mello, J. P. F.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 19) Mycotoxins. Author(s): D'Mello, J. P. F.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 33) Cyanobacterial toxins. Author(s): Metcalf, J. S. Souza, N. R.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 49) Amino acids and peptides as mediators of abiotic stress tolerance in higher plants. Author(s): D'Mello, J. P. F.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 93) Ozone II. Biophysical observations. Author(s): Thompson, K. C.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 105) Nitrogen dioxide: ambient exposure in human disorders. Author(s): Huang, Y. C. T. Tucker, J. L.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 114) Sulfur dioxide and human disorders. Author(s): Ahmad, S. Ahmad, A. Ahmad, A.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 127) Plant response to acid rain stress. Author(s): Liang, C.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 141) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: ecotoxicity in the aquatic environment and implications for human health. Author(s): Pampanin, D. M. Schlenk, D.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 156) The developmental neurotoxicity of polychlorinated biphenyls: a continuing environmental health concern. Author(s): Sethi, S. Lein, P. J.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 173) Dioxins I. Dynamics and legal directives in Europe. Author(s): Dopico, M. Gómez, A.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 187) Dioxins II. Human exposure and health risks. Author(s): Tuomisto, J. Viluksela, M.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 206) Dioxins III. Relationship to pre-diabetes, diabetes and diabetic nephropathy. Author(s): Everett, C. J.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 214) Environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals and human health. Author(s): Darbre, P. D.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 233) Organochlorine insecticides: neurotoxicity. Author(s): Caudle, W. M.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 246) Organophosphates I. Human health effects and implications for the environment: an overview. Author(s): Wille, T. Thiermann, H. Worek, F.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 261) Organophosphates II. Neurobehavioural problems following low-level exposure: methodological considerations for future research. Author(s): Ross, S. J. M. Harrison, V.
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 282) Glyphosate as a glycine analogue. Author(s): Seneff, S.
Chapter: 20 (Page no: 299) Crude oil pollution I. Deepwater Horizon contamination: human health effects and health risk assessments, a case study. Author(s): Wilson, M. J.
Chapter: 21 (Page no: 311) Crude oil pollution II. Effects of the Deepwater Horizon contamination on sediment toxicity in the Gulf of Mexico. Author(s): Montagna, P. A. Arismendez, S. S.
Chapter: 22 (Page no: 320) Crude oil pollution III. Exxon Valdez contamination: ecological recovery, a case study. Author(s): Haycox, S.
Chapter: 23 (Page no: 334) Review of studies of composition, toxicology and human health impacts of wastewater from unconventional oil and gas development from shale. Author(s): Crosby, L. M. Orem, W. H.
Chapter: 24 (Page no: 353) Minamata disease and methylmercury exposure. Author(s): Hachiya, N.
Chapter: 25 (Page no: 371) Lead poisoning. Author(s): Katner, A. L. Mielke, H. W.
Chapter: 26 (Page no: 384) Cadmium I. Exposure and human health effects: an overview. Author(s): Åkesson, A. Kippler, M.
Chapter: 27 (Page no: 394) Cadmium II. Cardiovascular effects of human exposure to cadmium: left ventricular structure and function. Author(s): Yang, W. Y. Staessen, J. A.
Chapter: 28 (Page no: 405) Particulates from combustion sources: formation, characteristics and toxic hazards. Author(s): Purser, D. A.
Chapter: 29 (Page no: 424) Assessment of the ecotoxicity of airborne particulate matter. Author(s): Kováts, N.
Chapter: 30 (Page no: 436) Toxicity of microplastics in the marine environment. Author(s): Santana, M. F. M. Turra, A.
Chapter: 31 (Page no: 457) UV exposure and skin-protective effects of plant polyphenols. Author(s): Agulló-Chazarra, L. Pérez-Sánchez, A. Herranz-López, M. Micol, V. Barrajón-Catalán, E.
Chapter: 32 (Page no: 475) Radon I. Lung cancer risks. Author(s): Melloni, B.
Chapter: 33 (Page no: 484) Radon II. Leukaemia or CNS cancer risks among children. Author(s): Kollerud, R. del R.
Chapter: 34 (Page no: 497) Fukushima nuclear accident: potential health effects inferred from butterfly and human cases. Author(s): Otaki, J. M.
Chapter: 35 (Page no: 517) Microbial remediation of contaminated soils. Author(s): Shahsavari, E. Mansur, A. A. Aburto-Medina, A. Haleyur, N. Jones, N. Ball, A. S.
Chapter: 36 (Page no: 531) Metallic iron for environmental remediation: prospects and limitations. Author(s): Noubactep, C.
Chapter: 37 (Page no: 545) Remediation of contaminated soil by biochar. Author(s): Sima, X. F. Jiang, H.
Chapter: 38 (Page no: 561) Environmental regulations in China. Author(s): He, G. Z.
Chapter: 39 (Page no: 577) 21st Century toxicology: methods for environmental toxicology and monitoring. Author(s): Lundqvist, J.
Chapter: 40 (Page no: 587) Unequivocal evidence associating environmental contaminants and pollutants with human morbidity and ecological degradation. Author(s): D'Mello, J. P. F.