Special Issue "The Impact of Air Pollution on Human Health"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 September 2022.
2. German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), Partner Site Rhine-Main, Langenbeckstraße 1, 55131 Mainz, Germany
Interests: environmental risk factors and their impact on cardiovascular and mental health with a focus on noise exposure and air pollution; vascular biology with focus on endothelial function and oxidative stress, preventive measures
Interests: environmental risk factors and their impact on cardiovascular health; immune responses to stress; effects of inflammation on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function
Interests: environmental risk factors and their impact on cardiovascular health with a focus on air pollution; electronic cigarette; cigarette and shisha smoking research; animal models of environmental pollution exposure; oxidative stress
The substantial influence of environmental pollutants on human health is being increasingly recognized. In 2015, the Lancet Commission on pollution and health concluded that pollution is the leading environmental cause to promote the global burden of disease and premature mortality. Importantly, all forms of pollution account for 16% of global deaths per year, representing 15 times more deaths than from all wars and other forms of violence, as well as three times more than from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. In good agreement, the World Health Organization estimated that 12.6 million premature deaths per year are the result of living or working in an unhealthy environment. Moreover, 8.2 million of them are due to chronic noncommunicable diseases, with stroke, heart disease, unintentional injuries, cancers, and chronic respiratory infections being the top five causes of environmental-related deaths. Among all environmental risk factors, air pollution is the most detrimental risk factor, and as outlined in the Global Burden of Disease study, ambient outdoor air pollution due to particulate matter < 2.5 µm (PM2.5) exposure ranked fifth among all global health risk factors in 2015, leading to 4.2 million deaths annually. This notion is further supported by recent data from the World Health Organization, indicating that 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air. By using a novel hazard ratio function, the global exposure-mortality model (GEMM), providing a much-improved assessment of PM2.5 to calculate the excess mortality attributable to ambient air pollution, even demonstrated that air pollution is a larger contributor to global mortality (8.79 million global excess deaths in 2019, as well as 790,000 excess deaths per year in Europe) than one of the most important health risk factors, namely tobacco smoking (7.2 million excess deaths attributed to tobacco smoking, as estimated by the World Health Organization), with a population average loss of life expectancy of 2.9 vs. 2.2 years for air pollution vs. tobacco smoking. Interestingly, increasing evidence also suggests that exposure to elevated levels of air pollution increases the risk of severe illness and dying from COVID-19. From a pathophysiological point of view, mounting evidence indicates inflammation and oxidative stress to be important underlying mechanisms for the pathogenesis of air pollution-induced disorders, driven by increased formation of proinflammatory mediators and reactive oxygen species in response to exposure to various air pollutants. While there is an array of studies that evidenced air pollution to be a crucial determinant to human human health, much less effort is put into discussing and evaluating adequate preventive and mitigation measures to counteract the impact of air pollution on human and planetary health.
Topics of this Special Issue include, but are not limited to:
- Underlying pathophysiological mechanism of air pollutants to induce adverse health effects
- The key role of oxidative stress and inflammation in response to exposure to various air pollutants
- Air pollution and COVID-19
- Preventive and mitigation measures to counteract air pollution and to promote human health
Dr. Omar Hahad
Dr. Katie Frenis
Dr. Marin Kuntic
Manuscript Submission Information
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