NEW YORK: A study published in the journal JAMA revealed that ozone air pollution which happens as a result of climate change is as harmful to the lungs as a packet of cigarettes. Ozone air pollution accelerates lung diseases like emphysema said the researchers.
Professor working at the University of Washington Joel Kaufman Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of emphysema and the pollution caused just as much damage.
Emphysema is a condition in which lung tissue destruction takes place leading to symptoms like wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath thus increasing the risk of death.
The study which was conducted at a span of 18 years involving over 7000 patients demonstrated an association between long term exposure to pollutants like ozone and the increase in emphysema in the lungs.
A detailed examination of the air pollutants they encountered between 2000 and 2018 in six metropolitan places across the US was taken by researchers and participants were drawn from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) Air and Lung studies for the research.
Prior research has shown that fossil fuel burning will lead to accumulation of pollutants that affect the ozone. Chloro Fluoro Carbons (CFCs) destroy the ozone layers leading to the arrival of ultraviolet radiation on the Earth's surface. Presence of ozone on the surface is also deemed as a form of pollutant.