Human health has been affected adversely by air pollution as a serious environmental challenge. Ambient (outdoor) air pollution mainly resulted from human activities (e.g., fuel combustion, heat generation, industrial facilities) causes 4.2 million deaths every year. Moreover, each year, 3.8 million people die from indoor air pollution which means household exposure to smoke from fuels and dirty cook stoves. They are the risks of stroke, heart attack, lung disease, or cancer that resulted from air pollution which assaults our brain, heart, and lungs using its invisible weapons named particulate matter (PM). These inhalable particles are of a nanoscale or microscale size. Upon inhalation, the air with its components enters the human body through the respiratory system. The lungs are the responsible organs for gas exchange with blood. Inhaled particles, such as silica, organic compounds, and metallic dusts, have toxic effects on our pulmonary system. For example, the accumulation of nanoparticles in the kidneys, liver, spleen, and central nervous system through the penetration of the epithelial barriers in the lungs has been observed. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the toxic effects of air particles on the different organs in the human body and to introduce some of the adverse effects of air pollution on human health.
Part of the book: Environmental Emissions