ozone in urban air pollution can do significant damage to our lungs. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:New research suggests that the
Ozone, a major component of urban air pollution, shuts down early immune responses in the lungs, which in turn makes the lung more vulnerable to bacteria and other foreign invaders, research shows.
It's known that exposure to ozone is associated with increased cardiovascular and pulmonary hospitalizations and deaths, but the actual mechanisms involved haven't been clarified. This study, by Duke University Medical Center pulmonary researchers, may provide some answers.
They found that mice exposed to unhealthy ozone levels showed amplified lung injury in response to bacterial toxins. The rodents also showed increased "programmed cell death" of the type of innate immune system cells that normally devour foreign invaders and keep the airways clear.