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Air pollution raises blood pressure

The air we breathe while walking along the street, or in the park may be unhealthy enough to result in an increase in blood pressure, a new study suggests.

Researchers at The Ohio State University exposed rats to levels of airborne pollutants that humans breathe everyday. This study on animals could prove important for humans.

The air pollution study

Hypertensive rats were placed in chambers and exposed to polluted and clean air six hours a day, five days a week, over a period of 10 weeks. Their blood pressure responses were monitored.

The air pollution level inside the rats chamber was comparable to levels a person may be exposed to in urban areas with heavy traffic. It was below levels found in developing countries such as China and India.

The researchers found that short-term exposure to air pollution, over a 10-week period, elevates blood pressure.

Researchers comments

Lead researcher Rajagopalan said, “Recent observational studies in humans suggest that within hours to days following exposure, blood pressure increases.”

He added, “This study provides guidance for the EPA to change pre-existing stringent standards in the effort to reduce air pollution. Our study also confirmed a need for a broader based approach, from the entire world, to influence policy development.”


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She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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