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1. Indoor air triggers asthma attacks_part 1 

 

Causes and Effects of Sick Schools Vary
In this special report, Sick Schools: A National Problem, Education World examines the varied causes and effects of environmental problems in our nation's schools. Research has found links between learning and environmental contaminants. Are school environments resulting in increased numbers of children with learning disabilities and ADHD? Can sick schools affect student concentration? Can school overcrowding exacerbate problems?

The most dramatic increase in health problems caused by environmental conditions has been childhood asthma rates. The EPA report states that the number of children with asthma in the United States increased 75 percent between 1980 and 1994. That rise affected all racial and ethnic groups.

Asthma diagnoses have increased at even greater rates for children under five years old during the past 15 years, increasing about 160 percent, notes Mary Smith, director of the Indoor Environments Division of the EPA. "Nobody really knows why it's happening," she says. "But it is true that indoor air triggers asthma attacks and causes asthma."

 

◎資料來源Reference: Education World: School Issues and Education News: School Issues and Education News : Causes and Effects of Sick Schools Vary
http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/issues177.shtm

2.

Indoor air triggers asthma attacks_part 2

 

Environmental Justice and The Indoor Environment
Asthma. Asthma is the leading serious chronic illness of children in the US. Asthma can be aggravated by exposure to pollutant "triggers" such as ETS, molds, and allergens such as cockroaches, animal dander, and dust mites. Asthma triggers may be more prevalent inside homes with indoor air quality (IAQ) problems such as inadequate ventilation, accumulation of allergens, or mold and mildew problems resulting from cracks and leaks in building surfaces. Poor IAQ, often found in deteriorating housing units, combined with outdoor air pollution will further exacerbate an asthma condition. Disproportionate numbers of people of color and of low-income live in areas of high outdoor air pollution, and may be exposed to more environmental asthma triggers. These exposures, along with factors such as lack of access to preventative health care, may explain why the ALA found that although African Americans represent one in eight of the US population (12.5%), they account for one in five deaths due to asthma (21.5%). In addition, Hispanic children are more likely to have suffered from….

 

◎資料來源Reference:
National Education Association Health Information Network
February 1998
http://www.neahin.org/programs/environmental/ejbrochure.htm

3. 高濃度二氧化碳升高氣喘罹患率
 

April 29, 2004 -- 最新的哈佛醫學院報告指出,由於溫室效應讓二氧化碳的濃度升高,導致美國都會和鄉村數百萬人口,氣喘及過敏的病例增加。

研究總結指出,從轎車、卡車及工廠所排放出來的二氧化碳,會讓植物和真菌類製造出更多的花粉和孢子,空氣中含有愈多的花粉,將使過敏性疾病的病情愈加惡化,而以氣喘為例,在孩童間的好發率就會因此提高。

根據民間社團機構(非營利性組織)環境及健康議題研究基金會所發表的報告指出,柴油引擎排放出的煤煙,也會對氣喘患者的肺臟造成剌激,進而引發問題,這些煤煙實際上是弱化氣喘患者對花粉的抵抗力。

該項研究報告的共同撰稿人Paul R. Epstein醫師,他也是哈佛醫學院健康及全球環境中心的副主任,他指出,他們發現非常棘手的新罪證,過敏原和外來物侵入我們的呼吸道,會加重過敏性疾病,然而,遺憾的是,對於這項新的問題,至今我們仍束手無策。

氣喘患者驟升

在美國,根據2001年疾管局的調查,約有1千4百萬名成人和9百萬名兒童罹患氣喘;疾管局也發現,自1984年起,兒童氣喘罹患率就以倍數成長,而這個趨勢讓醫學專家相當頭痛,至於其他人則是譴責愈趨嚴重的污染和擁擠的居住環境,讓兒童曝露在蟑螂和塵蹣的環境中,進而誘發氣喘。

研究人員發現,空氣中的二氧化碳是原兇,根據最新研究指出,在美國的大都會(包括鳳凰城和巴爾的摩),二氧化碳的濃度高於農村60%,石化燃料的消耗,包括煤碳、石油和天然氣,都是造成空氣中二氧化碳的濃度升高的最大原因。

不單是氣喘,不只會發生在都會?

專家警告花粉問題可能會跨出都會,因為全球空氣中二氧化碳的濃度,已從工業革命初期的280 ppm,升高到今天的379 ppm。

哈佛研究學者Christine Rogers博士,同時也是參與研究的另一位共同撰稿人表示,有超過4千萬美國人對豚草過敏,或稱為花粉熱,這顯示豚草在都會和鄉村都會長得很茂盛;美國公衛學會執行董事Georges Benjamin醫師則表示,所有美國人都處在花粉熱的危機下。

然而,並非人人都認為二氧化碳、花粉和氣喘之間有必然的關聯。

馬歇爾學會(華盛頓智庫,常質疑人類二氧化碳濃度和天氣變化的影響程度)Bill O'Keefe主席指出,雖然二氧化碳被證明會加快植物的生長和增加花粉的數量,不過包括這份哈佛的報告在內,至今還沒有研究說明氣喘和花粉的增加之間有著必然的關聯性。

O'Keefe主席補充表示,沒有人質疑二氧化碳的濃度升高,而對於二氧化碳的濃度升高和氣喘率升高之間的關聯,他則認為,現在就下定論,還有點太早。

作者:Todd Zwillich
出處:WebMD Medical News


 

◎資料來源Reference:
WebMD Medical News
http://www.24drs.com/special_report/content_relate_article.asp?no=99014&sec=webmd&sp=15
Author:Todd Zwillich