Air Pollution and Health – Poisoning, Toxicology&Environmental Health Example

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"Air Pollution and Health" is a great example of a paper on poisoning, toxicology and environmental health. Author, Year of Publication Purpose Sample Design   Level of Evidence Findings Limitations Nowak et al. , 2014 Exploring the probable benefits of forest and trees on health A convenience sample of 300 respondents Descriptive study; projecting nearness to forest cover with quality of health Evidence from a single descriptive study Significant better health among those residing close to forests No focus on immigration; movement from one locality to the other Ediagbonya,   and Tobin, 2013 Examination of the impact of air pollution on respiratory health. Convenience 400 respondents taken from a town called Sapele Comparative Study; results of respiratory and inhalable components projected against acceptable levels by WHO to determine acceptable levels have been passed. Evidence from a single descriptive study The highest respiratory symptom was the difficulty in breathing.

WHO limits on pollutants had been exceeded. Focused on smokers and nonsmokers, compounds unrelated to smoking could have affected the study as well. Currie, Neidell  and Schmieder, 2009 Examination of the impact of air pollutants on infant health A convenience sample was taken of N=200 respondents Comparative. Two-stage study; results of infant health compared to data relating to pollution  from New Jersey Department of Environment Evidence from a comparison/ descriptive study Infant poor health is directly proportional to levels of carbon monoxide concentration in the atmosphere Proxy of individual exposure used may not be as accurate as air quality monitors Exposure before birth wasn’ t factored Barman et al. , 2010 Assessment of the impact of air quality on population health A convenience sample of 10 locations taken; 4- residential, 5-commercial  1-industrial Descriptive Study of air quality impact on health; Concentrations of four different types of metals were evaluated at 10 locations and results projected to likely health problems. Evidence from a single descriptive study The concentration of metals under study found to be several times higher than the control area. The possible impact of dispersion of fugitive emissions not studied.

May have affected concentration levels. Air Pollution and Health The research question addressed in this paper is the impact of air pollution on health. ’ The samples used in all four samples were convenience samples picked specifically to discuss an issue of air pollution on health. Three of the studies (Barman et al. , 2010, Ediagbonya,   and Tobin, 2013 and Nowak et al. , 2014) were one stage.

Results of the sample were thus discussed with a view of already available literature with a variety of studies from various studies from a number of published works such as the records of the World Health Organization (WHO).   Currie, Neidell and Schmieder (2009) conducted a two-stage study by looking at the health of infants visa-a – vis the various levels of air pollution, with a special reference to carbon monoxide gas. At the end of it all, there is a projection of which levels of pollution are more dangerous and which levels of pollution can be tolerated. The four studies are all in agreement that higher levels of environmental pollution are responsible for higher levels of respiratory diseases.

The air is polluted in a number of ways but mostly is through industrial activity and motor vehicles. These activities are responsible for the dumping of dangerous compounds into the air such as Nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide together with carbon dioxide. Therefore, higher levels of these concentrations are likely to affect the air quality breathed in by the residents and they settle within the body, thus affecting the various body organs, including the respiratory systems. In the future, studies should be wide enough to include various variables.

In this instance, it appears that the main focus was to establish causality. It is thus difficult to establish how far air pollution can be said to be responsible for health problems. It is thus important to also control for how long one was exposed to poor air quality, the genetic contribution to resistance and other intervening variables.


Barman, S.C., Kumar, N., Kisku, G.C., Khan, A.H., Kidwai, M.M., Murthy R.C., Negi, M.P.S,

Pandey, P., Verma, A.K. (2010).Assessment of Urban Air Pollution and its Probable Health Impact. Journal of Environmental Biology. 31(6), 913-920

Currie J., Neidell M. and Schmieder, J.F. (2009). Air Pollution and Infant Health: Lessons from New Jersey. Journal of Health Economics 28 (1), 688-703.

Ediagbonya, T.F. and Tobin, A.E.(2013).Air Pollution and Respiratory Morbidity in an Urban Area of Nigeria. Greener Journal of Environment Management and Public Safety. Vol. 2 (1), 10-15.

Nowak, J.D., Hirabayashi, S., Bodine, A. and Greenfield, E. (2014).Tree and Forest Effects on Air Quality and Human Health in the United States. Environmental Pollution, 193 (2), 119-129

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