How pollution affects us?

Written by: Dr. Alberto García Valdés
Published: | Updated: 21/02/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

In recent years, pollution alarms in European cities. In Spain, there are up to 15,000 premature deaths per year due to their health consequences. Respiratory, cardiovascular, skin, psychological problems ..

 

How does contamination affect the immune system?

Good health depends largely on a strong immune system, which has the ability to protect the body against disease. Factors that can alter immune defenses include exposure to contaminated air , which alters the cellular and humoral reactive capacity of the body.

The environment in which many millions of people live has been filled with irritants and allergens that had never been in those levels. The consequence is the spectacular increase in the incidence of cancer , hormonal alterations, infertility, neurological pathologies, allergic processes, autoimmune diseases ... and all these pathologies are related to environmental factors.

contamination Madrid

How does pollution affect mental health?

Stress is the response of living beings to adapt to the changing conditions of the environment and puts us on alert when we perceive danger, or adapts us to perform a certain activity. However, when our capacity for response or resistance is overcome by the persistence or intensity of the aggression, a chronic state of neuroendocrinological defense occurs and subsequently an exhaustion, which results in many mental or psychological diseases. Environmental pollution, as a sustained form of stressful situation, lowers concentration, increases anxiety and depression disorders, makes people more irritable or aggressive, causes sleep disorders and other types of mental health disorders.

 

Does pollution affect everyone alike?

According to specialists in Endocrinology , contamination affects all living things. Both plants and animals, including humans. The poor quality of the air breathed can cause in Spain up to 15,000 premature deaths each year. Age also matters, because children, adolescents and people over 60 or 70 are more sensitive. In the case of respiratory diseases, asthma is much more frequent in children living in polluted environments and in older people increases the incidence of COPD, heart disease and arteriosclerosis. Children with a developing immune system are more susceptible to respiratory allergies, as are the elderly, other associated diseases, and weakened defense systems.

 

How does pollution affect pregnant women?

Pregnant women exposed to high levels of environmental pollution are more likely to have children with low birth weight. There are indications that the number of children weighing less than 2.5 kg. at birth is greater in the most polluted places, which includes serious consequences for their health, with increased diseases and perinatal mortality. Other reports have a higher incidence of hypertension gestations, raising the risk of cesarean section and premature delivery in women living in areas of high air pollution.

Pollution is one of the great plagues of the 21st century. Introducing large amounts of foreign elements to a particular medium causes serious problems in the balance of natural systems. To reduce pollution is necessary the collaboration of all if we want to improve the quality of life and conservation of our planet.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Alberto García Valdés
Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism

Doctor recognition in the art. Dr. García Valdés is Head of Endocrinology and Nutrition Hospital San Francisco de Asis. Doctorate "Cum Laude" from the Complutense University of Madrid. He teaches as professor at the Complutense University and San Pablo CEU University.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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