For the layman, the ozone layer is so far out of sight, let alone to reach. But it could be a pollutant ozone if it reaches the ground and mixed with car exhaust, power plants, industrial and other sources react to sunlight. And if you are exposed to ozone worry this little heart then you are in danger.
A new study suggests that exposure to ozone for at least 2 hours can lead to inflammation and other changes in the body linked to heart attacks and sudden death.
“This study provides a plausible explanation for the link between acute ozone exposure with mortality,” says researcher Robert B. Devlin, Ph.D., senior scientist at the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Research Triangle Park, NC as reported by WebMD, Wednesday (06/27/2012).
In a study published in the journal Circulation, researchers compared changes in heart and cardiovascular system of 23 healthy adults aged 19-33 years of exposure to air polluted by ozone and clean air.
The results show changes in cardiac function related to its function as soon after exposure, include:
1. Improved indicators of inflammation known as interleukin-1-beta is said to investigators as a key player in heart disease.
2. Decrease in the components that play an important role in dissolving blood clots that may form along the walls of arteries.
3. Changes in heart rhythm that indicates the change in the nervous system control of heart rate.
Researchers say that all these changes are temporary and reversible in healthy young adults, otherwise the changes may be more dangerous for people with heart disease or other risk factors.
To reduce exposure to ozone, Devlin also recommends a number of ways such as reducing time outdoors when the sun is hot-hot because that’s when ozone is at the highest levels.
WHO also estimates that about 2 million people in the world, especially the elderly with heart disease will die from exposure to ozone and short-term air pollution.