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Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 67, Issue 1–2, pp 11–35 | Cite as

Health effects associated with ozone and nitrogen dioxide exposure

  • David J. Mckee
  • Rosalina M. Rodriguez
Part II Environmental and Public Health Effects of Oxidants and Nitrogen Compounds in North America

Abstract

Of the oxidants and nitrogenous compounds found in ambient air, O3 and NO2 are among those most thoroughy investigated. Large health data bases have been compiled in air quality criteria documents, which serve as the basis for review of primary (health) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for each pollutant. When comparisons can be made, O3 is generally more toxic than other photochemical oxidant species at or near ambient levels, although NO2 does not appear to be of more concern with respect to carcinogenesis. Public health effects of concern for O3 range from acute symptoms (e.g. cough) and decreased lung function to persistent functional changes and permanent scarring of lung tissue, a possible precursor to chronic lung disease. Impairment of immune defenses and increased susceptibility to lung infection have also been associated with O3 exposure. Populations at greatest risk include exercising healthy persons, children, and those with preexisting lung disease. Nitrogen dioxide exhibits similar health effects but at higher concentrations. These effects include acute symptoms and lung function impairment, increased susceptibility to acute respiratory infection, and possibly conditions leading to chronic lung disease. Populations potentially at risk include children, asthmatics, and individuals who exercise in the presence of NO2. Health effects data for O3 and NO2 are under consideration in the current review of both primary NAAQS.

Keywords

Ozone Cough Chronic Lung Disease Nitrogen Dioxide Acute Respiratory Infection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Mckee
    • 1
  • Rosalina M. Rodriguez
    • 1
  1. 1.Ambient Standards Branch (MD-12), Air Quality Management Division, Office of Air Quality Planning And Standards, Office of Air and RadiationU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyResearch Triangle ParkUSA

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