Health Effects of Air Pollution in Urban Environment

Health Effects of Air Pollution in Urban Environment

Banwari Dandotiya (Jiwaji University Gwalior, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7387-6.ch006
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In the last few decades, urban development and growing industrialization has caused air pollution to become a major issue in urban areas of developing and developed countries. Urban area is more susceptible compare to other because of higher exposure time of urban residents, due to unbound interference of air pollutants in indoor environment. Exposure to air pollutants has been associated with increased mortality and hospital admissions due to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. This chapter focused on sources and health effects of air pollution in urban areas in India. Most of the urban areas of India are suffering from higher concentrations of air pollutants including gaseous and particulates.
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In the last few decades, urban development and growing industrialization has caused air pollution to become a major issue in urban areas of developing and developed countries. Mostly urban areas suffer from serious air quality problems due to increasing population levels, combined with changes in land use and increases in vehicular traffic. Inhalation of air pollutants deeply connected with increasing hospital admissions and mortality due to respiratory, cardiovascular and other lungs related diseases. The World Health Organization has identified ambient particulate pollution of urban areas as a public health menace, based on estimates of air pollution related deaths and disability. Global efforts to understand and mitigate the health effects of particulate air pollution have a rich and interesting history. United States reported apparent health effects at unexpectedly low concentrations of ambient particulate pollutants. Daily changes in air pollutants concentration proportional to daily hospital admissions in several cities (Schwartz et al., 1990; Fairley, 1990; Schwartz 1991; Pop et al., 1992; Schwartz and Dockery, 1992; Dockery et al., 1992; Schwartz 1993) and long-term exposure was associated with respiratory illness in children and cardiopulmonary mortality in adults (Dockery et al., 1993; Pop et al., 1995). Air pollution was associated with a wide range of health end points, including respiratory hospitalizations (Pop, 1989, 1991) lung function and respiratory symptoms (Pop, 1992, 1991, 1993) school absences (Ransom and Pop, 1992) and mortality (Pop, 1992; Archer, 1990).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Respiratory Health Effects: Respiratory health effects include the health effects of ambient or urban air pollutants on any respiratory organ.

Gaseous Pollutants: Gaseous pollutants include all hazardous gaseous pollutants present in ambient air of an urban environment.

Particulate Matter: Particulate matter is a common term used for respiratory and non-respiratory particles in ambient air.

Urban Environment: Urban environment is defined as ecosystem of an urban area in which the urban residents interact with biotic and abiotic factors.

Air Pollution: Air pollution is a phenomenon that causes deviation of air from its natural quality.

Health Effects: Health effects are the effects on human body that caused by any air contaminant or pollutant. Higher concentrations of air pollutants as well as less concentration also exerts health effects.

Cardiovascular Health Effects: Cardiovascular health effects are defined as the effects of urban or ambient air pollutants on any cardiovascular organ.

Urban Vegetation: The sum of all vegetation present in an urban ecosystem like trees, shrubs, ornamental plants, small plants, etc. is called urban vegetation.

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